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Hey, Secaucus - Friday, June 23rd, 2017
Thanks for your letter. It's far too long to include here, but from my initial perusal it looks like worthwhile advice.

Keep it coming,
xto

- Monday, June 5th, 2017
According to the "Musical Novelty Search -- Evolutionary Algorithms + Ableton Live, "Making music with computer tools is delightful. Musical ideas can be explored quickly and composing songs is easy. Yet for many, these tools are overwhelming: An ocean of settings can be tweaked and it is often unclear, which changes lead to a great song. This experiment investigates how to use evolutionary algorithm and novelty search to help musicians find musical inspiration in Ableton Live."

Oh, do tell! : )

PBS last night was trying to describe what's going on with The Beatles sound by breaking their songs down in terms of (shifting) keys and modalities. PBS were unable to explain in more direct way-- perhaps married to the idea that accomplishing this must necessarily deliver something "cogitated" -- through complex intellectual expression rather than by direct application to the psyche of the listener.

I thought that even I could have done a better job explaining modalities, in less than one minute : ) through, e.g., playing one or two scales (perhaps a major and a minor) in each modality to demonstrate the wide palette of moods and energies available though using different roots notes to determine where in the scale it is placed -- where it resides, so to speak.

So PBS's choice of how to discuss the theoretical aspects of the subject was quite ineffectual in its pedagogical verbalization. Playing a few modes of a scale, with a change into another key or two, would have been much more direct.

It would also give listeners a sense of the emotional coherence within music, as the response is inevitably, "Wow, that FEELS amazing."

Furthermore, PBS's verbal approach to elucidating the subject involves presenting a nearly completely moot point due to the fact that the Fab Four themselves had no intellectual grasp whatsoever of what was going on "theoretically" in their music. They were NOT approaching the music in this way, rather merely each doing as they "felt," in various ways.

In the end, their music was "compiled" from many, many tracks and takes and fragments of people trying different things, then evolving through many phases of available choices and their refinements as the producer gradually guided each song into existence.

Watching the program, I had the feeling that after the recordings were complete, The Beatles would have had to "learn the song" for performance, since that song had never actually been "played" as we now know it, but rather appears to have come into existence after evaluating and reconstituting fragments created over multiple tracks over a few days' time. Since the band had never conceived it nor played it that way before, after it had been put together, like a puzzle.

Ultimately the components had to be the result of interactions of chance and raw individualism, personally and collectively, of the participants in the project -- also including btw people like Brian Epstein, whose contribution was in organizing and influencing among the massive number of available choices.

As we understand, interpersonal politics were also a major factor in the decisionmaking and probably, as well, to the contentiousness that after a short time prevented the group staying together.

The "new music" of Ableton and other electronic music tools, offer algorithms to apply to catalogues of very thoroughly manipulatable sounds from thousands of sources. These machines deliver material for random and guided reconstitution, according to choices the "artist" is making, playing with oneself and the machine.

I'm pretty sure that it is a very special case when one band or musician using this type of electronic tool might turn out (in the realm of innovation) to create work of the wide appeal as that created by John, Paul, George and Ringo.

The Fab Four were a case of four distinct individual musicians (each with his own brain, not a shared brain)-- interacting with others.

On the other hand, oneself is but oneself in the end -- isolated and finite. The likelihood of finding a unique, individual artistic voice within the countless canned voices that can be found inside the machine seems, to me, remote.

Making unimportant and unnecessary the virtues of traditionally learned and shared music may also preclude "composing" in the sense that the great classical composers worked -- that is, in forms meant to be communicated not only to audiences but to other musicians, and in this way made more permanent -- or at any rate less ephemeral -- with potential as contributions to posterity and culture.

JXCharles - Sunday, May 21st, 2017
JX, I don't know what you think you can accomplish with posting such gibberish, but we won't be hearing from you any more as you have now been blocked from further attempts at posting.

This page is moderated, so there really is no point in trying to work your mischief here.

Email list - Monday, May 15th, 2017
Maybe it's time for a proper email list the visitors can sign up for. I will look into putting one of these in place. With that, people can sign up to receive updates to the site right into their inbox.

(See exchange below)

Again, my apologies -- see you!

cassandra - Sunday, May 14th, 2017
Thanks for mentioning this, Lorv. I've contacted the server and will let you know when I learn more.

Guess this explains recent intermittent drops in visitorship, so I really appreciate the info. It's very good of you to mention it,
ras ever,

Lorv - Sunday, May 14th, 2017
How's things?, on occasion I see a 404 server message when I view your website. Just a heads up, regards

- Monday, May 1st, 2017
Today I heard it is "Middle Child Day," so will venture a story about our middle child, Margaret (b.1953-d.1995) as it relates to the beautiful Braun family crystal, which I was told was the Heisey Rose Crystal pattern. However I do not believe this to be possible because that design was manufactured from 1949-1953 and I´m certain that set was much older. Our mother Jessie received most, if not all of the crystal.

We used it for special occasions when we had guests and dined in the dining room. Some of you may remember it from visits at our house — I´m pretty sure we used it when Bob, Hazel, Joan and Pat and the rest of the Montana branch visited, and when Fred and Margaret were there and so on. Also, I remember I used it at my high school graduation dinner, which was my first attempt at preparing and hosting a small formal dinner (for 8). Between Frankie and I, we had quite a culinary practice going, and with his help he and I did the best we could on all fronts, serving things like pheasant with wild rice and sauce bordelaise (bone marrow sauce), straight out of the Larousse Gastronimique checked out of the public library.

We used the best linen and china and, of course, the crystal, and the table was indeed stunning.

Some of the stemware was broken over the years. Each loss felt to me like an actual cut on my body so much did I love that stuff. When I was a child I used to study it intently to discover the various ideas the designers had about what constitutes a "set." There really was a very wide variation in the etched motifs yet all did work together extremely beautifully. Mom gave some of us children a single piece like the ice bucket, the rose vase, and the candy dish (the latter of which I received and still own). The rest of the considerable collection she gave to Margaret.

There was a rather wide-ranging mythology in the family about what constituted the difficulties of a middle child, but the compensations for this condition went, in the end I believe, to a rather serious detriment of its presumed beneficiary, Muggsie, as we called her (because she was the prettiest).

After Margaret joined me in Boston (in 1982), she started Von Braun Custom Clothiers (hence my surname, which I took in order to match hers so that, as a couple of young divorc閑s, she and I could be understood to be quite unquestionably in the same family when I left my first marriage).

Margaret made clothing for a wealthy clientele, finding them initially through her job as a salesperson in a fancy shop on Boston's Newbury St., and doing custom fitting and tailoring of their purchases on the side. If anyone is interested in going into a custom clothiers business, that may be a very reliable way to begin because straightaway she began making original garments for these women who were comfortable paying up to $1-2K and even more for purchases right off the rack (albeit Italian ones : ).

The trouble with the rich and famous, as the old saying goes, is, "With the rich and famous, always a little patience." The fact is, the stress was extreme and the expenses very high, and she often raised cash quickly by visiting a pawn shop and taking loans against the heirloom crystal as well as her cello.

So this brings us to what happened to the crystal (and the cello, which was by far the more valuable of the items having been custom made for her in Portland, Oregon by Rudolf Schmale, who was even at that time a venerable German violin maker).

When Margaret learned of her cancer, she was already very ill. In the shock and tragedy — and the suddenness of the end — not a single thought or mention that I know of was made to the crystal set nor the cello. Had I had the presence of mind back then, I might have tried to retrieve them -- but, sadly, the opportunity never arose.

On each nine3 page where the music doesn't play... - Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
. . . search this line:

If the music does not play automatically, you can access it directly HERE

common code - Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
It appears that some of you have noticed that I put a new line in each of the song pages for HARRIER ANGEL so you can click on it and hear the music even if NONE of the multiple strategies I've employed in attempts to keep the content on nine3 accessible to everyone are no long working for everyone.

The reason I know that visitors are actually looking for a way to hear the music is that, since I took the time to insert the direct link to the music a few nights ago, the number of plays of the songs has started climbing again after a long, slow decline as technologies that had promised to be "universal" fell into desuetude.

I tried in vain to make this happen in a new tab in every browser, but just couldn't find a way that works universally, so settled for the direct link, and trust people will know how to open it in a new tab on their own particular browser so you can follow along with the lyrics or engage some of the other more metaphorical and expressions supporting the scenes.

This is a somewhat enervating reminder that what had promised to be "publishing" is really an inexact description of what on is doing placing content on-line, for how can it be "published" if the whole or even a part of it continually stop working and must be "republished" in order to continue to exist? But that's another issue.

The important thing is to keep going and complete works. As much as I like to think it is available here, I suppose that may forever be an only partially fulfilled effort no matter how many times one puts it right and "fixes" things that the "evolving paradigm" destroys.

As soon as possible, I'll add the same link to access directly the music in the other works, UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS and THE RAZZ.

At the moment, in Boston we are on the upswing of The Blizzard of '17. My office, which is in the 3rd floor of the turret, is being buffeted by blasts of wind. Outside I can see up and down a quiet street growing ever more heavily blanketed in heavy snow.

The city is virtually shut down. Stay safe and warm, everyone! I'm still working, and very glad to be.

Cheers, cx

cristo - Sunday, February 12th, 2017
Since I've been unable (unwilling) to specialize in particular creative area -- whether writing fiction, prose, drama/works for the stage, music — it's sometimes difficult to keep all the practice areas up-to-date simultaneously.

I've completed the music (melody and chords) for the sonnet posted a few weeks ago and am now doing vocal work to get my voice back to performance level so I can sing it and put a reasonable demo in the "completed" pile.

Muscle memory is a great thing, so despite the rickety way it sounded at first, a few sessions with vocal exercises has brought some improvement. The difficulty is in regaining the strength to work at it for hours at a time. My voice simply gets tired before I start to feel it has really arrived, so I'm not yet ready to post the demo itself.

I recently completed a year of guitar lessons to get some of the ease of playing I had back in the Nashville days (decades ago ; ) and am finding writing music on the guitar pretty satisfying -- and considerably different from writing on piano. The latter was getting a little too harmonically complex to be appealing to very many.

It seems obvious there exists a tendency of the intellect to look for ever fresher and/or newer chords, and while it's fun, in the end it's still important to avoid going beyond what most people are willing to engage. Studying the guitar has been a good way to get back to basics.

But, for those who like that sort of thing, I did use a G6add7 to Cadd9 to E to A- to F in the new song. And it feels GOOD! Try it and see what you think -- I'll put the guitar chord diagrams up here (in the image space at right). It's just a TEENSY bit "out there" at the start and then comes around to a conventional resolution.

Thanks again for checking in here.
See you around!

Smithe60 - Sunday, February 12th, 2017
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SteveC - Sunday, February 12th, 2017
I appreciate you sharing this. It's Really Cool.

There so much here. Are you planning to have another show sometime soon?

Thanks again.

ND660 - Sunday, February 12th, 2017
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MarcoG - Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
I really enjoyed reading nine3.com , bookmarked your website

Postscript - Friday, January 27th, 2017
LOST & FOUND has an extra foot (the last line being iambic heptameter rather than pentameter) as a little bit of "employed error" to allay and anger of the gods at the idea I might consider myself worthy to occupy the same space as our beloved Bard Willie Shax.

There seems to be a little difficulty in posting here recently, I'm not certain of the reason. Perhaps it is only a delay that went unnoticed in the past.

Cheers!

casz - Friday, January 27th, 2017
Thanks -- I met the Feb. 5 deadline, to my surprise, quite soon after the fretful earlier post about being overwhelmed.

My current effort is musicalizing a sonnet, or — more accurately — arranging the music, since the composition and my usual "draft" level of notation is now complete.

This pieces is inspired by David Gilmour's performance of Shakespeare's Sonnet #18 ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day") by the English composer and conductor Michael Kamen, who died a little more than a year after the album ("When Love Speaks") was released. I urge you to listen to Gilmour's rendering of the Shakespeare sonnet. It is probably quite obvious why someone like me, who never before contemplated musicalizing this form, would want to give it a try.

Here it is, below:

- Friday, January 27th, 2017
LOST & FOUND — a sonnet by Cassandra von Braun

Again, another trace beneath the dust
This one most unsurpassingly pristine,
Of artifacts undreamt by human lust,
Revealing works both sacred and machined
When time, by measures, ´scapes the rotten tooth
Of age, its gift is we may apprehend
Lost treasures that, like vibrant wells of youth,
Do yet in pools shine close round ev´ry bend
The rare delights of history´s ancient stores,
As fresh and sweet as wonder´s natural child
As ever as were bright, these curling shores
Shall prove creation endless, and ´tis wild
And real, with stars for eyes and planets skin
For outer space is here. And what´s alive . . . is kin!

casz - Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
You guys deserve a big thanks for letting me know. I take it these are, as well, prompts that you hope will get me going on more frequent entries. I am so glad to receive your encouragement.

As is obvious, I have done nothing toward creating the proper blogging site here, and will let you know when that is in place in the hope you'll bookmark it, too.

The long blog posts no longer work that easily here, so if the entry runs over a rather limited number of characters, it becomes a major runaround to get it to post, so that is some motivation to figure out how to do it.

OTOH, I'm on deadline for a piece that is due before February 5, so it would be madness to try to shift gears and do the code for a proper blog at this time. Let's see if this one breaks the new "guestbook" protocols.

Keeping it short, I hope,
until later,
cx

John G - Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
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John G - Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
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John - Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
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Notice of change in service - Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
Apparently there has been some change in the server's definition of a guestbook entry, so posts of the type that have appeared here will soon (I hope) begin to appear on a "blog." I hope I can put such a thing in place here on nine3.com rather than going with a Wordpress or similar site where my works support some other entity rather than my own visitorship.

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if I fall under the spell of another compelling narrative and have not yet managed to create aforementioned "blog" (which stands for "web log" ; ) I may attempt to post it here in shorter segments, with the last part being posted first, so subsequent pieces up to and including the beginning will appear at the top.

Apologies for inconvenience,
Hope you are enjoying the beginning of Winter. As for myself, I'm looking forward to Christmas and New Year, but the inclement part of the bargain is frankly not my cup of tea : )

Be well! until later,

Hey Ukraine - Saturday, December 10th, 2016
Thanks for that.

If you want to post here, send more of this.

The page is moderated, so nonsense will not appear.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Essay - Friday, December 9th, 2016
It always seems impossible until it's done

Electoral College and attempts to eliminate it - Monday, November 28th, 2016
The discussion is about an element of the U.S. Constitution (Article V) that would require a Constitutional Convention followed by approval by 3/4 of the states to alter (alternatively, if initiated by the Congress, the action would require 2/3 majority).

Ten years of hard work and acrimony couldn't get this done for the Equal Rights Amendment, so what chances does anyone think stand for the repeal of the Electoral College?

The Electoral College is a method of splitting and diluting power put into effect by the Founders, who were by far our betters in terms of education, after thorough investigation of existing knowledge and lengthy discussion of how democratic efforts in the ancient world fared (and failed), and why.

The depths of human and divine nature plumbed by the "average" educated person of that era —— to name just a couple of the fields of deep study that supported the Founders's efforts to confound what they accurately predicted to be our foolish attempts to undo their efforts on our behalf —— are astonishing.

Why did they know this about us?

Because it had happened before, in history, in periods the study of which most of us are completely indifferent to approaching on any level. They, the intellectuals of the late 18th Century, are like gods compared to what we have become.

I am glad to hear the puffing and smoking going on about this subject, confident that the voices are at best entertaining cacophony, like a tale told by an idiot, full of sturm und drang, signifying nothing.

HostBaby - Monday, November 28th, 2016
Nick, you fixed it!

Caution - Monday, November 21st, 2016
This site has recently enjoyed a more normal level of referrals of visitors from search engines, and this is usually a sign that "the big guys" are about to hit me up for advertising money to assure my visitors will in future also find this page.

The usual action following my disinterest (inability) in paying for my normal rankings (those the algorithm ascertains is within the reasonable likelihood of what the searcher is trying to find), is that the visitors will no longer be able to find us.

So I'm guessing we have now reached that moment of disappointment.

I've received solicitations to pay the big guys for the level of traffic I've earned, and suddenly the visitorship has predictably and precipitously declined.

Over the next few days I anticipate that I and my web site, the public face of a simple artist and writer lacking the monies they require, will soon lose 60-80% of the visitors because they will no longer be able to find nine3 through their usual search channels.

So maybe you should bookmark it if you'd like to continue reading here. I hope you wlil.

That is all.

Cheers, out,
cx

Derrida? Lacan! a tale of two jocks, er, Jacques - Monday, November 21st, 2016
I've heard so many comments about the recent canard on Broadway where the "Hamilton" company arranged to have a spotlight trained on Mike Pence for the purpose of publicly shaming him for presumed evil intentions he is planning to enact against the citizenry based on his recent elevation as Vice President Elect on the impending Trump administration.

I've experienced a sanguine level of cheer at the general public rejection of the action "Hamilton" took against Mr. Pence.

One issue I've started addressing throughout the partisan discussions of this political season is the continuing use of "deconstructivism," which separates various components of an argument to apply one or more disconnected element in some unrelated argument. So this deceptive side step, this verbal "sleight of hand" we call "deconstructivism is in evidence in this case, too -- in spades, one might say, i.e., with great clarity. And I find in it a useful illustraton to help recognize as well as to define the inherent dishonesty almost invariably supported by the technique.

After what must have required a wholly unexpected necessity suddenly -- the need to maintain a civil public face -- on Mr. Pence's part, Mr. Trump asserted in his defence that theater is (or should be) a safe place where no one need worry about public dangers.

To my surprise, this was contradicted by people asserting that theater has never been "safe" but is inherently challenging.

To this I agree wholeheartedly when we are speaking of works of theater, which are preconceived performances -- scripted works of art -- with considerable breadth of meaning re: the various genres of the art that may be comprised of either wholly scripted expressions vs. those allowing for various forms of audience interaction, e.g.

Can anyone think of an example of a work for theater where it is understood an audience member may be singled out ad hoc as a target (with a spotlight, no less) for admonition by the cast for the purpose of levelling castigation against the subject's politics and presumed intended wrongdoing against "us"?

Such an action is indisputably beyond what anyone means when we discuss how challenging "theater" is or can be.

This disavowal of the idea of theater as a "safe space" is a classic deconstruction, and may be and should be understood to be entirely disingenuous.

It would be interesting to see what happens to productions attempting to enshrine such actions as taken against Mr. Pence the other night as being among those one may legitimately expect to experience at a theatrical "performance."

Any defense of this "shaming" behavior, based on theater never having been a "safe" place, belongs entirely in the realm of deconstructivism.

I find it interesting to make it a point to observe all the clever ways intellectual discussion may allow to essentially "break" the norms of reasoned argument. The present case is one of three of four I discovered to have been applied in arguments of the last campaign.

Thank you, Jacques Derrida. And thank you, Jacques Lacan. Semantics was getting so boring, having to observe logic and reason all the time.

On the other hand, perhaps the use of such novel attempts to subvert sense explains something about what happened to the left in November 2016.

On the eve of the election of the next POTUS - Saturday, November 5th, 2016
I recently met a young person with whom I felt an immediate rapport, even to the point of friendship despite the fact our politics conflict diametrically.

He shocked me by asking, "When was America ever great?" and went on to claim it is and always has been characterized by wickedness and injustice, and will only become great when it admits its failings and begins to try to become a better place. This is a position most associate with a large number of our people who were indoctrinated by the left, a trend that began in this present highly "successful" period of dissemination with the Vietnam war and which I admit did afflict my own mind for at least a decade after leaving college during that period of youthful rejection of American national character.

Now, I have been unwilling to respond directly to this young fellow's cynicism, armored as it is in the thoroughgoing self righteousness of youth and huge numbers of adherents. I very well know, based on what I was like at that age, that efforts to persuade him to the contrary would be, alas, completely ineffectual.

However, now I've come across a quotation from Camille Pagia, who says, "Capitalism has its weaknesses. But it is capitalism that ended the stranglehold of the hereditary aristocracies, raised the standard of living for most of the world and enabled the emancipation of women."

Another friend added, "Every other system has featured hopeless, grinding poverty, and this includes socialism."

So upon this I found I was able to see that, . . .

Historically, the abject misery of the common person was in stark contrast to a miniscule elite impenetrable by those not born to the purple, who were required to achieve little to nothing derived of their own passion or ability yet were entitled to every honor and comfort, while most of the great geniuses who were recognized in their own lives subsisted, like the masses -- hand to mouth -- and died young; or, even more numerous, those who were ignored in their lifetimes yet achieved greatness out of true passion, to be recognized only upon their deaths.

The American system for the first time in human history admitted that "we don't know where talent comes from" (except from God), and immediately began to validate talent and ability and hard work in a manner that elevated society itself above anything that had existed before through the simple recognition, "All men are created equal."

The free flow of people among the classes based on talent and ability, enabled by the ideal that all men are created equal, is perhaps growing less and less noticeable in the present period of cracked elitism, when celebrity and fame for its own sake has taken hold of "natural culture" (i.e., the culture of the masses of Americans as opposed to the more rarified culture of actual intellect where the love of art and learning still supports great museums and great symphony orchestras, great universities, e.g.). Perhaps it is inevitable that the very existence of such a "natural culture) would eventually elevate some of the least desirable to great heights of fame and fortune through notoriety alone.

As for my idealistic young friend, I'm guessing his heart is sprouting a seed of bitterness. Having been on some level born to the purple (enough to attend University of Pennsylvania, a great Ivy League incubator distinguished as the origin of the highest number of billionaires among all colleges and universities -- where, incidentally, Mr. Trump matriculated and studied at the vaunted Wharton School.) My friend left that place (he says he "walked away" from it (I'm insufficiently intimate at this point to have been able to determine exactly what "walked away" means in his case). He was subsequently drawn to Boston, and study at Berklee College of Music.

Now he's a working musician and band leader in genre: rock -- in a style that is a pretty much of the Classic Rock-to-90's Head-banger variety, a niche that my own "HARRIER ANGEL -- rock remedy for the re generation" might be seen to occupy.

I suspect he is finding the going unexpectedly difficult, demanding and unpredictable. My sole reason for this conjecture comes from wondering what other reason would there be that bitterness would settle in so soon? Things appear to have been going to plan, with lots of attractive stuff, and now this sudden anti-American sentiment? It makes no sense. Perhaps the presidential campaign has brought it on?

He's ambitious -- in itself, a fine and essential trait -- but now, suddenly, searches for his voice through the standard leftist ideology that is a commonplace among educated youth in Boston.

I mention this because I have just this week received his latest work -- the subject of a DVD of extremely high production values -- and it is, unquestionably, something other than searching for an answer. It is damning. So rather than believe it is entirely true to character, I suppose it's normal that I would suspect it is more like a strong feeler to discover what may succeed, and choosing a dark and denigrating view of America, while apparently quite uninformed about (or forgetful of) this nation's historic and daring assertion of the God-given power and grace already proven to have been crystalized in the idea that "all men are created equal."

What a revolutionary truism this concept has turned out to be! Within a pretty short time (as history goes) it elevated vast numbers of those who would otherwise be "the nameless unwashed" to create a stable, educated, powerful, motivated, generous and optimistic population of citizens entitled to own their own souls, to make their own successes and failures, and to be who they are.

This uniquely original American expression of equality among all humans encapsulates and enables self-realization on a grand scale. To my mind it is tantamount to a cosmic miracle that it was somehow put into play, and especially considering the fact that it, self-realization, is unquestionably the highest value and principle of all creation.

So this is what's so great about America, my disenchanted young friend. I'm saddened to wonder if this negativity is where your art is leading you -- to this dead end. Because a dead end is where this sentiment brings you. Yet I simply cannot accept it as real. I know you are talented and courageous, and therefore you must find your true voice.

If I were to offer a bit of advice it would be to avoid searching for your power as an artist among those who have been stripped of their optimism, self-confidence, energy and belief in the future, that is, your peers. They are lost and (literally) demoralized by the decades long assault on all of these virtues, an assault of opportunism by the left that emanated from my generation's rejection of the Vietnam war and the lack of imagination that made us susceptible to ideas that were already in the throes of disaster as could easily be witnessed by the miserable experience of the Soviet Union.

Your job and your quest as an artist is to restore to your peers the power of youth: confidence, creativity, energy, determination, enthusiasm, love. It is highly doubtful that these will be found among the decrepit ideas and machinations of the left, where long since and definitively has been demonstrated by, as a wiser friend observed today, "Every other system [that] has featured hopeless, grinding poverty, and this includes socialism."

"The Tempest" was a real tempest! - Thursday, October 20th, 2016
Thank you, Killerjane! This production! in the making 'twas a true "tempest." Without exaggeration, I'll admit I was gripped in the clutches of actual Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for many months after it closed.

The piece was inserted into the season at the last moment when an equity company suddenly claimed the rights to another show and left our group to flounder. They tossed "The Tempest" into the schedule at the last moment, and against my better judgment I accepted the producing job.

I had always promised myself I would do "The Tempest" and (as is my usual risk-taking wont, having surmised it may have been the will of the cosmos that I accept ; ) was ultimately very pleased as we had several nominations for "best" in various categories, and actually won two of them. After many all-nighters creating the costumes myself (when the costumer proved wholly unsuitable and quit) and the set designer had to be given drawings and prototypes for set pieces (building the rocks) and actually having to execute some of the set pieces myself, unassisted, it was amazingly difficult.

In addition, there were numerous interpersonal battles to overcome (think the Paul Gross series "Slings and Arrows") which I probably cannot yet write about without risking litigation ; )

. . . and then there was the producer's job to do, as well! and -- for those of you who may not know the inherent potential for theatricality at every conceivable level in the making of theater -- Producer is a pretty big job even under the best of circumstances, notwithstanding having to take over other jobs because the haste with which a team comes together doesn't exactly result in the use of top (sane) people : ).

In fact, in the aggregate, it almost killed me : )

It was fantastic and unexpected to discover we had succeeded.

And now I'm glad not to have succombed before filming the performances. This is something I wanted to do, but was certainly not part of my job description.

When I finally felt well enough to look at the footage, it was a true delight to see what we did. There are only two clips on this forum (YouTube.com), but I would love to render more scenes if ever I have time enough. It turned out great, with the exception of Prospero's magic cape. I had made a truly magical cape of black velvet embedded in a grid with thousands of tiny clear vinyl beadlets. I had long been fascinated with projecting onto black -- I encourage you to try it as the results can render much the same resolution in terms of reflectivity. This is counterintuitive, I know, but I had discovered how to do it some years before and had purchased a quantity of this velvet for the very purpose of hoping to have a chance to use it one day, on stage. I made the cape from it and lined it with heavy black satin.

This design I had adapted from an elbow-length cape Jean Paul Gautier introduced that season, with my adaptations of an added hood and full length. It has fittted shoulders (as opposed to the usual voluminous "circle" cape) and makes a much more elegant profile than does the silly, swirly "Dracula" cape which has the added disadvantage of often reacting to movement quite unexpectedly on stage, by swishing about, getting caught and knocking things over, e.g. : ) My also has front panels slit from hem to elbow, allowing free use of the arms. These panels (lined with heavy satin) can be flung over the shoulder and virtually eliminating all the cautions the use of a circle cape may introduce. Plus it is beautiful and unexpected. Because of the black velvet and the tiny vinyl diamonds, this cape had the truly magical quality of changing color under the lights, becoming red, purple, gold, green -- every color of the rainbow!

Alas, a person requiring primary consideration decided that we must not use this cape, and instead must use the pale yellow one seen in the video, with added application of those foil "doo-dads" to indicate its "magical" quality! I was shocked by this choice. But I was also engaged in the making and procurement of costumes for dukes and gentlemen, not to mention goddesses, and mariners (he latter of whose breeches and shirts I had been assured existed in vast numbers in the company costume closet but which, alas, turned out not to exist at all and had to be sewn from scratch. Thankfully, these shirts and breeches are rather ancient designs, using little cutting. However there were ten of each to make.

So I hung the cape in my studio and went on sewing.

Anyone who has ever worked with dangerously capricious personalities might easily guess what happened next, on the cape front!

At the very last moment, at dress rehearsal, the esteemed person who had forbidden the use of the Gautier-inspired masterpiece declared that it should be used after all!

Alas, it was too late. It had never been hemmed, and there was no way to get it from my studio and conduct the final fitting while simultaneously sewing the last of the mariners's shirts and breeches!

That cape remains to this day, hanging in the closet in my fabric room, waiting for the Hallowe'en or other occasion of elaborate dress, to be hemmed to the perfect length for its designated wearer.

The reason for the madness of jumping into an ad hoc production with people unknown to me was that I had sworn to heaven, many years previous, that I would one day produce "The Tempest." This oath stemmed from writing a thesis on it all those years ago. Studying it at that level (along with the sonnets, which comparison is fascinating in itself) it was stunning to me at what level this work may be, truly, Shakespeare's own autobiography -- at a metaphorical level, of course : ) -- It was an incredible inspiration. In short, I swore to heaven I would do it if ever given the chance.

So, really, what choice did I have?

Killerjane (cross post from YouTube) re: "The Tempest" clips - Thursday, October 20th, 2016
Jane said, "How brilliant!"

casz - Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
Thanks, John. It's good to hear from readers, especially when they're encouraging me -- in this case about writing about things I've experienced and learned as a result of being in my particular family. I suppose everyone has instructive and illuminating observations about that realm of existence.

I do often refrain from posting such things, and those writings (self-censored) are safely in a hidden folder that signifies something -- perhaps my own lack of courage -- that is unwillness to potentially injure or insult others with reminiscences which may differ from their own, and so on.

The recent death of my mother frees me from such restraints in some ways, yet I hesitate to describe formative events in my life that revolved around her and that, perhaps in reaction to her, changed me. Of course I care. I loved her —, and remain, perhaps, the child in some ways most similar to her.

I am aware, however, of visits here from family and friends who have no formal ties with me now or in the recent past. It is indeed heartening to know of such interest, however in some ways sad. I suppose these circumstances describe the usual "artist alienation" that may be an inevitable part of pursuing ideals which may never bear fruit in the conventional ways like fame and fortune that so many believe (erroneously) to be the driving factor among people who take this path.

If I were to write about my mother, I fear it might be taken amiss as indication I did not care, because to be completely honest (for, if one is not attempting that, then what is the point at all?) there are numerous painful even excruciating memories such the ones about my sister and how it fed into the writing of the new song for HARRIER ANGEL.

BTW, that song has now been sent back to the arranger after my final (?) revisions, and I am looking forward to, very soon, having the completed demo. I will tell you the arranger/vocalist is a wonderfully talented artist (a writer, composer, lyricist, instrumentalist, and performer here in Boston by the name of Jake Cassman.

If you have need for a live act at a wedding or bar mitzvah or almost any other grand occasion, he has many bands playing all different types of music, and is a consummate professional as a business person as well.

It has been just swell working with him, and I'm very much looking forward to hearing the next (and possibly final) iteration.

This means it's time for me to begin in earnest the rewrites that a very talented director has requested. I've been letting it mull over the six weeks or so it has taken to prepare this new song, so I hope it is now ready to pop out — of true inspiration, with vigor and insight.

A bientot, mes amis,

Johnc117 - Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
I don't usually comment but I gotta admit thanks for the post on this great one [redacted]

Johnd189 - Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
Thanks for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on [redacted]

update - Friday, September 23rd, 2016
I've been thinking about what I might tell you here, and found myself editing the August 7 entry, below, to include much more of the background on the sad end to my younger sister's life in Boston.

I know many visitors read here, for which I'm very glad. The traffic on this blog is by far the most important of late. Since I've been busy re-writing a couple of manuscripts and adding a new song to "Harrier Angel," none of these have made it onto the site yet.

The new song replaces something that had originally been a monologue, done at the behest of a talented director who also made other suggestions for revising the book. He said, "That monologue is AMAZING, but it needs to be musicalized -- because it's a MUSICAL!" I think he was right about the other changes he suggested, also ; )

But I wanted to let you know that the aforementioned August entry has been expanded. If you enjoy a truly "cautionary" tale, I've added more details about the consequences of nursing resentment, jealousy, hatred and fear.

I'm not quite sure why my sister hated me. We were the closest in age of the 7 children. But some reason, she always felt the need to beat me, yet she could never manage to do that to her satisfaction. She was by far the most beautiful of the four daughters. Perhaps, in the end, the attention this brought her way was not helpful. To me, such elements of her story bear repeating, so do, please, try to understand, and know that I still mourn her loss and wish things could have been different between us.

As for the new song being added to "Harrier Angel," it belongs to Detective Reverend (D.R.) Jones, the police chaplain who is the play's antagonist. He is the self-appointed guardian of the main character Naomi. D.R. also maintains an intrusive interest in her family, business and home in the absence of her husband, who has been incarcerated -- "for good, basically, poor bastard" -- on a "Three Strikes, You're Out" charge stemming from his illicit pot use in the 1990's.

In the course of the years of D.R.'s interest in (to his mind) maintaining the propriety of this woman's conduct, he realizes he has quite by accident fallen in love with her.

Following is the lyric. That, and its melody, are with a talented arranger in Cambridge. I've heard his preliminary arrangement, and think it quite daring and exciting. I'm hopeful of receiving the completed song within the month.

I HARDLY THINK
Lyric copyright 2016 byCass.vonBraun, allrightsreserved

My name is Frankie, but nobody knows this now
I haven´t heard that name in years — it´s how
My sister used to call me in when it was time for dinner
We were so close, and heaven knows
She almost could have been me
I almost could have been her
For a time that´s what it felt like with this one, too, though
A decade on proved that may never have been true, so
I hardly think I´ve been right about this,
Understood even myself, let alone an abyss
Of longing — unrequited, out of season
That once ignited burns beyond all reason

I´m trying to get over this, I swear I really am -- not!
Moments of resolve dissolve
Scenarios I rehearse reverse
I hardly think I should call it "thought"
When I´m trying to get over this
And I really am not

I sometimes find I pass a few hours when
I hardly think about her — well, it´s a start, and then
At the brink of that momentous paradigm
I finally find I miss being lovesick all the time

A mad rush of sorrow and loss of passion´s fire
I hardly think there´s treasure dark as living with this desire
Because I won´t let it go, and I don´t want to let it go
Of course I care! That´s just the way it is, so
This is what caring is, and
Such things don´t change that much
It may be contagious — warmed by the scent of skin
Some things become a part of you, once you breathe it in

And so I won´t let it go, and I don´t want to let it go
Yet I´m trying to get over this, I swear I really am -- not!
Does obsession ever lessen? Will I see progress if confess?
I hardly think I can call it "thought"
When I´m trying to get over this, and really am not . . .
I really am not

Kenneth - Saturday, September 17th, 2016
French Mountains internal lay out is rustic, old-world, and welcoming. Wood beams, apparatus with frail, carved details, stone or brick floors covered with rugs, and fireplaces are obvious features. Copper pots, baskets, iron candleholders, earthenware, colorful linens, precious paintings, and clean glass vases are common aide choices. You may also espy window boxes containing clay pots of geraniums and lavender on window sills.

"Resentment" will do that to you - Sunday, August 7th, 2016
A friend mentioned the "resentment" her "redneck" (her word, and from it I deduce she enjoys relationships along the full economic scale from redneck to blue blue) friends experience toward the "concern trolling and pearl clutching" of those I take to be among the more economically stable among the people she knows.

I wondered: What does such "resentment" entail? If the term is used merely to describe thought that results in talk and posting on facebook, it doesn't bother me at all. "Concern trolling and pearl clutching" I take to be more or less same benign behavior?

But her comment reminded me of the only other person I've known who favored use of the term "resentment." A younger sister with whom I attempted to start a business many years ago, she was an example of one of the (admittedly small number of) "rescue" cases I undertook in my young adulthood.

I believe there is a total of around five or six of these, none of which worked for me towards forming rewarding relationships in the long term. However they were effective, more or less, in the short term toward the survival of young women and in one case a man (my by now long-time ex-spouse). These were people whose own early adulthood for various reasons started out badly whereas I was fortunate always to have been employed and otherwise practical regarding decisionmaking in matters of living and was thus able to extend my assistance to friends in need.

I do believe my aforementioned "practicality" probably extracted a steep toll on my creative career, which -- had I made that a higher priority -- may have allowed me at this point in life to feel I had done more of what I was meant to do in life. But I'm not unhappy -- in fact it's rather interesting at times to kid myself I can see the workings of the cosmic/Great One in the way my actions in the field of my greatest hopes (writing for the musical stage) are playing out. But that is another story.

My sister I moved here at my own expense (and with lots of help from others in the family) from the west coast because her criminal boyfriend (a "con" i.e., "confidence man") kept trying to kill her. Before our family forcibly removed her from this situation, she suffered numerous broken bones and near strangulations and other horrible things including participation in this terrible man's fraudulent schemes. I don't mean to trivialize the horrors she survived. However this, too, is a story for another day.

Whatever was wrong with her could not be fixed, at least not by me. After she was settled here, it was a shock (for both of us, I think) to discover my sister deeply and venomously -- as it turned out, actually -- hated me, and, as I was to learn later, had done for quite some years before accepting my offer to help her get established in Boston.

The custom cutting and sewing business we established together was her one passion. I had other options (as a commercial desiner established in my own studio before her arrival here) as to my own great good fortune had always seemed to be the case. I divorced during this period, and against certain misgivings I elected to take the same name she had long since chosen, Von Braun -- the diminuative of our maternal grandfather whom I have referenced at least once in a previous posting, Friedrich Wilhelm Hardwig Ludwig Leopold von Braunschweick. My sister had always hoped to establish herself as a couturiere and, to her, his name seemed more fitting than our own father's name, which was Lapp. So during that exciting time after she joined me in Boston, being the Von Braun sisters held great appeal to us both. A thorny rose of discord began to flourish. That began what was easily the most difficult and bewildering period of my life.

Certain machines in the studio she thought of as hers alone. She couldn't very well forbid me to touch the blindstitcher, e.g., since I was doing at least as much of the sewing as she was at that point. Certainly, also she did not wish for me to forbid her using any of "my" machines. So while I continued to subsidize my income servicing my existing commercial art clients, she took a job as a shop girl in an exclusive Newbury Street establishment, gradually beginning to bring the tailoring and alteration orders back to our studio. These were beginning to bring custom dressmaking orders to us, also, and this was key in developing the enterprise into the type of company we both envisioned it to be: a creative, high-end custom clothier for women.

As for taste in color and design, she tended to choose muted colors. She said she had been diagnosed at a young age with some anomaly in her vision -- too few cones or something I never fully understood, something to do with not seeing color quite as others do. In short, her choices were ideal for the Boston standard of fine couture, i.e., the style of excellence that an observer cannot necessarily tell through a casual glance is of the very highest quality. In Boston, it's more polite not to notice such things until you pay a little more attention, at which point the impression is, "Oh! that's good!" and preferably followed by another look that reveals (say, for example, if for some reason a person touches the garment), "Oh! No! Not just good -- it's REALLY good!" (unless, of course, a person is in the habit of observing footwear, in which case it is much easier to deduce whether one may be a supremely well-dressed person : ).

This is all very fine indeed, and an admirable attempt at modesty, for most day dressing. However, for special occasions and other dress-to-impress hours, something a little more flagrant is in order. And for these choices, my eye was the more reliable between us for achieving color and cut that was undeniably noticeably highly expensive.

At this time, the commercial art studio (which was also my home) and Von Braun Custom Clotheriers (where my sister at least nominally lived) were side-by-side in two of three very pretty brick townhouses on Broadway in Somerville. The qualifier "nominally" is owed to the fact that soon after securing these amazingly convenient and lovely spaces that, moreover, we could afford, my sister met a smart British man, Peter, and began living with him in Back Bay, travelling to the studio after her job solely for the purpose of working there. With no car of her own, a man and a job in the city, and the need to travel to Somerville (which was not then well-connected to the subway system), her life became much more complicated.

She began having fits of ill-temper. We moved to a 2-unit up-and-down off College Avenue, a location much more convenient to public transportation. However we were now officially sharing a single domicile, and unexpectedly our comparatively mild interpersonal incompatibilities grew exponentially.

As an aside, it has often occurred to me that there may have been another reason beyond the obvious for these difficulties of living. This was a strange belief we had not been informed about when we took the apartment that the place was haunted by the ghost of a little girl who had been killed by her mother's boyfriend in the basement. By then I had met the lovely man whom I would ultimately marry, and my sister would later marry Peter. However I expect at that time we must have been viewed officially as the two nutty sisters on Powderhouse Square regularly summoning the police. Many were the nights we were affrighted by sounds in the house, of someone walking on the stairs, pounding nails, or rattling about in the kitchen. Once a piece of lead, like a large fishing weight, was found on the kitchen table, and as I did not put it there and my sister insisted she had not either, we believed without question that someone else had access to the house. It didn't help us that there was a strange little busybody of a boy living next door who hung about on his bike, always hoping to talk to one or the other of us as we came and went. The other unit in the duplex was occupied by a retired school teacher and her little dog, and she was often upset with "us" (that is, myself, since my sister was well understood to be completely above reproach in every way and could not possibly have been the one whose footsteps routinely upset the lady).

Apparently it was suspected by everyone else in the city that the reason for the fearfulness and worry that something was amiss was the cosmic backlash to the horrific murder that had taken place there. But, among the many times we had the police on the premises in the middle of the night, as long as I lived there, no one ever bothered to mention this fact -- and this includes the police who usually seemed at worst quite pleasantly amused by the two scared young women in their night clothes calling again because they thought someone was in the house.

Perhaps the presumed "ghost" in combination with the old lady occupying the half of the downstairs not taken up by the "down" part of our "up-and-down" space had something to do with the increasing difficulties between my sister and myself. The woman had the same first name as my sister, and the two of them had teamed up to make me the adversary on the question of who might be emitting unwanted noises and leaving questionable leaden objects on our table to be found at breakfast.

My sister became obsessed with knowing whether I had touched something in the studio in her absence. She would do things like leave a hair across a pair of scissors, or place the thread of a certain machine just so, as a way to keep track of my activities during her absence. The tone of our relationship grew darker and darker until it overwhelmed. After she discovered evidence of and became enraged by the idea that my beloved had taken a shower at our house, he said he thought it was time I should come to live with him in his house in Dorchester. Of course I was elated at the idea. There was room at his house for my design studio, as well, and my sewing machines, so my expenses dropped precipitously, and we went on to the happy existence we still enjoy today, and in the very same house.

Of course, once the dressmaking studio was established, I withdrew.

My sister had frequently chosen the word "resentment" to describe how she felt about various things. It always struck me oddly, almost as though it were one of the words her wealthy clients favored, for her manner and vocabulary in other ways had long since assumed much of the tone associated with wealth. I cannot think how else it came to mean to her something one should be willing to express openly except insofar as she had heard those she admired using it to describe their own relationships? This is pure conjecture.

She was making six figures in a "cash business." Stress from that alone would have killled me. As young people, we were taught that it was an honor and a privilege to pay one's taxes as there is nothing superior to being a law-abiding citizen regardless of the level of rewards one achieves. But her years with the con man had made another way seem more attractive. Her atelier grew. She moved her studio to Newbury street, and hired first one and then a second young designer to work with her, sewing and taking measurements. She travelled regularly to New York to purchase fabrics, notions and accessories. She dressed the wealthiest women, with a 2-piece custom-made dress costing upwards of $2,000 and a tailored suit, of course, coming in at many times that price.

Among my family there were rumors and currents, all of substance unknown to me, since no one would ever tell me exactly what it was my sister was saying about me. Not until many years later did I learn of a "hateful" (another favorite word of hers, as in, "I'm feeling very hateful") telephone campaign that occasionally I still notice is active in some relatives' feelings about me. I felt quite hurt to discover, years after the fact, for example, that there was an enormous family reunion in Montana one summer -- of which I had no knowledge, having not even been invited. My sister and her husband attended, and I learned of this only recently on the occasion of a niece's wedding. Such things are sad enough for me, to continue to receive shocks from things that happened and lies that were told so long ago. I learned, for another example, that the family believed I "left her in the lurch" when I moved out. In fact, I found a replacement for myself there before I ever left, in the person of a designer I knew who was then looking for a place. Sarah moved in the very day I moved out, and as far as I know still lives in the same place to this day, having been offered the opportunity to purchase it, long after my sister married Peter and moved back to Boston.

But, alas, even as it continues to play out in my life, this all ended for my sister exactly as Don Henley warned: "You keep carrying that anger, it will eat you up inside, baby." She continued to hate me and conjure ill feelings with relentless venom for the many, many years despite the fact that we saw eachother only a few times, and then only briefly, in all those years -- for example, through the accident of being in the same fabric store at the same time.

In the end, it was immeasurably more than merely sad for her, it was tragic.

She died at the age of 42 (which is, according to the tao, the age of fulfillment or self-realization) of cancer.

- Saturday, July 30th, 2016
When we were little, there were four of us girls (and 3 boys), and we girls would often invite our friends for overnights. We all slept together in the huge wide bed up the second floor screened-in "sleeping porch" outside our little sisters's room on the east side of the house where the sun would creep in through the rattan shades at first light. It was absolutely sublime, then, with the sweetest scent of morning and all our breaths together in the cool air. The sleeping porch is long gone -- it was on the east side of the house, at the high side of the property, which made the drop the shallowest of any other spot on the second storey. After the porch was removed, still remained for a time, and I would go out there and leap off onto the lawn below. At first it took a great deal of courage, but then I became fearless and eventually stopped doing it when a slightly less than correct landing informed me I might easily hurt myself doing this.

I saw a picture of the house recently, and it was nice to see the old maple I loved to climb is still in the front yard. That tree must be on its last legs now, though its foliage and the expansive shade it brings might contradict this. But its trunk was hollow all the way up to it's branching into two enormous sides, even then. And from an adult's perspective, it looks positively precarious now.

cristo - Thursday, June 30th, 2016
Okay, I will do my best. I have written a rather detailed entry following the death of my mother, regarding the responses of immediate family. Despite being relatively sure that the painful realities of these relationships at hardly unique to our clan, I've found it difficult to decide whether posting it here could do any good.

It was probably cathartic to write it, but perhaps content include observations that are perhaps not the best to talk about considering it is a discussion abouty survivors.

I suppose it reasserts to me, myself and I the specifics of why I decamped to the east coast as soon as I was able. Perhaps a transformation of this material within a work of "fiction" is in order, eh!

Thank you for your kindness.

as ever,

blewlytassamb - Thursday, June 30th, 2016
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my thanks - Friday, June 10th, 2016
I very much appreciate your appreciation : ) it's good of you to mention it.

Last evening my dear Mama departed for an appointment with eternity -- I like to think she will meet up with Daddy, whom she has greatly missed these many years. The two of them were a great and loving couple. RIP, dear Jessie.

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443 - Friday, June 10th, 2016
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moi, encore - Saturday, June 4th, 2016
At the behest of the director, I have the lyric for replacing (the foregoing speech, below) and the full system of for the music.

It has required an amazing number of hours so far, probably mostly due to the need to write in a style that will play well with a piece written a couple of decades ago in a style long since evolved into a new voice that is potentially incompatible with that earlier work.

I do trust and believe that the vast majority of my songs conform to the conventions that allow them to be arranged effectively in whatever style fits present need, however.

In saying the main systems have all been defined, I mean that verse, verse variation, and refrain have all fallen into place at last.

This represents exactly half the song, but the vast weight of labor, since what remains shall be mere adaptation to existing form.

It has been interesting, as since the turn of the century (when I worked with collaborators who, as men, felt they needed to be given primary credit on work they had in fact contributed not a single syllable or musical phrase -- a development both shocking and disheartening to poor little Psyche O'Mine) I rarely write to spec anymore. Working with others does motivate a greater and more rapid production of work, and I remain hopeful of one day participating as a member of a team, but at the time I handled the problem neither wisely nor effectively.

I'm sure it is not at all funny but to me seems so, in a revolting sort of way, that after perhaps a dozen so-called collaborations writing to the needs of (male) counterparts -- because for one thing the vast majority of people seeking to write for the musical stage are males, and for another thing males always require that their own ideas must take precedence even in cases of overt folly such as during the fashioning of adaptations of famous works for which the rights have not been procured.

Anyway, for various reasons, none of these teams managed to complete anything. And since I have never been able to accept the need to discard my work, almost invariably I pursued these pieces on my own, only to discover the "collaborators" required writing credit for contributing nothing more notable than delay and obstruction.

After wasting much effort in this manner, at last I decided to, as they say, "cut to the chase," and float the equivalent of "I prefer to work anonymousely and allow others to take the credit for my work." This was intended as a catalyst for discovering -- immediately rather than after many months or even years had ellapsed -- that I was to be robbed. However, once more, my impressively academically credentialled "collaborators," to my great consternation, once more responded with a disappointing answer.

The preferred answer, as I continue dearly to hope to hear at some point in my present existence, would be, "Of course not! That would be wrong on so many levels."

At last, the best reply I ever received, after a relatively short waiting period, was, "Great! We have a producer and financial backing. I will be taking the music credit, Whathisname here will take the book credit, and you will retain the lyric credit -- we're going to svengali you into a big career!"

My lack of interest in this arrangement landed me in the state of relative isolation in which I may be discovered today.

Fortunately the director requesting the present musicalization of a segment that had previously been a speech, does not pretend to be one of the writers on my piece, and so I proceed with my usual swell of passionate optimism.

Following is the lyric.

I Hardly Think
Lyric (and everything else here in this forum [obviously]) copyright 2016 by Cass. von Braun, all rights reserved

My name is Frankie, but nobody knows this now
I haven´t heard that name in years — it´s how
My sister used to call me in when it was time for dinner
We were so close, and heaven knows
She almost could have been me
I almost could have been her

For a time that´s what it felt like with this one, too, though
A decade on proved that may never have been true, so
I hardly think I´ve been right about this,
Understood even myself, let alone an abyss
Of longing — unrequited, out of season
That once ignited burns beyond all reason

I´m trying to get over this, I really am! Not.
Moments of resolve dissolve
Scenarios I rehearse reverse
I hardly think I should call it "thought"
When I´m trying to get over this
And I really am not

I sometimes pass a few hours when
I hardly think about her — it´s a start, and then
At the brink of that momentous paradigm
Discover I miss being upset all the time
A wild rush of sorrow and loss for passion´s fire
I hardly think there´s treasure dark as living with this desire

Because I won´t let it go, and I don´t want to let it go
I do care! and that´s just the way it is, so
You care about what you care about, such
Things just don´t change that much
Maybe it´s contagious — like the scent of her skin
Something that´s a part of you, once you breathe it in

I´m trying to get over this, I really am! Not.
Can obsession ever lessen?
Is there progression through confession?
I hardly think I can call it "thought"
When I´m trying to get over this
And I really am not

cristobal - Sunday, May 8th, 2016
Part of me wonders how long it has been since the wonderful young director asked for specific changes to the HARRIER ANGEL book -- and the other part is afraid to find out. It has been months, to be sure.

His requested changes to the text itself are not so difficult -- some easy-ish fixes that will improve the flow and clarify a couple of things. I could nearly instantly see how these would be done.

The real challenge has been to musicalize a speech that he described as so "amazing" that it really had to be a song.

The character is a jesuit working as a police chaplain, who has achieved the rank of detective, which explains why his name is "D.R." (for Detective Reverend). I mention this to allay concerns of his taking the lord's name in vain, because he actually is addressing the deity : )

This is the speech:

"God! I must be insane. Why do I care?
It's like a disease, man -- I mean, my God.
I've been going through this for ten years now
Now I keep waiting for the day when I don't think about HER any more
When I don´t think about HER any more

"I'm TRYING to get over it. I really am! Not!

"Sometimes I go through periods when
I think I'm almost over it, when I hardly think about her,
and I find I actually MISS being upset all the time.
When I realize I haven't been thinking about her,
I get panicky. Like if I do let myself get over it
and I finally succeed in not 璫aring any more,
then all my passion will be burned out of me for good.
Because I know next time I'll have the sense
not to let myself go like that, ever again."

SFX: Sirens.

"I'm afraid l'll never feel this much again.
So I find I won't let it go, and I don't want to let it go.
Because I care. Because I do care, damn it.
And so then I just go on and let myself start caring again.

"I tell myself, does it really matter why you care about something?
You care about what you care about.
And some things just don't change that much.
Maybe it's contagious. Like a virus. Something you breathe in."

Sirens, brief pistol fire.

"And I see so many people who have it now.
And I've been wrestling with it like the devil for so long now, myself.
Ultimately I understand why a renegade throws his life away.
It's this battle. It's fierce. You just want it over."

So, for the purposes of making a song, the foregoing I broke out into this versified form. However I've long realized it is not a lyric.

After what may be many months, I'm still telling myself it was something else, not procrastination, that the lyric still remains unwritten.

I tell myself I have been waiting, because sometimes these things really do just "happen," -- and some of the best have come this way, so I didn't want to miss out on potential wonderful serendipity's magic. Not to mention the avoidance of a the agony of using cogitation in place of inspiration to achieve lyric poetry.

But at last I realized this hope was in vain.

While contemplating (through intellectual activity, as I apparently would not be graced by a visit from the muse) how in the world to go about finding the words, I've busied myself with creating different chord progressions to convey the bitter but perennially flowering hope that persists at the bottom of hopeless yearning.

It seems logical to suppose this must be a guitar-based song, since the music of the work as a whole is guitar-based (except for "Wisteria"), and it has been to my good fortune that (as ref. in recent post) the guitar work has so thoroughly rehabilitated the injury to my left wrist, elbow and shoulder that resulted from daydreaming while walking across a large parking lot and getting hit by a car backing out of a space.

I'm even more optimistic now about the value of this type of work for correcting (invisible) nerve, muscle and joint trauma. Now I can work for hours at a time without pain, and this includes a fresh form of fatigue that requires only rest to find relief. Considering the shock of discovering I had in fact been injured in the accident, it now seems miraculous that everything seems strong and yare (physically). Moreover I've mined a deep vein musically, to convey an obsessed lover's suffering in a way that feels quite different from anything I've done before.

So I've been able to remain indifferent to the issue of when, or even whether or not, the lyric may emerge, while just sticking to my notebook during breaks from the guitar work -- mostly doodling.

Then -- elation last night as the lyrics spigot opened and words began to flow.

So today, Mothers Day : ) is the beginning of the next phase for this song.

Ninety percent of the time, lyrics will be complete before melody begins. This time, though I know nothing about the melody yet, I do know where it sits -- in what mode and key, for example.

I'm hopeful now that this song may materialize to become a right and fitting moment for revealing this character's humanity and virtue, notwithstanding his function as the play's antagonist, and that it will be a seamless fit (stylistically) with songs written so long ago that my authorial voice has changed (TWICE already) in the interim.

This is an incredible feeling, and I hope the director will understand I've not been "procrastinating" in any negative sense of that term. Sometimes it just takes whatever time it takes. Why else would it have required six years to write the piece? It has never been true that I've not been doing the work. Rather, this is the sort of work that's a mystery and cannot be helped by force.

Soon that song will "be come." So be it!

WilliamPt - Sunday, May 8th, 2016
Thank you for your forum post. Will read on... Brucks

Cassandra - Thursday, April 28th, 2016
I did, of course, underestimate how long it would take to prepare this. Sorry for the delay. I hope you enjoy it!

cristo - Thursday, April 28th, 2016
You finally posted the Gladstone essay. Thank!

references - Friday, April 22nd, 2016
In the next couple of hours I will post the Gladstone essay mentioned in the previous entry.

In the meantime, here is the sonnet and the blank verse from which it emerged.

Now we have found it, yet another world
hidden, unexpected and pristine,
so stuffed with all design of artifacts,
both sacred and machined — a trove beyond imagining, of human lust´s lost treasures
that we dared not even dream, but now
perceive the truth: That time by measures ´scaped old age´s rotten tooth, and well exceeds
what we had prayed could show in mysteries revealed— even to the stars, for the gifts
that still lie waiting along these crooked
shores by realms outweigh the rare delights
of history´s ancient stores, for Art is end-
less, it is wild, and trav´ling ever wide
and deep as wonder´s natural child.
For outer space is here, and only we
Are real, with stars for eyes and planets skin — And what´s alive . . . is kin!

Above was what I wrote quickly when contemplating a sonnet, and following is the sonnet itself:

When We Found It

Again, another trace beneath the dust —
This one most inexpressibly pristine —
Of artifacts undreamt by human lust,
Revealing works both sacred and machined

When time, by measures, ´scaped the rotten tooth
Of age, its gift was we may apprehend
Such treasures is, like vibrant wells of youth,
May yet in pools rise shining ´round the bend

The rare delights of history´s ancient stores,
As wide and deep as wonder´s natural child —
As ever as were bright, these curling shores
Shall prove how Art is endless, and ´tis wild

And real, with stars for eyes and planets skin —
For outer space is here. And what´s alive . . . is kin!

busy all the time - Friday, April 22nd, 2016
After receiving an insulting message from someone upset by my inattention here (he called me boring), I weighed the possible merits of his state of pique and decided to share a short piece I recently enjoyed reading from a set of antique books called THE LIBRARY OF ENTERTAINMENT (a thousand hours of enjoyment with the world's great writers).

I did not know that converting this short essay into a pdf to link for you here that it would take the better part of a day to complete.

I'm telling you this so it cannot be said that I haven't done anything lately -- or at anything documentable through this blog/guestbook device. Whether it's possible a significant number of readers may be willing to read what William Gladstone had to say about classical ethics (as given by Homer) is anybody's guess.

However it is a short enough piece, and I enjoyed it immensely. I found it exciting to feel how clearly he shows that vast depth of our own culture's mores and ethics arrive through the heroic poetry of Homer. The source, (this particular volume itself being one of a dozen or so in the set published over about twenty years at the beginning of the 20th Century) is redolent of fine old leather, with lithographs illustrating (in this case) the orator Gladstone's home (a castle). In my digital processing I did the best I could to provide a reasonably accurate facsimile of the pages, without doing too much damage to the book from repeatedly placing it face down on the glass of a scanner. I hope that some of the value of publisher's wonderful presentation might contribute to your own pleasure in experiencing it.

Incidentally, while I was wasting the indignant correspondent's good will for the past twenty or so days that I've been absent here, I wrote a new play to honor the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

The conditions of the submission of thiat piece specified that it should have something to do with Shakespreare, so I gave it a title from "Richard II" ("Ghosts We Have Deposed") and included a sonnet (which is to be musicalized as soon as I am able) which I will include here in a follow-up post, along with the initial draft, a blank verse version that I tossed onto the page in five minutes.

N feels the latter is superior to the final (perfectly scanned, rhymed and structured) sonnet that took many times as long to complete.

I'd be curious to hear your own thoughts on which you prefer.

I've also, every single day for a couple of months now, practiced guitars (acoustic and electric) through the lessons I've been taking to restore strength to my left arm that turns out to have been injured after all when an aging constable suddenly and very rapidly backed out of a his parking space and struck me, throwing me ten feet through the air, nearly 6 months ago.

That experience was like one or two others I've experienced in my life, when approaching potential extremis due to impending calamity: my brain speeds up to 100X normal (maybe more) when in reality only a few seconds (maybe less) pass in what feels like a slow motion blur providing plenty of time to apprehend what is about to happen, consider the options for saving my life, choosing what is the best course of action, then praying you will succeed in executing it, and then . . . time runs out and you either live or die.

In this case, I decided there was not enough time to get out of his way, and therefore I needed to push myself off, as hard as possible, from his vehicle at the moment of impact. I also decided to try to go straight back, since the center of his car was the part that was going to hit me. This situation occuring a parking lot where he would have to turn one way or the other immediately after emerging from his parking space, and I couldn't tell which way he was likely to go, a wrong guess would surely have made the accident I was about to have a fatal one.

I bent my arm at little at wrist, elbow and shoulder, then reached out to make contact with the Chevy logo at the very center of the trunk of his car, and pushed mightily while trying to leap backwards.

"Ow, that hurt," I thought when he hit me. And then I was flying. "Uh-oh," this is going to hurt. Try not to land on your back." I decided to try for a seated posture that would land me squarely on my bum, but then thought of a friend whose coccyx had broken off during delivery of her baby (years ago) and remembered how she had been in agony for months with it. "You'd better clench your buttocks as hard as you can to protect your poor tailbone," I said to myself.

"OW!"

When I regained consciousness, a circle of beautiful faces were leaning in toward me with grave concern. "What happened?" I said.

There were many people there, all quite excited. I heard shouting, "You got hit by a car!"

I didn't feel pain. I asked them to help me up. Someone asked me if I were sure I wanted to get up, and I said that I did. Then what felt like a thousand fluttering wings that were many, many hands in loving support lifted me to my feet as if I were as light as a feather.

My husband, who had been waiting in the car some distance away, was surprised to see me returning in a state of shock, carrying the crushed box containing the soft leather boots I had been carrying to return to the store. I had been searching for this particular boot style for a long time, but had been unable to find the color I desired. So I bought them in gray and immediately (of course) found the black ones I preferred in the very next shop I visited. So my purpose in being in this place had been to return the gray boots. The demolished state of the shoe box was evidence I had managed to fall on it, and this was a stroke of luck that most certainly had padded my point of impact when landing on the asphalt.

As for the old constable, he may have been rigid with arthritis so that he couldn't turn his head properly to look behind him and see where he was going, nor control his foot pressure on the gas pedal so he could back out gradually. These conjections could explain why he shot out of his parking spot suddenly and without warning. Since, as a constable, he was with the police department, I asked him what was the law governing such events as this, but he kept his mouth shut, absolutely mortified at his bad luck, and extremely relieved that I did not wish to call the police and the ambulance, etc.

But I really did not feel at all injured, and since I detest and deplore everything about hospitals and doctors, what I really wanted was to go home.

Part of the reason for my disinclination towards visiting medical facilities results from the fact that I was the daughter of a hypochondriac nurse who, if ever she was unable to detect a malady for which she herself should be medically treated, was always watchful and waiting for the chance to bestow that very (to her) exciting experience upon one of children. As an example of her ministrations, I had come within inches of being given a radical mastectomy at the age of twelve -- but only after being frightened half out of my mind by promises of disfigurement and certain death from my mother and her perennially interesting sister. Between the two of them, they had a jolly good time explaining the colorful details of the catastrophe that was about to befall them by way of losing a young daughter to cancer. Purely incidentally, of course, it was my life that formed the expedient of this exciting potential

Thankfully, the doctor himself declined to commit the surgery, saying there was nothing at all wrong with my breast. For this I was very thankful despite the fact that our small town had already been set abuzz by the histrionics of my female relatives who were so animated by the prospect of having to suffer my illness and the attendant aftermath of my demise and funeral.

Is it any wonder that my plans to escape from this home environment continued developing steadily -- actually from the age of 18 months, when I experienced a powerful memory of my previous life as my own grandfather (an account of which is given somewhere here, in an earlier entry).

But I digress : ) Sure I am there are plenty of people with great reasons for hating to go to a doctor or hospital. So I didn't want to go , I wanted to go home, and that's what I did.

It took a little more than one month and the onset of winter for my shocked left arm to wake up.

At this time I discovered why many elders hate cold weather. Cold is the reason for many evils associated with conditions that may otherwise be tolerable. There is pain and distraction, yes, and there is also -- on an entirely other level -- a cacophony of nerves, the maddening tingling like nothing else I've experienced, the rapid clanging of a thousand distracted nerve endings, precipitated immediately and without warning by coldness.

In most ways, I found that the reawakening of damaged nerves can be somewhat manageable with (mostly auyervedic) salves, aspirin and rest -- but not if there is cold!

Over the past six months I have gradually experienced vast improvement. I'm hopeful of complete recovery with summer warmth. But I felt I needed to take up my guitar again, as therapy.

Readers may recall that in my early twenties I flirted with the beginnings of a singer songwriter career in Nashville. I had become rather accomplished at the guitar (so far as it went in those days, with strumming and Travis picking) while still in high school. But in Nashville I was encouraged in an exciting way. People enjoyed my performances, and I became involved with someone who made exciting promises and turned out to be a gangster.

I was already planning my exit when he asked me to carry his gun in my purse because he believed he would be searched at the door of the club where we were going, and would be in trouble if they found he was carrying a weapon.

I had left the door open to return to college, thank heavens, and did so as soon as the next semester began. It took another year to fully extract myself from this dangerous man's interest. Certainly the distance between Tennessee and Missouri helped prevent its becoming a seriously bad scene at the time.

Though I sometimes have written guitar-based music (see "HARRIER ANGEL -- rock remedy for the re generation") I really have not been playing for many years at the same level as when I was in Nashville. But I still have my guitars (though not my beloved violin, which was sacrificed, when I needed money). Thankfully, I found a very good course in guitar instruction (guitartricks.com -- it's only a couple of hundred dollars a year for access to a great group of teachers, information and other expertise, and I highly recommend it) so I've been practicing dutifully (and grateful to have this inexpensive option) and have found my strength returning.

Johnc432 - Tuesday, April 19th, 2016
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xto - Friday, March 25th, 2016
Among other things a friend wrote, he said, "I don't mind Russia not being cornered against the wall. SOROS is trying to take out Putin. SOROS is funding Clinton and the goons who are giving Trump a hard time."

For my own part, I will admit I respect Putin greatly, and envy him in certain ways out of the observation that our own presidential election cycles may have a detrimental effect on our politics now we are in this strange new world unforeseen by our founders. With our president is so mired in politics as a survival tactic (first to get elected, then to get re-elected in two terms that are both relatively short) much of his decisionmaking is twisted to the requirements of these necessities, and things transpire that probably no one would have wished for.

I was in the same room with Soros once, at a NYC party where he was supposedly contributing to various artistic projects. I was in the city solely for the purpose of attending this event, the ticket to which I had been given in lieu of payment for my work on a project by a theater I was working for that would have otherwise been obliged to stiff me entirely on my fee. (This is not uncommon in theater, to discover you are not going to be paid in full and perhaps not at all, and sometimes strange gifts are offered in recompense.) The mise en scene was surreal, with a crush of praying mantis-like figures (all extremely skinny if not anorexic people) circling around him in a crush with just enough variation in its fringes to allow the outer rings to gradually cycle past the inner ring where the grotesquely fat, sweating and inebriated subject of everyone's fixation stared with bulging eyes while so-called "music" throbbed in a deafening pulse. When I finally reached the point where I could observe him, he seemed hideous. My skin literally went crawling with a revulsion as palpable as my profound psychic fear and rejection of the entire affair. As a coda to the strangeness of the evening, when I left (not that much later, since I couldn't bear it for very long), it turned out the gallery next door was still open, and to my increasing shock I saw it was staffed by a woman I used to work with in Cambridge. With a sense of foreboding, I fled without greeting her.

Greetings - Thursday, February 18th, 2016
I was very glad to see the visitors from South Salem and Apple Computer. Thank you for your continuing interest. As for the latter, please be aware that visitors from North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Smithsonian and many others are also recent visitors, and some of them also inspecting the algorithm. I hope you all will wish to stay on the right side of karma and credit it, and remunerate its humble author (yrs tr'ly), appropriately. My heart's desire is enjoying attention from talented people who could help bring my works to fruition, but none of us has the kind of money it takes to execute it on the level it requires. Moreover, sadly, those whose real job it is to help people like me are fixated on "the sure thing" of presenting revival after revival instead of pushing this art form forward. Very few new works being developed for Broadway now fall outside works developed in accordance with the mostly useless credentials conferred by academic institutions that have, through decades of "background" doing this now, have proven themselves utterly incapable of executing their mandates. Please look a little further afield. You won't be disappointed here
: )

Greetings - Thursday, February 18th, 2016
I haven't a clue about the reference in Anodiandsam's post, below, but it came from a regular visitor from Poland, so I thought It reasonable to give this person the nod, in case there is something of some importance to someone buried in this cryptic remark.

Anodiandsam - Thursday, February 18th, 2016
a few million The poles burned case in point,

Tata to the Huntington Theater - Thursday, February 4th, 2016
We were season subscribers for many years but found ourselves unwilling to attend performances due to growing own own indifference and what many in the local theater privately refer to as The Huntington's "robo theater" (a description in common parlance).

The Huntington's insular approach to selecting and staffing its seasons caused us long ago to let our support lapse, and in the ensuing years we have only occasionally attended.

For the failing executive staff there, it may be sweet nostalgia to wax on about the group's "vitality" but actually it has for many years been a perfect closed system at a university with scant tradition or heritage in the arts before springing full blown from the brain of John Silber not that long ago (1982, which is very recently, as theatrical traditions in U.S. colleges and universities go).

Silber was a friend and mentor whom I admired greatly, however his optimism that the character and standards of the group would somehow reflect his own high purposes and ideals was not well founded.

Here's hoping the future of theater at BU will reflect aspirations to achieve something beyond entrenched emulation of some ancient "snotty Boston" ideal which has now proved itself, despite vast monies dedicated to the company's survival, to occupy the scale of creative vitality in the space between "ultimately soporific" and "insulting."

It is time to begin afresh.

A clean slate - Monday, February 1st, 2016
I've mentioned before how nice it is to check into the visitor logs on the first day of the month because there are few enough entries in the first three hours to get an idea of who is visiting. So this morning I was pleased to see some of the illustrious addresses -- locations like City of London (near St. Paul's Cathedral), Westminster Abbey, and the Buckingham Palace area as well as a couple of institutions of medical research and education along with enigmas like "None" ("highly anonymous") at MIT.

This report, the first of the month, is an easy-to-assess sample. By the very next day there are already thousands of visitors -- far beyond what I can summarize.

There was a time when I had a stats system that shows exactly who, what, when and from whence on each and every visit. Alas, those days are long past. The early promise the web offered for this kind of information was apparently too risky to continue to offer. It was nice while it lasted. So, onwards, February! Let's enjoy it.

DVD is complete, with a viewing tomorrow - Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
The sudden cold following our protracted mild temperatures has wreaked havoc on my mood. But how easily spoiled we are! Things are better already but it feels like —having clutched against the frigid air — I am reluctant to relax again.

Very hopeful that the producer who is coming to the studio tomorrow to view the HARRIER ANGEL DVD will be happy with the way it plays.

The script for a new work is sometimes unexpectedly difficult to apprehend/comprehend. It's an often hidden condition that our impressions are based on "received" information. Having seen a piece on stage, a script is much easier to understand.

I'm counting on this film treatment of earlier performances to clarify matters.

cristo - Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
After a few excursions, I hope you will discover flashes of light that may merit assigning "ciaro scuro" as the style. Admittedly dark, yet there is reason to hope and my own hope is that my works are always redemptive in the end.

ade winda - Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
website looks dark , but interesting

casz - Monday, December 7th, 2015
I am greatly cheered to receive visits from some of the most illustrious institutions of research and higher learning! Some of you guys have been coming around here for years now.

I love the "publishing" components of the internet that maintain in perpetuity records of who wrote what and when ; )

Not than I can keep track of you. But it is a way to assure that my ideas will remain my own even though others may be more qualified to bring them to fruition in the technical, mathematics, and scientific fields.

I truly hope I can be of service to the world, and perhaps get a footnote for myself some place ; )

Of course, a prize of some sort would be very helpful, too.

It is indeed a true miracle that I've been able to come as far as I have — and this is almost entirely to the credit of dear GJC, himself a brilliant man but someone who realized early in life he did not care for the great personal struggle of bringing original creative ideas and works into the world. When quite young he decided to be the husband of a creative person who could benefit both from his talents and also from the stalwart ability to realize his idea that the way to accomplish this was to make a game out of saving money so that as quickly as possible he could purchase the best house he could afford. There were tenants who stayed for many years due to the reasonable rents he allowed. Good relationships with those people, who in many ways were like-minded in pursuing their own hearts's desires in corollary ways here, in what was formerly a fine neighborhood that had gone to a more hardscrabble dynamic. None of us minded that, and no harm came to us except from (sadly, many) friends who would not visit us here and who were often quite open about trying to insist, "You've got to get out of there!" : )

But now the neighborhood has all but come back to its original status as a "desirable" place to live. The good tenants have long since moved out, and spaces they vacated allowed me to expand and have a proper studio, where I still conduct all my processes devoted to bringing wonderful things into the world, to the best of my insights and abilities.

As I write to you here, I am keeping the computer awake while it burns the first disks of the movie I have now completed from the world premiere performances of "Harrier Angel," which tok place twenty years ago.

It's been an amazing experience, coupled with the interest of a producer who wishes to mount the show and asked to see the archival footage from the original performances. For one thing, I discover having succeeded quite soundly in setting the world twenty years in the future. This I did with the understanding (expressed by many in the field) that it would take twenty years to get anywhere writing for the musical stage (with the caveat that I am a woman, and one without what many might consider the correct academic credentials to be able to do what I am doing : )

Of course, I never agreed with these supposed limitations. For one thing, the college I attended (quite by accident, as it was not in my preferred list of highly ranked institutions -- some of which I was actually accepted for enrollment in but which my dear mother shanghaied -- for what she should were all the best reasons, I am sure ; ) did not have the cache required in the extreme narrows of Boston (who to this day do not realize the extent of self-imposed limitations on their regional culture's ability to foster new creative in the arts.

Moreover, my alma mater (that I attended only because it was the only place "back east" [in Missouri!] that my mother would allow. And, despite the fact that it was not among the Seven Sisters I had so ardently believed would be necessary for my future success), the school did have a venerable history of theatrical education, having very early in the 20th Century employed performing arts stars like Maude Adams to teach at the school.

So, quite serendipitously, I believe I may have managed to get good training and insight through the studies provided at the former illustrious "finishing school" that had become a four-year women's college only a couple of short decades before I matriculated there.

With the completion of my third work for the musical stage, and — having at last started seeing some interest from producers and, as of this very day — completed what I believe is actually quite an exciting movie of that first work the I believe creative producers will find inspiring, I approach the new year with great hope and optimism.

The making of this movie was indeed a hog for space on my system, but before I clear it away (assuming these DVDs play correctly : ) I believe I will try to make some shorter flicks to put on YouTube. But first I will take a break. It has kept me here at my desk far longer than I would have preferred!

I'm off to make lunch -- the remains of last night's charcoal grilled salmon, in a salad with greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives and who knows what else and — dare I fail to mention — the lovely hand-made chapatis (fenugreek and white radish) that the Indian grocer makes and sells! What a beautiful world. I hope you, dear Princetonians, enjoy your day!

Hi, it's me - Sunday, November 29th, 2015
Thanks, Johna91 -- you are kind.

I know I've been neglecting this page for what seems like forever. I am jamming on deadline and every other conceivable restriction to finish a complete DVD of the footage from various HARRIER ANGEL performances. There is interest! But no one I've talked with can even read a VHS tape any more, let alone S-VHS, which is how we shot it. So the footage must be converted, and it's being given a "film treatment" to compensate as much as possible for the shortcomings of the source material.

Did I tell you about the light operator who kept getting annoyed because he couldn't remember to oil the lamp so it would move freely, and then decided quite unwisely to oil the lamp when it was already hot?

The most important thing is the resulting fire neither burned down the theater nor even stopped the performance. Heaven only knows why someone didn't scream, "FIRE," in the proverbial crowded theater, because thick black smoke was billowing out of the balcony and I was deeply affrighted myself and ran to the source just in time to see the operator, having smothered the lamp fire with his jacket (which had then gone alight itself), throwing open the back door and flinging the burning garment out onto the roof.

But the audience apparently did not even notice! Perhaps they were enthralled with the show, eh! (Working on the files now, I can tell you it did have great energy, and some very nice performances and other wonderful qualities ; ) however the footage from that point where the fire broke out was utterly destroyed. The camera man could no doubt tell that his efforts were being wasted from that moment forward, as the video heads were coated in soot and I'm sure it didn't escape his notice that he could not capture even one more frame. Yet he kept going, and thank heaven he did, because the audio recording was going ahead unimpaired.

What I am doing now is the rough work of trying to get a complete "film" out of, essentially, footage from one and a half performances. All the work of mapping out where to take closeup and medium, shots, e.g., was virtually wasted.

I'm thankful to the two stints in film school that taught me a few techniques for making the most of a bad situation (among other things I learned : )

As of last night, I actually "got to the end," with only one or two patches requiring substantial filler to replace footage that simply does not exist.

And then there are the moment of stills I have been using, hopefully employing immensely artistic sleight of hand to canceal the ad hoc motivation for such choices.

Fooling around with various compression formats, I'm hopeful it will even fit on one DVD.

I'm not sure whether readers realize that our world premiere performances occurred within a week of those for the Broadway opening of RENT in New York. Of course, they had many Off-Broadway performances and other benefits of being in NYC, but we certainly had little knowledge (if any) of that show here in Boston and being fully engaged in rehearsals and everything else that goes into mounting a show.

There must have been something in the air, eh? because there are certain things in the text of our show that reflect a common cultural millieu. But HARRIER has a strong satirical component whereas RENT is deadly earnest.

People today (I mean theatrical groups who have received submission) still mention that HARRIER has "a RENT vibe." Probably another shortcoming on my part is failure to point out that the two shows went up at virtually exactly the same time and our show therefore cannot to seen as derivative. To the contrary, certainly.

Another interesting comparison is in the length of the two works. RENT had running time of 153 minutes, including a 15 minute intermission. HARRIER ANGEL had a running time of 153 minutes, NOT including TWO ten minute intermissions. I chose two intermissions because the play is a 3-act structure (like most dramatic works), and it had a significant merchandising component which would allow ordering in the first intermission, personalizing it during the ensuing act, and picking it up during the second intermission. (Doing it today, we would probably settle for a blackout and short pause to designate the opening of the third act.)

One of the most amazing things I've noticed about our culture is how "viral" language truly is. "Viral" is a concept that had not been widely disseminated until five or more years later, but several of the linguistic innovations of HARRIER did make it into popular usage, and I would defy anyone to show me any appearance of some of my language prior to 1994, when our production was in development the rehearsals.

Three examples that come to mind right now are 1. — "knowledge at the cellular level," 2. — "high maintenance female," and 3. — . . . what was three? : ) It was in my brain when I started this sentence and now I cannot think of number three. Oh, well, it will come to me later : ) And, besides, there were more, and it isn't as though they are undocumented already, due to the existence of the video feeds and (soon) the DVD.

Language is so amazing that way -- truly the most cohesive component of culture. If anyone needs a subject for their PhD thesis, here's an idea: I challenge you to find earlier uses of some of the HARRIER ANGEL language : )

I doubt you will be able to, as I sat at my desk alone for many hours, days and nights wracking my brain for tart, telling language.

I'm hoping the DVD will get us some productions. I was actually motivated to create this DVD at the behest of a producer, so perhaps we may again go up in lights, projected for 2017 season at this time.

Wish me luck, dear readers. If you have more than good wishes to offer, please do not fail to reach into your pocket for the kind of self-realization that acts towards bringing into existence something you have feeling for, such as making a contribution to our cause.

When this editing task is complete, I shall try my hand at crowdfunding.

In peace, for full engagement,
y'rs tr'ly, xto

Johna91 - Sunday, November 29th, 2015
In fact when someone doesnt understand then its up to other visitors that they will help, so here it takes place.

halloo -- what day is this? - Tuesday, October 20th, 2015
Friends, I've been writing a new play and even at that have an absolute ream of new things that should be posted here. But it has been so long since I've taken a moment to archive that this page is now ridiculously heavy and aged, and this fact is discouraging as it will require a couple of hours I cannot spare. Deadline approaches!

I'm grateful for the notes in emails I've received from readers encouraging me! So thank you, and be assured that quite soon I shall be able to share with you new writing as well as some clips from live performances of HARRIER ANGEL.

The latter has been delayed for more than a month because equipment for processing it had to be serviced. The shop had promised it soon after September 20, and now it is a full month later and they have apparently put my number on caller ID the better to avoid talking to me! Even a person with my cheery outlook has to admit this bodes rather ill.

Ergo I'm making other arrangements, and hope to share some lovely new things with you very soon.

xoxoxo, as ever,
xto

Smitha295 - Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
I'm genuinely enjoying the style and layout of your website. It's very uncomplicated on the eyes which makes it a great deal much more enjoyable for me to come here and pay a visit to far more typically. Did you hire out a designer to make your theme? Excellent performance!

Hi John - Monday, August 31st, 2015
Nice to hear from you. What's up with you? Haven't heard much about your works lately.

Smithg927 - Sunday, August 30th, 2015
Very interesting subject , appreciate it for posting . All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why. by James Thurber. ebdadcgedaakagab

Johne251 - Sunday, August 30th, 2015
This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused.

Johne132 - Sunday, August 30th, 2015
What's up Jackson, if you are a new internet user then you have to visit daily this web site and read the updated content at at this place.

Table Reading of "Harrier Angel" Sept. 20 - Friday, August 28th, 2015
A small production company (non-equity) that I've been working with over the past couple of seasons will be doing a table reading of my "Harrier Angel -- rock remedy for the re generation" on September 20, with an eye toward mounting a full production next season ( in 2016).

For the reading, we will be using a script designed to include more young people as we've seen so much in the way of enhanced revenues from the parents, who come to every performance and bring different groups of friends and relatives to each one.

This strategy worked very well for a show (see film clips here) which I produced (and, truth be told, designed as well, even though I didn't take credit directly due to the PC dangers of denying credit to the dear but deeply entitled people hired for the jobs -- people who procrastinated and then dropped out or simply collapsed, the latter of which being in so many ways worse than quitting outright, since the person may (read: will) remain on scene causing various forms of trouble while the one who quits simply disappears. If a person could choose, they would make them disappear altogether (fire them), but the very fact that they retain the option of remaining should by now have suggested to the reader that these are most likely people in rather important positions, for example a director who may also have taken the job of set designer, and whereas the failure to deliver on the latter does not mean they will remove themselves from the former.

Such situations are ripe for bearing the fruits of things like PTSD syndrome for those stuck with the vaunted "the show must go on" prerogative, which syndrome (sleeplessness, endless reliving the trauma, etc.) that may drag on for a year or even more, long after the team has dispersed and the show has closed. See other allusions to these activities in earlier posts here, some of which are quite vague and actually neglectful in reporting the depth of psychic and actual physical strain endured in getting the show open on the advertised date, which strains frequently include all-nighters doing production tasks as well as the usual "Slings and Arrows" (character assassinations, etc.) that arise when people don't do their jobs and resent the person who does it for them, thus making them feel bad albeit not actually look bad due to the credit in the program that still lists the nincompoops in the jobs they did not perform : ).

BTW, my somewhat deranged mention of this phenomenon at this late date is the result of the fact that it recently came to my attention that one of the young ladies (who had recently graduated a locally very prestigious program and had the qualifications, if not the inclination or even the skills to execute her job, has listed as credits in this show in two spots on her current resume. It horrified me anew when I discovered this just last week.

The dear girl had given me a big hug at the cast party, which I assumed at the time was a form of thanks for not humiliating her by removing her program credit -- something I had pondered and ultimately decided to do in order to increase the likelihood she would not be able to forget the heap of shame she brought upon her karmic state through the disgraceful way she failed to do a pretty routine kind of job. So how bad is it of poor old me to have played agent of heaven like this, all on my own volition, as a form of revenge for my beautiful work going forward with someone else's name on it? This was exceedingly painful, but I could not do otherwise without risking catastrophe. The young designer's lapses were difficult enough, but all I really had to do was some of (okay, a lot of) her work. But the director, an adult with decades of experience, actually did threaten to quit on more than one occasion, and had the entire cast up in arms by trying to introduce the competition of live animals on stage (and worse), and had to be talked off the ledge with cajoling and flattering telephone calls that went deep into the night.

I have no recent information on her progress. As for the young designer, apparently she especially enjoyed the nomination she received for the costume job she didn't do, evinced by the appearance of this honor as a credential on her resume! Ah, that was fun! It almost killed me.

This was a community theater production, where it is a commonplace that someone or others on the staff will present themselves as high level executives and otherwise brilliant professionals in "real life" to the purpose of enhancing credibility in the extra-curricular present role : )

-- 'nuff said . . .

except: do see the Paul Gross-produced darkly comic Canadian series, "Slings and Arrows" for an exact corollary to the kinds of activities to which I refer above. The series is hilarious, but such experiences in the real world that inspired the episodes are excruciating and take a heavy toll on the mental health of those who must keep the ship of art afloat in the face of some seriously shocking human frailties. "The show must go on," you know. And that's no kidding! The show does have to go on, no matter what! so if one finds oneself in the teeth of fate proving her point in this matter, well, you can just suck it up, go into manic mode, do the all-nighters, let some key people screw up, do their jobs for them by the skin of your teeth, squander your last grain of energy to make it happen, and let them take the credit. Such is life upon the wicked stage.

What a relief to discover the company I am working with now are professional -- talented, hard-working, kind, funny, generous and fair. And so far I've not seen a single thread of any hellish machinations on the level of those presented above, for the purposes of your entertainment only!

So I can easily understand why the writers of the "Slings and Arrows" series may have savored some sweet revenge, and cartharsis, in exposing what can happen if some one (or three) people on the team decide it's more to their liking to create chaos and live out that drama rather than just putting one on stage.

But a very useful truth I enjoyed through the foregoing is that the use of young people, including children, is a truly spectacular strategy that will, with any luck, result in enhanced box office that will help us keep going -- on to another, bigger, better production a little farther on down the road. I've written the current script to include these characters, but will be agreeable, just as well, if these parts are cut.

I'm grateful not to be the producer of the present undertaking. The company artistic director is far better at all of this than I shall ever be, I suspect. My pre-occupation with keeping new work coming (writing and composing) precludes doing the absolutely first rate sort of job that she has been doing for sixteen seasons already.

Still I am eager to work in whatever ways I can to help, and it looks like this will mean striving to do a better job with fundraising this time around. I like taking orders and helping to knock items off the "To Do" list, so suddenly (but not unexpectedly) my assistance with fundraising is definitely going to be in the mix here. As my friend and mentor Larry Brody says, "Never use your own money."

Do let me know if you would like to contribute or have leads or advice.

I must away . . .
cheerio, dear friends,

Aegis, Rinse, Wash, Soak Spin - Thursday, August 13th, 2015
Princeton is a mighty, mighty fine visitor to see -- especially when I get five visits from the same office within a few days.

Do, please, let me know how you are coming along with the algorithm.

Is it looking more and more likely that my little concept / projector is really solving for Pi? Why not consult NASA, JPL, or some of the numerous other institute of higher mathematics and physics around the world where my essays on this subject have been studied?

Is it possible such people would resist the idea that a poet could give rise to such theories?

Don't be a stranger : )

xo

How bad is Measles? Does logic matter? - Sunday, August 9th, 2015
To quote an article from this week in Massachusetts, ". . . many sickened by the Disneyland measles outbreak were not vaccinated."

I would like to know: How many?

While we're on the subject of science, why not include the facts?

The article also noted, "A 1998 study claimed vaccines cause an increased risk for autism, but that study has long since been discredited," and "Some people still carry around in their minds the association between autism and vaccines."

To this I might add: Especially those whose children suddenly and noticeably lost a big chunk of intellect immediately upon receiving the vaccine.

"According to the Health Reports study, the parents most likely to refuse or delay vaccinations have a college degree."
. . . and,
"Parents who oppose the vaccinations on the basis of personal beliefs will probably never change their reason why they don´t believe (in vaccination)," the author said.

A better question is, "What kind of vaccinations do they oppose? I´d sooner put a kid in a "measles" camp where there is a reasonable quarantine system and the kids can receive an exposure to the measles in lieu of a Merck vaccination. Most if not all of the children I grew up among caught measles. I did. I was not more than mildly discomfited, and stayed out of school for a few days, which was fine with everyone.

Maybe people should be allowed the choice to use the old-style vaccines that didn't raise questions about the causal nature of the vaccine and the sudden onset of autism. Why must Merck be allowed to make this decision for everyone?

As someone in a family with only two male progeny in a generation, one of whom (very gifted intellectually when first tested but who suddenly became "odd" and sometimes "scary" and now in his mid-twenties resides on "the autism spectrum" and will probably never be an independent adult), I'm sick of reporting like this where the information given is so plainly selected for its support of a specific agenda.

The number of children (especially males) with autism keeps going up as a percentage of the population. What's that about?

Logically, it's part of the same mind set that accepts a statement like, "You have to pass the bill before you can find out what is in the bill" -- the kind of logical absurdity which continues to plague our political process over the past couple of decades, especially in the years the the current administration, right up to the present moment when the President himself apparently does not know all the details of the codicils and "side deals" which his "treaty" has delegated to others outside his or anyone else's governance, and which, he asserts, we must sign off on sight unseen.

I used to raise points of logic into discussions in the early years of social media communications (the nineties, when the "listserv" was the method for sharing ideas with people we had never actually met). At that time, I was quite shocked to discover how many are actually ignorant of the rules of logic, which to my mind are, for the most part self-evident, being a component of common sense.

Warning: political content - Friday, July 24th, 2015
I am alarmed to discover some quite intelligent friends are supporting Donald Trump's candidacy.

I'm politically unaligned because of the "fiscal conservative, social liberal" position which has no party. But to those I respect who are showing signs of supporting Trump, I must speak to this.

Sharon, it shocks and scares me to think smart Republicans could prefer Trump. I can see how the simple folk are drawn to his histrionics, but educated people? Really, haven't they had enough of con artists?

Yes, he's funny and entertaining, but he's also nothing like the success he's presenting himself as. That is a facade and a capitalist game of smoke and mirrors. (

I have little against capitalists in theory -- I still carry a Rand (Ayn, not Paul) imprint from my youth.

Despite the fact of how much of her works are completely absurd as components of serious thought due to the "bodice ripper" quality of the stories that reveals a deep mysogeny -- which, in a woman, inevitably translates as self-hatred. And there are other things about Ayn Rand that I have never been able to support.

However, the basics about capitalism still ring true, especially as the history of its alternatives march forward without a single example of success in practical application.

It remains that the idea and outcomes of "some form of capitalism" is the only economic system that has ever supported the growth leading to a self-sustaining condition of human freedom, and the continued realistic hope for devising structures that can support growing populations. This is perhaps difficult, yet significant, in a time when we see the progress of the left now embodying the realization that such systems can never do this, and so the need for successful resolution of this major shortcoming have evolved into the current discussions about the necessities for such things as depopulating the planet and supporting euthanasia and other repulsive ideas to counteract the inherent shortcomings in the socio-economics of socialist idealism.

The tools for making this "necessity" at all "palatable" lie in the understandings we now have, thanks to the "science" of sociology, of how to frame arguments and ask questions for which the object/subject (i.e., the person now deemed disposable) will not be able to formulate response. This is how (in Belgium today, now, at the forefront of the euthanasia campaign) people can be, through "counseling," nudged over a course of consultation into agreeing it would really be for the best to accept that the unfortunate "client" must die. I have had many arguments and lost some friends over use of these argumentative tactics by vegetarians and others seeking to eliminate those who wish to continue life doing things that those on the campaign toward a socialist dream seek to eliminate.

But while I recognize and resist these tactics, I am also a conservationist. I believe our people can fill the earth with many times more people than exist today if we can use our technology correctly, with real science (which is very different from "science" as it is too often practiced today -- to wit, as just another is also highly politicized and very corrupt process of self-aggrandizement and opportunism) and our humanity.

As a transplant to Boston, I've worked inside many universities here and am also married to someone who studied and worked for decades on the inside of one of the most prestigious and "entitling" universities on the planet, and I can assure you all that the data manipulation that has been revealed so shockingly over the present climate change debate, among many other fields of this "science," continues to take place within that community solely to serve the personal and private interests of anyone in a position to do it successfully and has the lack of self-awareness or the blatant chicanery to proceed. I could give you chapter and verse of numerous examples that demonstrate that what they are doing quite alarmingly frequently has nothing whatsoever to do with real science.

So much for "science" as it is far too often practiced today.

And as for the use of a "dialectic" to change the world by formulating questions that the uninitiated will be helpless to contradict, in my experience such people are hardly ever, if at all, what they themselves would admire in another. Surprisingly many are people of great wealth. In Boston, great wealth is usually hidden wealth, owned by people who pretend they do not have it, who dress with a general drabness, live "modestly" but in expensive neighborhoods, driving good cars and wearing expensive shoes and accouterments like clothes and furnishings (though "traditional"in style and therefore unnoticeable to those who can't tell the difference). In Hollywood, differences in such life-"style" mean that what should be great wealth can be ephemeral, as its compulsive displays frequently result in living beyond one's means, and so what could have meant security ends in bankruptcy (sometimes, as in Mr. Trump's case, multiple bankruptcy).

I will cite but one other "type" of person attracted to the use of the dialectic as a measurement and manipulation of being, and that is the outright scoundrel.

I know many (usually former "friends") who do things like, e.g., gain control of a parent's estate, having had them committed to an institution (for their own good, of course). From there, power of attorney is easy to achieve, followed by legally allowed "improvements" to the property, giving the "contracts" to their friends, along with many serial excuses for the failure of the "improvements" (and other legally sanctioned activities) to be realized, etc., leading to the eventual totally squandering of all the assets, forced sale of the properties by siblings who are shocked to discover the state of affairs entrusted to a profligate heir, utter ruin, and ultimate return to attempts to sponge off friends who never lived in any state of grandeur but whose modest stability now inspires the prodigal to attempt renewal of old acquaintanceships, now armed with certifications from publicly-funded rehab programs.

For these asides I beg pardon, and apologize if they have taken us so far off topic that your attention can no longer be applied to hearing me out on my discussion of Donald Trump's qualifications for the presidency of the United States. I did not wish you to believe that I have not the personal awareness of the world that has formed my opinions.

I ask you to look at Trump's finances and his personal life.

Economically, this is a front man who has made his name creating big train wrecks from which he has (quite interestingly, I'm sure, to those with certain proclivities such as voyeurism, an education in the methods of self-aggrandizement, and so on) managed to position himself, time and again, to walk away from. Donald Trump is celebrity with a mettle no more honorable or talented than the front man for some very big banks needs to be.

Those groups can operate like this and still make money (tricks of the trade to leave someone else holding the bag).

POTUS cannot operate this way b/c it's the people's money, and the capitalist games don't apply.

Donald Trump exists to split the Republican vote and put another Democrat in office, like Ross Perotl did (sorry to say I voted for him) to give us the Clinton machine.

Remember the tons of boxes of Congress people's files that Bill Clinton ordered dragged into the WH basement?

The Clinton administration pored over those throughout the entire eight years of his presidency. The information gleaned rendered Democrat administrations the power to manipulate the corrupt which still serves them to to this day.

This is the best argument I can imagine for why we need term limits, yes.

But more importantly we obviously need an honest and talented politician in the White House, someone with proven political instinct like a Scott Walker (I dislike some of his Christian right interest in pushing people around) or a Bobby Jindal or ?? is there someone I neglect who belongs on this list?

Maybe there is someone else in the race I neglect here. Could it be Ted Cruz? But I worry he's too much an egghead (of which I am admittedly also one, but not running for office) and rather naive in other ways.

The successful candidate with the strength to lift America from the quick sand of unregulated (illegal) immigration truly needs something more useful to a politician than that special and appealing power of intellect that is expressed mostly as verbal ability.

The successful candidates needs to be able to smell the opposition, and to be a political actor to execute very well what is tacit in the modus operandi of the opposition.

This is the reason so many insist this choice must have tenure as a successful governor or other kind of chief executive who has gained position through a rise through the ranks (like Carly Florina, e.g.) on the resume. It is not a quality that has any hope of succeeding through on the job training.

I'm sorry to say I am absolutely quite certain ( ; ) that Mr. Trump is an entertainer, something of a huckster, and very much like Mr. Obama in the sense that he knows not what he knows not, ergo a tool of those who want to put him in power. Trump cannot be the chief executive any more than Mr. Obama has been but, rather, will be the tool of those who put him in place and, thus, accountable to them rather than to the voters because they are absolutely essential to maintaining the appearance of control in a process that will continue to erode, nothing at all as the people would wish it to arise should support.

HARRIER ANGEL creeps forward - Friday, July 17th, 2015
Hello, friends --

Sorry to neglect this space. I've been pretty crunched with commercial work and also preparing a music segment from HARRIER ANGEL (the rock remedy for the re generation : ) that will be opening a play at Nemasket River Productions (NRP) here in New England, on July 31.

The idea is that NRP will present the show as part of their regular season in 2016, however they've never done a musical before despite planning for the past few years to enter that field. They are a non-equity theater (or "semi- professional," which means everyone gets paid, just not union scale) who are now in their sixteenth season.

I'm doing as much as I can for them to encourage this eventuality despite the obvious risks of being their first musical.

On the plus side, the show's cast is relatively small (well, medium-sized with 13 characters), but the music is pretty easy compared to many non-rock musicals. It does require "real" singers, though -- which many rock singers are not. There is a true embarrassment of riches in the performing artist fields here, so it seems reasonable to anticipate successful casting. And the set is truly minimalist -- or can be.

On the negative side, nothing is carved in stone and I am doing lots and lots of work that cannot in any fair sense anticipate it going into the karma bank as a quid pro quo. I could be expending my efforts toward a disappointment, but it would be neither the first nor the worst, and they're a fun and deserving, not to mention refreshingly professional, group of talented people with few (if any) of the character peccadillos one commonly encounters when working with creative people.

It's a deliciously cool summer here in coastal Massachusetts, with day after day of creamy, breezy weather in the 70's and even lower at night. I fear this may presage another and possibly even more vicious winter than we had last year, so Naro is working hard hiring contractors and spending so much money on the exterior of our house to button it up in anticipation of a cold blast. But just a few miles away from the coast, the rest of the area is suffering the usual hot and humid conditions, so perhaps our pleasure is just the result of sea breezes and no prognosticator of another evil smashing from Old Man Winter to come.

I hope everyone is enjoying lots of sunshine and warm weather activity!

Bye for now!

toms Sko 2015 - Friday, June 26th, 2015
To me, and likely any PlayStation Network customer who happens to be a responsible adult and not a kid using someone else credit card, this is the single biggest item in Sony apology. Why the vast majority of gaming outlets are choosing to focus on some promises of free, downloadable games or 30 days of PlayStation Plus is a little mystery.Then, the woman appeared on Fox wearing a plunging neckline which no right thinking person would wear when accusing someone of sexual battery. At her coming out news conference, she looked perfect for the nympho librarian part in an adult film. So, yes! Yes! Let the world end, sooner rather than later, please! Saturday, May 21st, 2011 would be great! It would fit right into my Day Planner. Maybe, once this misbegotten adventure is over, something more enjoyable will develop out of some future primordial soup like dimension and, just maybe, you and I, multi dimensional beings that our physicists opine and hope (oh, shit, there's that word, "hope") we are, will be there to enjoy it.

cass - Saturday, June 20th, 2015
It's lovely to hear from you, stone. I have also studied some of the things you mention, as well as (essentially) THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER (translated by Richard Wilhelm with foreword by Carl Jung). It would be of great interest to share some of what you consider relevant to these arts.

Thanks for your note.

stone - Saturday, June 20th, 2015
This is a great site to show the life nature of man and woman. I have studies the life for decades of years and tried many ways to feel energetic and pleasurable. Here is good place to share my thoughts.I have collected many antient Chinese tranditional books, including Qigong, medicine and cultures,like to be shared.

cass - Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
Send me the section you wish to use and url to the page where it will appear and I will certainly consider it.

Thanks for interest.

Bandung - Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
Do you care if I put part of this on my site if I post a link to this site?

casz - Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
This is my own design throughout the web site. I do enjoy writing the blog and am especially pleased to hear you appreciate the aesthetics and enjoy reading here. The design principles governing my design work are closely interrelated to elements that stimulate the psyche's responses, chiefly through color and form, and I have often been told they make effective sales instruments.

I've made my living as a commercial artist and marketing and promotions writer to support my literary habits -- writing for the musical theater stage as well as a couple of novels and a few stories and this blog. I also produce and design for the conventional (non-musical) stage. My costume designs under the nom de guerre Cristobal von Dessin have been acknowledged through nominations and awards. The clips from THE TEMPEST and THE RAZZ shown here are my designs. THE RAZZ was written and composed by me, as well.

Maybe this is a good time to mention that "HARRIER ANGEL -- rock remedy for the re generation" will be seen in a promotional segment opening a production of "The Savannah Disputation" in a couple of months. The promotion includes live performances of musical selections from HARRIER in anticipation of a full production next season. I'm hoping to help raise money for this production, and will begin manufacturing plot-related accessories to sell at the remaining shows in the production company's current season. I also expect to set up selling platforms here and on Facebook and perhaps Etsy, and hope my visitors will check in to see all of these and hopefully buy something in support of the production next year.

Of course, I remain available for commercial projects, so do please let me know if there is something I can add to your creative team.

Thanks for your kind thoughts and consideration.
xoxo,

Annie Oakley Usa - Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
I'm really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

A.B. Oakley - Monday, June 8th, 2015
This is really nice to know. I hope it will be successful in the future. Good job on this and keep up the good work.

crorkzz mattz - Monday, June 8th, 2015
Really enjoyed this blog post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

- Saturday, May 16th, 2015
My Victorian era house in Boston was haunted when I moved in, but it isn't now. For some years, visitors quite commonly would notice there was something else present (hair suddenly standing up on the back of one's neck, chills, odd sounds, something visual scurrying away, things misplaced, etc.).

But while I noticed them, too, these never bothered me -- perhaps because my experiences, especially when young, with near-death and even a longing for death, the result of my degraded status in my family which was very painful to me.

My parents wanted a son, and our family group found considerable amusement in reminding me that Mother's best friend was in hospital giving birth at the same moment that I was born, and both women were disappointed in the sex of their child. And so the families joked for years afterwards how they had considered trading me for him, him for me. Though young, I knew that showing my pain would only encourage them, so I pushed it down and pretended not to care. I'm not sure how my counterpart's life turned out. When our families got together, he'd disappear, and in general we avoided each other as like charges on magnets, almost as if each feared the other.

Until the end of my time on earth, I shall consider myself exceedingly lucky to have succeeded at least so far as receiving this existence I have here with N. It is indeed a gift from heaven -- an actual saving grace. Literally, being accepted by him was the end of what up to that moment had been a steady flirtation with suicide.

From the very beginning of my visits here while N and I were dating, I noticed the presence of "entities," and humorously I had said hello to the "shades" -- talked to them as if they were of no consequence, and then going about my business. N had been aware of them also, of course, but he also took little interest in their presence or at least affected to ignore them. I do think it's possible some of them may have arrived here with me. I'd noticed from my attendance at funerals, e.g., that the dead may try to cling to me. And I'm pretty sure it's possible to help them depart. One example of this is that the presence of a dying person in the house seems to act as a "piggyback" for the entity, who may decide to cling to the terminally ill person as a way out, having "missed the boat" initially. In this house, it was about ten years before the para-normal phenomena here dissipated completely.

I suppose my attractiveness to the dead to be the result of my childhood attempt to "give myself back to Jesus," by breaking my own neck. This is a sad story, perhaps, but one that no longer holds power over me.

I was 9 years old, an "extra" daughter. Our parents, old world in many ways, wanted sons. Their eldest was a son, but conceived out of wedlock. Our parents married as soon as possible after the pregnancy, so the boy was not "illegitimate" in any meaningful sense, however my father especially was unconvinced this boy could satisfy the requirement for a son.

Clearly, this child is his own -- the only one of his (eventually) three sons who look enough like him to be a true "junior," and that is in fact how he was named. But my father was born of Germans from Russia (sometimes called Volga Germans), whose religious traditions are thoroughly mixed between Protestant, Catholic and Jewish, yet extremely observant of the meanings of the sacraments and rituals (and there are many) they had selected among to be honored. As amalgamated and arcane as they were as a group, they were also highly religious — and isolated, as the Amish are today in America — and I believe these beliefs and traditions were the source of the cause for my father's inability to fully accept his eldest son despite the fact that the lad looks just like him and bears his name. It was something going all the way to the beginning of Abraham's family or some such deep-seated insistence about the restrictions on what may be considered rectitude.

So if he would be so unaccommodating to his own junior version, imagine how difficult it would have been to be faced with me. One daughter was okay, but having another in succession was not what was wanted. Then they had a third daughter. By then we children were all praying each night that mommy's next baby would be a boy. And then It too was a girl. I remember my mother weeping with disappointment, and overheard her talking with her friends, "Another girl," she said, with resignation, with the understanding that this meant she would have to become pregnant again.

Daughters three and four were dark, with the black eyes and long noses of my father's clan while I and my elder sister are blonde with green eyes and short noses. There were seven surviving children who grew up together, split into two groups: one boy and two girls dark, with olive skin and dark brown or even black hair, and two girls and two boys fair.

I earned the greatest mistrust of my parents through precocity.

There really is no explanation for a child knowing things they have not been taught. To me, it was in the air. I could feel it and hear it, and usually knew what people were thinking and planning, as well. In the third grade I tested at the high school level in every subject, while my siblings seemed to enjoy schooling not at all and for the most part had to be coerced into learning. By the time I was nine, the school board had secured a place for me in the school for gifted children in the state capital. The committee arrived at our house in force, and I overheard them explaining urgently to my parents that they were unable to educate me and that my parents must allow me to go. And how I fervently wished to be allowed to go! My first rush of happiness came with the belief that I would no longer have to pretend to be just another of the children when already I was reading voraciously, and writing, painting, playing and writing music and could see straight into the hearts of people interacting together. I wanted to be a politician.

But we suffered, as a family, with the illusions of the "Jantelagen" -- the nordic social affliction of belief that demands self-censure by individuals who might otherwise shine too brightly through excellence, which was regarded as an expression of pride, and forbidden. It's a little more complicated, even sinister, than I have just defined it, and having just discovered its name I hope to write more about my thoughts on the subject, but this simplified explanation should suffice for present purposes.

In any case, it had been apparent to me for what seemed a very long time already (I was now in the fifth grade) that there was nothing in the world that could make them understand how much I needed to be given my head to learn new things, and how badly I felt that things that should have given me happiness -- such as being lionized and appreciated by classmates and town folk who constantly brought me around to various meetings and occasions to play my violin, or sing or recite or dance when no one at all in my family approved of it, or even attended, while I felt shamed by it, and they all hated me. I was a little desperado.

One evening I fled the dinner table in distress, completely miserable at being relentlessly suppressed and (I felt) unloved. Looking into the mirror in my parents's room, speaking to the deity ("God Within Me" -- a personage real to me then and now) and apologized for what I was about to do. I knew it was wrong, and didn't really want to die, but felt I couldn't go on. So I told Him, in gravest seriousness, that if He would not take me back, then I would be His problem to solve, since I couldn't be responsible for myself and what I might do. After all, I said, "I'm only a child." But I knew this was a lie, for how could anyone acknowledge such a thing and at the same time be a child? And so, I was even the worse for the whole idea of this as a solution in such a moment of self awareness. But I had already decided. Using my long hair with a hairbrush twisted in it and wrapped into a towel, I wrenched with all my power and tried to break my neck.

I hadn't been missed at the dinner table, despite having made a fuss and fleeing in tears.

So I regained consciousness alone, feeling very ill, and somehow staggered back out to the kitchen where the family was still dining -- probably in much greater peace than was ever possible with me present. But one look at me and everything erupted in panic and mahem as my mother screamed, "What happened??" and everyone jumped up in mass hysteria. I think she caught me as I fainted, and the next thing I knew I was laying on their bed, struggling in and out of consciousness before realizing a doctor had arrived.

There is little I've experienced as bewildering as "swimming" through the fog of nothingness to emerge back to consciousness in a bad situation. I must have looked a sight -- like a ghost, with a big lump on the side of my neck where something had been displaced.

The doctor gave me a big shot of novocaine right in the neck, and massaged the swelling, presumably until things went back where they belonged. Then I was taken to the hospital, x-rayed, and kept in bed for a week with a neck brace.

Except for some minor swelling and weakness, it seemed to be okay, and I never admitted what I had done, although they tried hard to make me tell the truth. But I had insisted from the beginning that I had only been brushing my hair and had no idea what went wrong, and stuck to that story. Since no one could get me to admit otherwise, they had to let it go.

I learned years later what might have happened had I come clean about this incident. In high school, one of my friends attempted suicide, and this colored her career from that moment until she left town. Not only did she become notorious, but (attempted suicide being, as it was at least at that time, highly illegal) she was forced to talk to a psychiatrist weekly for a very long time and, I believe, became even more disturbed than she had been before the whole thing began.

So this is just a little background to support the idea that the dead try to cling to me.

While unconscious, my brain experienced being taken to heaven and folded into the loving deity's arms. I begged Him to let me stay with Him, but although He was immensely kind, He was also absolutely unequivocal, saying simply: "No. You have to live."

For most of my life, a certain sharp pain (say, from striking the edge of my hand while gesturing, swallowing wrong, or any host of small injuries) would cause me to lose consciousness. This was attributed (by doctors uninformed about what had happened at age 9) to a low pain threshhold. But I never questioned the true cause was my own fault for what I had tried to do.

On each of these occasions of losing consciousness, I've seen the world as though through an arch that suddenly closes down into gray clay, like a blank tablet of the sort the Ten Commandments are pictured in the Bible as having been inscribed upon. Then all is beautiful brightness where I'm taken into the presence of the deity and given a straight draught of divine love and support, and sent packing back to the world of sense.

The last time this happened was a couple of years after removing myself from an early and ill-considered marriage to a man with alcohol addiction whom I had married, knowing I did not love him but wishing to help him graduate from college, having nothing better to do with my emotional life.

I had no feeling -- I was a machine, and I knew it.

Despite maintaining the appearance of balance, having a nice social life, progressing well professionally and so on, I was completely emotionally shut down.

Despite his being a college senior when I met him, by end of our marriage he had been seven more years an undergraduate, having changed majors several times. In addition, it pleased him to assume what I suppose he thought the charming persona of "quite the rascal."

Our substantial circle of friends found him hilarious, and indeed he was -- rocking the house with laughter at his immaculate comic timing with extemporaneous jokes of vast creative license that, unfortunately, invariably cast me in the role of the buttock. I suppose our friends hardly considered whether these jokes could be true or not, but they appreciated him extraordinarily well, judging by their sidesplitting laughter, and yet no one appreciated him more highly than he himself did.

A Viet Nam-era veteran, he had spent his military career as a film projectionist at Ft. Knox, Kentucky due to a low stress designation assigned to him through the luck of having been interviewed by an army psychiatrist who turned out to be a fraternity brother of his father´s. Thus he saw no combat, but received veterans college program benefits from the State of Illinois that didn't quit, paying him a monthly stipend that allowed him to stay an undergrad for more than a decade.

It was I who earned most of our income, and performed all the traditionally female duties of a household (although he discovered after I left him that he really enjoyed cooking quite a lot).

His mother was my first experience with maternal caring, a new and important experience for me. She could tell that I was unhappy and wanted to divorce. In truth, she must have been a mind reader because I never spoke of it to anyone, but I thought about it every single day of the seven years of our marriage and somehow she knew. But she visited us often and gifted me extravagantly and at her request I promised I would stay with her son until he finished a degree.

At a certain point, I opened a personal savings account. This angered him as his father had been a banker and so it was assumed that I was in no way as qualified as he to make such a decision. But he operated on deficit spending, running up various credit cards to their maximums and never making less than two trips per day to the package store -- once on his way home from school, and again just before closing, each time carrying one or two six packs of beer and the odd bottle of liquor or wine. All the beer had to be gone before he would come to bed, and whatever else he had bought would go into the cabinet just in case it was needed.

My conscious mind disallowed me from admitting that I was saving money for my escape, and I used some of it to buy bicycles for us, and other things it cheered me to be able to purchase outright, on my own.

Then, on the other side of the continent, my sister reached the end of the tether with her boyfriend, and I was able to pay her transportation to move here. As fortune would have it, neither my husband nor the landlord approved of her staying with us beyond a week or two and so she moved out, at which point I left also. To my amazement, my little savings was enough to rent a studio, and my bicycle was enough to get me back and forth to work.

Getting out of the legalities of the marriage, there were a few hiccups along the way, but we used only one attorney between us. I was 31 years old, and free at last.

I went through men like a head cold goes through tissues. It was about a year before I met N. Instantly I sensed he was the one for me -- it took him a bit longer to decide.

That is a short version of the early post-college years that brought me to this house. As for my habitual fainting, though they held for me grave and exalted significance, in reality they comprised only about a dozen or so experiences total.

Since moving to this lovely old Victorian doll-house with N (now my husband), who already owned this house when I met him, I have fainted only one time. It was decades ago, now, but -- as usual with these occurrences -- it remains vivid in memory. When I returned to consciousness, N was looming above me with a drawn expression of shock and horror. With no idea of what had happened to cause my sudden collapse and the little seizure, in case anything might be inhibiting my breathing, he had ripped my shirt open, and the buttons were strewn about the hall. Utterly focussed on my condition, his voice was strong and soothing. The sense I had of him then was truly the most profoundly affecting and profoundly comforting realization ever.

This was the life-affirming moment that marked the end of my alienation. In that moment of consciousness emerging from nothingness, with N there beside me, I knew that I was loved.

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Who's playing Coppers? - Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
Okay, I love you, so why not let me know how it's coming?

: )

One of the conflicts in my time allocation is the need to get vocals on "Coppers" as well as "Dragonfly." From the number of accesses on the web site, it's quite obvious someone (or maybe more than one person) is practicing Coppers (if not Dragonfly as well). It's the midi file that makes Coppers particularly accessible as anyone with a midi reader can open it in something like Finale (and many other programs supporting midi) and read the music. I suspect someone is doing that very thing.

So, wouldn't it be swell to help a girl out by creating a recording of your progress and sending it to me? : )

Both of these songs have male personae, and it's somewhat daunting for me to work on my bass range enough to be able to sing them.

"Work For It" has been difficult enough, as it is. Even though it doesn't use the bottom of my range, I'm finding that singing this young savage female's voice "down there" has stretched my vocal folds on that end to the extent that I'm now missing three notes at the top!

The character, Miranda, who sings "Work For It" (in my imagination at least) is modeled on a friend from my school days in Pendleton, Kathleen Lacey, who grew to be an absolutely brilliant mezzo (as one of the company in the Long Island Opera Company), singing roles like Turandot under the loving direction of the wonderful man she eventually married. Sadly, Kathleen is no longer alive. She died tragically young, and I didn't know her for most of her adult life, but am very glad we became reacquainted here on the east coast, when she was living in New York and I in Boston. I remember her with great fondness from childhood. When very young she was an absolute savage, although nearly utterly withdrawn and silent. She played the viola, if that tells you anything! before discovering her voice.

Her mother for some reason believed the influence of our family on her children would benefit them, and so arranged numerous outings and overnights so we could spend time together. I remember her as a vast silence of possibly menacing intensity, with black hair and big watchful eyes.

Unlike me, who received the kudos and adulation of our tiny world without every having to lift a finger (a facility of intellect that, let me assure you, served me very ill once it became necessary to actually study -- an occasion that visited me for the first time when taking college prep chemistry in high school and discovering I had not a shred of discipline and found myself bouncing off the walls like a kindergartener as I attempted to master the concept of moles and applying basic algebra to the equations for figuring them out.)

This was agony for me. But it was Kathleen, not me, who knew how to apply herself, and realized the wonderful artist that was waiting inside.

So this is how I have characterized Miranda, and she is the reason for the existence of "Work For It."

A scratch vocal for this song now exists in nine3.com/productions, if you would like to hear it. I'm presently playing with adding a few line harmonies and how to fashion the "Ooooo's and Ahhhhhh's to help fill out some of the spaces between phrases, but I'm not sure that I shouldn't stop working on it at this level -- let some as yet unmet genius arranger or director help me decide how this should be done.

There is so much more to do.

Among other things, I need to get the top of my range back.

It appears I must be ready to perform a few songs from HARRIER ANGEL that are slated as promotional segments to appear before the shows in this year's season of plays at the wonderful theater that is hoping to present a full production next year. As usual, I'm experiencing difficulty wrangling singers on my own.

Of course I would much prefer to use others. It isn't that I don't enjoy performing -- I do!

But isn't is much wiser to use others? wonderful artists (of which there are many in my area) who can bring so much fresh insight to the music and potentially actually perform the role when the time comes for the readings and the staged performances? Alas, the people I know may say they will do it, but then they don't return calls, and I have to keep working and working and working just to get them to follow through. And there are so many other demands on my time that very soon (because I'm naturally disinclined to keep bugging people, as well) it seems that it will be much easier all around if I just do it myself! So one has to be ready for that in any event.

This is not a "community theater" enterprise: no one "pays to play," and in fact they will receive stipend for their contributions as well as actual pay for the staged production. But even with Non-equity (or "semi-professional") theater, there are many factors dogging the trail to ultimate realization of one's intention.

I must away. But with all the great audio studio equipment available on the desktop now, I will say that I hope and pray some generous souls (men, in this case) will consider sending me track for "Coppers" and/or "Dragonfly." They could also come to my studio for the recording. I have a room with wonderful acoustics, but that will too soon go away. This will fill help immeasurably in filling out the demos on UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS, allowing me to concentrate on getting a few HARRIER ANGEL songs ready, just in case it turns out to be me up there opening the shows in July and August.

Cheery-bye, mes vieux! Until later,

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cristo - Friday, March 20th, 2015
Hey, the Wall Street Journal not only surveyed me today, but also wrote an article about Google's monopoly practices. Let's hope somebody will soon clue in Google that they do not own the internet -- or, more specifically, that as a web site owner I shall not be deemed to be among the flock for the fleecing.

I've written here on more than one occasion that there is a direct and obvious correlation between Google's "suggestions" that I pay them for services, and the steep and sudden drop in nine3 traffic as Google's punishment for failure to comply.

Indeed, I've practically lost interest in blogging as a result of this intrusion. A great deal of my reward for doing this is the readership, and each time Google's disappointment with their "harvest" here results in well over 50% loss in visitorship, I feel sad and uninspired to share.

And so today I rejoice! for Google is not the king of the on-line world but only its most formidable bully.

That said, I will now say that my work with Logic is coming along nicely. I kid myself my arrangements are somewhat improved, and I have begun doing vocal work again in anticipation of recording a new demo. This week I also let myself buy a real pop filter for the microphone (replacing the one I've used for years, improvised from items in the sewing room : )

I'm also doing some journalism in promotion of a wonderful, semi-professional little production company who are planning a reading and production of HARRIER ANGEL next year. To assist at interviews, I have also purchased a desktop tripod to hold a mic so I don't have to schlepp the big mic stand. That said, the big one provides reliably great results and it remains to be seen whether the conversational atmosphere of the room during the interview will be impaired by the need to gather around a desk or table. Even if the room mic ultimately proves superior and I must give it preference during off site interviews, the desk tripod will remain useful for my personal work in the office. Of course, singing will always be done while standing in the center of the tower room, which is round and has a big pointed roof (constructed of fine old wood) that creates a natural "boom" spot in the exact center under the overhead light, greatly exciting the acoustics here.

I do so enjoy working here.

Yet I know it would be better to live in a place where a"culture of envy" such as we suffer here inBoston doesn't blight the culture. Sad to say, there is a very tiny minority indeed who conform to the requirements of elite strata (economic, educational, even location -- especially location) that are the qualifications used to determine whether anyone can possibly have anything of any interest to contribute to the cultural landscape. This is shocking, really. However, I cannot say I wasn't forewarned. Many people suggested Boston has severe self-imposed limitations. Like people everywhere, those in positions of influence will admit publicly that it's impossible to predict whence talent will arise. But the reason this called "Bean Town" is that they don't believe it!

But I fell in love with this pretty little city, and (after a bad start with a young man I felt I needed to save) I found true love, too. And have managed to get a body of work. So that's everything, right?

Ergo, complaint is not an option. I am blessed. Yet the time to relocate may very well have arrived!

Good heavens, what am I doing? I'm on deadline, and must go!

Blessings upon you, dear reader!

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confidential to La Lima - Thursday, February 19th, 2015
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re: Idle Crawlers.
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Thank you. - Sunday, January 11th, 2015
But, as I said in a recent post, Google thinks I'm a big company who should start paying them for my lovely visitors. It's always obvious when only 50% or so will succeed in finding us. They've started soliciting me again, and the thing that killed it was that I hung up on the machine that called me. So if I don't have time to talk to a machine, your machine will throw people's searches for me down the deep dark well. Oh, I get it. Thanks.

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Dear John - Thursday, January 1st, 2015
I would very much like to recommend for the visitors's pleasure and edification" The John Batchelor Show," airing 5-6 nights a week on WABC 770 NYC and other outlets. The program is also available streaming live on his web site (just search "John Batchelor Show" -- this guestbook engine does not allow posting of web urls) and also by podcast, which are terrific for listening any time.

Recently, Mr. Batchelor conducted an interview with someone familiar with the early history of Apple Computer, and my own personal experience with Apple's relationship with a company whose typesetting equipment I used during that period seemed to add something to the story, apparently unknown to the Apple historian. So I wrote to Mr. Batchelor, and thought I would tell you a part of the story, as well, because it seems so likely that these details are in peril of being lost. Here's what I told him:

Hi, John --
I greatly enjoyed your segment on the early history of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and the development of the personal computer, but must say I found it a bit revisionist, or perhaps one dimensional is a better term, due to the guest who was apparently unfamiliar with Steve Jobs's early relationship with Agfa Compugraphic, where they developed something called the Apple Lisa which was to begin their joint venture in personal computing. I was using Compugraphic typesetting machines in my work as a graphic designer then, and applying it on the side as a word processor for my creative writing (for which they worked exceedingly well compared to anything else in existence at that time. This continued from about 1974 through 1987 or 1988, when I deemed the Apple II ci finally good enough to merit switching over (support for the aesthetics of typography were quite lacking up to that point). Anyway, I well remember the bitterness of my Agfa Compugraphic contacts regarding Steve Jobs's absconding with the knowledge he gained from working with them on Apple Lisa. They viewed the matter with resignation, declining to sue. Little did they realize that within a decade the Macintosh would arrive and virtually put them out of business with their small-to-middle sized design studio clientele.

Interestingly, the last Compugraphic machines I owned used a program they called "Power Page" that had a "counting keyboard" (an integrated secondary computer) that vastly enhanced line breaks and pagination capabilities. It also had brilliant functionality for creating "macros" (subroutines) on the fly. It was MANY years before the Apple machines attained anything even remotely approaching Power Page for workflow and efficiency. (Maybe Jobs should have stuck around a few years, eh! he bailed on them before they developed the counting keyboard.) Interestingly, when about a decade later every commercial artist had to know html, my then-partner (PhD, MIT) was famously impressed with my apparent genius at learning programming. Of course, I didn't bother to tell him that HTML was exactly the same as Power Page, if not even more powerful thanks to the counting keyboard! Agfa is/was a Swiss company, and I think it not coincidental that is also the country of origin of HTML : ) Just FYI. I adored my Compugraphic machines and could not pass up the opportunity to let you know this is yet another story about Jobs (perhaps not so rosy as many) for your consideration.

Thanks so much for your excellent reporting. You have truly added so much to our lives, and we listen to your program obsessively. We even like listening to some segments multiple times. I download your podcasts, and they are wonderful accompaniments and conversational grist when driving/riding around in the car.

A very Happy New Year to you! All good luck and increasing prosperity in 2015. This you deserve more than anyone I can think of in broadcast journalism. Blessings and peace, Cass

I hope the readers here will tune in to The John Batchelor Show. If you are like I am in your opinion of the shallowness and partisanship of most major media news outlets, you will get a refreshing blast of intellectual stimulation from this excellent source.

Do check it out. Happy New Year, everyone!

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moi, encore - Friday, December 19th, 2014
I belong to a group discussing the fact that many playwrights do not actually enjoy going out to the theater to experience new work. It is an Interesting point, and describes a condition I was very glad to learn that I am not alone in suffering.

I write musicals (book, music, lyrics) in the Rodgers and Hammerstein (R&H) vein, where story is lifted by music to the universal (albeit in my case in a satirical vein -- like ROCKY HORROR, but not always via rock musuc).

Now that I see how many share in the disappointment of much work now reaching the stage, I can confess I that I, too, actually hate most of the new musicals that make it to Broadway.

Furthermore, I take serious exception to the "standards" being taught in the MFA programs at places like NYU ("the song must move the plot along" etc.). Actually, the song MAY be used to move the plot along but is often more effective simply as an element that stands alone as a great song and in the play reveals a particular application of the universally significant condition that is the subject of the story at the point of insertion.

In this approach to musical theater writing, a song pauses the story and provides the metaphorical context to allow a salient truth to sink in. Aspiring to be like most great music, it strives to provide a contemplative moment, and when successful fosters understanding of shared humanity. This, I propose, is the strength of musical theater that has made it the cultural powerhouse it is widely recognized to be.

It also explains why R&H-era works (including other writers of that great early period) produced many top 40 hits. The cheesy self-aggrandizing drive-by of compulsive rhyming and the brassy, self-referential belting (where Broadway sings about Broadway, ugh!) offer nothing of value and are exceeded in my disdain only by what I call the "feel bad musicals" -- those many of the thinly-veiled hatred for humanity (e.g., making the audience part of the lynch mob -- you know which one I mean, heheh), and others by that "brilliant" person who, like many of the "peers" receiving kudos today, may well be a wonderful composer unfortunately with a bile duct where the heart should be.

So give him all the Tony awards. People still hate it, and the show will close soon enough, giving the producers what one can only assume is the reward they seek — a hefty write-off at the end of the year. (Thank you, Mel Brooks for figuring out a way to say this in an amusing and agreeable way : )

As for most of the current crop of expensive flops, audiences feel like crap when they leave the theater and are further offended through the assumption that they can't appreciate "quality."

Well, actually, they aren´t stupid and they know when they are being insulted.

Rather than allowing those who know how to execute the special magic of music to do their work, supporting them as necessary with the tale to showcase the salient points, producers now rant the cant of those useless "schools" trying to "evolve" a successful musical that is modern and "now" and yet succeed on the level of the R&H work. It may be possible, even necessary, to evolve musical theater in some way, but this is not the way to do it.

One of the great heartbreaks of the current season is, I believe, an example of how a producing team can be completely upside down to the purpose of the show is THE LAST SHIP. Before it opened I knew it was going to be in trouble because I heard Sting (the composer/lyricist) speak about how his team really put him through his paces, making him write and rewrite, throw away, and begin again and again. Now the show has opened, it is foundering for unknown (to me, since I haven't seen it yet) reasons.

But what I thought when I heard this remark was, "Uh-oh."

Sting must be a truly humble and respectful human being to have succumbed to this process.

Who, among the team, is it who knows what people love and adore? Sting.

Why should he listen to a team of "collaborators" who have done nothing that in any way approaches the monumental body of beloved work that the progenitor of the idea, at the music and the lyrics, has already done?

I've been in musical theater workshops and groups with people who have the Tisch School M.F.A. in musical theater, and I recognized the by now familiar and erroneous) cant: "Musical theater is a different animal and you can't approach it in the same way you would otherwise approach your art."

Balderdash!

I want to see what Sting was going to write, not what some self-important, resume-heavy hand out of grad school thought he must do.

I imagine I could even tell by Sting's tone that he had serious misgivings about what had happened to his ideas.

I'm not saying none of these grad school-endowed "experts" have virtues. I personally know someone who came out of that program and won a well-deserved orchestration award for magnificent work. But I also think I know quite well that the run of the mill MFA's have done nothing to merit the level of command that has entitled them to dictate anything at all that Sting should be doing. If anything, it is likely they have deprived us of exactly the "evolution" of the form that the academics so fervently believe must take place (and, however mistakenly) believe they must guide if not dictate.

It sometimes occurs to me that the most significant thing the Tisch School did for musical theater, albeit not at all to their credit, was to waste and destroy Maury Yeston's talent.

I want to know where Sting will take us, not where a bunch of lesser lights think we should go. That's just an already well-documented dead end. I truly hope they haven't injured Sting's psyche, for that is a delicate and mysterious light. Please heaven, he'll take another crack at Broadway, and next time execute his work the way it comes bubbling up out of himself, straight from the well, like the rest of his amazing stuff.

Hattie - Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
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hi - Saturday, November 29th, 2014
Oh, thanks, Mocim. If you were to let me know which pages do this, I'll do my best to address the issue.

The sad fact is I now realize I've led a charmed existence, at least so far as cooperation from my electronics are concerned. One learns this, naturally, in retrospect, when things start to go south in cadres.

Specifically, my supposed "good" machine has developed screen problems that necessitate using an external monitor. It's really crazy trying to remember which "mode" I've got the thing in (different modes show different things) and whether the tasks I'm working on will appear on the monitor or are confined to the "mother" machine that has developed the big black patch covering perhaps 25% of the left side.

A somewhat intriguing fact is that a screen grab taken over the affected area reveals everything. So I am told as of last night that this problem is uncorrectable, that the problem is common to some machines in this generation of manufactures, and that if it had happened much earlier then Apple Corporation would have replaced the machine entirely, but since it has waited until now to malfunction I am all out of luck.

Obviously I need a new computer, but at the level of change anticipated, the heinous "all new software now" rule looks like it will apply. The price of the software is, of course, many times more than the cost of the machine itself, plus it's extremely annoying to me that certain makers who shall remain unnamed are now making you "rent" the software from the "Creative Cloud" rather than owning it (read: "licensing") it where it resides at your own location. My connection isn't the fastest, so working from "the uncreative cloud) is a steady impediment to the flow of ideas, and I would dearly like to avoid having to pay a pile of cash each month for the privilege of accepting this insult to my process.

So for the short term at least, I've got this new external monitor which allows me to do much of what I need, although with exponentially lesser efficiency and pleasure.

It's unusual to address such boring technical details here, but I thought perhaps it was time to let you know the state of the studio. It has been going on for about a week.

It's getting really tough out there, eh! Until now I haven't much shared of the pain, but henceforth may have an awakening to the sort of suffering that is not of my own doing.

I give thanks to my dear visitors for helping make this month's traffic really tops. You are very nice!

I hope to be at a more agreeable level of happiness and operations sometime soon. So mote it be!

See yez! : )
casz

MocimJomes - Friday, November 28th, 2014
Hey, re your page "nine3.com Guestbook" on occasion I receive a 404 message when browsing the site.

Figured you would like to know.

Thanks

Inserting code in posts - Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
Thanks very much for your note, Samira. To others who write in a similar vein and do not see yours listed here, I thank you also. All are greatly appreciated.

I wanted to let Samira know that a few characters of nonsense in the text were excised because I didn't understand why they were there. If this was something accidental or placed there to help you find this blog more easily, then I am sorry to disappoint. They didn't seem like code, just nonsense -- perhaps even unintentional. But one never knows.

Many times people attempt to insert code here, and this is the reason the blog must be monitored.

I looked at the logs today and noticed a rather large visit from the old arpanet. I didn't know that was still out there. Years ago I worked for a group that helped to develop it, and had something of a connection, perhaps even a crush, on one of the team. In those days I was almost entirely emotionally repressed, a result of cruelty in my upbringing from which I was unable to find release until well into adulthood (at the age of 33, to be exact). If it is you visiting, Stephen, I know now that I loved you but just couldn't feel it, however before each of your visits to my studio I would dream about you. ! The next day you would appear with a little project, or request for advice, or just a little chitchat. I missed you for a long time after leaving there. If these arpanet visits are a signal that you have found me here, please know I hope you are well, my dear!

Samira - Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
I just want to say I am all new to weblog and liked your web-site. Probably I'm going to bookmark your website. You amazingly come with amazing writings. With thanks for sharing with us your blog.

Buttons - Friday, November 14th, 2014
Guess I'm the only sewing betty some people know, so I've inherited scads. Of buttons, that is.

From the minister's wife, I got a very large set from the first suit of clothes made for her grandmother. Everything was custom in those days, retail hadn't been invented yet. A suit like that one was meant to last your whole life, and so you selected it with the utmost care and had it sewn when you achieved your full height. Except for pregnancies, it was expected that your size would not change. The buttons, all black and not fine, I find somehow very touching though I didn't know the woman. I have kept them all together.

A blackmailer I had the misfortune to know when I was in college gave me somebody's pearl button collection mounted on cards.

I also received buttons from aunts here and there, and bought interesting ones at thrift stores.

They are all in my sewing room, mostly sorted by size and color in little flat plastic Home Depot boxes with adjustable-sized compartments.

But by far most of the buttons in my studio were inherited from a deceased relative who sewed for a Newbury St. clientele. She had (as they say in the rackets) "a cash business," and purchased buttons like a madwoman. Some of them cost $30 and upwards each. I give 'em away like I don't care what they cost, because I don't : )

Incidentally, I could never recommend that style of business, the one called "cash business." For one thing, the authorities are always on your case and you have to keep double books. And then there's all that lying, especially to oneself when try to make yourself believe others are impressed by your lifestyle. You can't buy anything meaningful like a house or a car or investments. This unfortunate woman's husband had to pour money into the business, too, because she couldn't resist the $500 shoes she needed to impress her clientele, so of course there was never enough.

She had tens of thousands of dollars worth of shoes in her closet, made six figures a year and died broke.

They say when you dream you inherit "buttons" it means "no money." I know because I had that dream. When I looked it up in Muller's Encyclopedia of dreams, that's what it said. And so far as I know it's absolutely true!

Thanks so much! - Thursday, November 13th, 2014
Hi, everyone
I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your interest in the arts and entertainments I write about here from time to time and also feature in the main body of nine3. It's really very gratifying to realize how the visitorship grows over time. I hope you know how much this means to me.

I have often said as much.

One reason for doing so yet again today is to let you know that if you rely on search engines to find this content, perhaps a bookmark today is in order.

It's somewhat sad but predictable for me today again to receive the"offer" from perhaps the biggest internet giant of them all to the point of how greatly they admire my work here (not to mention the cadres of you interested readers : )

They say, again, they would like to "help" me create the "high quality anchor text links" they think I need. Moreover, the email said, "We can give i.e., 'sell.] you guaranteed keyword ranking results. . ."

Many times over the years I have received such an offer, and invariably it is the signal that I must pay up or they will destroy the nine3 traffic (overnight). They have no choice but to try to bully me by destroying the ranking in their search engines that I have won fair and square because of your readership here and perusal of the music, art and other intellectual content represented through this site.

The search engines have algorithms that automatically lift a site's ranking based on its traffic. This they must do to compete with one another, obviously, because if one engine doesn't return the links the surfers are looking for, the surfers try another.

This necessity must be frustrating to a behemoth (with a very large appetite), so they must eat you (and me) instead, and it can take a year or longer before my traffic returns once they have "offered" (i.e., demanded) money from me and failed to get the free meal.

Unfortunately, as there are lots of places for me to spend money that are more urgent, more necessary, and more productive than paying the Gargantua to let me live on the track I inhabit through my own efforts, I must live with this impending doom. For, indeed, my "rankings" are something I enjoy (and quite a lot, I might add), even as the real thrust of my efforts is to find time to continue the pursuit of these arts, get a production, and interact with the divine and the world through which I receive material for contemplation, processing and transcription in the forms people may enjoy experiencing.

Over the past couple of months the traffic has been (for this site) record-breaking, and so I have realized for some time I would soon receive an "offer" from Gargantua.

This morning it arrived.

So, please, if you come here through a search engine, why not bookmark the pages you like instead? If you would like to participate in a free link exchange, drop me an email and we can work that out, too.

The traffic dropped by about 25% overnight, which isn't that bad, but tomorrow it will probably be down by a factor of 9 or ten : (

So enough of this heartbreak! I must away. Tonight is the annual fundraiser of the theater company whose public relations writing I volunteer. It is a wine tasting with lovely potables and victuals contributed by their sponsoring restaurants.

Until it's time to get ready to go, I must practice (singing and guitar today), work on my new 10-minute play, and finish sewing the bunny top that will keep me from freezing my buns off this winter in this house that we keep at between 50 and 60 degrees farenheit : ) Yes, that is rather cool, but we are both healthy and very rarely get even a cold, I think due to the hardiness (albeit discomfort) of the walking around hours. Of course we are very snug and comfy in our bed at night, but during the day must wear fleecy things at home (which I sew for us).

My friendly old bunny top has been relegated to the grubby bin for wearing on dirty outdoor projects. The one that was already in use there was utterly destroyed by my assistance to N in a recent (successful) concrete pour to correct a hole that opened up last winter when water, ice and snow hollowed out the earth under a crack in the sidewalk going up to the back porch. It looks like this winter is going to be a bear, so it's very good he got that done.

For now, au revoir, my friends. Be well!
cx

stars-models.me - Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
I do know this was a very interesting post thanks for writing it!

Sunny - Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
this is pretty amazing

Kiluea me - Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Early each month, it's fun and interesting to look at the visitors here. A few years ago, I discovered and subscribed to a web statistics program that made it possible to receive interesting insights all the time, because of the way the visits were dissected. Then Pierre (the programmer who wrote the lovely thing) got a job at Amazon or Google (most assuredly well-deserved for the stats he devised were very clever, breaking everything down in so many ways it was actually possible to tell who had visited, when, what they had looked at, and for how long). Unfortunately for me, the terms of Pierre's wonderful new job included a requirement ending support for the web stats engine he had so intricately devised, and forbidding any further sales or installation.

Alas, now the nine3 stats (the plain vanilla supplied by my server) are convoluted and hard to understand to the point of being completely opaque. I went to the trouble of preparing the backbone to use another system, supposedly the best out there, but I haven't been able to wrap my head around it, and even if I could it doesn't look like it will provide information as nicely and personally as Pierre's did.

So for now (and perhaps for the duration) I remain stuck with the stats engine the server gives me --, and it is comparatively awful!

Yet the first couple of days each month still can deliver some interest, as both today and yesterday proved. These showed visits from Hawaii (the Big Island) where Kilauea is venting magma in slow motion down the mountain and causing people to joke, as it threatens their villages, that they have to "walk for their lives."

Humor is appreciated, always, you fools : ) No, what I mean is: Be safe out there and be diligent in backing up your files and systems, and get the heck out of the way. I hope the insurance is paid up-to-date.

It has been quite some years since a distinguished New York producer who expressed interest in my work saw his company suddenly go out from under the partners. It was quite soon after winning the Tony in all the right categories for a big show of theirs, so to me it was all rather unexpected and a rude awakening to the vicissitudes of the business of the theatrical arts. This kind, good fellow retired to Hawaii, so when I see a visit from someone in his vicinity I kid myself that he is still following me, perhaps thinking that he should, sometime before demise, give me the break that at one time seemed like such a golden possibility.

Something like the collapse of interest from seemingly distinguished and solvent theatrical producers has turned out to be not at all that uncommon in my experience "trying" to have a musical theater career. I use the term "trying" advisedly because I must, as a rock solid business person in certain other fields, I have to admit I don't seem to be able to try very hard.

After the first few times enjoying the flush of interest from someone with a great company, I actually entertained the conceit that I, as one of heaven's favorites, was being used as a tool by heaven for providing a test for the moneyed practitioners in their particular battleground that I also inhabit, within the sacred arts. It seemed that, having recognized an artist with certain command of the inner logic of theater -- involving language, music, sprung rhythms amid the scansion and other talents for massaging the sensitivities of the human psyche -- some sad, long, slow eruptions of human frailty would inevitably begin to wend their way through the group's collective psyche, swallowing their contented villages and cutting off access to the beautiful beaches of their rosy golden accolades from the keepers of the flame at the altars of Mary Antoinette Perry.

In short, having noticed the virtue and responded instinctually to the magic of a nine three configuration, then falling into argument and discord rather than trusting the gut and going for the golden (in the opinion of some, unfortunately female) hero, heaven was simply pulling the plug, leveling the karma and scattering to the five corners of the world (if you count the underworld) these would-be angels who knew what they were looking at yet lacked the courage to do what their hearts told them to do. Angels are soldiers, after all. They form the tip of heaven's spear on earth. Theater, that most collaborative of ancient ventures largely unaltered in its practice and precepts from time immemorial to the present day, is a dangerous place for the weak of spirit and the absent of heart.

This may be silly or presumptuous, a rationalization or a canard, but I actually sometimes hesitate in approaching these forces with direct application of strategy and resolve because I don't wish to see, after initial flush of passionate response, their collision with fate. And so in some ways I have become strangely static, still working and writing and increasingly amazed that such a prodigious tenacity should inhabit the soul of one so unwilling to press hard for material advancement.

If someone would be kind enough to compile a list of successful companies that have failed suddenly and disappeared into oblivion if not financial wreckage WITHOUT having first noticed they should be doing something with ME, then perhaps I may be able to get past this genial suspension of will in making submissions, to dismiss this fear that a metaphysical volcanic emission governs the fate of those sweet dreamers whose hearts first leap up but then flail indecisively in their encounters with this feature my dear friend R (who also experienced this form of collapse) refers to as "The Big Artiste."

I shall end by showing you an illustration of this principle, perhaps tangential, from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" of an encounter between the beast and the sorcerer: Caliban, or I Must Obey.

I have made space for it; Youtube tells me it will appear shortly. I will check in tomorrow to see if it has.

NY - Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Having good content can only get you so far unless you also provide a good atmosphere to comment in

Utah Billings - Thursday, October 30th, 2014
聽Jag var ganska emotionell person.

LardKl - Thursday, October 30th, 2014
I really liked your article post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.

confidential to onions@mit - Saturday, October 18th, 2014
Hi, friend

Don't be scared. You know what I want --, so tell me, what do YOU want? I have to stick my neck out every day of the world. Your taking a chance will be like walking a mile in my shoes, so c'mon already. That would still be only step one : ) but it won't kill you. Take courage!

"Political Suicide" - Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
My involvement in the publicity campaign for a presentation of Ernest Thompson's 2012 play, "Policial Suicide" has caused me to write the review/promotion that follows. I hope you will attend if you can. It's oddly stimulating and upsetting in a very funny way.

Ernest Thompson´s "Political Suicide" arrives in advance of the November midterms, just in time to stir the pot of political foment with a tasty stew of four witty, absurd, homespun and ultimately intellectually seductive vignettes about American political culture.

An actor as well as a playwright perhaps best known for writing the Oscar-winning screenplay of his play "On Golden Pond," Thompson steadily maintains his ties New York and Los Angeles while living in New Hampshire where he works with his own company, Whitebridge Farm Productions, that premiered "Political Suicide" in Laconia in February of 2012.
The play has since enjoyed numerous productions from Maine to New York and California, yet none better timed for inspiring voter interest than the one in Middleborough, for rarely, or perhaps never so much as in the present time, has the actual political process itself so resembled satire. Nor does it seem ever to have displayed a side more darkly and absurdly and even frighteningly humorous than do the events surrounding the elections upcoming within days of Thompson´s play´s latest incarnation.

Or maybe, if we´re paying attention, this is what the political scene is supposed to feel like.

Forget polling and partisanship. In four scenes of mostly small-town American political activity, Thompson projects some of the players, from poll workers and voters to politicians and journalists and enough of those in between — near fools conducting the voting as a backdrop for young hopefuls falling in love, characters caught on both sides of the welfare system, protesters with dreams of success vaguely and incoherently associated with somehow going viral through an act of self- or some other form of destruction.

When a formerly wealthy woman faces the facts about loss and her life now, was there a Bernie Madoff reference? Whose idea was that, anyway -- Thompson´s or my own?

Asking all the questions without positioning himself as someone with any answers, Thompson shows us that politics means, after all, that we must keep on asking those questions, that the process is by definition a moving target, for such are the processes of change.

While he´s delivering this dawning awareness, he keeps us laughing — and then talking and talking and talking all the way home, energized and somehow despite the odds feeling hopeful and motivated to enact our own roles in this "crazy, crazy, crazy," "mad, mad, mad" process of change which is, after all, the exact definition of politics.

Opening October 10th at 8PM, with a First Night Reception to include a specialty cake from Amazing Cakes, Ernest Thompson´s "Political Suicide," is produced by Neponset River Productions (NRP) at The Alley Theatre, 133 Center Street, Middleboro. The production will continue on Saturday, October 11th & Fridays & Saturdays, October 17,18,24,25 (8pm) with a Sunday Matinee performance on October 12th (2pm). All performances can be combined with our "Dinner and a Show" special, a dinner theatre experience in collaboration with Lorenzo´s (Rte. 28, Middleboro) 508-947-3000. Three course meal including glass of wine, taxes & gratuities for $20.00 bring receipt to our box office before the show and tickets are only $15.00. For more info about NRP please visit us on Facebook or our website: nemasketriverproductions[dot]com or call our box office 866 -244-0448 for reservations. Credit card purchases via Brown Paper Tickets through our website.

Vanuatu - Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Very hard to believe it has been three weeks already since I last promised to write. Apologies to disappointed visitors.

Part of the problem is that there is no decent way to share the map(s) I have been so enamored of since the historical excursions prompted by the 400th anniversary of John Smith's arrival got me to studying the various atlases in N's library. N is a great navigator who loves reading history, so naturally he collects maps, not to mention nautical charts and other graphical depictions of a sort I would have never developed a taste for had it not been for him.

Giving a halfway decent depiction of a page from the book I mentioned in the previous entry, with all its beautiful calligraphy and topographic detail, will require upwards of 80 Mb of space, which I can ill afford for this purpose. As well, it would slow severely your page load here even if I give a smallish thumbnail to connect you to the biggish scan that is still a vast simplification of the impression the printed maps give. I didn't realize this would be the case, and I regret promising something I cannot now deliver.

For those who like maps, hopes for sharing them in such a forum as this are utterly dashed. Nevertheless you must see the something of the color at the very least. If you click on the image at right, it will take you to a somewhat larger version. You've already downloaded it, so why not? This small one is the same as the big one except, well, smaller, having been "sized" in html for its appearance here.

Hello to the visitor(s) from Vanuatu. I've no idea who you may be, but I'm charmed and honored to think you may find something here to engage your interests.

cz - Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Hello again
This is just a note of apology for neglecting the forum for more than a month. I have taken on a new project or two, and yet, despite this, am quite insistent on indulging the beauties of the season in New England, so time here has been limited.

Thank you for visiting -- I see a lot of people have been checking for new posts and sorry to disappoint. A good subject has presented itself and I will endeavor to sit down to it in the next day or so.

This has been the week to commemorate the landing of the English four hundred years ago. Captain John Smith, who drew the first creditable map of the coastline, came ashore in Cohasset, where a plaque to note the anniversary was placed last weekend. It was lots of fun, though not in the way we imagined.

I leave you with a quote from one of Smith's books -- a favorite of N's, who is mad about history and geography.

"For as Geography without History seemeth a carkasse without motion, so History without Geography wandreth as a Vagrant without a certaine habitation." -- John Smith, Generall Historie of Virginia

This quote was given in the frontispiece of ATLAS OF MEDIEVAL AND MODERN HISTORY by William R. Shepherd (Seth Low Professor of History in Columbia University, New York), New York, Henry Holt and Company (no publication date given but c. 1927), printed in Germany. It consists of many incredibly beautiful maps and gorgeous printing. I came upon it by chance in a second hand bookstore a few years ago. It is an inspiration and a great supplement to any study of European history. I shall scan a page and show you when next I am here.

More later, tata --

true religion jeans - Friday, August 15th, 2014
very good put up, i actually love this website, carry on it

Snark counter service culture - Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Has anyone else been increasingly flummoxed by what feels like coldness or even rudeness implied in interactions with (often young) sales and counter people -- at the deli, bakery or coffee shop, for example?

The people waiting on customers at an otherwise pleasant but busy place I frequent has, as long as I've been going there, asked, "Are you all set?" when it's your turn to be served. I've always found this somewhat disconcerting since, to me, being "all set" means one needs nothing more, and its use in this circumstance seems to carry a tacit reluctance on the part of the service person to be, well, helpful. I've used jokey little encouragements to get them to ask something less ambiguous, but it hasn't worked and now it's beginning to rankle.

There are many questions I would prefer to be asked. "Are you ready to order?" or "Do you see anything you'd like?" or "May I help you?" are a few openings that spring to mind.

In this particular place, we customers are usually waiting in an amorphous group, not in a line, for the very practical reason that there are many selections to choose among and customers often have no idea what things should be called, ergo selections are made by pointing at the items one wishes to purchase.

Asking "Are you all set?" seems to imply the expectation that perhaps a colleague has already taken your order and you are not in need of their assistance, or they are unclear as to whose turn it is and they think it may be you.

Yesterday when she asked me, "Are you all set?" I tried, "No, I'd like to place my order."
This had not at all the desired effect as the young lady promptly turned to someone else, saying, in response to my confusion, "Oh, they were here before you."

That was awkward.

When you frequent a place regularly, and regularly drop folding money in the tip jar, you may find to your surprise that sudden feelings of awkwardness fall somewhere in the disappointed to embarrassing or even annoying range. This is not the way you want to feel about the place whose delectables you bring home to your table.

Routinely, too, these days, when you say, "Thank you," the response is, "No problem."

As we know, the psyche processes positive assertions and usually, if not always, dismisses negatives -- this is the reason we are taught to "be positive." Certainly it's a matter of being nice and polite and helpful, but also of effectiveness. The negative usually fails. It's why we say, "Stop!" instead of, "Don't go."

Likewise, when I say, "Thank you," and the response is, "No problem," something in my psyche baulks, as if I should like to demand, "Problem? Who said anything about a problem?"

"No problem" as a substitute for "You're welcome," or "It's my pleasure," or "Glad to help," or "Think nothing of it," or "Any time," or "See you soon," is simply rude, and I'm officially weary of hearing it everywhere I go.

Like "Are you all set?" when one means, "May I help you?", "No problem," when one means, "You're welcome," implies a reluctance or even resentment that's completely out of place in these kinds of exchanges.

I may attempt a campaign toward encouraging greater civility from people who are in positions of offering help but apparently have no idea that there is a tone to every such exchange, and that this tone conveys a quality of culture that literally is the substance and the quality of the person and of the establishment in that situation.

Unlike the check in a place that offers table service, contributions to a tip jar offer an option and a choice for the customer. I think, at least in this particular place, that I shall no longer assume it is something I owe.

If the service diminishes my experience, henceforth I may just decide to take no notice whatsoever of the tip jar.

Am I happy - Monday, August 11th, 2014
A scholar friend is surveying her acquaintances on this subject.

I realized that I am happy -- pretty much.

I've dedicated my artistic life to something I'm beginning to realize is an impossible dream -- NOT REALLY! I still don't believe it's impossible!! i.e., writing (book, lyrics, music) for the musical stage.

As I wrote recently, recently a forum/list admin posed the question, "Why are there so few women successful an the highest levels of theater?" ("Highest levels" means writing/composing, producing, directing, where the numbers stall at around 15-17%.) I responded in all honesty recently, citing some of my experiences . . . and she censored me! So, yes, I'm frustrated but haven't given up.

I'm pretty happy otherwise: lovely husband, pleasant existence free from material want, nice neighbors and friends (but not much active engagement in "social life" or even family life after deciding some years ago that much of it was a distraction).

Initially, lots of us were aspiring artists, but none of the old crowd seems to be still fighting the good fight any more re: self realization. Actually, some of them have died.

The foregoing is more or less what I said to my friend's inquiry. To it, I will add a few thoughts.

We have no kids-- that helps! No, I mean probably/possibly most people have nice children but I was an unwanted female child and very actively repressed by the rest of the family (7 kids, but only because they couldn't get enough sons) ergo I could not bring myself to want kids. That is, I did expect and felt the desire to have children, yet I was also in possession of an appalling realization that something was quite wrong in my head based on the fact that (like my family) I spent quite a bit of time worrying that I might not bear sons which was really the only kind of child I could bring myself to desire. One of my sisters (deceased at the age of 42) used to joke about this, saying of her own limited willingness to bear children, "Not until we own a house and my business is a success. I'm going to have a cesarian, and it has to be a boy!"

In the foregoing, I said I "felt the desire," yet it was as a freshman in college that I realized I had no feelings. My schoolmates were shocked and denied the truth of it when I said, "I'm a machine." But the so-called "feelings" of those years were "ideations" -- intellectual constructs that I could choose among to guide decision making. Since then I've met quite a few people thus emotionally disabled, and perhaps it was necessary to experience it myself in order to be able to recognize it in others. This took more than ten years to overcome, after searching and searching for the answer.

Wouldn't you know it, the old pop song turned out to be true. It happened in the twinkling of an eye, in a heartbeat. There were butterflies in my stomach when I saw a special man for the first time, "across a crowded room," as a matter of fact! There was a fluttering in the solar plexis and thought, "What was that??" I'd never noticed anything like it before.

My life came together after that.

The old saw spoke true. All you need is love.

Ideations and feelings are completely different things.

Judging from the number of people who need to get gender identity tests so they can abort their female fetuses, I'd say this is a vast cultural failing worldwide, and it saddens me deeply to confess I know at the deepest levels in my own soul whence it occurs.

When as children we had our first IQ tests, I came in very high and on the achievement tests performed at the high school level in every subject. I didn't know how I knew all that I did, but had been pretending to believe I believed myself "normal" as I understood this was the correct christian posture, yet when they tested us I was ecstatic as I believed it would mean I would no longer have to pretend to be something I was not. And I believed I would be acknowledged. But alas, my parents rejected it, and me, and instead I lost status in the family. They refused the state education department's offer to transfer me to a school for gifted children, in fact I was not even told of this opportunity but learned of it from a neighbor. My parents were quite angry with me for revealing what I had learned, and refused to discuss it at all. Release from the suffering this brought to be was at last given to me by my loving husband who said, "They probably felt it was their responsibility to raise you. Who knows what might have happened to a 10-year old in a boarding school hundreds of miles from home?" The true of this insight was a tremendous revelation to me, and eased a lifelong burden.

At any rate, I'd responded in my own way by setting my sights on doing well in school and getting a scholarship to go to college far away, and this (to a certain degree) I did manage.

Once my elder sister left home, I took responsibility for the younger children and the weekday evening meals -- along with the regular reminder to my parents that, in exchange for this service, when the time came they would help me go to college. Thus I was able to keep my heart free from resentment and suffering. Through knowing that one day I would be an adult and be able to make my own life, and besides I had music and painting and writing, I survived. I think this childhood decision a common factor in the development of at least some forms of the so-called "black sheep" in families.

Whece does anti-semitism come? - Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
I would never have dreamed this surge/resurgence of "anti-semitism" could happen in our country at all.

I haven't "felt" it, and that -- together with hardly ever seeing it expressed in our country in my lifetime -- provided me with this sense that it no longer exists in any meaningful (significant, tangible, material) way. But I see now this is not the case.

Utter mystification here! perhaps especially in the emotional alienation from the experience that somehow leaves me unable to share it on any level. Since I am a "feeling" being who usually arrives at understanding like a horse does, i.e., by closing my eyes and going by "feel" and then expressing intentionality through actions (physical, verbal and rational) in keeping with what in my life has proven to be very reliable, i.e., solid emotional knowledge. Usually I "know" because I "feel" something is real or true.

But this surge I do not get, not at all, and I find it very hard to believe it is either true or real.

But mystification must give way to the part of me that can and must formulate understanding, even in the absence of feeling, arrives at the idea that "anti-semitism" is really just a word emotionally available to beasts having little/nothing to do with religion or judaism. It is nothing more or less than wild animal impulse to rampage.

Perhaps civility is nothing more than a charming veneer on animal savagery that appears in humans when they identify their position in the status quo as something worth protecting. They have something to lose. Then when they have nothing to lose, i.e., they feel themselves slipping (mostly economically), they revert to type. It is fear and frustration. Jews as targets of this might be the result of the impression that, rich or poor, through their traditions jews always remain somehow intact. When everything else is going to ruin, the morally insane turn to judaism as something still standing to attack.

Slings and arrows - Saturday, August 2nd, 2014
I was asked for my opinion about why there are so few women in top positions in theatrical professions. With the caveat that I realize many outside of theater have experienced the same or worse. I think of all the conclusions one may deduce from experiences with struggles to succeed in the arts is, first, that this doesn't apply solely to the arts and, second, many of the behaviors in question do tend to ruin women whereas their male counterparts are unscathed or even lionized by the same response to the conditions. The following paragraph was my original response:

My father was a professional theater performer when young, until he was drafted and married an actress before going off to war. He warned me against going into the field, saying the people behave unprofessionally and some are actually bad; Jacqueline Kennedy had the same advice for her son John-John. But I had and still maintain a passion for theater -- I write book, lyrics and music for the musical stage -- and also produce and design -- but must confess I've gained plenty of insight into what my father meant. Since I'm not a man I can't say if they experience the culture in exactly the same way, but I find too many women willing to compete at the lowest levels of professionalism and overt non-professionalism -- undercutting others with gossip and lies and tangible acts of sabotage, giving and even soliciting sex to gain special consideration — I could go on, but most people in theater will know what I mean and could add to the list.

To this I can add there sometimes befalls a certain (to me) absurd and shocking malice on the part of people who think they might someday write something themselves. It appears they discover a need to preemptively destroy the "competition" i.e., those writers who love theater and like to work on shows in other capacities. It's as if someone doing something one aspires to do oneself could be an actual competitor whom they compulsively attempt to reduce, eliminate or destroy. Sure, it's jealousy. But how irrational this is. Encountering it is an absolute shock to the system. And it's unfortunate that cultural influences like the reality show teaches and encourages them to ever more creatively diabolical acts.

To me it appears that while men may suffer some of the slings and arrows, inherently they aren't damaged by this as much, if at all. I've reached the point of deciding not to work on shows any more, but singlemindedly to stick to writing, trying to meet directors and producers interested in helping to develop my work, and pretending I'm uninterested in doing anything else. For a company who wants to help me by developing and producing my work, I will of course do anything I can to contribute to the cause.

As for the actress who married my father, she collected his salary while he was in the service and promptly divorced him when he returned. This must have been an excruciating betrayal adding insult to injury, for he had been wounded in France and carried shrapnel in his body forever after. Eventually he met and married my mother, a nurse.

I have actually managed to edit this somewhat in the course of adding it to this page. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Anyway, the forum belonging to the person who solicited the original of the foregoing was a moderated group. She notes at the top of the discussion that members must participate or they will not be allowed to remain, yet she decided not to publish what I wrote there.

I had not kept a copy of my comments.

I wrote to her and said, "Hm. Is this a political group or an arts group? BTW, one can hardly expect wide participation in a forum where moderators censor content. My response to the query about why women do poorly in reaching the power levels in theater has apparently been rejected, I am guessing because it was deemed somehow unacceptable to respond with my honest opinion. If my thoughts are unwise, I'll take my lumps. I would appreciate it if you would copy me the "excised" comment because it was carefully considered and took about a half hour to complete. Perhaps I should have saved it on my end, but I didn't consider that it might be censored. I would like to have it emailed to me, please. One of the things I had edited out in my earlier response, which I think telling, is the reminder that in ancient Greece and Rome, thespians were legally enjoined from marrying into respectable families -- who today can really know why? Perhaps they were riddled with STDs or there were other reasons they were deemed "bad seed." In Rome, this ban was lifted so Theodora (a famous thespian) could marry the emperor. When she was empress, her son by a former liaison sought her out in the capital, whereupon she immediately spirited him off and had him killed (an account from Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire). As empress, Theodora is famous for having funded various refuges where women could go to avoid some of the pains and sorrows of being female, but by all accounts they were like prisons and women who "joined" had to be dragged there kicking and screaming.

"You posed an interesting topic, and the forum has potential, but it is not one that people will bother with if they know the heavy veil of political correctness will suppress the discourse and waste their time."

After the second submission, the woman did send me the earlier article (which is the reason we see it here, however somewhat altered), claiming the omission was my fault as I had sent it to a different forum (one in which I am not a member and thus not entitled to post). She then very solicitously inquired if I am okay, as if my comments were far enough beyond reason to bring my sanity into question, and demanded I either apologize or leave the group.

I did not reply, but did unsub from her list..

Slings and arrows - Saturday, August 2nd, 2014
I joined a new forum on a popular professional networking site. Straight away I responded to a query posed by the moderator asking for thoughts about why there are so few women in top positions in theatrical professions. With the caveat that I realize many outside of theater have experienced the same or worse than anything I've faced, I do believe all the conclusions one may deduce from experiences with struggles to succeed in the arts is, first, that this doesn't apply solely to the arts and, second, many of the behaviors in question may be ruinous to women whereas their male counterparts are unscathed or even lionized for doing the very same things to succeed. The following paragraph was my original response:

My father was a professional theater performer when young, until he was drafted and married an actress before going off to war. He warned me against going into the field, saying the people behave unprofessionally and some are actually really bad. I suppose Jacqueline Kennedy gave something like the same advice to her son John-John when she insisted vehemently he should not pursue acting. Despite parental disapproval, I had and still maintain a passion for theater -- I write book, lyrics and music for the musical stage and also produce and design -- but must confess I've gained plenty of insight into what my father meant. Since I'm not a man I can't say if they experience the culture in exactly the same way, but I find too many women willing to compete at the lowest levels of professionalism and overt non-professionalism -- undercutting others with gossip and lies and tangible acts of sabotage, giving and even soliciting sex to gain special consideration. I could go on, but most people having much experience in the field know what I mean and could add to the list. To this I can add the (to me) absurd presupposition on the part of people who think they might someday write something themselves and therefore need to preemptively destroy the "competition" i.e., those writers who make themselves targets by working on shows in other capacities.

To me it appears that while men may suffer some of the slings and arrows, inherently they aren't damaged by this as much, if at all. I've reached the point of deciding not to work on shows any more, but singlemindedly to stick to writing, trying to meet directors and producers interested in helping to develop my work, and pretending I'm uninterested in doing anything else. For a company who wants to help me by developing and producing my work, I will of course do anything I can in return.

I think, also, the Reality Show format popular on tv (but which I have never been able to watch, even for a single episode) teaches people ever more and naughtier tricks than they could ever muster on their own, and encouraging them to try on their own these "creative" and diabolical acts.

As for the actress who married my father, she collected his salary while he was in the service and promptly divorced him when he returned. This must have been an excruciating betrayal, and adding insult to injury, for he had been wounded in France and carried shrapnel in his body forever after. Eventually he met and married my mother, a nurse.

The forum belonging to the person who solicited the foregoing is moderated. In her introduction, she insists that members participate in the discussions or they will not be allowed to remain, yet on receiving my response, she declined to publish it.

I had not kept a copy of my comments, and it annoyed me that I had wasted my time.

I wrote to her, saying, "Hm. Is this a political group or an arts group? BTW, one can hardly expect wide participation in a forum where moderators censor content. My response to the query about why women do poorly in reaching the power levels in theater has apparently been rejected, I am guessing because it was deemed somehow unacceptable to respond with my honest opinion. If my thoughts are unwise, I'll take my lumps. I would appreciate it if you would copy me the "excised" comment because it was carefully considered and took about a half hour to complete. Certainly I should have saved it on my end, but I didn't consider that it might be censored. I would like to have it emailed to me, please.

"One of the things I had edited out in my earlier response, which I think telling, is the reminder that in ancient Greece and Rome, thespians were legally enjoined from marrying into respectable families. Who today can really know why? Perhaps they were riddled with ancient STDs or other dubious character or baggage that caused them to be deemed "bad seed." In Rome, this ban was lifted so Theodora (a famous thespian) could marry an emperor who had become obsessed with her. While she was empress, her son by a former liaison sought her out in the capital, whereupon she immediately spirited him off and had him killed (an account from Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire). As empress, Theodora is famous for having funded various refuges where women could go to avoid some of the pains and sorrows of being female, but by all accounts they were like prisons and women who "joined" had to be dragged there kicking and screaming.

"You posed an interesting topic, and the forum has potential, but it is not one that people will bother with if they know the heavy veil of political correctness will suppress the discourse."

After the second submission, the woman did send me the earlier article (which is the reason we can see it here), claiming the omission was my fault as I had sent it to another of her forums. Since I am not a member there, and thus not entitled to post, the questions seemed only to have multiplied. She then very solicitously inquired if I am okay as if perhaps my comments were far enough beyond reason that questions about my sanity were in order.

I did not reply.

Dedra - Friday, July 25th, 2014
Incredible points. Solid arguments. Keep up the great work.

Paris escort in NY - Monday, July 7th, 2014
I agree, this is a best article. A successful blog needs unique, useful content that interests the readers.

Thank you - Sunday, July 6th, 2014
I appreciate the several notes I received over my most recent post. The Ukrainian reader's won the day and appears here, perhaps -- as is well-known here -- because my dear Dad's family left that area around the time of the Ottoman collapse. He was born in 1917 in North Dakota, where many known as "Germans from Russia" settled in that migration of the lucky few who escaped slaughter during that horrendous period.

I am very glad to be alive today after a night of incredibly loud and frightful illegal fireworks going off all over the city -- really, seriously big bombs and bursts and blasts, like commercial-level fireworks, certainly -- right in the streets of the Boston neighborhoods, going on until nearly four in the morning. I hope they don't take it up again tonight, but wouldn't be surprised if they do, and this is all after the police posted signs and warnings all over the place that illegal fireworks are, well, illegal and would be punished to the full extent of the law. The only conclusion I can reach is that there were far too many incidents for officials to handle as the police were nowhere in sight. Thank heaven we'd had a thorough drenching during twelve or so hours of rain from Arthur and everything was so wet that we found it much less worrisome usual on the 4th of July.

Ukraine - Sunday, July 6th, 2014
Thank you very much for that astonishing article

Mockingbird sings Miranda's song - Friday, July 4th, 2014
How charming to discover on this 4th of July that more than 250 visitors to this forum went to the Miranda's Song page and listened to "Work For It." I love this, thank you.

But this, just now as I have checked the web site plays, is mere icing on the biscuit of happiness experienced this morning when I awakened to the sounds of this song drifting into my bedroom from the kitchen where N had pushed the button on the CD player out there, playing softly whatever I had been listening to (or in this case practicing) the night before, as is his habit.

The music he played happened to be a disk with several copies of the "Work For It" on it, and nothing more -- the very same track as is linked here -- reiterated numerous times for my study, contemplation, and practice while preparing the kitchen for the next morning.

When I joined him this morning, he had started that disc over and it was still playing as we had our breakfast with the kitchen door open on the 2nd floor back porch where there is always lots of birdsong to be heard at that hour.

With "Work For It" and its reprise running about six minutes, this entertainment went on for about 30 minutes or so while we were chatting quietly, waking up, and clinking the ice cubes in our tall glassses of iced coffee and eating our oatmeal (cooked the night before so it was nice and dry) mixed with avocado and salt and pepper. The next course was, as usual, a couple of dates and perhaps a fig along with a few roasted almonds, cashews, pecans and Brazil nuts (the usual mix I roast every couple of weeks and keep in a big jar on the side table) and oranges and grapefruit macerated in honey.

When the CD finally stopped playing, I realized that the mockingbird in the tree in the backyard was singing my song! This song's rhythm is so distinctive it was immediately recognizable. The bird had mastered two phrases, adding its own embellishments, and sang each selection a few times before alternating to the other. The genius creature seemed especially fond of incorporating the clarinet fills!

I swear to you, this is true! and what a way to start a day!

I was completely beside myself with happiness, and couldn't help wondering if my mentioning the bird in the last line of the song had anything to do with its decision to learn to sing it. This was absurdly unlikely, I had to admit, but then . . . why should it be any less unlikely than such a moment itself?

Now it is raining gently. The big storm that was supposed to travel up the coast and whollop our area looks like it will miss us.

This rain was called "Arthur," or to be exact, at first "Tropical Depression Arthur" then "Tropical Storm Arthur" and, finally, as I understand it -- quite late in the forecast -- "Hurricane Arthur."

We had noticed over the last week how incessantly happy the weather guys and gals on the tv were that we were at last in the path of a hurricane, after eight years of no hurricanes. This latter fact had to be a grim embarrassment to the weather professionals following Hurricane Katrina, when it was announced that each year we should expect such torrential disasters of increasing fury each year during hurricane season, due to global warming. Since then, the term "global warming" has been changed to "global climate change" to accommodate the fact that sometimes the climate appears to be growing colder instead, yet at other times there apparently still remains some hope that it is in fact getting hotter after all.

At any rate, it will certainly not have escaped the awareness of most viewers of the current weather reports on the Eastern seaboard of North America, that there was an embarrassment of glee at the dangers of Arthur in evidence, in what can fairly be characterized as the increasingly unreliable estimation of media "reporters" or, (dare I say) "news readers."

Quite peculiarly pertinent to this very point, N had something very interesting to add. He has been taking a break from his Gibbon (he is near the end of volume 5 [of seven]) and studying geology in the interim. This morning he came upon a quote by Ashley Montagu, cited in the textbook GEOLOGY (by Putnam/Bassett, Oxford Press, revised 1971). The section, "Global Tectonics, ends with a quote by someone named Hurley, who said, in 1968, "Geologists have a new game of chess to play, using a spherical board and strange new rules."

Immediately following this is a section subtitled "Caution," and it says, "Such play is enormous fun, of course, and it has a very definite purpose. The object is to come up with hypotheses that are not only speculations, however no matter how well-based they may be, but with hypotheses that can be tested. The danger, of course, is that once a unifying theory such as 'the new global tectonics,' or 'plate tectonics,' is stated, then it is a great temptation to find facts that fit into it and ignore facts that do not. As Ashley Montagu says, 'It is notorious that theorizers often become so enamored of their theories that, like their prejudices, they begin to mistake them for the Laws of Nature.' "

In consideration of this, and to reiterate a request I made some time ago in this forum, that everyone who believes themselves to be educated enough to advance their support of new theorems should first take a backward glance at the graveyard of erroneous and what often appear to our present sensibilities to have been laughably absurd "scientific theories." Please, especially, do take the further caution of exercising skepticism on any idea being promoted as "settled science," since -- as we all know very well by now-- there is precious little theorized as 'science' that ever turns out to be "settled."

Dear forum spammer - Sunday, June 29th, 2014
I published your attempt at misbehavior due to curiosity about where it was coming from, and am now certain is is from one specific place and so have reported your activity and removed your spam/post.

You may as well stop now, as no more will be allowed. Further, if I receive another, I'll block you from reading anything anywhere on the site.

This may be sad for the people in your group who are attempting to break their internet pornography habit.

I do applaud the efforts of these groups, as it's as reassuring to realize how many people (sorry, men) are realizing at last that the age-old cautions about pornography are borne out and being confessed/witnessed on so many forums. I find these in my visitors logs (not specific individuals identities, merely the forums from whence the visits to nine3's "Sacred Erotic" pages (mostly the deer exercise for men) arrive.

For those interested in further reading, there is (thanks, or no thanks, to this nearly 2-decades long "experiment" with availability of free high definition pornography) a great deal of new evidence that pornography does indeed make one stupid. Men, in droves, are realizing it at last the giving it up of their own accord.

A recent TED talk discusses the changes in the brain (most damaging in young men whose brains are selecting and discarding brain functionality based on the objects/subjects at which they are directing their formative attention. These mimic precisely any and all other forms of addiction and involve deep furrows in the brain dedicated to the coursing of specific behaviors through the brain and the elimination of other, unused channels.

It was interesting to learn that older men whose brains were already dedicated to their chosen life activities when they began "using" the porn drug, recover much more quickly after giving it up. The adult brain reconditions its attention within a couple of weeks whereas the formative brain (among males as young as 10 years old to around twenty years old) can take months or even years to recover.

It is also apparent that many experiencing the negative effects of pornography (depression, social anxiety, lethargy, irritability, attention deficit disorders and a host of other dysfunctions) are being prescribed drugs for these problems without ever admitting to the prescribing physician that they are addicted to pornography.

I suppose this explains why so many more young men than young women are taking these drugs. It's obviously a combination of shame, a sad failure of medical science, and the lies of omission that result in harmful chemical solutions (many with devastating side effects) are pressed into use when the simple and obvious fix is quitting the pornography sites.

This forum disallows posting of URLs, even to me, so I cannot tell you here the exact URL of the TED talk to which I refer, but I will post it in the column at right so that visitors can read it for themselves. The foregoing summary barely brushes the surface of the information provided in the talk, and I urge people to avail themselves of the information.

All the best, my friends, until later,

John - Monday, June 9th, 2014
Excellently written! From yours, I doubts all bloggers offered the same content material. Because of you, the internet is actually a greater location. Please keep it up!

wait for it . . ., it's coming, really - Monday, June 2nd, 2014
It seems likely that the subscribers have been frustrated by notifications recently that appear to be unconnected to new content. That's because I'm updating the WORK FOR IT lyric as the melody develops, and I fear some of you may be receiving notices of new content because of this. Sorry for the confusion.

There was a time when it seemed useful to share each version of a song, for eggheads (like me) who like to follow the artistic processes of others. But there are wayback machines out there (Alexa.com, e.g.) that let you access freely all previous versions of each and every web site, so that's one solution if this is the sort of thing of interest to you.

Again, my apologies if you were unrewarded due to machine alerts triggered by minor revisions.

I'm enjoying the process on this, the final song of UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS, so VERY much that I SUSPECT I may be compelled to share it before the subsequent sections (and their inevitable variations) are complete. But I now have melody and chords for the first system of the song, and am pleased by the lightly ironic and melancholy tone that seems to match the character and the dramatic moment even better than I might have hoped.

Miranda is truly a student of the early 21st Century, like many of the students in the fine institutions in my city.

Last summer I produced a play whose stage manager had a day job at a local university, working at a distinguished institution with some of these "entitled " students whose "helicopter parents" were intent on managing their children's academic careers right from the beginning, as though the kids were already in actual careers and needed agents, which compelled the parents, like eagles overseeing every development.

The people working in this office use an especially amusing alert to warn colleagues off unpleasant encounters. Indicating "INCOMING!," their alert system consists of blowing in and out on the cupped hand that taps lightly and quickly on the air stream flowing from pursed lips. This sounds remarkably like a hovering helicopter -- and very funny it is, especially accompanied by the stage manager's impressions of a sobbing student (who never had less than a 4.0 before now facing flunking a course at MIT) trying to get some special consideration for how truly brilliant they really are, and how deserving of a passing grade. Grade inflation is a scandal well-denigrated at many of the supposedly best institutions, but they aren't doing it at MIT : ) There would be little point in assisting students in gaming a course of study that will be increasingly reliant on a thoroughgoing grasp of things like math and science, eh! And so the tears flow profusely among certain offices catering to freshman.

Our Miranda is, somewhat unwittingly although not entirely disapproving of this sort of parental "supervision" from her own very well-place parents. They believe in the depth of their daughter's intellect; she, on the other hand, knows quite well she is of course a wonderful girl albeit not exactly among the most highly gifted elite of the universe.

Miranda is, for me unavoidably, a name evoking the bard's own beloved daughter in the metaphorically autobiographical THE TEMPEST, and therefore not a character I could ever dislike.

In this outing, our Miranda accepts a measure of parental munificence while revealing self-effacing awareness of her natural limitations. She isn't like Dragonfly (her friend Nick), a truly gifted young man. Nevertheless attempting to discover a way to benefit from what most people would consider her numerous unfair advantages, she tries to slice the baloney a little more to her liking without overweighing the scales of justice. She is my affectionate attempt to expose the difficulties of maintaining intellectual honesty in the internet age while acknowledging the likely impossibility of any glorious return to stricter standards and better-trained minds, at least through arguments and methods known at this time.

Johnd887 - Saturday, May 31st, 2014
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Antonietta - Thursday, May 29th, 2014
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Thanks again - Saturday, May 24th, 2014
I appreciate you acknowledging the pleasure you enjoy here, John and Antonietta.

Earlier this week I checked into many of the referrers to this page and was pleasantly gratified at all the lovely things being said. Maybe this life will prove in the end to be one of a humanitarian after all, even if my shows don't make it to Broadway : )

And thank you for linking to the nine3.com as once again, having watched with some happiness at the climbing number of visits, I received the usual offer from Google to get $50 FREE advertising for the first $150 I spend with them, and failing to agree to receive this gift the site's rankings have once again been decimated. If people did not understand before the internet that "nothing is FREE," they surely understand it now as everything FREE comes at considerable cost, especially when declined.

My sleeping dreams are usually amusing, bright and creative but, after some frustrations last week of the old familiar sort (grueling details of what it means when it's said this is a very long shot and a hard row to hoe and all that rot) I awoke more than a few times with what might not rate high in the terror scale of what people usually call "nightmares," but even so they were horribly frustrating and ugly visions of being manipulated, given the run-around, and being used most foully.

In one, a woman who played in one of my shows and later "crashed" at my house for several months was insisting that I must accompany her at an audition. I knew she did not sing well (hers had been a non-singing role on stage) and I resisted as hard as I could, saying I was a terrible sight reader, and so on and on coming up with reasons why I should not try this. But she had an answer for everything and in the end I drove her to the place she wanted to go and went in with her. I was given a large binder of "music," but there was no music in it at all. It was filled with pages upon pages of utter nonsense. Somewhere in the shabby, messy rooms, I found a place to sit, and while I searched in vain through the binder for something that might be performed, the woman I had brought with me disappeared into another room with a man. After awhile she reappeared, disheveled and insisting that we must leave at once. I realized then that the entire case had been a ruse and that she had brought me to this place so that she could perform an act of prostitution and then get a ride home.

I'm pretty sure I understand this dream's significance and perhaps it isn't at all obscure to you, dear readers, either : ) so . . .
how sad!

Well, how do you think this dream rates, compared to what you yourself might call a nightmare? Not very impressive, I'm sure! Yet all the next day I was in a blue funk, convinced that I was now entering the phase some mystics call "the dark night of the soul."

Then today N and I had a beautiful, long walk by the sea -- on the high curving cliffwalk on Deer Island along the North Shore in Winthrop, Mass. Walking is an excellent way to sort out a lyric. We often walk by the sea, but rarely from such a height looking down and out to sea. It was a lovely, breezy day for breathing billions of fresh new air molecules.

I made a few changes to the lyric, and in general think the song shows signs of falling onto a melody with a nice rhythmic signature and some amusing and unexpected comic departures from the routine. I can hardly remember what it felt like just a day or two ago to be soaked in blue fog without a clue as to why I am even alive.

That is, I do not want to remember how it felt! And dearly hope it will always be possible as it is today to sort through all the tribulations of my quest, and perhaps primarily and ultimately to view them as the experiences needed to teach me more about myself and about the greater landscape containing my colleagues, my species and my culture. I would like to think, as I did when quite young, that my calling will somehow transform all these things in some exquisite way, however it seems possible now that I shall be very lucky indeed if it simply succeeds in making a few people laugh, or smile at least, and because that makes them FEEL better they will know they are going to BE better, if not today then surely tomorrow. So be it! For light, life and love, XTO

Johnb494 - Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
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casz - Sunday, May 18th, 2014
Wow, I'm finding it very difficult to drill down on the music for the last song on UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS. I definitely have a line on the rhythm and sound -- surprise, it's another jazz tune : ) but I thought it was going to be a lady sass like Katy Perry might write. But really, how could it be, with those lyrics? Now I'm finding the old-time swingy (gypsy) French/German jazz sound for her song is rounding out Miranda's characterization, as well. Initially I'd thought of her as a spoiled albeit somewhat thoughtful entitled little brat with helicopter parents. That's a clich we're all so fond of these days, right?

But the sound developing for the song conveys considerable irony and resignation that lend depth and make me feel much more sympathetically toward her when she sings, e.g.,

Each night I think the next could easily break my head
Then spent I lay me down upon my lonely bed
Amazed at how among such towering lights I creep
And let the mocking mockingbird sing me off to sleep

Conceptually, much better, yes?

Also much more difficult to write! I believe it will change but a word or two of her dialog, so -- largely -- this will be conveyed through casting and acting. Ahhhh, that's nice. It feels like something great is coming --, if it would only come out . . .

And soon!

I really want to finish the editing on LA MERRIO AND THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN and publish it. Readers are downloading it like crazy, and it's very sad not to be able to satisfy what may be a temporary thirst! Maybe I should try doing both things at the same time : ) God bless you all.

If I'm not mistaken, there are two or three more novels lying in my drawer that could follow it up, thus substantially increasing my portfolio with things that are already nearly there as well as much simpler to execute than a musical.

Oy, what was I thinking, deciding to write musicals -- a genre that the powers that reign do not smile upon when authored by females! Really, it is such a shock -- over and over again -- each time someone professes wild enthusiasm for my musicals, with the caveat that their own proteg (invariably, a man) will of course be taking the composing credit, and even (on one occasion) the lyrics credit, eh?

I think I told you the sad story of the young man who tried that (and failed yet did execute a decades long character assassination campaign against me before he moved on). He is now "distinguished" to be on the editorial staff of a very famous (and lately notorious) newspaper in New York.)

Oh, but that's right -- ! I didn't CHOOSE to do this. I HAD to. So, oh well. It's fate. That old hag.

Cheery-bye!

the wages of political correctness - Monday, April 28th, 2014
A friend who is a French national living in the US is having a tough time with the discovery that in "the land of the free" with constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech, interpersonal relationships can be destroyed in a moment by the least little thing. As she so charmingly described the problem, " I know people you just mention one thing and bingo, they are pest about you just mentionning one little thing who do not match their beleifs..."

What she is struggling with is something that has literally shut down free and open discourse in our nation at this time. Called "political correctness," it's an extreme "tolerance mania" that turns out to be a way to rationalize intolerance: like most intellectually manipulated constructs dictating behavior, it backfires.

While we're on the subject, I'll say something politically incorrect about the NBA Clippers owner busted for "racism." The girlfriend he is arguing with is obviously black, however media decision making deems inappropriate the overt expression of that fact, instead just showing her picture. (Actually, she's obviously "mixed race," which the Jim Crow concept in this country convoluted hopelessly, but that's another issue. In our sad condition today, any mixed race including negro blood is called "black" -- another intellectually manipulated construct that backfired).

From the team owners cajoling tone and whipped demeanor, I immediately suspected that she had set him up and this was to be a charade, and maybe she even recorded the conversation herself. The clip is obviously selective, erring significantly in the full disclosure department.

What I saw was a lonely old man wrapped around the finger of a sharp little tart who is banging the guys on the team and humiliating an emotionally impoverished person who nevertheless doesn't want to break up with her. Instead of clarifying that the argument is about her street morality (i.e., streetwalker lack of morality), and complicated by the awkwardness of attempting to conduct their disagreement in a public place, he made the mistake of referring to her objectionable liaisons as black, as if that were the problem, when the reality it is mainly that she's doing it "in flagrante" and he's trying to cope with it. He's saying it's a race problem, but it's actually a cuckolding problem.

I've personally discovered there may indeed come a time when one may need to correct a situation, and if there is something obvious that can be used to soften the blow, at the time that may seem like the kinder approach even if it makes one look the worse.

I'll admit I've been there.

For example, I once knew a black man who was on the way to becoming my boyfriend. This guy was actually pretty overweight, but smart and talented and we got along very well. Then I cooked dinner for us at my house, and he literally consumed the grilled meat in a single gulp, then proceeded to eat my entire week's food -- literally, everything I had in the house -- and drank up all the booze, too. At the time I wasn't financially established and really couldn't afford stuff like that, plus it was grotesque.

I told him I couldn't see him any more because the race issue made it too complicated. In retrospect perhaps I should have been completely candid and said, "It's because you're a fat slob, a glutton and an alcoholic and it's shocking!"

We sometimes call things "racism," yet if the party in question is a "racist," would they be in that particular relationship at all? Sometimes, it's obvious there is simply more to it than meets the eye or makes it into the brush off.

Hi kids - Monday, April 21st, 2014
In answer to your queries:

1.) The "notify me" button must be a feature on your browser as it is not something residing on this page. Try clearing your disk cache.

2. I looked at this page in IE on a Windows machine and it looks okay to me. Let me know which machine and version you're using if you want me to try to fix it.

3. If you want to be a writer, then write. Also, read. Whenever you sit down to write, if you're having a problem with anything, then read something. Anything will do, but I recommend history or poetry. I did learn something about writing from Lazebnik (which means "the barber"). That was really his name, however he was a barber of prose, not of hair. He was my private writing professor in college and a lovely man.

But, honestly, what I had to learn from formal education about writing was mainly things like avoiding misplaced modifiers. From the age of 11 forward, I was always writing -- automatic writing, really, as I have no idea of what was in those voluminous papers. They always got top marks, however, and were posted on the school bulletin boards for all to read before being sent home with me, where my mother promptly and methodically destroyed all of them. My sixth grade teacher got hip to the fact that the papers were not being saved, so when it came to a book I wrote and showed to him, he simply refused to return it to me. That was, of course, the only copy. If he kept it, it is probably the only example of my early writing that still exists.

I once wrote a book of poems which I illustrated with watercolors on each entry's facing page. I don't remember anything about the poetry, but the paintings were mainly of birds and flowers. I hid this book in a metal box, which I buried, but my mad elder sister somehow knew how to find it. She gathered all her friends around a little bonfire they built whereupon, as they laughed and jeered at me and mocked my poetry and my paintings, my sister threw the book into the fire. She was, although quite mad right from the earliest age I can recall, marvelously adept at controlling people. The the bonfire incident is just one example of how she could get people to do almost anything she wanted.

In her own (to me, always frightening) way, she is wise. For example, our family got a piano, and because she had wanted it and begged for it (as we all did), for some reason she believed it was her own and no one else's piano, and our parents went along with this misunderstanding for reasons I won't get into here. So I was not allowed to play it, even though I was drawn to it to the point of feeling tortured by the denial of my desire to learn to play it. In one of our more recent (rare) visits, my sister mentioned this piano, and I said I felt I could have benefited greatly by learning to play when young, and she replied, "Yes, but look who's singing and playing now, so it doesn't matter!" And in the tiny world of our sibling rivalry, this is precisely as well as painfully yet comically absolutely true.

But I digress.

I have very little confidence in the ability of higher education at this late state in the culture to help most students in any useful way, unless you happen to be accepted at one of the top colleges that hand out lifetime carte blanche cards for career advancement. This has little to do with talent or ability and everything to do with reinforcing the reputation of said top colleges by installation of their alumni in the highest levels of every conceivable institution and industry. Sorry, this is an aristocracy now, or at least an oligarchy. (I think I would actually prefer an aristocracy where at least certain standards of taste and decorum are enforced, as opposed to the current reign by cultural and moral philistines which seems to leave, as the only way to make an impression, the enactment of some depravity or other as the preferred method of getting one's name out there.)

A secondary way to achieve success is by moving to a city with lots of rich people one might meet by taking cooking classes and so forth with them. By developing one's ability to suck up in exactly the ways they find meaningful, they may ultimately prove quite useful.

In either case, those entitled few who have for some reason accepted you into their midst, you may be recommended for a good job. Never fear, If you are lacking talent or other natural ability AND you achieved your level through the suck up rather than the top academic background -- say you're actually more in the realm of a beautiful loser -- you will not be fired. Instead you will get "kicked upstairs." Sometimes your benefactors will even pay the New York Times or other bastions of approved significance to take you on for a time, thus graciously ridding themselves of your presence. You will thus have another chance to "prove yourself" in the relevant areas, and if it turns out you really cannot write (for example), not at all, without hours upon hours of effort expended by a highly-paid editor, for example, your "contract" will quietly expire but you will nevertheless benefit from a distinguished entry on your resum and the "portfolio" of bylines you now own, which only you and editor know have been altered from your original submission beyond all recognition as anything you could ever possibly have written.

Alternatively, if your alma mater was truly among the glittering heights, you may be promoted again rather than being gently shuffled off.

Both cases have indeed actualized among people that I have known.

To the abhorrence for the misplaced phrase instilled in me by the excellent Lazebnik, I am reminded of a sentence in last week's New York Times that said the following (or, as I recite from memory, something very close to this), "It was announced that Chelsea Clinton would be giving birth later this year at an event in New York."

Despite all their troubles (editorial and otherwise) I do still read it every day.

Draft of final lyric for Upside Downstairs - Friday, April 18th, 2014
Miranda, the "sub genius" daughter who is working to save her friend Nick's grant from the greater powers of entitlement, both resents and appreciates being in the position to benefit from "helicopter parents" assuring her success at every pass despite the fact that she believes she has done nothing on the level of someone like Nick or others in her family who she considers more intellectually gifted than herself. Of course, those who intercede on her behalf insist she is worthy, but while grateful for their encouragement and the strings they pull on her behalf, she knows, she says, "I gotta work for it."

This is how the lyric appears before any music has been contemplated. It will certainly change somewhat in the process of being nailed to meter, harmony, and all music's other interesting, transporting, transforming, mystical and deliriously compelling elements : )

BTW, the words in [brackets] are those that will be altered/substituted in the repetition of the refrain.

Work for It (Miranda's Song) Lyric by Cass von Braun, copyright 2014 all rights reserved

Oh, pardon me. Who said that? Ah, I forget!
Won't someone out there on the internet
Before a victim roars, please help me find the source
'Cause I accidentally stole it or somehow purloined an edit

Recovered at random from memory
When at last it presented itself to be quoted (by me)
Yet I still haven't found an author who deserves the credit
It sounds like Ezra Pound but my roommate swears it's Eliot

[refrain]
Oh, do not be so surprised
Did you think such a charming prize could trip
Like lightning, from the tip of just any old lip?
Could I deliver flip as clever as any old hen's quip?
If it mattered, I'd be flattered that you consider me
In that category, but doubt not, I fear not -- not one little bit
I know I gotta work, I gotta work, baby, I gotta work
Work for it

If there isn´t any winner ´til it´s been announced at dinner, we
Yet may sup from the cup of brass tenaci-tea
So we keep on teasing, as all our pleasing is food
To fatten up for seizing some livestock, like the flock before the fleecing

To escape obscurity's plight I'll need a copyright or
Brilliant sudden insight to kill this appetite for
Parental favors freely tendered sans request
Ere any effort I have rendered pass the test

[refrain]

Each night I think the next could easily break my head
Then spent I lay me down upon my lonely bed
Amazed at how among such towering lights I creep
And let the mocking mockingbird sing me off to sleep

[refrain]

[vamp]
I gotta work, I gotta work, baby, I gotta work, work for it . . .

Objective criticism - Sunday, April 13th, 2014
Af friend asked, "I am just curious, how can criticism of an artistic work be "objective?"

To my surprise, another person retorted immediately, "Excellent point!" as though the question had been rhetorical (an argument), and suggesting there is no such thing as objective criticism of artistic work.

So I said that objective critique could summarize/clarify the (presumed or expressed) artistic intention, in the case of theatrical works: comment on various ways intention is or is not realized, whether it seeks to present or argue intellectual/linguistic tangibles -- a truth or an sleight of hand, a pun, a satire or a farce, to name a few (all valid, yet certainly not all guaranteed to succeed with audience and/or please heaven : )

The classic unities of time, place and action can also be addressed — whether suspended or not, and how effective those choices are.

Then there is consistency/support of intention through characterization, text, subtext that will probably be required commentary. All of this (and much more) can be done before the contemplation of an actual performance or design element develops, and may eliminate a world of shortcoming in playwriting, guiding the choices in directors and designers who can do so much, even create value in a work that, were it not for the "living" feature of "play/staging" would be a failure.

"Waiting For Godot" is an example of a play that at the surface level of text on the page to most people might seem an utterly confusing (and not at all inherently entertaining) exercise in nonsense. It's the dighters (good old Middle English word, that. "Dighters" means, roughly, "writers, authors, makers, directors, designers, contrivers, forgers, builders, painters — just about any creative or for that matter procreative (as its usage sometimes also included seducers and plain old f***ers) personage that come together to make or break that "play."

Perhaps the best way to understand it is that is contextual and means "those who were doing it," whatever "it" means being understood from the context. Dighters is an exceedingly old word, and well-used from Chaucer through Ralph Waldo Emerson and maybe a little later. It fell out of favor for a century or two but (maybe partly due to its appearance here ; ) may be making a comeback in recent times. I do believe among the millions of visitors here there have been more than a few dighters from the mass media and other so-called intellectual callings checking in regularly and reaping inspiration for their own applications.

Anyway, I was glad I bothered responding to the questioner about how criticism of art can be objective, because both fellows seemed greatly surprised and glad to hear that criticism not only CAN be but SHOULD be approached through Criticism (capitalized, as a genre of literature popularized in the Twentieth Century but seemingly already falling into obscurity).

Note: other ALL CAPS expressions here are due to the difficulty of making proper italics. The engine requires them to be done in html, and that can open the door to the blighters seeking inroads into the operating system.)

But I digress.

I finally feel like addressing a recent so-called critique of HARRIER ANGEL from an almost famous off-Broadway theater. The primary respondent to my submission ripped the book mercilessly. But the nearest the critic came to expressing anything about what he thought its artistic intention is was so say, "There feels like there's a RENT influence/vibe here, but only with unlikeable or uninteresting characters."

It seems necessary to say that, if that critic had noticed the copyright and world premiere performances dates, he should have realized HARRIER premiered in exactly the same week as RENT, and in another city, and therefore is very unlikely to have been influenced by that work. It might also have been useful to ask himself whether a piece called "HARRIER" "_________ [ANYTHING]" would likely intend to present conventionally "likeable" or "interesting" (in the NYC frame of reference, i.e. Broadway) characters, and whether, indeed, RENT's Mimi (a drug addict and thief with HIV) and, for that matter, any of RENT's characters are in any special way "likeable" or "interesting." They are all rather bland, really, and this has been a perennial criticism of the that show. I do not think anyone would call HARRIER ANGEL's characters "bland."

RENT enjoyed explosive notice and a huge rush of sentimental favoritism (not to suggest cult fanaticism) resulting (in my opinion, almost solely) from the tragic fact that Jonathan Larson, on the eve of its Broadway debut, literally dropped dead -- my guess is from the stress of his extreme poverty and an around the clock struggle for who knows how long (years!) to bring his work to the stage -- from an aneurism, as I remember, on the clavicle -- poor man! Truly, I have myself on many occasions while developing theatrical pieces felt that throb of stress in the carotid, and it sends me straight to the couch to perform my rituals of relaxation and cosmic re-alignment, to the kitchen for a big spoonful of lecithin granules to help keep the pipes thick, bouncy and elastic), and to my prayers where I can swear I am attempting heaven's work, and a nap.

Producing theater can be very stressful. It is inherently so, and may in fact be the origin of the ancient Greek expletive, "It ain't the heat it's the humanity!" Examples to follow, dear reader.

As for our premiere performances, they were a huge success with sold out performances and a tremendous buzz of excitement. We did have the opportunity to go forward with it at once, but there is a wonderfully horrific back story of intrigue and self-destructiveness, seduction and subterfuge, deception, jealousy and betrayal and flagrant treachery that may or may not one day find its way into the public arena. If ever my work succeeds enough to merit such, I will tell this story. Some details have been revealed elsewhere in this forum, yet barely touching the surface of the horrors surmounted in bringing it to life. When Larson died, I knew exactly how it could happen and truly It's actually quite amazing that I did not myself drop dead in the effort in bringing HARRIER ANGEL to the stage. Thankfully, unlike Larson, I had a strong, kind husband by my side and so we suffered merely a financial loss of around $35,000 (not counting the value of any of my own time and effort for the better part of two years) and a year and a half of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (at least!) for me, after the fact. This dissipated quite steadily in the writing of THE RAZZ, which is an act of forgiveness for all of us involved in creating the living hell on earth that HARRIER ANGEL became.

The fault lies with the way the production company was structured (with tremendous optimism and na飗ete, on my part). Those in executive positions owned the production (although for reasons I could not understand at the time, none of them actually signed their contracts and returned them to me). But I did consider it a binding verbal contract nonetheless, and going forward with that production would have meant being effectively married financially to a couple of dear people I still love and admire yet also to several others the depth of whose beastly behaviors I had in no way in my entire life up to that point been prepared to anticipate I would ever encounter among our beloved species, let alone those who called themselves friends and colleagues. Some told me I go ahead anyway and screw them out of the deal later, but that's another unthinkable, and utterly foreign and repulsive to my sense of being and purpose in the world. So, HARRIER ANGEL stopped in its tracks.

An objective critique of the book would have revealed to that particular reader, that HARRIER ANGEL is much more like THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW than any other work, especially musically (and through the chorus-like commentary from, well, the chorus, an element he hated), with the social milieu of an underclass like an urban GRAPES OF WRATH or a modern THREEPENNY OPERA.

Many of the characters are shrewd and manipulative and among them some are, although physically attractive and dressed to impress, rebellious, "outside the law" and even criminal. There are distinct references to Greek tragedy in the interpersonal relationships as well as culturally, and in classical power struggles between individual, church and state.

The aforementioned "critic" entity at issue here (and a secondary critic from the same organization who apparently had no influence in the decision making but whose comments were included presumably in the interest of fairness, who said he thought young people would like the book) had promised to reply to my submission within six months, but it turned out to be twenty-six months before I would hear from them.

Given the surge in libertarian sentiment among young people today (perhaps the best or at least the most expensively educated generation in history, and also the one with the shabbiest prospects for achieving independence and satisfying economic conditions in adult private life), it may be a wonderful idea for this organization to rethink its rejection of HARRIER ANGEL. It was targeted for arrival twenty years in the future, and is now exactly nineteen years out. My college professor (who wanted to mount it there in 2007, unfortunately the school wanted me to pay for it, which I have not since the premiere been in a position to do), when I told him it was set 20 years in the future from 1995 said, "TWENTY years. I think it's more like SIXTY years!") So vastly changed was the America of HARRIER ANGEL from the America of 2007, it was unthinkable to him that we could reach such a pass in only twenty years. But, as it happens, the America of 2014 has turned out to be EXACTLY like the TWENTY YEARS OUT America I envisioned. This surprises even me, even named for a prophet and a priestess as I am -- beloved of Apollo, with my five planets in Libra and believing myself to be who I am -- with always the same gifts (though not accursed as) my namesake, for I have a life of love and creative engagement and therefore cannot be made unhappy by mere blindness on the part of so-called powerful keepers of the cultural keys of Broadway.

The rejection in question came from a reasonably distinguished house (at least it has direct connections to a glorious past), yet all can see them taking chance after chance developing new work that falls with barely a whimper it is so mundane. I suppose they are entrenched in upstart theater culture of NYC and thus completely incapable of lifting the blinders and checking outside the box sufficiently to recognize that they are pinning their hopes on inferior work of no consequence and they will only continue to lose money while works from outsiders (like THE BOOK OR MORMON) fly to the commercial and artistic heights their forebears used to inhabit. Hopefully, their coffers are full from historic excellence (and sensible investments) that will continue to pay off endlessly. It is understandable that they might be highly unmotivated to lift up their eyes to the needs of theater in today's world. Certainly they are, as far as development is concerned, at the very brink of irrelevance.

So the six month promised reply took twenty-six months, and yet it has taken me a mere nine months to formulate a riposte.

By the way, both critics were extremely favorable toward the music.

A bient魌, mes amis,

Cristo - Thursday, April 10th, 2014
There is news on the academic front that the 2012 papyrus fragment quoting Jesus referring to his wife has now been examined by Harvard and MIT (and other institutions) and has been determined to be ancient, i.e., not a forgery. This has inflamed the perennial argument roiling the Roman Catholic clergy.

I'm cross posting my comment submitted at The New York Times because it seems highly unlikely that they will publish it. The material below given as a quote is what I submitted:

"In the Bible, Jesus is called "Rabbi" ("my master"), and rabbis have to be married. The first protestants (Lutherans) frequently refer to this as one of the factors discrediting the RC's celibate priesthood. Of course, Orthodox catholicism never subscribed to this as it was considered unnatural to the point of impossibility, and Lutherans are accepted by RC as communicants. Hopefully we are getting close to the time when RC will admit the position was one designed to consolidate power, and while it has done that materially there has been is a high cost to RC moral authority. Gay friends have told me that for the past few decades the RC priesthood has been regarded as a homosexual lifestyle choice. "

I'm certainly not opposed to RC in general. In my own marriage, we are Lutheran (wife) and RC (husband), and I can assure everyone truthfully that there are no conflicts or lack of mutual respect whatsoever between the two liturgies. Today I wanted to weigh in on the argument once more, in case it can help Pope Francis in his contemplations.

I commented to this same point when the issue arose in 2012, and although NYT did not publish it, this forum almost immediately received five visits from the Vatican (michele.vatican.va -- 3 Nov. 2012). Among other things, the visitor accessed the "Magic.html" pages at Nine3 that describe the sacred sexual practices for attaining unity with the Great One through Tao of Sex. These pages, of course, remain (second only to this forum) among the most popularly studied components of this web site. I hope the Holy See benefitted from the information.

Heaven protect all seekers on the path to understanding and peace profound,
xoxo, xto

Mad science - Thursday, March 27th, 2014
The NYT yesterday in Mark Bitten's editorial proclaimed . . . [ruffles and flourishes] "Butter is back!" Of course what do you do with (and how do you characterize) the two (three!) decades of trans fats and other fake fats that were so heavily touted as being the "healthy alternatives." Uh, those melt at 148癋. We-e-e-ell, your body is 98.6癋, so how equally well-grounded would you have to believe that "margarine" won't clog up the pipes? (It was developed to fatten turkeys, but it killed them so "scientists" decided to repurpose it for human consumption -- as health food, no less.) Plus: they taste BAD.

And moreover -- they don't break down as readily (or cost as much as) natural fats, so the fryer bath can be used much longer and a much higher temperatures. Depending on what you're promoting, that might be "well-founded," Will. Today I see (also in NYT) that GenX are much more likely than Boomers to have diabetes. I think I see where this is going.

Something like that! - Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
Will look up to find the exact time when Crimea joined Russia, but it was a LONG TIME AGO -- more than 300 years? That's amazingly surprising, isn't it?? It would seem to be a fact unimportant to the case. REeally ignored. Or is that IGNORANT?? Anyway, shocking how ready we are to believe "history" and "tradition" and "culture" don't matter beyond a couple of decades.

It really makes you wonder why we should care as it really doesn't affect us one way or the other, and they voted for it, didn't they?

Lancer - Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
So Crimea was part of Russia for 350 years, and NOT for
. . . 23 years??

WOW.

Crimea - Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
Quite well aware that many visitors enjoy this forum as something that is "just for fun," if history repeats, I may be bombarded obstreperously for including this "serious" topic today. But, although I successfully resisted discussion of Russia´s annexation of the Crimean penninsula when it was in the headlines prior to the Maylasia Flight 370 disappearance (and pushed offscreen during that period), now that it has apparently re-entered the media awareness as a suitable topic for continued attempts to vilify Mr. Putin, I´m afraid I will not be able to continue to ignore the subject this time around.

Don´t get me wrong — I don´t kid myself or hope to hornswaggle anyone else about what kind of ambitious tough the clever and intelligent (proverbial "cunning") Russian leader must be (based on his background in the KGB, if for no other reason), however my father´s heritage is "Germans from Russia," and I can say without qualification that they were proudly Russian (and German) and found themselves in significantly reduced circumstances upon their immigration to the USA in 1917.

These ethnically German Russians were invited by Catherine the Great to settle the Crimean penninsula and northern part of Ukraine, where they were give land much as the American homesteaders were in the 19th Century. The area they settled, along the Black Sea, was at that time (around 1760) largely uninhabited — a virtual frontier. It was Catherine´s idea that these Germans (Lutherans with the traditional pride and joy in a vigorous work ethic) would develop agricultural settlements as a buffer against mauraders from Turkey who were (as my grandmother Julia and her sister my great aunt Alexandra referred to them) Cossacks.

When I was a child, they would tell us stories about their lovely existence living in a walled house in Sebastopol, which they never forgot to describe as having an almost tropical climate lest we should think they suffered the indignities of the eastern regions like Siberia, of the horrible discomforts, though far worse than Petersburg, e.g., which is bad enough. The told us how they would climb up on ladders in their beautiful garden and peek out through the tiny windows in the wall to see men on horseback riding through the streets of the town, stealing and killing.

By this time their people had been in the region for hundreds of years and worshipped as both Lutherans and Orthodox Catholics and spoke both German and Russian. The men continued to work their lands in the countryside, but the women and children stayed in town, and they were very prosperous.

It was the Bolsheviks who ultimately drove them out. They lost most of their money and possessions, and those who couldn´t see what was coming and clear out quickly enough also lost their lives.

Most landed in the Dakotas, where there is now a sort of cult celebrating their culture, cuisine, artistry and artisanship as shoemakers and lace makers. Search the web site of North Dakota State University if you would like to know more about them. But, having been isolated in a secluded enclave for a couple of hundred years, their antiquated German was confusing to many in the USA, who thought they were speaking Yiddish. This gave rise to the legend in our family that we are jews, an idea further reinforced by my mother´s family through the fact that my father´s people were wealthy (i.e., jews) because they bought a farm rather than carving out a homestead as so many others were doing.

My mother´s family were the children of a disgraced Prussian Guardsman -- a musically talented, multi-lingual, and by all accounts brilliantly educated "extra son" of a Danish family given a baronial seat in Potsdam by Frederick II for the favor of providing excellent horses to the cavalry -- my grandfather. Unqualified to inherit, this young man chose the military over the church but very early in his career proceded to brawl his way into a duel, the consequences of which he escaped by the skin of his teeth that very night when his parents got advance news of his folly and were able to secure a berth for him as a merchant marine on a ship that sailed for America the very next morning. His name was Frederick Wilhelm Hardwig Ludwig Leopold von Braunschweick, and my grandmother (a American woman -- well, girl, really -- of English-Irish ancestry) considered herself extremely fortunate to marry him despite the fact that he spent considerable sums in support of a mistress with whom he had two children, and his beloved horses (always the best in the county). Thanks to the impractical and self-indulgent nature of this man, the maternal side of my family scratched out of the midwest one homestead after the next, keeping each tract just long enough to be allowed to sell out (after five years) before moving on to the next prospect.

Although I´m not certain, it sounds as if the mistress and her children shadowed the "legitimate" family, moving whenever they did to maintain proximity and support. I´ve been told that although we have not been allowed to know who they are, they do know who we are.

I hope if any of them ever find out about about me, they will come forward. The possibility of meeting some new kinspeople is one (of only three or four) reasons for having kept his name (or most of it), "Von Braun" in defiance of many among us cousins and aunts and uncles who remember F.W. with a rather surly and resentful energy.

After failing to persuade my mother not to marry my father, one of the jests my mother´s family found most amusing was to induce my father to speak German with them and then, when he did it, jab eachother with a wink and a nod and say, "He´s a jew."

To this day I sometimes say that I´m jewish, much in the spirit as John F. Kennedy´s saying he was a Berliner -- because those suffering slings and arrows in common in some sense really do belong to the same group, whether the reasons for their commonality be factual, poetic, comedic or entirely false.

But, as often happens, I digress.

On the subject of Crimea, I wish to point that when press reports say of the Crimea that it is "heavily cultivated," it was the Germans of Russia, whose descendant I am, that tamed it and farmed it into the lush and fertile land it now is -- since days in the 18th Century. Before the American founders even dreamed of revolution or independence or constituion, Crimea was under the sovereignty and administration of Russia, and highly developed culturally and economically.

I wish that Americans might take some pleasure in looking into this subject in an encyclopedia to discover the history of Russia and the Crimea not reported by those wishing to characterize Putin and the Russians as interlopers on this land, In fact, administration of Crimea was turned over to Ukraine for logistical reasons, because it was much easier to have Ukraine manage it than to attempt to do if from Moscow (quite a distance removed).

In fact, the total years over the past three or so centuries that Crimea has not been a department of Russia is just slightly more than . . . twenty years.

Does anyone really think that stacks up with any credibility in the course of the region's history? Sorry, it´s just a blip on the screen, as they say. At most, of no consequence. At worst, an indication of a mistake.

Regarding those old Crimeans dancing in the street in celebration of the vote to return to Russia — did you notice those very amusing and clunky shoes they were hopping around in? Those shoes are probably the same ones that were made for them when their feet reached their adult size, decades ago. The shoes are handmade, and when the soles wear out they take them to the shoemaker and have new ones sewn on. They wear the same shoes their whole lives long, and judging from the animation of their joy and the heights to which the old folks were leaping, my guess is they have very few bunions or hammer toes to show for the years.

I'm very fond of handmade shoes, although I have but one pair and they cost hundreds of dollars. I keep them for special occasions, but how I wish I could have worn them all my adult life -- especially since the Clinton era, only twenty or so years ago, that marked the end of the time when Americans could find decent footwear. I don´t know what it is about Chinese shoes, but no matter how much they cost, I simply cannot wear them. Oh, well, you know what they say about how the Chinese think women´s feet should be treated -- not a wholesome thought.

Until later, mes amis --
y´r l´t´l´ xto

Hey LA - Friday, March 14th, 2014
just a reminder that the forum is moderated -- ergo. It isn't necessary to send and resend a message. I do receive it. Obviously if it's gibberish (possibly disguising malicious code) it will not appear here. That doesn't mean it did not go through.

Be well . . . and be GOOD : )
cx

Lillian - Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
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Western Civilization - Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Reading the preface to THE GREAT CONVERSATION

Hutchins, Robert, The Great Books of the Western World, Vol 1, The Great Conversation, (Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1982, Preface p. xiii).

In the preface, Hutchins argues compellingly that the neglect of these books … constitutes a calamity for the west:

"We believe that the reduction of the citizen to an object of propaganda, private and public, is one of the greatest dangers to democracy. a prevalent notion is that the great mass of the people cannot understand and cannot form an independent judgment upon any matter; they cannot be educated, in the sense of developing their intellectual powers, but they can be bamboozled. The reiteration of slogans, the distortion of the news, the great storm of propaganda that beats upon the citizen 24 hours a day all his life long mean either that democracy must be prey to the loudest and the most persistent propagandists or that the people must save themselves by strengthening their minds so that they can appraise the issues for themselves."

Creation of The Great Books of the Western World collection was based on the traditional idea that no one could be well educated without a having a better than passing if not thorough familiarization with these masterpieces. These are books that have withstood the test of time.

In these volumes, the editorial board present the books that have made a major contribution to western civilization without editorializing about the ultimate veracity or other value of the masterpieces, in confidence that the inquiring mind will learn to discriminate of its own accord and according to its own sensibility between those parts that may now be antiquated vs. that which has lasting value that will be useful for the future.

I hope you're right - Thursday, February 6th, 2014
If true, this would be rather reassuring to people who fear the worst for their investments in the markets but are truly at a loss concerning better alternatives. Even though a lot of people have said (and continue to say) another collapse is imminent, it's very hard to see how publicly held companies are over-valued.

profit taking - Thursday, February 6th, 2014
imo the drop in the Dow Jones Average in January was the result of people taking profits to get money they really need but didn't want to or couldn't afford to pay tax on in 2013. Financial commentators used to talk about profit taking quite a bit, but you hardly ever hear about it now.

The Dow's rebound in the early days of February supports this argument.

Pleas - Thursday, January 30th, 2014
Confidential to SW:
Please get in touch! I see your visits and it breaks my heart to think you could care so much yet never follow through. Nobody lives forever, and it will be very sad to know someone might come to the end without doing something they feel deeply should be done.

I just got another of those "glowing with praise rejections," this one from a wonderful university program where they said great things but also that they do not have the talent or resources to mount my work. Everyone is not like you, SW, who can see your way through original works of any depth or complexity.

IMO, HARRIER is not even especially deep or complex. It's just scary, and for obvious reasons that you and I both know, i.e., the power that it releases that will begin to reverse the socio political downward trend of a culture.

Art IS more powerful than politics. Unfortunately, you and I are not the only ones who know this. The bad guys know it, too, and will do as much as they can to silence expressions like HARRIER. We should start small in a remote place. When it explodes (as it will, as it has already proven), and with the kind of support that your interest would provide, it would soon create its own momentum that entrenched power cannot contain.

If you cannot make yourself stop following me here, then at least set u a protocol to hide your IP. Sometimes I feel it is killing me to know that someone with your genius and your experience does care yet will not act.

If you can't risk HARRIER, then let me suggest you take a look at UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS. It's in pretty good shape now, needing only one more song. And it has a much higher PC factor that very few, if any, would fault.

I love you, but please don't make me see your visits if you cannot act. My existence laboring in obscurity is really quite pleasant most of the time, but you are someone the nature of whose current and ongoing interest can spoiling my happiness. It's hurting me, so please take a moment to conceal your interest if you cannot bring yourself to move forward together with me.

Thank you, dear soul.

For profound peace,
Cassandra

Thanks for advice - Monday, January 27th, 2014
Your ip address makes me think you are for real instead part of a google plot to take over the world : )

So thanks for your advice. However I'm in a phase of watching my web stats without benefit of the sort of tactics you describe. I don't know whether or not doing so will represent a more authentic image of the visitorship/interest.

What I can say so far is that nine3.com's ranking fluctuates pretty wildly between being in the 1-million vs the and that in the past it has seen very steady expansion to much more dizzying heights only to get knocked down to the 3 (or even lower) ranks with great suddenness, usually following a sales pitch by google to suggest I should buy their services and my subsequent failure to comply.

Perhaps the greatest number of visits generated by sites linking in here come to visit the Tao of Sex information, that that mostly from support groups for men who have discovered that their pornography "addiction" is extremely deleterious (often after great loss of vitality through dissipation of vital life force). It is heartening to see evidence that publishing this information does real service to humanity.

Again, my thanks for your concern. I do so very much appreciate your visitorship.

in profound peace,

MannyPaquio5 - Sunday, January 26th, 2014
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re: A dream could modify, simplify, rectify - Friday, January 24th, 2014
That line was just a placeholder to enable moving on to finish the draft. The music's having arrived at this section now, of course it was obvious it was never going to be a good idea to throw all those latinates/derivatives into an otherwise very lyrical lyric : )

Then the very thing I had hoped for materialized: I struck the latin, my fingers played some music without interference from my conscious mind, and then words came up, straight from the well.

It's going to be something like:
"In dreams I have wings and I can fly and I see things I can't as yet explain/
Like colors that are new, how all life's a flowing through on a crystal chain"

In this final section, the Locrian mode (which is the basis of the entire earlier part, where it takes the usual Locrian character of being somewhat "tense") has suddenly discovered it can be etherial and, well, sweet! I do like it so far, but really hope it can return to some more conventional (for me) harmonies by the end. I really don't wish to start writing music that is all avant garde and intellectual ; ) but once it finds its own way as this one has, a song streaming from the well has its own integrity which the poor instrument of its conveyance must hesitate in obstructing.

I am quite happy and delighted at present by this turn of events and sure it will land in a good and satisfying place.

On another note — although I had hoped this "Dragonfly" was to be the final song to be written, I realize now that Miranda is the only significant character without her own song. Hm. I love this girl, named for Prospero's child, ergo I'm sure the songwriting must go on for at least another tune.

Anyway, what could be better for February than staying in studio drilling down on the subconscious to find a song and a place to sing it for a character I have loved my whole life?

Blessings, caszru

look at this - Friday, January 17th, 2014
I really like and appreciate your blog post. Thanks Again. Will read on...

Artist without portfolio - Thursday, January 9th, 2014
IMO it's easy enough to get here to read, or even to manage alerts signalling new material, whether I break my head installing special engines to help you or not. As for using Joomla to persuade you to come here, I'm very sorry about having no time for that, but I really am extremely busy with far too little time as it is to keep up with the latest tech (very little of which is likely to be in use next year anyway). There's a big treadmill out there, and careful observation and self-examination may reveal you are actually merely one of the lab rats learning ever more routines, none of which will mean anything to anyone in just a very little while from now. So be careful out there!

Here's my own case in point:

I recently spent a pile of hours getting certified in HTML 5 and CSS to make me a better designer to help developers need to do less work. Did I think this would bring me work? Perhaps. My portfolio and resume have been viewed fifty times already this month, so perhaps someone is beginning to wonder whether hiring young designers is really a necessity if the cost of the obligation to bring them along to be the workforce of tomorrow turns out to be critical in their not-too-distant-future extinction as a company.

Ergo it may begin to occur to some that there may be a lot more advantage in using someone like me who will only charge for actual hours worked and even though perhaps has but a few years left for commercial work as opposed to the thirty years the people you are now using will be available to serve will actually make some money for you by getting things done correctly and on schedule.

On the other hand, it is more likely the hiring committee will be examining the question of when these young workers are going to begin to sit in the chair properly (not with their feet tucked up under their bums) mousing around and talking quietly amongst themselves as they work? Unknown.

Also unknown is the fact that it may take someone who has often worked beside people sitting this way and constantly chatting under the radar to tell you the quiet and apparently very clever conversation ongoing has nothing to do with the job, more resembling an uninspired attempt to emulate a Seinfeld episode and often including clique reinforcement in denigration of those not playing their game (your precious "company culture"), meant only for their own benefit by eliminating competition, and those expunged often just happen to be the people who are massively more productive than such "young culture, really fun group" workers, many of whom spend some hours each day hard at work avoiding getting anything done.

Who can say how long such an "artist" needs to "design" something ("from a template")? Creative people are special. Their processes are mysterious, and it is no one's place to question them.

N refers to these people as "artists without portfolio." They are not the reason I came here today to write a blog, but I fell on the subject because of your request for a Joomla engine here. It just isn't going to happen. It's part of the b.s. mechanism I have always had a knack to avoid feeding.

So on one hand I am obviously annoyed that I'm considered no longer employable in a field I actually enjoyed rather a lot. On the other hand, I'm no longer wasting time looking for work in that field and can concentrate on doing what I love.

DRAGONFLY has just emerged from the nymph state to an adult song -- one that has legs, and wings, and can BE something an amazingly brilliant male (tenor) will gain great satisfaction in singing. I'm sure of it now.

The structure is so unusual for me . . . I really prefer writing more conventional things, but have over the years often recalled THE GYPSY SCHOLAR (of Matthew Arnold). Somehow, and at this late stage in my existence, I finally fell quite by accident right on top of the need for a song that comes from a character so much like his. I expected I would need to cut a lot.

The lyric is still changing, but not nearly as much as I would have thought it would.

But what DID I come here to write about? The Joomla request sent me off on a bender.

Oh, yes.

N has awarded me a Nobel Prize today for my assertion that MRSA's (monocillin resistant staphlococous antigen) and antibiotic resistant bugs are actually benefitting from hospital use of the anti-bacterial hand cleaners, which are no substitute for vigorous soaping and rinsing, which FLOWING AWAY action does a far better job.

I prefaced my comment by recalling how very recent science about "junk-DNA" (to the shock of researchers but no surprise to sensible people) turns out to be wholly eroneous. All the extra particles in DNA (which have not been considered part of the cataloguing in the Human Genome Project) are interesting and vital parts of the whole and over time will, I am sure, reveal other worlds of knowledge about adaptation and propagation of the mitochondria and other significant components of an organism's success and longevity. And NONE of it is junk.

Why it is the so-called scientists become so enamored of teensy bits of information that they, like romantic swains and fools of yore, immediately discount, deplore and disregard all other potential love objects? Does this behavior not indicate entirely unevolved and immature being? How can they continue in this "romanticizing" (or should I say "politicizing") vein supposedly toward greater understanding when the phenomena they observe are such a tiny component of the present case not to mention a mere blip (iff they are lucky enough to turn out to be working on an idea that has legs for a long run into the scientific record) on the screen of the universe?

Is it possible? Do they somehow get advanced degrees without realizing the very large number of theories that have proven in time to have been not only incomplete or false but motivated by utterly non-scientific, stupid, self-serving drivel?

Thus is science today so often a comedy of errors. Unless scientists are trained in skepticism, self-questioning, honesty, and political independence, we shall be very luck indeed if we are not wiped off the face of the planet by something like the teensy, nasty MRSA's and the generations of their progeny being encouraged by sanitizing hand splash replacing proper handwashing, probably for a silly underlying reason supporting the brilliant career of some administrator somewhere whose real agenda was saving on soap and water and avoiding the wrath of the cleaning staff for the mess they find in the sink.

Yes, I think that was what I meant to say today.

I expect I'll recall there are a lot of problems with the grammar, and that I will need to revisit this to fix the stylistic extravagance, run-on sentences, and the like. If this happens, apologies to those of you who receive a machine alert about each and every one.

Cheery-bye, mes amis! I'm back to the dragon(fly).

Cassandra - Monday, January 6th, 2014
Registration form for Joomla without all the bells and whistles? wish you luck in New Year!

- Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
Thanks for your interesting input. I think I get it : ) mostly. Do stay in touch, and next time try multiple translation engines. Others may catch what some say amiss.

xoxo

illirurry - Sunday, December 29th, 2013
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Second guessing myself - Saturday, December 28th, 2013
Oh, now the music is coming. The "thoughts/ersatz" line is long gone. Sorry for those whose engines check back automatically when a change appears here. I have only been tweaking the lyric, with changes probably no one but me would notice.

But, having said to myself and others that this is the last tune to be written on UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS (well, except for the background chaos music at the Awards Gala), now I wonder if having a company fado/tango dance at the end in place of the traditional "big company number" will make people happy. Such dance, with its quasi sadomasochistic rivalries and innuendoes, much better befits these people who do come together as a community in a scene of great chaos but in the end regroup in their little coteries, remerging mainly in spurts to parry and ripost the opposition who had only for a brief moment seemed to belong to anything like an encompassing family of man.

It's still very hard to see how to do that with a "song," and much more befitting this piece as a "dance."

I'm hoping to hear from someone who will weigh in on this point. But first it must be as complete as possible.

For now, apologies if you've come here again and again and seen nothing obviously new. The changes are minute, just a word here and there in the Dragonfly lyric.

I still hope the music will take off on its own and prove this can be a conventional verse/chorus structure. But if it does not, then I will accept this is another somewhat unconventional number. I do hope there are not too many of these. As a singer myself, I well know how difficult it can be to learn weird structures, and sure mass audiences find the pattern and repetition of a conventional song more satisfying. Will have to check back through the others before I can say for sure.

Happy Fourth Day of Christmas!
until later,
xoxo, cx

Dragonfly by Cass with Matthew - Friday, December 13th, 2013
There is no earthly reason to stay
I can´t give my soul away
Not for money

If they think they must cheat me, to beat me, defeat me
I will fly away from here
A tiny speck, invisible, free!
So swiftly through the air
Then suddenly out of nowhere
The irredescent sheen
A bulbous eye, ferocious, staring
As quickly to dematerialize again
Barely there, like a dream,
Lit by a spark from heaven!

Eluding you, almighty half-believers in your own self-serving schools,
Where acts need not comply with all those contracts, facts and rules,
Who never deeply felt, nor ever clearly willed,
With vague resolves mere conversation, not meant to be fulfilled;
Each year breeding new disappointments,
Bitter memories, new resentments
So you hesitate and falter life away,
And realize you'll lose tomorrow the ground you took today
Only half wishing you could unwish your long unhappy claim
To forms of glory delivered through servitude and shame,
Your fight is for fear it could end on this tone
A dusty legacy for your intellectual throne
Eternally the same as today´s despair
Frozen in time, immobile in your cherished departmental chair

There is no earthly reason to stay
I can't give my soul away
But for the sky

A dream could modify, simplify, rectify
Should life not be all in purple up ahead
As a dragonfly instead!
With fields and woods my freeway
Roaming my home in the wilderness
Doing my viewing remotely in glorious unclouded bliss
The world spread out beneath my eye, a slide for my microscope
Pursuing something true, the unconquerable hope
Of being, to rise from this contagion of existential strife
Just me with the dragonflies, at the opposite pole of life

thoughts/ersatz - Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
Oh, Mona-mia
This lyric is nearly reaching the moment to begin hammering it onto music. This is an exciting state, simultaneously amused and regretful -- rife with conflict, eh! It is said that loving something in your lyric quite excessively over time you will learn is the sign, dead certainty, it is something that must be removed. I have arrived at that pass.

I have a rhyme -- not even an end rhyme, but falling in the middle of two lines -- in "thoughts" and "ersatz."

Isn't that horrible! I do want to show the young man, Nick, is hip to the intellectual gamesmanship (always a coup to use words like "ersatz" and "zeitgeist"!) of his adversaries. And there is considerable comic potential, too, in using this. However I'm growing quite certain it is BAD and will have to go : )

It may be allowed to stay a little longer, until the underlying music arrives and proves once and for all it doesn't belong.

So now to the woods for a walk in the lovely frigid air.

I hope your day is satisfying and productive with at least a taste of the kind of joy emerging through surmounting trivial problems such as mine this afternoon.

a bientot!
casz

fishigon - Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
Add the remaining ingredients and gently bring a few to true a silent boil .

kolkom - Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
If a person does not develop those social abilities, it is dangerous for him to have a lot of money

Gretchen - Sunday, November 24th, 2013
Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

StefanoS - Saturday, November 23rd, 2013
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Dragonfly - Sunday, November 17th, 2013
I've been working on Nick's song -- the lyric first, of course, and still hoping a fellow who couple of weeks ago said he wanted to work on my piece(s), as a composer. His career and background are great and I'm sure he'd be a terrific asset.

I would love at this point to be given a musical idea for a refrain on this song.

Busy preparing the music for a show that is moving to the West End, this fellow is coping not only with a translation (which could change the music significantly in its own right) but also with the need to anglicize the work in general. So far it has been very successful, but the home culture in the work's native country is quite different from what is felt could succeed in London. Obviously this is a huge and important task and it's completely understandable that he may have discovered it necessary to table the work we were planning together.

But I would love to get input at an early stage of this song. The image of Nick as a dragonfly excites me.

The draft lyric is free form, with some rhymes and images and other lyrical elements, but no formal structure as yet.

You may recall Nick is the character who has been selected as the winner of the Pappalapagapolous Prize, but the university's maneuvering to get a celebrity professor onboard appears headed toward awarding Nick's prize ad hoc, as an added signing bonus to save the darling star professor the inconvenience and expense of paying his assistant out of his own budget. Unfortunately, Nick has already been told to prepare an acceptance speech, so he is insulted and humiliated at being passed over after the prize had already been promised to him.

Nick is Greek, a handsome and proud young man who will not fight a battle he doesn't believe he can win. This is the current state of his song:

DRAGONFLY

I can´t give my soul for money
If you want to rob me
I´ll fly away, away from here.
Free
So swiftly through the air
Now an insignificant speck
Brown, all but invisible
And then out of nowhere
Staring from inside the stunning iridescent sheen
A bulbous eye, ferocious
Lit by a spark from heaven!
Barely seen, as quickly to dematerialize again

Eluding you, among the
Plodding half-believers of self-serving creeds,
Who never deeply felt, nor clearly willed,
Whose insight never has borne fruit in deeds,
Whose vague resolves never have been fulfilled;
For whom each year you see
Breeds new beginnings, disappointments new;
As you hesitate and falter life away,
And lose tomorrow the ground you took today
And half wishing you could unwish
This long unhappy dream
of servitude and shame,
Where you fight out of fear it could end
Still so much the same as today´s despair
On your intellectual throne
Your cherished departmental chair

Ah! why should I not be an air wanderer instead!
With fields and woods my freeway
Roaming the countryside, a truancy this
To do my studies remotely in unclouded bliss
Present suffering long blown by time away
In pursuit of the simple unconquerable hope
Of being, just to fly
from this contagion of existential strife
Just me and dragonfly, at the opposite pole of life

So far this owes a nod to Matthew Arnold's GYPSY SCHOLAR. I believe some of the lines are actually cribbed directly. Perhaps that will change, but perhaps not. After all, Arnold's work is well outside copyright protections : ) and I've no objection to giving credit where it's due. I have always loved that poem, as an impoverished young scholar myself who was unable to attend the best schools to which I had been accepted, I understand his disappointment, deeply. I am nearing a birthday that will set me exactly two thirds of the way toward the number that I have long believed defines my life.

Coincidentally, I have also been able to stop working my trade as a vendor of creative services/marketing/designer.

This was unplanned, but may be very well. At last I can concentrate on my heart's desire, which is to complete this work and see many productions of it and other past works and works to come.

Suddenly realizing the ways the numbers had lined up put me in a giddy mood, but that night I dreamed a warning dream of once again being marginalized due to my (to some) incorrectly perceived education, address, sex, and probably a lot of other factors.

In the dream, the same signs were present, signs I failed in the past to recognize and act on in a timely and politic manner -- signs that I was about to be dismissed -- not on the merits, but because of these other irrelevant conditions which even those leveling the biases and prejudices were always very magnanimous in admitting have nothing to do with talent. "In fact, we don't know where talent will come from," is the cavalier aphorism of those fighting for their own place in the sun and, as they also are lacking in certain components of what will make a success, make up for the deficit with a vengeance eradicating the competition with all the trickery and guile and smiling devices that the devil himself is wont to use.

The dream meant to remind me that I have seen these signs before and that at this stage must at last be willing to recognize them instantly, the moment they materialize, and straightaway to say and do a lot of things I have been unwilling to express in the past. If, missing the beat in the moment, then I must be willing to speak with every single entity concerned and make clear my position. There should be no more "rising above the fray," dearie. In that vein you continue at your peril.

The young man in Arnold's work had to drop out of school for lack of funds. Although this particular fate did not befall me, the piece still resonates strongly. I hope Nick's DRAGONFLY can become the closest to a rock song that UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS will have. It should be a beautiful anthem reflecting strength, masculinity, pride -- some of which, alas, are well-known conditions that go before a fall! And rock is the ideal genre for his song.

Let me remind you, it is romantic comedy we are writing, ergo the endings are neatly tied up with ribands and bows, for the happy endings for almost everyone.

Until later,
casz

Hello again - Monday, November 4th, 2013
What a feeling of joy and lust for pettifogging mark the completion of the draft of UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS! After rewarding myself with a long walk in the woods, with the camera and tripod and even the big lens, I am now inching through the draft searching places needing the odd, tiny detail to ensure what is called "continuity" in the flow. Mostly it's petty additions to assure there will arise no questions in the audience mind about exactly what's going on at any given moment. Such seemingly insignificant bits can utterly derail audience engagement with story.

"What to leave in, what to leave out," in the words of Bob Seger, is therefore an enormous attention sink. Is every part essential to the tale included? Is every included part actually essential?

It's a very difficult question to understand under two conditions: 1.) if the intention of the piece has not been fully defined; 2.) if the initial draft does not exist, all the way out to the words "THE END."

So this is where I sit today. The moment before "THE END" in the present case may in fact be a brand new way of ending a piece. I don't pretend to have anything even close to an encyclopedic knowledge of works in my field. One advantage to this is that it assures I'm not out there copying someone else's work. The other is that I sometimes think I have invented something that in fact HAS been done before. The latter isn't usually terribly damaging because my ignorance at least prevents the case being very closely similar to its precursors. It will inevitably find a unique expression that doesn't widely resemble other examples.

To 112.5....Thanks for your interesting comments regarding federal programs and pre-school education. I do think I should read it a bit more closely before deciding whether it belongs here. Paramount will be, apart from any of its obvious merits, will be whether its text has appeared elsewhere. Originality is always key in this forum.

Now I must process some of those photographs from yesterday. If the task is neglected, the result can be a a massive but practically useless compendium of uncatalogued images taking up lots of space but serving no purpose.

On the matter of the other insight I wanted to share, it is now obvious that it burst into my brain in the alpha state. I must remember to jot down a few notes on any occasion when interesting ideas present themselves. Not all of them are as elusive as those that have come straight "from the well," so to speak, but if they have, and I have made no physical note of them, heaven only knows when, if ever, they will recur. It is a fact due to the compartmentalization of brain function.

Sadly, is the condition I now endure on that subject of something that seemed so full of exciting and promising ideas at the time.

I'll keep my notebook near. It would seem the best threshold for entry to the alpha state is chatting over coffee with N.

until later, cheers!
casz

casz - Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
Thanks for all your recent notes. I realize they are more in the nature of pings attempting to draw a response so, short of any real insights, I have not published much.

However I thought it only fair to let you know that the book of UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS is coming along satisfactorily at last. In fact I am drafting the coda now, over the last couple of days, having written nearly all of Act II within the past weeks.

There is only one song remaining to write, that I know of. It is either a solo for the character of Nick (the young man whose prize is in peril of being purloined -- bestowed without so much as an application -- as a political plum. Talented but poor, Nick contemplates whether, having been enlightened to the impurity of the processes driving the awarding of the Pappalapagapolous Prize, he might not care to participate at all. He sings a song questioning whether for him there might be a happier life to be like Matthew Arnold's "Gypsy Scholar," discovering the secrets of his vocation and advancing that art utterly beyond the reach of the ivory tower, painfully learned through many hours working in a process supposedly merit-driven but which now appears to him to be fatally corrupted through bad faith and entrenched entitlement.

Please do not forget this is a work of romantic/screwball comedy, so in the end the circumstances cannot bear out such a dark prospect.

Just this morning at breakfast N and I found ourselves discussing another subject altogether that will make a most interesting exploration in this forum. I truly hope to sit down to it when the last scene of UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS has fully gestated and been delivered. The way it occupies my brain now, even during the hours when I should be sleeping and on some level believe I that have been sleeping, and the fact it represents but a few minutes of stage time, make me hopeful that, surely, it cannot be far now.

Thanks for your continuing interest, which to me is such a lovely and surprising gift.

Blessings,
y'r l't'le cristo

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Mckinley - Thursday, October 17th, 2013
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Federal Bureaucracy - Friday, September 27th, 2013
I'm afraid it's far too convoluted, with much of it obfuscated or hidden. I couldn't possibly go into it in any detail here, and in any case am not an expert in the field. Thank you, Isabel, for your thoughts.

Isabel Marant - Friday, September 27th, 2013
What are the different professions, different departments ... FBI, how he organizes in-house?

Isabel Marant Basket - Thursday, September 26th, 2013
I will respond that, although Euro concentrates all the defects of which we have just spoken, the France team is the worst of all: It has no ambition for positive outcomes, it has no ambition for the game (which will lose). Most likely based on Germany, but the victory of a small country like Portugal would be nice. Indeed, sport is a substitute for international relations: does a country that counts for nothing on the political scene still grace the imagination of this sport? This is the case of Portugal. I love that culture.

accidental marathon win - Thursday, September 26th, 2013
It is said a woman in an Amherstburg, Ontario, CA race won by accident by taking a wrong turn in the half-marathon she intended to run.

I hope it's true. If it is, then perhaps there is an interesting psychological component displayed here. "Tricking" oneself into doing more is something I've discovered to be effective.

Dear visitor from Chicago/Israel - Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
I think I understood what you meant in the foregoing, and edited it for clarity. I hope you don't mind. It is a very good point. Thanks for writing.

mymass - Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
An indisputable fact is that there are few with many questions. Another indisputable fact is that only a few come along at all, and those very slowly.

a friend reads . . . - Monday, September 23rd, 2013
How many times have you heard a reference to Edward Gibbon and his THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE by someone who admits they haven't really read it but are amazed every time they take a look inside at what at this late date appears to be Gibbon's remarkable prescience of our own age? Well, I am the fortunate acquaintance of someone who is actually reading this work, all the way through. I'm not even sure of how many volumes were required to print it initially, but the edition here comes in seven large volumes. On countless occasions I've been regaled with a short reading that provides fodder for an entire evening's conversation.

Probably because I'm confronted by many of the problems all too common in the current socio-economic and political climate during this period of the unfortunate decline of the middle class in our country, I decided this time to share with you what Gibbon called "a course of curious instruction," made all the more curious by its resonance more than two hundred years after its publication.

From THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE by Edward Gibbon, the following is excerpt from Chapter XXXIV (AMS Press edition, Book III, page 454)

". . .. The historian Priscus, whose embassy is a course of curious instruction, was accosted, in the camp of Attila, by a stranger, who saluted him the in the Greek language, but whose dress and figure displayed the appearance of a wealthy Scythian. In the seige of Viminacium, he had lost, according to his own account, his fortune and liberty; he became the slave of Onegesius; but his faithful services, against the Romans and the Acatzires, had gradually raised him to the rank of the native Huns; to whom he was attached by the domestic pledges of a new wife and several children. The spoils of war had restored and improved his private property; he was admitted to the table of his former lord; and the apostate Greek blessed the hour of his captivity, since it had been the introduction to an happy and independent state; which he held by the honourable tenure of military service. This reflection naturally produced a dispute on the advantages, and defects, of the Roman government, which was severely arraigned by the apostate, and defended by Priscus in a prolix and feeble declamation. The freedman of Onegesius exposed, in true and lively colours, the vices of a declining empire, of which he had so long been the victim; the cruel absurdity of the Roman princes, unable to protect their subjects against the public enemy, unwilling to trust them with arms for their own defence; the intolerable weight of taxes, rendered still more oppressive by the intricate or arbitrary modes of collection; the obscurity of numerous and contradictory laws; the tedious and expensive forms of judicial proceedings; the partial administration of justice; and the universal corruption, which increased the influence of the rich, and aggraved the misfortunes of the poor. A sentiment of patriotic sympathy was of length revived in the breast of the fortunate exile; and he lamented, with a flood of tears, the guilt or weakness of those magistrates who had perverted the wisest and most salutary institutions."

Remarkable!

Technically I'm not "unemployed" because my work was freelance which means I paid both my employer's (who was myself) and my own share of the social security taxes collected because of work I did and, now that my commercial business has all but dropped dead, reducing month by month the amount of social security to which I will ultimately be entitled. Further, I'm not qualified to receive unemployment benefits at all. Now I'm trying to figure out how to pay for legally mandated health insurance I will never elect to use.

You may know from reading previous entries here that for most of my life I have taken responsibility for my own health and well-being through natural remedies that have proven highly effective. A legacy from my hypochondriac mother predisposed me to seek the advice of physicians, but this ended when I was declared terminally ill and "my doctor" tried to force me into a research program as a lab rat after saying I would be dead in six to ten years. I realized that what she was REALLY saying was, "If you take this course of treatment, you will be dead in six to ten years." She actually did say that I should consider myself lucky because the condition could be relatively slow growing, so I should be happy I would probably live between six and ten years. THIS certainly cured my tendency to seek medical advice. After that I began to study homeopathy, and also learned about herbal remedies and nutritional supplements so that, instead of dying as a lab rat in Dr. G's research program, I have enjoyed brilliant health necessitating almost no visits to any doctors — except dentists for checkups, and optometrists. By the grace of heaven I've had no accidents or other catastrophes which might have necessitated hospitalization, so thankfully there are still a lot of good things for a pleasant existence in life.

I mention this so you will know it is not about myself I write when I mention that a friend, who recently lost her job, is facing some very hard choices. She telephoned yesterday to be sure we have eachother's contact information and among other things said, laughing, "This is giving me an idea of how to vote next time!"

I hope the Congress will take heed of the dire straits of our people. Even if it is only in the interest of their own jobs, they really should start listening to the people. And maybe crack open a volume of Gibbon once in awhile to contemplate their own unhappy similarities to the spineless, spoiled, callous princes of a declining world power. It would be like holding up a mirror, or a cautionary tale.

Link, and please don't forget the reference - Thursday, September 12th, 2013
Sure, a lot of people do this. But please give me credit so visitors can explore other things at nine3, and of course linking in is very welcome.

Thanks for interest.

sujolly tblog - Thursday, September 12th, 2013
Is it all right to reference some of this on my page if I include a backlink to this site?

Cloud Scaling - Monday, September 9th, 2013
I wonder what these cutting edge cloud techies get from visiting my blog? Could it be they are learning to use my Pi algorithm for encryption and also multiple layering of data streams in "the cloud?"

I also saw an episode of "Elementary" where the safe crackers figured out how to flummox a number generator, and it sounded suspiciously like they had read my blogs about using Pi as an algorithm.

A person who knows about my "work" (read: "play") with this subject pointed me to the episode. "Hey, Cass," he said. "They've stolen another idea you shared on the internet."

It sometimes does bother me that I put this out there in the ether where anyone can grab it and benefit without attribution or giving credit. Thank heaven for the Alexa history tools and other "wayback" engines that prove in some respect things put on the internet really are "published" and proof of the origins of ideas is at least theoretically possible.

I also get visits from Sweden and Norway and wonder what they're looking at. For example, a guy posing as a poor student begged me to give him the domain nine3.com for his student project, and a little research showed him to be not at student in England as he declared, but rather working in Sweden in the city where Saab has its corporate headquarters. That was amusing.

cx - Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
Of course I would like to do more disks.

THE RAZZ actually has a very charming "dream theater" treatment performed by Stephen Crampton. We often listen to it while driving in the car. It's hard to believe how nice it is, and the dear fellow did it out of the goodness of his heart after music directing the piece. This is the same piece the other fellows said had not been written and had to be "recomposed" with someone else taking the composing credit, of course.) They were shocked and appalled that someone could play it as Stephen did, from my little notation, and moreover cause such a rush of excitement in the audiences.

Perhaps I should send this to CDBaby (who sell my CDs and distribute the tracks digitally for me). They are ready to go.

The hesitation is that everyone in this process gets paid except me and Stephen (although he did make a tiny pittance on it for his music direction). I'm simply not strongly motivated. I think I mentioned here recently that after the big changes in the industry that were supposed to make this more fair to the creators, the creators actually now make far less than previously, and that was slim enough. Apple iTunes is by far the best -- a purchase there gets me about 67 cents. Otherwise, it is a fraction of a penny, which considering how much it costs to make the disk, especially if hiring the players as I do (at a greatly reduced rate of only $250 per per person per session . . .) there's really no reason to do it except for love. The HARRIER ANGEL disk cost was . . . I hate to tell you, at my rock bottom rate with those wonderful players, it was around $25K.

I'm certainly not in a position to do that again any time soon. As for THE RAZZ, it's done, but I really don't feel like giving it away.

It will be pretty important on the next work to get with a team, preferably comprised with some of those two-male-income-households teams.

As for the development group in California, well they are trying to make money at this. More power to them. Unfortunately the need to make it pay means they'll "encourage" anybody with the dough to pay the fees. That's natural. It's also natural they will find themselves encouraging a lot of bad art. It's the business model. What can they do, eh!

hollister - Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
Vous voulez faire d’autres disques ?

Kelvin Summitt - Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
Terrific stuff, Regards!.
This really is nicely expressed. .

mobile opening page - Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
Maundering about updating the site to reflect the CSS and other newer technologies required to convincingly emit the "I'm a web designer" vibe have resulted in a opening page (called an "index" in html parlance) for mobile apps.

I get the feeling most of you arrive here via direct link, so it won't bother you, but others will find the link to the main part of the site is at the very bottom, on the "Visit the web site" link of the new "index" page.

It has been projected by people who apparently know that upwards of 50% of all web browsing will be done via mobile devices by the end of next year. That's a good reason to start changing things.

As of yesterday, I've been hit with a rather severe case of joblessness in the commercial art department.

I am sorry to say I don't believe the United States economy is in any kind of recovery at all, has not been through the entire stretch between 2008 and the present (unless one considers a "jobless recovery" the equivalent to "recovery," where the former is in fact a euphemism for "the financial sector has more or less brought about the recovery of equity losses by investors, and that is all that really matters to the financial sector, whose game this is."

Employment numbers continue to disappoint, and I can testify to the fact that many of the employments listings are reiterations of listings held open for many, many months, that continue to appear and reappear in slightly different forms through various job boards. It's possible this tactic of continuing indefinitely to collect resumes on the same "job openings" is actually a jobs program for human resources professionals who must sift and resift the applicants without ever moving on to the hiring phase.

I hope we are not going to pay even more dearly for the many "too-clever by half" decisions by the manipulative governing bodies (the executive branch especially, who "bought" the cooperation of the various industries with hefty loads of paper "stimulus." I wonder if part of this is a policy to allow banks to hold the properties with mortgages they own that their clients (the erstwhile "homeowners") "walked away from," as the the cliche has it, under some other category than "real estate" so that they may hold them indefinitely without incurring the losses that payment of the real estate taxes would levy.

Are these banks holding all this real estate required to pay the property taxes owned, or is there is some special category assigned to "real estate" when it is back in the hands of a bank, e.g., they may be calling it something like "unreal estate," a commodity that has no taxes levied on it?

How else would we have been able to defy the common wisdom that after a collapse of the magnitude that took place beginning in 2008 that states that, "It's best to put this behind us as quickly as possible. Send it all to the auction block as soon as possible!" I tried to buy some of the real estate being auctioned at that time, but there wasn't very much of it, and it wasn't the nice stuff. It was more like the little house on the main thoroughfare with several tasteless additions off the back, situated next to an old auto body shop.

At the time this seemed in "everyone's" interest to avoid selling everything off, even the good stuff, since it wouldn't be the banks alone taking losses. These would include the cities and towns, also where losses could be both immediate and long-term. Taxes on real estate are based, among other factors but primarily upon the selling price of that property. On this basis, the reduced value of the tax base could have been vast due to the garage sale prices. Perhaps "everyone" who had a hand in the decision decided it would be better to eke out the sales of the properties to avoid the sudden diminution of property values. But now we are hearing that some cities, in dire need of income from some level of tax base, are attempting to seize these unsold properties by eminent domain. This does make sense to me, especially if real estate is in fact still "real" and not, for the benefit of a lot of big banks gifted with taxpayer money to settle this problem, now defined as somehow "unreal" estate that does not cost dearly to hold.

My guess is the untold story here is that the banks for some reason do not have to pay taxes on the unsold properties they own.

Feel free to enlighten me as I begin to look into this matter in greater depth.

But simple logic would lead one to believe that if the banks had to pay the tax on these properties, they would have sold them. I plan to review this issue and see what I can learn on this subject.

In the meantime, I am enjoying my coursework in coding for designers, updating and refreshing my skills in an online forum. Look for more updates in the weeks to come.

Look also for more of LA MERRIO AND THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN, which had to go on the backburner for paying work but which is unfortunately no longer trickling through this dry river bed that once nourished a green and fertile land

Ciao, belles! Until later,
cristo

confidential plagscan - Friday, August 16th, 2013
You will not find any plagiarism here.

This brain, in concert with this soul, generates more ideas than these hands could ever render in actuality.

It is a great happiness to be who I have been made and allowed by heaven to be.

To steal is patently unnecessary.

If you suspect it, the fault lies with the other, and not with me.

copyright everything here by casz

Wouldn't you like to be an angel? - Monday, July 29th, 2013
Let me know if your group wants to invest.

Thanks - Saturday, July 27th, 2013
I appreciate all the friendly encouragement from readers. Usually these compliments don't get through unless also expressing some interesting comment or observation on cultural issues, but today there is an exception by way of saying . . .

I like it, too : ) and the whole site is vast at this point, representing an incredible amount of effort over . . . 13 years or so! I've never "re-designed" the site but continually added new pieces to demonstrate command of the changing technology. This is "portfolio," too, in addition to the formal portfolio page. It is added as I learn it and as it makes sense for the form and function of the site.

Now, however, it appears that failure to conform with strict (but continuously evolving) "new conventions" or "trends" may be fatal to my ability to make a living.

It isn't enough that one demonstrate the ability to execute these conventions; one must also emulate them at every turn or risk the kneejerk reaction of instant dismissal from consideration for work.

I'm not sure if I have the will to conform in this way. In my new coursework, it is insisted that as designers we have "taste," which here means we can recognize the newest trends and flavors of the day and imitate them gracefully to show how savvy we are. Such is not the point of this coursework. The point is to teach designers how to present developers with fully functioning, coded web pages because the developers are too busy making designs work across all platforms (web page, mobile device, tablet, etc.). It now falls to designers to prepare buttons, e.g., with the exact parameters of the rounded corners needed on each of the several platforms where the buttons will appear. It's highly technical, and they are telling us this is now the designers job and that it is also "design."

And of course our personal web sites must look exactly like those we are creating so those looking for design help will be able to recognize instantly whether or not they are looking at the work of someone who knows what they are doing.

It's a tremendous amount of work to continuously re-do a web site. This demand that the entire web site must conform to the continuously changing requirements necessarily limits the amount (and variety) of content a web site "may" or "is allowed" to include.

I'm taking (another) course in web design and coding. If it doesn't help me get work, and if I still have not started making enough money from sales, licensing and royalties of music and theatrical work, there's a significant chance you will see big changes here. Probably the best solution is to change the field wherein I earn -- move to a non-design field at any rate.

The economy is so poor and the ability of bureaucrats to manipulate statistics so that year after year it's possible to give the impression that things are getting better is catching up to a lot of people.

For example, now we are seeing a "bright spot" in car sales. The reporting generously admits that the average age of cars being replaced is eleven years old. Well, people driving eleven year-old cars do so because they cannot afford a better car, and when they replace the old one, it is most likely because the cost of maintaining it has begun to exceed the cost of a new car payment.

This is the case for us. We recently did our bit to make the car sales figures look like a "bright spot" in the economy, but our decision to purchase had nothing to do with "wanting" a new car. It was entirely based on the fact that a car is a necessity, and we try to do what makes the most sense. In the case of an eleven year old car, it probably means replacing the car. This is not an example of "bright spot" in the economy.

Likewise, a widely touted growth in the real estate market reflects entry to the market of private investors buying rental properties for income production because they perceive too much uncertainty in the traditional financial engines to rely on the markets for maintaining the value of their retirement accounts or other investments.

People are stoic in these matters. Middle class Americans abhor revealing their actual conditions through admitting publicly the extent of their personal financial uncertainties.

As well, in my personal case, I see creators of intellectual property as the new slave class. Songwriters used to get something like a tenth of a penny for a music track played through the various outlets that play their music. That was very bad. And for this reason, it was felt the system needed to be reworked "to be more fair to the creators." After all the negotiating and a new deal had been established, the creators are now getting more like two-hundredths of a penny for a track.

That's why I make full tracks of music available on nine3.com -- I may not get paid for them (tracks played from my own web site are not eligible for royalty payments), but at least the visitors are not paying the wrong people for the song : )

Okay, that's said. So thank you for your kind expression of appreciation. I do appreciate it very much.

It did seem important to give heads up to the possibility that everything here may change quite suddenly. Or not. At this time, it remains uncertain.

Best, for light, life and love,
as ever,
CX

KrGJagwYmanJCI - Friday, July 26th, 2013
Hey, I have surely got to claim, I really like your internet site. The shades, the design, the entire design, they all proceed flawlessly together. Anyhow, that's all I really had to say.

Cris - Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
You might do, if you didn't want kudos recommending you to jobs you have no intention of accepting.

I'm a costumer by default. Years ago my sister and I started a custom dressmaking studio on Newbury St. here in Boston. I left that because of disagreements in numerous areas. As I had many creative interests and many options and whereas she was dedicated exclusively to fashion it was clearly best to leave it to her.

Besides, turning down work can be a shortcut to career suicide.

The fact is, I can cut and build anything in the way of textiles. So you see, I can be a theatrical costumer, too, if circumstances demand it, but that will never be my first choice. And I really do not want people offering me such positions.

For one thing, except on the level of a small studio like my sisters and mine was -- catering to wealthy patrons, by making very expensive one of a kind garments -- or if one could somehow manage to build a major label from one's name, there really is no money in it. Sometimes there is not really much money in it, even in the cases of many of the famous designers. These studios often look prosperous, but are mainly rich in art, operating on a wing and a prayer deeply in debt, with large numbers of shabbily paid but highly skilled workers. Maintaining a lavish lifestyle to support the image of success in couture is not for me. Moreover, theatrical costuming cn be a dangerously deep step down from there.

For example, I love the beautiful craftsmanship and cannot help insisting I must create exquisite work that could be collected by a museum, e.g. whereas most theatrical costuming, while it can look terrific on stage under the clever illusions of the lights, is nothing like that. This is obvious, of course ; ) One cannot exactly force me to do poor work. I simply cannot.

I recall one occasion where a friend was in trouble with the costumes for a Chekhov play -- needing many extremely elaborate garments, most of which were already in existence though in pretty bad shape and needing extensive repairs. This was for a production entered in a Chekhov festival in Russia. The company had plans to produce one of my musicals and I wanted to help them in any way I could. After working many hours over weeks in a tiny, hot, loud studio across from Fenway Park and facing on Lansdown, a street of nightclubs where students and sports fans carouse at all hours. The apartment was completely unfit for human habitation and the landlord offered it to the company's use rent free. It was here I learned why people in some jobs in theater refer to themselves as "theater slaves." After a couple of weeks, we caught up to the task and I was asked to create many extra pieces like vests and cravats and britches and even a hat or two -- pieces of which it can be said there are never enough in the costume closet.

The company had arranged a chartered flight and filled out the airplane with seats sold to wealthy patrons, who could get an all expenses trip (including hotel and meals and tickets to the show) for the price of the seat. I was offered one of these seats for the same price. But, unlike the wealthy "guests," I was told I would need to steam press all the costumes upon arrival and serve as a dresser backstage.

Understanding of what it means to be a "theater slave" begins to form in your brain, eh! Maybe if I had been offered a seat on the airplane as payment for my labors I may have been interested, but I am certainly not of a disposition to pay what the leisured class pays and then work like an animal in a steam-filled costume closet while the party goes on elsewhere.

Having declined this part of the opportunity, I soon received a call from an opera producer to whom I had been recommended as compensation for my work with my friend's company. He wanted me for costuming THE MAGIC FLUTE. He said I would have a budget of fifteen hundred dollars, out of which my salary would be taken.

Have you ever seen THE MAGIC FLUTE? I have excellent secret resources for textiles and a good private stock, but for fifteen hundred dollars I could maybe dress everyone, although it would take hundreds of hours, for a net profit of some unimaginably steep deficit. In other words, I would almost certainly end up spending some money out of pocket, use vast amounts of my own stock, and be paid not one cent for my creativity or my brute laboring.

Oblivious to his chilly reception, the producer further sweetened the pot by adding, "And IF we have sexual congress, it will only be because it is YOU who has initiated it!"

Can you imagine? : )

My friend's recommendation also got me a job offer from a major university's theater company's costume department, at a wage of $8/hr. I suppose I might have gotten better and better paying positions in the department as time went on, but if anyone has managed to get their musical produced through this career path, I have never heard of it.

At any rate, foregoing is probably the most ridiculous episode in my career. And this, and a few others (including the recent THE TEMPEST) is the reason that long ago I began using the nom de guerre Cristobal von Dessin. It is indeed very difficult and usually painful to give credit for one's creative work to someone who has done little or nothing to deserve it, but I assure you it happens all the time.

As producer, an artist is "eligible" for a job writing for the stage. As any kind of designer, much less so. As producer, any failure to bring the show to fruition is all on you. If others, say the director, has been badly chosen and decides (for a few examples of things I have witnessed) to fire people in public, to threaten to quit a half dozen times over such things as being told they cannot use live chickens, pigs, goats and a dog on stage, decides to punish the company by refusing to approve any costumes, declares it is far too early to worry about such things because "we have such a very long production period," accuses the person who is trying to keep the process moving forward of attempting to circumvent the director's "vision" and thus will quit unless their process (to waits until the last minute to begin) is respected . . .

Anyone who has seen the series "Slings and Arrows" can take it on the highest authority that nothing in that depiction of life in a theatrical company is much exaggerated. And if I must design the set, or any part of the set, I will do so. If I must design (and even to a greater or lesser extent even execute) the costumes, that I will also do.

On such occasions a credit will appear in the program that says, for example, "Selected designs in costume and set thanks to Cristobal von Dessin." This is my little revenge, a tiny clue for those who care to wonder.

For those reading this blog for a long time, you may recall a query from a muslim reader about the use of "Cristobal." In his tradition "Cristobal" means "the voice of the messiah." I really did not know this when I began using the name many years previously. I took it as the name of the commercial design studio I opened in commercial space in Cambridge after splitting off from my sister in Newbury St. Not wishing to put my own name on the new incarnation, I needed a new name for the studio. I opened a map and blindly pointed to a location. That location happened to be the town of Cristobal in Mexico. Effectively, this name contained my own initials (as "O" in the Gaelic means the same as "von" in the German. It fit! Therefore in ten seconds I had discovered the perfect name for the new company, I seized it, and off I went. Later, leaving the commercial space for the cheaper rent in the garrett of my own house : ) I found "Cristobal" was an entity with some recognition, and simply adding a last name "von Dessin, " which means, roughly, "by design," I found I had a new shadow designer entity who could be given credit for work that for various reasons it was inconvenient to admit was my own.

As for the promised production of my work in exchange for the work I did on the Chekhov piece (and a few others for the same group), the man they decided to use as the music director soon declared he must be allowed to "recompose" the music (one of roughly a dozen instances of this happening to me here in Boston).

In case you think the foregoing to be evidence that the music as I wrote it unworthy of going forward, I will quote for you here a "glowing rejection" I received only this month from a New York (Broadway, actually) company saying they cannot give me a production. Of the music, it was said,

"MUSIC: WONDERFUL. All of the music is really terrific. It starts off with "Take me for a drive" which has a super beat, it really jumps and had me tapping my foot. "Angeline" a good "rock" song, "Sherlock Jones" cool lyrics and very upbeat, "Wisteria" well written and very lively. "One thin dime" great "country" song. "Gulfport" is a winner, excellent, great beat and something to remember. Without citing every song I must say that I enjoyed just about everything. I even played it just for my amusement (not taking notes) just sitting back and listening.

"BOOK: It probably will appeal to the very young who are used to weird stories. . . ."

The ellipsis in the foregoing drops some very enigmatic language I choose not to include. But it led me to wonder whether my piece hadn't engendered some bitter conflict at the company. For one thing, their stated policy is that they will respond to submissions in 6-12 months, and it took them, in this case, nearly 2-1/2 years to reply!

For another thing, there was included the review of a second critic whom I have not quoted here. His comments about the book were really shockingly ugly and angry as he tossed out lots of rude and cavalier comments instructing that the book "has a RENT vibe" and should be written according to the suggestions he offered. This, clearly, was not a Tisch School graduate, as those are carefully instructed in how to give criticism that will help the writer in the execution of the writer's piece, and not the one the critic might wish himself to have written. Because of a certain familiarity in the tone, I even fancied I may know the name of this (anonymous) other critic.

But he completely missed the point. Our initial performances happened at EXACTLY the same time as RENT's emergence, to the very week, so it could not have been influenced by that piece. If my piece had an influence, it was THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, a fact that explains the use of a chorus (in the classical sense), the outlandish characterizations of modern American "ghetto" mentalities, the "in your face" satire and the fact that these characters, who are indeed perhaps "unlikeable" as the critic declared, come together in the end with the broader community in a ritual rescue of the concept of the family of man. After all, how much does "toleration" really mean if everyone must be completely "likeable?"

I submitted the piece for a developmental reading. I supposed "developmental" might include dramaturgy, which I know the piece can benefit from, and which I welcome. It was certainly a surprise to hear remarks supposing I believed the piece to be, and that the developing group expected to be, ready for the main stage.

I'm attending a seminar for which I must prepare and must leave you now.

Thank you for your readership and continuing interest,
as ever,
It LALLA -- (Looks A Lot Like Art)
CIAO!!

Marty - Friday, July 19th, 2013
That was wrong. I would never give someone credit for something they didn't do.

y'rs tr'ly - Thursday, July 18th, 2013
Hey, our TEMPEST received five EMACT nominations, one of which was my costume design, pictured below. The funny thing is that because of all the craziness (stayed tuned for my memoirs, due out in a decade or so . . . : ) I executed these under my nom de guerre (Cristobal von Dessin). So on top of producing, I designed these plus three goddesses (not shown) and about 8 sets of mariners shirts, breeches , doublets and a whole bunch of other pieces, including set pieces, none of which were credited under my own name because I thought it would shine a light on the madness in the heart of the machine to list the producer in all these design areas.

Ain't life amusin' ?

addendum - Monday, July 1st, 2013
i know there is some tortuous grammar in my latest (primaily dependent clauses and phrases incorrectly expressed with brackts within parens, run-on sentences, etc.) and ordinarily I would have taken time to fix all that. But I am really crunched for time, and spent far too much here already. Hopefully I will be able to correct it -- but realistically, does it matter if I do? I feel I've reached the apex already, having been categorized "longhair literature" by the Google guy : ) Thanks, Google Guy!

BTW, I've got the most excruciating software glitches cropping up in the notation and arrangement I am preparing for COPPERS. It really makes no sense. The only things I can think of to explain it are:
a.) recent installation of new Adobe products have busted certain things about competing products. I've noticed this in the past, not sure it's deliberate on Adobe's part but it's certainly convenient and a perhaps effective strategy to take over the world, or
b.) my connection goes wild with blinking while writing here, which makes no sense since nothing goes into the network until I click "submit" so a possible explanation is that the NSA are reading this in real time as I type. Sure that's a mighty fine use of your time, folks.
c.)Absolutely nothing to do with Google Guy.

Whatever, something is really messing with my systems.
: )

cx - Monday, July 1st, 2013
I think I get what you're saying, although the translation is a bit . . . unusual. I don't consider that anything but interesting, BTW ; )

But one of the reasons I haven't promoted nine3.com and this (to me) incredibly and surprisingly popular guestbook/blog in all the conventional and recommended ways for driving traffic is that we are doing something else here, sure you noticed.

According to the principles to which we adhere, people need to make specific actions before it is considered a "choice," and in our case it means using the brain to remember what it was one found interesting and to either remember it in the direct cerebral manner or just "bookmark" it so they can get back here.

I'm perfectly comfortable and happy with "longhair literature" designation. You ought to be glad that I am, since this representation of that genre must say something to you and afford you myriad opportunities to suss the populace in a special way and discover future directions according to what is working here.

There are so many examples of groundbreaking ideas generated from this "hotspot" that their encyclopedic enumeration would place an impossible demand on me at this moment. But, briefly, before I did, did anyone in the "public forum" part of the culture address the effects of the RC clergy's unnatural vow of chastity? No. The character DR Jones was the first. There was a very excited and happy clot of clergy gathered after HARRIER ANGEL performances saying on what multiple grounds, "You really have something here!" especially on the very specific point of what enforced chastity does to people. These were nuns and priests, and I got the feeling they were privately expressing and commenting on heterosexual inclinations. That the big topic to take the airwaves happened to be its homosexual (and very, to me, shocking pederastic) components is in retrospect completely to be expected. After all, that is where the deeply "taboo" impulses (at that time) rested, and of course media would gravitate toward the greatest possible sensationalist angles to assure the greatest audiences. However, my observations of this did rest with the heterosexual components that were far more obvious and overt and at the same time more easily ignored because of the "conventional" and "consenting adults" factor relaxing the alarums/meters and making it much easier to ignore. Strangely, the obsessive love of the priest for the woman is the very thing that keeps that component of the play "fresh and original" after all this time. If I had presented a gay priest or a pederast instead of the Detective Reverend, it would now appear to be pass. It would also have made it impossible for the character's function within the society of the Fat Farm to evolve into the position of "cherished friend and ally" that this initially adversarial figure occupies.

So, just to be clear, I don't claim to be a prophet or a priestess as my namesake was. I see trends before others do and extrapolate on those. This goes beyond the symbolic and metaphorical elements like those operating in the mysteries. It also involves design and every other component of what one does writing for theater. For example, did anyone ever see mini-shorts/mini-skirts worn with leggings before HARRIER ANGEL's "butterfly suits." No, yet now it is rampant. And what about the animal prints, representing transformation in HARRIER ANGEL, and copied in RENT almost immediately (as animal prints were not a part of that design initially but appeared very soon after (I contend borrowed from my show, which was already online visually and and discussed at length in my emails on theater lists (as blogs did not yet exist) when the RENT team "freshened up" their design.

Likewise, what happened when I (not entitled to be a success by dint of my address, sex, academic credentials and age) rejected the unwanted advances of the ivied mafia and refused to allow one of their darlings to take credit for composing the music in THE RAZZ? The razz is what is now being called "immersive" theater. Fourteen years after the Boston bullies failed to grab that show (not just you, Michael-- so don't cry, baby. It also got ripped off by an MIT young lion I showed it to [for just one example], who immediately blew me off and made an "immersive" piece of his own) various incarnations of this economically viable art form are now "the next big thing. And THE RAZZ is still brand new. Again, it contains components that have not been copied (not yet, anyway) and probably cannot be copied without infringement, and which I am no longer interested in exposing except on my own behalf.

There are countless other specific cases demonstrating how my works have been "mined" by interlopers pretending interest in me for the purposes of getting their hands on certain revolutionary trends that apparently are among the mysteries not everyone can deduce or induce on their own.

But, as Mother Teresa advised, no matter what one is doing that is being stolen, denigrated, unappreciated or dismissed -- if it is your true calling and you know it to be virtuous -- "do it anyway." This isn't as difficult as you may think. As Nicolas Tesla said when asked how it was possible to live with all the injustices he suffered, "It's really just so amazing to be able to do this that it is its own reward." Paraphrasing. Anyway, now UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS is nearly finished, and I know it will do for "the trends" what my other pieces have done -- drive them. And as it is promoting values of inestimable need, while I'm trying to assure I get my credit (as always, though so far without success) yet it remains an incredible experience to see "the word" disseminated and the far-reaching positive results one has effected.

BTW, this reminds me to let you know a profound truth about the mystical "Lost Word." It isn't "lost" in the sense one may imagine, but only in the sense that it cannot be taken back. It went out and caused billions of ripples toward bringing mankind into closer alignment with its divine principle, and this cannot be undone and in the short-hand of translations done for people unable to assimilate the full understanding of what it is meant to do or to be, in that sense alone it is "lost."

Oh my heavens, I did not plan to respond in such depth. But thank you for your inputs. It is most agreeable to realize that you are listening.

as ever,
xoxoxo, cristobal

I'm doing my job; your job is your job and I can't worry about it. But thanks for the explanation.

MrCapcap - Monday, July 1st, 2013
Neither Google nor Google Scholar tender an API — in behalf of love nor money, as far as I can charge, nucleus me to it if I am mistaken — that would contract out us do a Google Search and then sort/filter/enhance the results to add value and from in research and in scholarly tools.

Completely objectionable as a search clarification representing the longhair literature. Over of the occasion rate to research and examination tools, and all the things that better explore tools facilitate.

Coppers - Friday, June 21st, 2013
I think this is the final version of the lyric for . . .

COPPER'S WORTH A FORTUNE ANY MORE

Verse 1:
In the ebb and flow of natural forces, it's we who keep them in their courses
Be they freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors
Such brilliance (over-rated) is a fact we don't ignore
For the world adores a sophomore and even a copper's worth a fortune any more
With churls and brats we must engage, and shall contest with sense
Now that we also hold master's degrees and investa-ments

Verse 2:
If some local may'ave jacked the car of a visiting professor's
As for the stories, mind yours and -- above all -- do not press hers
Despite suspicious-looking substance spilling from her purse,
And to be fair, hysterics cannot curse any louder
So how were we to know it could be something called
A Goody's Headache Powder?

Refrain 1:
He said we acted stupidly. He said we acted stupidly?
Sure now, in't that a matter of degree?
While it's true copper's not the brightest, as conduits will go,
Yet we do move as easily above as we've always moved below
So they never see us coming but we're the managers now and find
Us unforeseen new managers need a little, middle mind

Verse 3:
We learned a rule when we were lads: Sure there's never a time like today
For attempting something memorable toward gilding the resum
So sadly did we learn, so gladly we would teach
There's a wide, wide world of difference 'tween you and what ye'd like to reach
You must keep a weather eye for such storminess as brazen
Widespresd tabloid jubilation, extended vacation
And severe unexpected chorus of thundering laughter
So try NOT to do something today that the world talks of, so the world mocks us, forever hereafter

Refrain 2:
He said we acted stupidly. He said we acted stupidly?
Sure now, in't that a matter of degree?
While it's true copper's not the noblest metal in renown
If the lasses try to sass us, we get "up" and we "get down"
And we never saw it coming but as managers must assume
Us unforeseen new managers gonna need some big old equivocal room

Tag:
Gold is golden, through and through
But when copper's on the outside, eventually it turns blue
But brains is over-rated, that´s a fact we don't ignore
When the world adores the sophomores, even a copper's worth a fortune any more

ON THIS ONE . . . I was pleasantly surprised at how overwriting the lyric via the jumpy, bumpy participial phrasing that seemed at the time to imply qualities of "Irishness" fulfilled the useful task of keeping it on point. Where it felt extra syllables were needed, I'm glad I used empty filler language instead of introducing extra ideas in these places. When the melody declared itself, much of the foregoing fell away without having to worry about actual thoughts being sacrificed or how to incorporate them into a symbolic / metaphorical expression without introducing complexity.

The concept here is pretty high, although it wasn't an intellectual construct that made it so. Both the title and the phrase "unforeseen new managers" were on my lips when I awoke from dreaming on two of the mornings during the period when I was falling asleep asking the "inner undivided Great One" part of myself to direct me to the end of the first act. When phrases jump directly from the psyche like this, I very much like to use them even though they may not make sense at the time. Invariably, it turns out the subconscious is expressing things necessary to the greater intention. So I put them in, even though I don't "get it," and throw a lot of things around it until it seems to be starting something. Then when the music comes, the pieces that came from the undivided part turn out to make sense after all.

In this case, I'm pleased that this song promises to shoot through the phenomena of a devolving society by making fun of the proudly ignorant state we enact in the present day. And this works well for the closing number of Act I, since it resides in a play that is about intellectual dishonesty and how mediocrity really greases the tracks for the process. Speaking of "shooting through," I mean in some ways it shows a culture that is literally dead on its feet and has just so far failed to fall down.

We should not fear this. It means something new is hatching just over the horizon. I think it will be a good change.

Essonne - Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
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cax - Friday, June 7th, 2013
Yesterday was great. For the most part, that is. It held some stormy clouds; they had silver linings.

It was the last opportunity I would have to attend a new musical dramaturg'ed by a fellow I'd recently met (virtually) who has an astounding range of knowledge in this field which he shares in a strong, clear style. The subject of the work is a shelter, a theme that also appears in HARRIER ANGEL, so I was intrigued despite my husband's dismissal that it would be politically correct, colorless dreck of the sort encouraged in academic musical theatre departments of our country. The same concern had occurred to me, however I really supposed, after corresponding a little and speaking briefly with this man, that it must be something different.

The remnants of hurricane Andrea was hurtling up the coast and I needed to put the second coat of paint on the second floor back porch as well as run the normal domestic routines (in this case roasting nuts for the week's snacking, preparing dinner, and squeezing in a little social interaction with the cats) and still have time to get myself in fine fettle for attendance at the theater. Certain rhythmic elements of COPPER'S WORTH A FORTUNE have been drumming in my body day and night, really driving me mad and depriving me of rest, and at last a few of the melody pieces for that song had fallen out of the heavens, and needed to be committed to paper while they were still steaming hot.

Amazingly, all of this fell together in time. I even had a charming new dress to wear, one of eight new garments I had managed to create during the month of March. It has been many years since I've created that many pieces all at once, just for me, and that long stretch of time is exactly the reason it needed to be done. I was still in a state of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and wasn't good for much else. The slings and arrows from the rescue operation for THE TEMPEST cast, like most trials by fire, did have its up side. Thanks for the most part to having nearely killed myself avoiding a shocking state of wholesale company undress due to my bad choice of a costume designer (who turned out to have what the stage manager referred to as "serious entitlement issues," procrastinating shockingly, presenting herself mainly as toady in exchange for lunches and ice cream with a couple of ladies who had set themselves in opposition to executing the show's designs in the timely manner available through what was actually a very reasonable production period, then solving the problems thus created by quitting), my cutting and sewing chops were in top shape. Making eight pieces for me turned out to be easy as well as healing.

So when I left the house last night, I fancied myself pretty well, and in the deeply satisfied mood that I can see in my face in the mirror. I thought if I liked the musical play I was about to see, perhaps I might try to meet the aforementioned respected new colleague.

I arrived at three minutes to curtain and bought one of the cheap seats, which the box office person assured me I could easily improve by moving up as there were plenty of good seats left empty. But in that theater even the cheap seats are good, so I didn't avail myself of the option, and am very glad I did not as my seat made it very easy for me to flee after an hour and ten minutes when, long since my husband's assessment of the show having proved correct, I was experiencing painful cramping of my right arm from conscious refusal to make the fist my subconscious demanded. This work had been described to me as "promising" -- one that the aforementioned potential new dramaturg friend had said he and a few of his colleagues had chosen for development from the musical theater festival circuit.

I must say that anyone who would encourage such "works" as this as "promising" -- at the very best -- does not know who he is kidding.

I felt sorry for the MFA students, some of whom had lovely voices, working so hard with so little to show for it. It must be exceedingly difficult to memorize songs that have doggeral holding the place of lyrics and music that -- lacking anything like scansion, imagery, humor, pathos or insight in the lyrics to drive rhythm -- was also utterly devoid of melody or form. We, the audience, were so shocked to discover what we were in for that it took a full half dozen "songs" before we began to take pity on the performers and tried to muster a little applause after a few of the "songs," if only to acknowledge we knew it was not their fault.

As usually happens in such cases, I decided that wasting money was not a reason to further waste time. I tried to stick it out to intermission, but could not do it.

It was a truly lovely evening for walking.

As I left my driveway, I remembered to ask heaven for a parking place, and got one, on the very street where the theater stands, though more than two hundred numbers distant (I parked by #275 Hemenway, and the theater is at #31). This was really lucky since the Red Sox and the Symphony were playing and that means probaby a minimum of 40,000 extra people in what is actually a rather small neighborhood. The streets were full of students, very charming. One group of three young men had a guitar player among them and appeared to be attempting to muster a song. When I walked back to my car and hour and a half later, the three were still there, strumming and humming and chatting, clearly uncommitted to coming up with a tune, but just "playing" and enjoying the fine evening.

I drove up Massachusetts Avenue, and when I crossed Columbus and turned up the little street into Dorchester, a car pulled up beside me and two young women urgently indicated I should roll my window down. I did so, and they were all upset on my behalf. "A hubcap fell off your car, wa-a-a-a-a-y back on Mass. Ave., back before the Venetian Cafe!" they cried. Well, that seemed consistent with the turn of the evening's events. I thanked them, and returned whence I'd come, searching the street for signs of a wayward car part. This was really shocking in a way, since I've never, ever had a hubcap fall off a car before, let alone from a new car I've had for less than a week!

I parked near the Venetian, then walked back to Columbus just to be sure, then turned around and walked all the way past my parked car to the railroad overpass beyond South Bay -- probably at least a half a mile -- then back to my car again.

Walking is a truly wonderful way to hammer a lyric onto a melody, and it was a particularly fine evening for both. Alas, the hubcap was nowhere to be seen. I saw a couple of homeless people with their caravans of shopping carts loaded down with heaps of belongings, and at once it occurred to me that finding a bright new hubcab would be a boon for them, so I really did not expect good results from that part of my search. Even if found, chances are it would have been run over by a car on busy Mass. Ave. However I found my lyric fitting rather amusingly onto the melody I'd found earlier that day, and was not upset, believing the cost of the hubcap's replacement would surely be covered by the extensive additional charges and warranties we had bought that vastly increased the monthly installment on the new car loan.

When I got home, my husband insisted we go out again and lay two sets of eyes to the search, which we did straightaway, again without success.

Now we will find out whether the automobile dealership will make good on its promises to cover "everything, bumper to bumper" and replace the hubcap that, by any reasonable expectation, should never have fallen off in the first place.

With any luck I will find how this melody suits the rest of my lyric, each verse and refrain a variation but not by any stretch a departure from the first.

re: Peg Tech, China correspondent - Friday, May 31st, 2013
You said:
"I have to acknowledge, PHILO . . . the duty that you've taken on . . .."

Thanks for your comment. I wondered if you would ever check in. Sorry the translation into English is unfortunately too convoluted for me to make complete sense of it. But I really love being addressed as "Philo" do your apparent understanding of the risks I undertake in sharing this ancient knowledge. There are far too many who view any such discussions, concerning sexual continence and its benefits in expanding the vital life force vs. sexual profligacy and the devastation that wreaks -- particularly upon the male -- on every level of existence.

Be well!
xoxoxo, in profound peace

A Copper's Worth A Fortune Any More - Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
Here is the lyric the aforementioned two sad, put-upon and soon-to-be inebriated Cambridge policemen and I would like to have nailed to a melody as soon as possible:

A Copper's Worth A Fortune Any More
Lyrics and music Cassandra von Braun, all rights reserved

In the ebb and flow of natural forces, it's we who keep them in their courses
Be they freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors
Such brilliance (over-rated) is a fact we don't ignore
For the world adores a sophomore and even a copper's worth a fortune any more
With churls and brats we must engage, and shall contest with sense
Now that we also hold master's degrees and investa-ments

If some local may'ave jacked the car of a visiting professor's
As to the stories, mind yours and -- above all -- don't press hers
Though a suspicious substance spilled from her purse,
And to be fair, hysterics don't curse any louder
So how were we to know it was only something called
A Goody's Headache Powder?

Refrain A:
He said we acted stupidly. He said we acted stupidly?
Sure now, in't that a matter of degree?
While it's true copper's not the brightest, as conduits will go,
Yet we do move as easily above as we've always moved below
So they never see us coming but we're the managers now and we find
Us unforeseen new managers need a little, middle mind

We learned a rule when we were lads: Sure there's never a time like today
To try to do something memorable toward gilding the resum
So sadly did we learn, so gladly we would teach
'Ere's a whole wide world of dif'rence 'tween you and what ye'd hoped to reach
So keep a weather eye out for such storminess as severe omnipresent thundering laughter
And above all try NOT to do something today that the world talks of forever thereafter

Refrain B:
He said we acted stupidly. He said we acted stupidly?
Sure now, in't that a matter of degree?
While it's true a copper's not the noblest of the metals in renown
Still the lasses can't sass us and still we do get "up" and we still do "get down"
And we never saw it coming but as managers now must assume
As the unforeseen new managers we're gonna need some big old equivocal room

Gold is golden, through and through
But when copper's on the outside, eventually it turns blue
But brilliance being over-rated is a fact we don't ignore
For the world adores the sophomores and even a copper's worth a fortune any more

__
Yes, it could have been written to a strict form, but this is where I shall start to approach the falling down quality of drunkenness. It wouldn't surprise me if someone thinks this can't be sung, but with a little flexibility and some units of rollicking melody bits to allow for the varying number of systems in the scansion, I'm betting it can be done.

Cheers!
cx

lyricist/composer - Monday, May 20th, 2013
If I were reasonably to expect to live forever, my joy would be unrestrained at the discovery that the long delay in completing the next song in the UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS musical has paid off if, in no other way, by the timing of FINALE software's offer for a 3-day only download of the full, current package at a vastly reduced price. It bothers me not one whit that this probably signals they are about to release new version. I often work on non-current software, sometimes even after purchasing new versions and discovering I prefer the old one. As I understand it, Windows8 users are experiencing this exact phenomenon as we speak -- a caution to me, the holder of exactly one Windows machine, a version Windows7 machine, which I personally never hated (having last used a much older one, so old I can't even remember which version). I bought the Windows7 machine to meet the needs of a colleague who wanted to Skype, and honestly that's all I've ever used it for. But I recall many embittered users at the Windows7 upgrade -- and now it would appear they fare even worse.

In the present case of downloading Finale12, my previous music sequencing software (which I've also used for notation) has been for the past X number of years (egads, now that I think of it it's nearly two decades). I have been using a clever, if short-lived product by Mark of the Unicorn (out of Cambridge, Mass., and thus for me a local company) called "FreeStyle," created especially for songwriters who don't need to be able to create a full orchestral score. However for some years it has been obvious that I was going to need to upgrade, if for no other reason than that it is running on my still perfect Mac G3 (operating system 8.6!) from . . . 1993? . . . and that's clearly something else that isn't going to live forever.

A lot of my colleagues have gone through many thousands of dollars worth of hardware and software for their music, and and they have often asked me how I get my beautiful lead sheets. So I know they are clearly "okay," and the answer is as above. It does usually require take a few workarounds involving making pdfs (when key and time signatures changes exceed the number allowed by the software, I have to make a patch), then placing them as images in text files on a modern machine (sometimes only a few measures per pdf , e.g.), then adding the lyrics and other text characters (signifying everything from dynamics to repeats to note slurs) via the text editor and some cool music notation fonts.

This process is extremely time-consuming, especially as it necessitates ridiculous inconvenience and lots of pain as the price for changing my mind about something in the way the song must be written. As it has been for many years, my notation can't be edited. It really has to be done over.

This studio maintains Macintosh computers at many levels, beginning with an old Performa that is still useful in the music room downstairs for converting vinyl to modern formats, and also for committed very interesting "recursion errors" in Illustrator/Photoshop files that have multiple layers that use transparency. These errors happen as a result of something called that machine's "floating point co-processor" which is handled by a software patch because the operating system couldn't do it properly. I still occasionally use this machine to experiment with this "error" if I want to create some crazy landscape or other effects in an illustration. The error causes the layers in the illustration to skew and repeat and do all kinds of nutty stuff that just don't look like anything anybody else ever does. It can be very interesting.

My favorite example of this happened almost like some kind of mysterious (even mystical) error on a drawing of the famous gravity field engraving by somebody named Gilbert, I think, from a few centuries ago. I wanted to use this figure in an illustration depicting interactive processes, so re-drew it in Illustrator. The truly wacky and almost frightening thing that happened to this illustration due to that recursion error is that the Gilbert gravity field engraving came out looking almost EXACTLY like the Lucifer in Gustav Dore's illustration in Dante's "Inferno" -- the hulking, ruminating "bat" creature in the foreground.

I showed this crazy figure to my client. It was his brochure for courses in interactive arts that occasioned the drawing. This man happened to be in marketing/communications at a local Roman Catholic College, and he absolutely freaked out when he saw the "devil" error. Until that moment I had been familiar with some of the more superstitious inclinations of certain religious friends and colleagues, but I never for a moment encountered anything like fear of the devil. But this fellow clearly did fear the devil (even though he holds bachelor and masters degrees). This was a man who used to hit on me every single time we met (in retrospect, his compulsion to try to get closer to me was probably fundamental to the reason he hired me in the first place). After I showed him the weird recursion error and saw the hair stand up on his head, I think he actually began to think of me as evil -- as though maybe I had cast a spell on him or something, and that made it my fault he was always acting like an animal.

Anyway, after experimentation with the program, I discovered I could make it commit interesting recursion errors for use in illustrations, though it never again made one as provocative as the original proved to be
: )

I suppose this is the real reason I keep the Performa. I hardly ever use it, but there is plenty of space in the music room, so why should I get rid of it? Because it is so ugly? Well, yes, but it stands on a tall stool on casters and can be spun out of the way very easily. Moreover it is draped in a hajib and looks very much like a veiled woman, which I enjoy so much it found a way into HARRIER ANGEL.

My current favorite machine is a new Mac Lion, and the new Finale12 beckons even as I come rather late to completing the draft lyric of the song. Taking a month and a half to get to this point on the new lyric is what facilitated being able to use it for learning the new software: the Finale offer arrived exactly at the point where I usually started hammering a draft lyric onto a melody. So I shall learn Finale in the best way possible, encouraging a rare event of multitasking that is both practical and efficient. Learning a new piece of software while actually writing a new piece of music? Unprecedented!

But still this is a lesser blessing. Clearly I am not going to live forever and at this rate of productivity I now begin to realize it probably isn't going to be possible to complete the 6 musicials (at least) I still truly believe I could execute "if I had but world enough, and time." The definition of "world enough and time" in this case would be a backer, a production running on Broadway (read: approx. $3,000 a week in income), which would be enough to let me work at this full-time and hire housekeepers and house painters to do the routine work I execute in exchange for the privilege of not having a proper income.

So in the present scene, the cops sing in the barroom after Dean and Don, having been alerted to the imminent arrival of the police, hastily exit.

This song is a humorous mashup of Celtic and Mexican folk songs as one of the cops is Irish and the other Chicano. They ask after Dean and Don, the bartender says "they went thataway," and the cops say they'll get right after them, then belly up to the bar for some refreshments and a little dancing to explain how easy it is to get busted back to street blue after being detectives when "trying to do something today the world talks of forever after" (as someone, maybe Chesterfield, said) only to discover that in today's world the more sensible way is to try NOT to do something today the world talks of forever after.

Part of the lyric says, "He said we acted stupidly," : ) a reference to the chagrin of a couple of Cambridge policemen made fools in recent memory while trying to do their jobs and discovering after the fact they were dealing with a hysteric with special privileges who didn't worry about it being inadmissible to sass the police. He had powerful friends. This coincidence of forces resulted in the policemen being humiliated on the world stage by the President of the United States. "What a cuff!" (as we used to say back in the day).

This song has an Irish sounding verse and a Mexican sounding refrain, and I was rather pleasantly surprised to discover these styles sound quite amusing (not to mention compatible) when crushed together in the name of comedy
: )

Here's what the first verse draft says so far:

"In the ebb and flow of natural forces, it's we who keep them in their courses/"They are freshmen, then sophomores, then juniors, then seniors/"With churls and brats we must engage, and all contest with sense/"Now we also hold masters degrees and investa-ments!"

Gotta go! xoxox, thanks for encouragement : ) of course this entry has taken some time to compose, and now it's time to start cooking our evening meal, so maybe I didn't get as far on the lyric as expected.

Blogging is far easier than composing a song. At such moments as this I realize I do procrastinate. It's just especially awful when I get to this point where the song inhabits my body and brain like some incubus, roiling me to my very soul even as I try to sleep or do anything else -- in direct ways it's like the labor of giving birth, really. Ridiculous discomfort followed by delerious joy at "delivery."

Happily, such procrastinations as blogging usually do result in visits at nine3.com and you all know very well how much I enjoy that.

Okay, see ya!
cx

ecccvlghdg - Monday, May 20th, 2013
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beautiful ladies - Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
"From Qatar, we inherited them from oil and sand. The more dirty oil. "Bravo, really."

I translated your latest, above, for those who may not understand French. Your mood comes through poetically. It is really a treat.

Thank you!

I am grateful for the opportunity to share with you.

Be well! xoxo,

Paris escorts - Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
“Du Qatar, nous avons hérité du pétrole et elles du sable. Le pétrole salit davantage” .Bravo, vraiment.

Thank you. - Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
I appreciate your interest, and decided to post your pleasantry because your city/server are familiar to me and I have a special fondness for France and Spain. All the best to you as well.

Amofscips - Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
I want to wish you good luck and all the best

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El Tegrito - Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
Good day! I could have sworn I?ve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it?s new to me. Anyhow, I?m definitely happy I found it and I?ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

Thanks, Dan - Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
So good of you to say. Would love to hear your version. Long may you ride!

Dan Canyon and The Plainsmen - Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
My riders and I absolutely love your version of RRV.
Very touching and VERY moving.

from a sewing Betty - Monday, April 29th, 2013
She asked me to design a product to utilize a number of chintz squares someone had given to her.

I had already paid her for handwork by the piece -- $6 per 24" hem. It was not a rolled hem but nevertheless required some precision as these were to be lined pocket squares with mitred corners. She received them already basted into position, and with the Besom pocket in the lining already finished.

To my disappointment, she used the basting stitches as her guide much more literally than intended, putting her stitches directly into the basting stitches, therefore the basting work that was meant to be temporary could not be removed without upsetting her stitches, and I was therefore obliged to remove both basting and finishing and have all of it done over. She was nevertheless paid for the work.

The fabrics in use were silk charmeuse with china silk for the linings -- quite expensive, and not improved by the extra handling. Some were lost.

So when she asked me to design something for the chintz squares someone had given her, I'm now very sorry to say I was fairly direct, and though trying to be kind without taking too much time verbally embroidering niceties around the situation I'm afraid I let her know I thought the chintz squares were given freely because they were not worth anything. I did not actually say that in fact I thought them extremely ugly and could think of no object I would like to see them used for, or in which the time and effort invested in their creation would be rewarded by pleasing results. But that's perhaps just me. It does seem possible that with a little effort I could have thought of something kitsch she might do with them. However I don't like kitsch and cannot bring myself to encourage it in any way, especially not by designing it myself.

So this was a nice woman who likes to sew, not well-educated but capable of doing good work. It just happened, as these were completely original designs that I contracted her to sew, the lesson I would learn is that even simple original work is not transparently simple to execute. I'm very sorry to say working with her not only cost, materially, very dearly but I also lost the affection of a person I liked. I'm pretty sure she felt injured by my comment that the chintz squares cost nothing because they were worth nothing. I now know that was rude and it pains me to recall having said it.

Another person I hired to do this hand work was an expert at hand-stitching, and has a college degree, and worked in a top university in an administrative position.

My product's stitching needed to be invisible, and I demonstrated it carefully and she agreed on how it would be done before I turned the again already prepared materials for the project over to her for finishing.

When the pieces were returned to me, they were not stitched invisibly but instead employed the tiny, uniform stitches used in quilting, a style she was comfortable sewing and which she no doubt believed would suffice. To me these were disappointing no only insofar as they were not done as spec'ed, but also I did not think them particularly pleasant or impressive in this application. Ultimately I decided this was really a question of taste, and I believed some people would think they were okay or perhaps even nice. And so I accepted them, but did not order another group to be sewn by this woman even though she asked me if I had any more that she could do.

I tried a few other artisans, as well, with varying styles and levels of disappointing results.

Louis of Boston had loved the concept of my product, and were willing to sell them in their shop, but I couldn't find anyone who could finish them, and I do not have the time to hand sew them by the dozens myself. As a result I have three different colors of a lovely pattern in silk charmeuse standing on bolts in a corner of my studio. Occasionally I make up an example of this object (a silk pocket square enclosing a hand made book with a Japanese binding I have called a "Breastpocket Book") which always slips into the breast pocket of a jacket with exactly the correct level of order vs. disarray, and is very lovely indeed. Enclosed inside each silken kerchief, the book itself is an amusing satire -- a psychosexual romance in the bombastic style of a 19th Century gothic romance novel -- so that "now it's really okay to play with something you're wearing." I should add that I also paid an Italian artisan $500 to execute the Japanese bindings on the little books. They come in buttery yellow gift boxes and are signed and numbered. I often make one up around Mothers Day and Fathers Day and present them to a host. But because I am apparently the only one who can sew the pocket squares, I fear the edition will never be complete. It's sad, really -- pathetic.

I think of this experience when I hear people positing theory that tweeting for Twitter is causing a breakdown of intellectual acuity. I would argue it is causing "a further breakdown" of intellectual acuity, as in my experience we clearly already were not the quality of people that our forbears were, even before Twitter appeared on the so-called social media scene.

It's fairly routine to hear complaints about jobs shifting overseas, but truthfully I have tried in a number of skills areas to hire workers and found I cannot find people locally who simply can do or will do the work as specified.

Truly, there ARE a few minutes of awkwardness whenever training one's fingers to do new things correctly. It is apparently more than people are willing to invest. After struggling with it for a time or two, I truly believe one would be able to make $12-16/hr. if they could only make themselves sew these little gems with the invisible stitching it requires. Invisible stitching, once you get the hang of it, is actually far less demanding of perfection than other types of fine finishing work -- it is invisible, after all, and this is one of the reasons I chose this method for finishing. It can be done quickly. But no one I could find seemed interested in spending an hour or two mastering the technique. Alas, I am now contemplating how else I might use those bolts of silk as I fear they will never be needed for Breastpocket Books.

Foregoing experience is one of the examples of wish fulfillment in "HARRIER ANGEL -- rock remedy for the re generation," for one of the things happening at Griselda's Fat Farm of Studio Art is that people are training to execute high levels of craftsmanship, much as occurred more than a century ago in the studios of William Morris. Beautifully executed craftsmanship can be a soul satisfying adventure in aesthetics, self-realization and economics, and it is these things I seek to inspire in this work for the musical stage.

Have you ever seen film footage of a room in Asia where people unroll silk cocoons by hand? There is a perfectly deafening din from their chattering -- sometimes sounding like birds, sometimes like monkeys, sometimes like a chorus of frogs. It's a very naturalistic cacophony as they fill the air with thousands of conversations while pursuing otherwise essentially mindless activity.

Perhaps tweeting for Twitter is reducing communication to some analogy of such noise. Not "a tale told by an idiot, . . . signifying nothing" exactly. But close. It may merely be a din, the sound accompanying unskilled activity emitted by laboring and gossiping sweet, silly, bored and hapless individuals enacting a swarm. I suppose there is nothing wrong with it, per se -- it's just representative of a level not particularly high on any scale approaching intelligent discourse -- definitely devolutionary activity -- by individuals who unaccountably no doubt might consider themselves quite clever indeed. Frankly it frightens me to think about it.

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Will - Saturday, April 20th, 2013
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Dianne7 - Friday, April 19th, 2013
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Boston Marathon tragedy - Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
On-site visitors and athletes and their own friends and family were quickly joined by first responders. Video shows people, in immediate efforts to help those in need, rushing into the chaos rather than away to safety. There were medical tents already set up but outfitted to treat things like dehydration, exhaustion and heart attack. Helpers improvised by using their own devices like the lanyards suspending their race badges which they applied as tourniquets to the injured. It is estimated many deaths were averted by the actions of knowledgeable and and well-intentioned people. However many of the casualties remain in critical condition. Some may yet die; others have life altering injuries that will change them forever.

April 15, Torbotax crashes due to "late filers." - Monday, April 15th, 2013
I thought the persona of the support person quite lovely, and that she did her best for us while staying within certain parameters quite obviously established by the Turbotax Corporate need to serve their best interests.

In certain cases, as the present one, this interest results in a rather bad waste of customer's time. I have run into this problem with other companies so it's getting to be a familiar scenario. Specifically, the product is not working, the company knows quite well this is due to a defective (in this case tax return software) CD sold very early in the tax season essentially to keep the revenue stream flowing. When the software inverted numbers in the calculations, it should have been a clue (to the support department) that this was a case of defective software, and if they had done right by me they would have set me up immediately to receive the completely new, updated and working correctly version that by now existed -- which, after many many hours, is the course we were asked to take.

Rather than doing this, however, the support person was obliged to ask us to perform many tasks over and over and over as if the possibility of this very obvious programming error could in some way be our fault. Ultimately -- after approximately four hours of time (much of it standing online waiting to be served) the obvious fact that we needed a new version of the software was arrived at and as though doing us a great favor, we were finally given the correct version of the software. We then had to start from scratch doing our return, having wasted an amazing amount of time by first working with a defective copy (with wrong information that we very nearly filed) and then trying to do things like make the software work by editing uneditable pages, re-entering data to see if it would come out differently on subsequent tries (of which attempts we were asked to perform 3), and so on, all of which failed. By the nature of the error, it should have been obvious, and I believe it was obvious to all concerned, that we were engaged in a scenario designed to make Turbotax appear to be acting in a manner both sincere and helpful. Overall, our return took about five to six times as long to do as it should have.

I read today Turbotax has crashed due to what is described as an overload of last-minute filers.

How much of this heavy load was caused by useless reiteration of downloads, fake help, and bad corporate faith?

May I suggest that, in the future, when Turbotax becomes aware of a customer attempting to work with an obviously defective disk that your customer service person be instructed to ask for the date and place of purchase of the disk. When it turns out the disk is months old, it will be possible to arrive immediately at the conclusion that a download of a fresh version is in order. At this point you might also send notices to those you may reasonably suspect have purchased the same faulty product, and instruct them to download a new copy.

This will save yourselves and your customers a lot of grief.

Moreover, my suspicion is that the massive number of "last minute filers" that supposedly caused the system to crash will be greatly reduced because many of these late filings are due to customers who could not spare at the drop of a hat the many, many hours required to address the problem through your present operations, and thus were forced to address the problems on numerous separate occasions -- probably with at least the same level of frustration we experienced and possibly even more in cases where the task had to be broken up into separate chunks and the online wait time to reach customer support had to be endured repeatedly.

Thanks for listening. This concludes this week's kvetch session.

Sarai Monoco - Saturday, April 13th, 2013
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Mister05 - Monday, March 25th, 2013
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Great Britons - Sunday, March 17th, 2013
Thank you! So pleased to receive such pleasantry from England, a country whose correspondents are invariably so interesting and intelligent!

Your comment here is especially timely and appreciated as nine3.com has just in the past couple of days suffered the dreaded awakening of the Google giant bully, mentioned in an earlier post, whereby "they" suddenly notice how popular the site has become and, failing to start paying for "their" services, nine3 suddenly finds its visitorship vastly reduced by 60-80%.

I believe this happens because the search engine lets the popularity of sites dictate placement in the search rankings, then if it is discovered certain popular sites have achieved this without paying money to the search engine's corporate entity, the ranking can be immediately and artificially lowered so that it no longer shows up among the top entries for any given search.

I fear this awakening of the behemoth once more to have been precipitated by my own efforts. I have been trying for find a new stats engine to replace the one I had been using. That one was great but suddenly had its plug pulled when its author started working for Google. He, of course, is a wonderful person and not responsible for our diminished status, having recommended an alternate engine (in addition to his new employer's). But in the course of events I did revisit my Google Analytics pages (which I don't pursue because the learning curve is too demanding for me at this time or in the foreseeable future, a fact supported by my Google Analytics page being wholly unrecognizable now and wiping out anything I knew about how to operate within it in the past, due to the continuous evolutions of the moving target that keeps everyone captive to activities unrelated to pursuits which are the actual purpose of their efforts and perhaps even their very existence, as in my own case).

I did manage to installed the alternative's files on the server but have as yet not followed through with adding the code to all the pages and configuring the preferences and then finding out what I've done wrong and fixing mistakes I've made that keep the thing from working. It's really probably an entire day of work to do this, and I am trying to finish UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS in time for a meeting in July in NYC. I really do not have a day to give to it.

I'm also working on a commercial project now that has a "real" IT person, and hoping to get advice and perhaps even actual help in doing some of this.

In the meantime, if readers will be so kind, please mention your interest in ournine3com site and its guestbook/blog to any of your contacts who you believe may also enjoy it. It really shatters my faith every time this happens because I watch the progress daily, and with great satisfaction, and it is really painful to see it land in the dregs once again through the thuggery of a giant corporation whose "machine" has been programmed to extract tribute from everyone on the planet or be consigned to serial oblivion. It makes me feel that in some small way I know how Sisyphus felt ; )

Your help building our traffic back up again will be most appreciated.

Thank you!
for light, life and love,
Cristobal

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Boston Schools Adopt New Placement Plan for Students - Friday, March 15th, 2013
According to today's New York Times, the era of busing in Boston is finally at an end.

I agree with the mayor: "Keeping students closer to home would encourage more parental involvement, develop neighborhood cohesion and ultimately improve the schools." To this I would add I've often wondered whether the Khmer Rouge learned something from Arthur Garrity about destroying the moral fiber of communities in order to reduce resistance, namely that through the "disintegration" of removing people from their own environs they would be left defenseless in places where everyone is a stranger and no one has any idea at all of who they can trust. Something like Cambodia of the Khemer Rouge era happened here, too.

I would also add that a city clogged with school buses, many of them going up and down the streets and picking up kids at their doorsteps, has been frustrating.

As for eliminating racism, that hasn't worked at all. It's true there is much more economic opportunity for minorities today, but that's the case in many places in the nation and has nothing to do with busing. Racism here is in some ways more insidious than ever -- e.g., my neighborhood, "Dorchester" (a formerly fine old neighborhood with many large, beautiful spaces) is actually a collection of neighborhoods much larger than the rest of the city combined. Imagine a city with entrenched "presumed racial" stigma affecting more than half of itself. It really explains so much about Boston at this time in its history. The resentments from white flight remain virulent among people who "had to" leave their familial homes because of unwillingness to live among a rainbow of peoples. "Dorchester Day" still brings thousands upon thousands of these people back "home." They still love to celebrate the lives and memories of their former existence here. Ergo, it's often transparently clear that the last quarter of the 20th Century's developments due to institutional attempts at forced healing of racism has resulted in a sad and peculiar form of self-hatred that now characterizes the entire city.

For an example of how I know this I offer the commonplace that I frequently experience dismissal and vilification based on my address which, combined with my name -- often considered a "black" name (Cassandra being popular among blacks long before most white people started naming their daughters that, and the Von Brauns have long married across racial lines whenever they felt like it, "almost as though racial lines do not exist" which, by the way, they do but only in the same way as a black cat is different from a tabby or a marmalade or a jellicle or a tortoiseshell) to go along with my "black" address. But as an artist I need this large, beautiful affordable space for my work, and I want this location (very accessible not only to the rest of the region but to the miles and miles of recreational waterfront -- and worth mentioning: being less than 10 minutes to our yacht club), and I feel honored in a strange way to be openly insulted by some prospects (like just last week) and therefore being allowed to see clearly who I am dealing with before a habitual assumption of "good faith until proven wrong" and vestigial optimism bring a breakdown in one of my personal religious commitments, namely to have no intimacy with worthless people. I don't mean that all racists are inherently worthless. I think of them as merely atavistic, like the feral cats I feed who often gather at the dishes according to the colors in their furs -- for reasons I suspect have something to do with the natural tendency of wild things to assume camouflage as part of a primitive instinct for survival in hostile environments. In this sense, racists are stuck in some primitive state akin to "survival" mode. This is in the category of behaviors that may have had a reasonable explanation somewhere or some time, but no longer applies. And yet like some well-established people I know (or know of) who act in "habitual" or "ritual" desperation (always seeking a better deal, even from people who have far less than they, even to the point of cheating others, and/or including hiding money from taxation, and in so many other ways too tedious to enumerate here), clearly, they are far from desperate. Acting desperate in the absence of desperation reveals character, like racism does. When I say such people are "worthless," I simply mean they are not prospects for my interests, and thus not worth my efforts.

I didn't say anything like this to the guy last week, who had given every kind of signal, with extravagant complements to my portfolio (commercial and fine art), that we would do business. He engaged me three times (twice in person, as I travelled to meet with his group, and once in a telephone interview of nearly an hour), but in the end contrived a clever device to bring the subject of my neighborhood into the conversation, pretending to be unaware that I live here, noting the good qualities of design, construction, location, etc., then adding, "but who would ever want to live there."

My teensy riposte I parried in another way, on another subject. The man was nearly bald, so whilst we closed our meeting with social chit-chat about our nutritional habits and favorite supplements, I mentioned an herbal remedy for hair growth (the efficacy of which my own copious locks attest). He noted this eagerly, writing it down and asking for the correct spelling and alternate names, etc. after I had prefaced my comment by nodding to his wife and saying, "You don't need this, but . . ."

I so enjoyed her preening at the complement and her satisfaction in the belief that it could not be noticed that she was wearing a wig.

As I am, un-wealthy, but also un-desperate, I do enjoy, and can afford to enjoy, such revelations as these in my excursions among privileged yet desperate-acting homo sapiens in this beautiful yet un-fair city.

So way to go, Mayor Menino. It's really about time. I hope only good things come of it.

tours of france - Friday, March 15th, 2013
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jiweolsoe - Saturday, March 9th, 2013
Light music

New Zealand

casz - Friday, March 8th, 2013
Thanks for sending all the notes and comments during this month-long pursuit of finalizing the "current state" of "Dean Don (Ding Dong)". I know this assertion contains a contradiction -- and that's only part of the reason it's so difficult to decide when the interim version is done. How can you "finalize" something that is currently and foreseeably in an intermediate state? By practicing until you can hit all the high notes just so the decision NOT to hit the high notes is a choice rather than a necessity!

That's why a theater piece is called a "play." "God is happy. He plays with us."

There are suddenly lots of interesting commercial projects appearing, abd this I assume may be some kind of justification for hope in general economic developments.

I also received a charming letter and email from the director of a foundation dispensing money for theater projects. We will talk later in the year, hopefully in person, in NYC. There were certainly enough disclaimers to cover eventual disappointment, but she did wish to let me know the panel are favorably disposed to my work and to acknowledge what they refer to as my "dedication," even though when the times comes to hand out the awards there may not be much left : ) I think that's what it means. But, anyway, it is nice to hear.

We're on the third day of a wintery blow that has never seemed very big but over time is racking up enough damage to our coastal areas to deserve respect for the March lion. And it's pretty breezy in this drafty old house, too, so I've made a few of what we refer to as "bunny suits" consisting of various ensembles and suites of fleece garments for everyone. Today I am bundled up indoors even to the hat, gloves (fingerless) and boots. Soon I must go out to start shoveling the latest six inches or so, the second batch (maybe 5-6") we removed at 5:a.m.

The tulips shoots are blanketed under snow, but I know there are dozens of them coming up, and I dearly hope they are keeping well in their beds until the spring is really and truly burgeoning.

Cheers,

elitnoe soprovozhdenie Moskva - Friday, March 1st, 2013
En parlant de la perspective d’un jeune homme, je pense qu’il faut s’accorder le droit de vivre dans un logement nouveau, même si cela implique beaucoup de sacrifices financières. Pour un logement ancien on fait toujours des sacrifices (c’est vrai un peu plus petits, mais l’idée de jeunesse et du début de la vie familiale, disons, je les associe nouveau, même si cela implique quelques années de paiement de plus…!

Bats In The Belfry in audio - Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
Okay, I've finished with writing this sketch.

For the record, I'm completely replacing the original (basic structure) I put here with this full-length version that includes a few fills and frills to simulate the mental condition of the unfortunate husband of the irresistible but shrewish, Kate. Please visit the productions section of the site if you'd like to read the synopsis of this scene, and the "Dean Don" lyric that will soon, I hope, have a vocal on it, thus concluding work on the draft of this number.

Don't hate Kate : ) she's a classic American type. Although my sister Kate will probably think this is based on her, it is actually not. It is another Kate, but the two are in some ways quite similar, they even look the same with pale blond hair and blue eyes and the alternately animated and supremely serene affectations, depending on the moment.

This shifting in personality is another aspect of many of the women I know whom I consider to convey such "Kate" personae. By turns wildly histrionic and coolly remote, I've come to realize it depends upon how recently the mood-elevating prescription has been administered. I've often found myself experiencing something like strong "attraction" to the remote side of the personality (having been cured decades ago of a nearly fatal attraction to someone presenting the histrionic side). In the case of being drawn to the remote expression, perhaps it is simply my impulse to draw people out in general, and the impossibility of doing that with someone chemically sedated. In that state, truly, there is nothing "there," though I find myself trying harder and harder to get through. I think this may be why the type also is irresistibly sexy to some husbands. I've met them, pining away, like Linda Ronstadt, "I never drew one response from you . . ." How little they suspected it was nothing personal.

I mentioned this to a friend who said that some amazing number like one in three residents of NYC are on one or another form of these drugs. I thought that shocking, but it does perhaps explain why press and other media fail to make the connection between the mass murderer shooters and the one thing they all have in common, which is use of these prescriptions drugs. My friend said he thought it is a subject taboo because so many people rely on them and really do not feel they could get along without them that it has been an unspoken consensus not to make the connection between the psychotic killers and their prescription drug cocktails for fear of being deprived of substances onself, as so many feel they must have these drugs if they are to continue coping with their lives.

Can this possibly be the case?

Anyway, in "Dean Don" we have a teensy glimpse into the intimate world of "Upside Downstairs's" Kate. I hope it amuses you as much as it does me, despite its admittedly dark side.

Berna Andrson - Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
I could not resist commenting. Very well written!

Notation quandary - Thursday, January 31st, 2013
The verse section in DEAN DON open with a line in 4/4, then the rest of the piece is in 3/4.

My software apparently has a limited number of time signature changes it can accommodate in a song.

I thought I had discovered a workaround by converting it to a midi file, then reconverting back to the sequencer software, but it turns out that it drops the time signature changes after a few systems.

This is a pain.

At the same time I'm working on vocalizing exercises so I can use the f above high C. Turns out these weeks of not practicing while I'm writing have reduced my usable range. I've used A-flat above high C in a song before (THE ONION RAG), but now finding it a pain to get even the E above high C, which used to be hardly even noticeable as a "high" note for me.

So I'll try to do a few vocal exercises in the course of wrestling with the notation, and hopefully before too long will have a reasonable demo sketch, with notation, for DEAN DON, whereupon it will be possible to move on to the next song.

I believe that will leave only three or four to do. The second act has been outlined and has some scenes sketched in. I think it's pretty funny and smart and naughty and nice. I hope the ridiculous PC types (the aforementioned "too tut-tut" folks) won't get their noses out of joint that the piece attempts to correct a situation of the powerful pressing their advantages to pre-empt process and seize for their own use the grant that in the course of a lot of work by a lot of people was determined should go to a poor but brilliant student. This really happened, but I'm not naming names.

Back in the good old days of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals (or "plays with music," which is truly different from the fluffy. silly, predictable stuff of "musicals" today), this is the sort of material that they favored, and it's fair to say that in its time it changed the mind of the nation about things like racism and domestic violence, and more. Now it seems those who used to champion fairness like to get a heel down and grind out of existence anything promoting the current day equivalents of the same impulse to encourage and enlighten human behaviors, especially the sense of justice.

HARRIER ANGEL, for example, seems to be getting a bit of flak because of the "NO DOGMA" rule, by people who in the past like Hammerstein would have certainly approved but whose counterparts today really have slammed shut the mind, cherishing the dead dogma well above any other principles, and not so subtly preventing the free flow of thought and individuality. Strangely, it's another era of mind-forged manacles, for those who would benefit most from thinking for themselves are the very ones most in love with the dogma chaining them to the past.

Now the busybodies are hating cats - Thursday, January 31st, 2013
The suddenly big news story is about domestic cats killing small animals. Apparently some believe something should be done about this. I have a certain level of experience and expertise on this subject, and must say there are lovely solutions out there which have been rejected for no good reasons.

After allergy to a pet cat turned into multiple chemical sensitivity, I now support a few ferals. "Mine" are wild and cannot be touched let alone caught and neutered. But it was soon clear they would have many litters, and too many survivors for me to feed, so I sought contraception and readily found it in a product that was mixed into the wet food once a week. The product was called FERAL STAT. The population stabilized around 3-5 cats -- perfect! Just enough to tend to our neighbor's city-mandated kennel (prison) for their bulldog, which in addition to being cruel to the dog was also a significant magnet for rats. The cats knocked the rat population down straightaway.

Then the contraceptives were taken off the market: vets felt it cut into their business and no longer wanted to sell it, animal rights folks objected to everything from it feminizing the tomcats to other potentials like it "harming" the feral cats (which is absurd since even under the best of circumstances they usually don't live very long).

I've learned much about human behavior from watching the cats. They gather over the feeding bowls according to color. I've concluded it's a safety in numbers feature, i.e., camouflage, though it looks a lot like like "racism." One tamed itself and asked for special treats like being stroked and allowed inside occasionally. I think I've described in a previous post how his mother foolishly dropped her litter in the cockpit of our boat (up high and dry in the back yard after the boating season ended). We had no idea where her kittens were for she was very cunning about concealing her comings and goings. But suddenly she presented me with the most piteous miming. Sitting on her haunches, with one paw uplifted in supplication (the same gesture humans use when begging), she had stuffed her cheeks with food like a squirrel, then ran off and while I watched, climbed a tree, travelled over the roof of the garage, and jumped down onto the boat -- showing me where she was keeping her kittens. She returned and repeated her supplication, until I understood what she was telling me.

When my husband came home, I told him what she had done, and he promptly climbed up into the boat and found the kittens. They were weak from lack of exercise, though getting pretty big, and clearly she could not have brought them out of there on her own. He handed them down to me in a bucket. One by one I put them in the box we had brought, and the smallest was a fluffy little gray with a white bib. I looked into his eyes and said, "Oh, you are a cutie. When the time comes, you can come and be my special friend."

That night we had a a fierce storm with heavy wind and rain. The cockpit of the boat, with its bottom covered by dry leaves that had blown in under the tarp blocking the drain, flooded.

This mother cat had marvelous balletic moves, leaping through the air to catch insects and other flying prey, and had been given the name "Elvis." That day she must have understood that the storm was coming, and summoned the necessary means to communicate her need for help to save her kittens.

As soon as they were safely down, Elvis ran off with them and hid them again, and we didn't see them for a few weeks, when suddenly they appeared on the porch, feeding at the bowl.

That little gray is the one who tamed himself. He understood quite well, apparently, my invitation to him the night we met. That was a few years ago, and he has since died. I no longer try to tame any of them or make them my "special" friend. I've observed that those who form special relationships with us (relationships on our terms instead of according to the wild code and yet cannot be brought inside as pets because of my allergy, do not typically fare particularly well. Neither pets nor wild, they die young and are obviously better left among their own.

All the cats who live here are Elvis's offspring -- about 12 cats, which is more than I'd prefer.

Despite being untouched and skittish if approached, more than one have said, quite distinctly, "Hello," when I said, "Hello," which always feels like a blessed thing. Sometimes, like their mother, the have "asked" for help -- to remove a thorn or cut off a mat of hair that didn't shed properly, e.g.. They cooperate while I assist them, then run away. I find them amazing and in their own way deeply loving, and far more intelligent than many may believe.

The small animals cats feed on have been designed by nature to saturate an environment. That's the food chain for you. Extra animals die from overpopulation and you never even know it. There will always be "enough" rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and rodents. Birds, too, barring unfavorable conditions beyond predation by felines. In our yard, the cardinals and thrushes have learned not to nest in the big juniper where the cats can reach them. They've gotten smarter.

By the same principle, there will always be "enough" cats to eat all the food available to them. The number is truly "too many" to the eyes of an observer who does not like to walk past starving animals.

The current debacle about cats killing and eating small animals, raising the hackles of those righteous individuals of the tiny too tut-tut mentality, is merely a distraction appealing to ignorant and nasty people unwilling to address worthy issues yet desirous of feeling upset all the time just the same. Often they find themselves becoming upset with other people are not exactly what a busybody would wish them to be. I suggest that the advent of that emotion should be taken as a sign that one is about to be wrong about everything. My advice: be positive, abjure hating, & stop hating cats.

And bring back that contraceptive. That would be productive.

Have a beer - Monday, January 28th, 2013
RE: A muscle pull in the shoulder that was causing problems (pain) all the way down to the knee on the opposite side, and everything in between-- ouch!

I decided to order a tall Sam Adams Spring Ale at Mama Mia's in Marshfield, Mass., joking that maybe if I could relax the pain would go away.

It worked! I noticed walking out to the car that the agony had abated considerably. Maybe because the problem had just turned up (misalignment had not become entrenched) after helping carry a too heavy load the day before. We went to a drug store on the way home and as getting into the store from the parking lot in the back was up a long flight of stairs, I joked that I would take the handicapped ramp. Then I noticed nothing hurt at all, decided to try the stairs, and it was absolutely fine.

Now it's the next day after that, and there is still no sign the agony will recur.

Thank you, Sam!

We laughed about this, and my companion noted that Jim Koch, who started brewing the natural way here in Boston and spawned a huge industry nationwide -- giving us micro-breweries and other small-scale producers of what are essentially European-style beers full of real nutritional value -- should get the Medal of Freedom. Today I heartily support that idea.

Maybe a working person's routine aches and pains from the kind of physical labor that brought about my own suffering do rely on beer for relief. My grandmother often said, "Beer is food." Now I'm thinking it's medicine, as well.

While we're on the subject of drinking, Go Coach Harbaugh [snort-snuck]! Bottoms up, all!

- Thursday, January 24th, 2013
Glad you did. Have you seen any action on my query/rfp over there at x'x?

: )

LevonVW - Thursday, January 24th, 2013
simply dropping by to say hey

My truck garden - Thursday, January 24th, 2013
I hate headlines about food prices going up. With last summer's drought, this winter's deep freezes shifting wildly all over the place and so many other factors like expanding markets abroad, inflation and the costs of fuel and water, where is the hope for anything beyond acceptance of the fact that it's going to cost more to eat? Obviously, it's a complex equation projecting a moving target.

For a person as practical as I am, breaking my head trying to understand it all or scaring myself with individual case scenarios is simply too subjective. Without being able to take some action, it just adds up to a sense of helplessness. There are probably a lot of things a person could do to address this. One obvious and excellent way is to start a garden and plant a few specimens of things you like to eat — tend it, watch it grow, and enjoy both the labor itself and its fruits in season, impeccably fresh, and you didn't even have to go to the market.

But economics is just the beginning of the reasons for gardening. Cultivating a few of your favorite foods leads to even more good things. It truly enters the realm of profound appreciation of life, an opinion shared by some of the great intellects, like Ben Franklin, who said there was nowhere on earth he'd rather be than on his farm. Considering all the other things he did and places he visited in his life, that's saying a lot.

But from a humbler person's point of view, through the cycle of planting, germination, foliation, flowering, fruiting and harvesting I realized how reassuring and, well, grounding it can be. To the uninitiated somehow it's also truly surprising. Despite all the world's notorious vicissitudes, given a few simple conditions, anyone can experience through their garden a world that is beautiful, amazingly generous and a source of deep connection to life at its most magical — in a word, glorious!

It just takes a little bit of earth, water and sunlight — plus a few seeds or seedlings, a little healthy sweat and some fun and interesting mucking about. It's primordial, really, and actually fascinating and reassuring when you begin to feel the forces fundamental to keeping body and soul together because of your own participation with them.

And then you get to eat the fresh and tasty things that you've brought forth with your own hands. That is a really good thing.

There are many inspiring web sites and blogs related to cultivation out there. I recently found the environmental blog at
theenvironmentalblog [.org/2012/05/mulching-101/]
full of helpful information, written by knowledgeable people in a pleasant, personal tone. I think it may actually be the source of the Ben Franklin reference above, although I couldn't find it just now when I went there looking to see if I could add a citation. (Sorry about that, no citation today : )

So what if you were to take action toward growing some food this season? Think of the possibilities! MyCityGardens is one place that can make it easier to get started by making more ground available for more people through enabling yard sharing. I think this is a great idea, Thank you, MyCityGardens [.com].

blogging - Monday, January 21st, 2013
Thanks.

I'll take this opportunity to let you know I'll be blogging for a gardening site starting later in the week. The partners are eager to hear from more voices, commenting on how effectively the blog drives traffic to the site.

I've certainly noticed the same thing here.

It's really quite a charming quality among people that they enjoy "blogs" as much as they do. Much like gardening itself, blogging is an act that affords generous rewards for even small amounts of effort.

I very much enjoy hearing from you.

If you would be so good as to link to me through Stumble Upon or Yelp, and tell your friends, that would help so much. As I've mentioned, and perhaps it's a little bit paranoid since my tools for looking at the statistics on nine3.com aren't really that telling nor my skills or even the application of them all that much in depth, but it wouldn't surprise me to see my lovely growth in traffic knocked back down soon. The big guys are always looking for ways to get more money out of their supposedly free services, and the typical experience for me is that the visitorship reaches a certain level, then I receive a few offers to purchase services enhancing visibility to search engines. A little while after failing to pony up, suddenly the traffic drops off, sometimes by 80-90%.

The truth is I'm more interested in growth through the interest of "naturally compatible" hearts and minds rather than by manipulations by machine-driven algorithms.

Last week I asked a social networking seminar host whose seminar I attended whether anything could be done toward increasing authenticity in social networks, by which I mean developing strategies that avoid the use of fake personae (as is the usual thing for a social network). The response was a deafening silence. In fact, I'm sure he believes (since he recommended the practice to all of us) that it's absolutely necessary to invent numerous personae for addressing (i.e., sucking up to) the various mathematicaly identified segments of one's visitorship. I find this rather difficult to accept.

I'll cross post my gardening blogs here. The other people blogging on the site are scientists, so it will be interesting to discover whether what Verlie calls my "unique style" will be something that works for them.

See you around the aether : )

cx

Verlie Friedman - Monday, January 21st, 2013
Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this site.

moderated page - Friday, January 18th, 2013
This is just to let you know that a failed attempt to find your post here is not an indication the blog is inoperable or abandoned.

The site is moderated, and cheery greetings are always welcome, however most posts lacking content of specific interest to the visitorship cannot be published.

Thanks for understanding.

Freedom of expression - Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Je ne suis pas s鹯 du droit d'auteur et lois sur la diffamation en dehors de mon propre pays (Etats-Unis), et m阭e alors, je me demande parfois. Dans le blog de ​​l'autre jour, par exemple, (le long avec des d閠ails sur une rencontre douloureuse dans un atelier professionnel), j'ai essay de faire attention ne pas r関閘er l'identit de cette personne avec les d閠ails que lui seul et je me souviens et reconna顃re. C'est, bien s鹯, suppose qu'il n'a pas parl de cela avec quelqu'un d'autre l'閜oque et donc inculquer des connaissances au-del de nous deux ce sujet. Je pense que le mieux que vous pouvez faire est de poster une politique de confidentialit qui vous esp閞ez couvrir les risques. Je suis d'accord qu'il faut un peu de courage moral parfois de dire exactement ce que vous pensez assez important d'exprimer. Bonne chance,

Wilmer - Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Je pensais commencer un blog que j'ai fait quelques recherches sur elle sur Internet et suis tombé sur un tas de choses que les pourparlers sur les questions juridiques et les blogs. Je n'ai pas l'intention de blogs sur des sujets controversés, (mon blog mettrait l'accent sur les messages sur les livres, les films, la culture, le théâtre, la musique, etc et tout le matériel serait uniquement mes propres opinions), de sorte que les questions morales sont impliquées avec les blogs? . Devrais-je écrire un avertissement droits d'auteur ou des dénis de blog fait rien?.

Dean Don's conundrum at the end of Act I - Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
"A rat named the nominee
"Now his cat's up a big tree
"And he's down with a bad case
"Of bats in the belfry"

a little slow - Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Oh, sorry, I just noticed that music sketch is a wee bit soporific due to having had a slow setting when I made the midi file. It took about 5 steps to get it from there to here, though, and I've no time to fix now.

Gotta be in Cambridge in an hour, so must get going.

'bye!
casz

Hi Marshall - Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Nice to know you stopped by.

Alfred, I'm sorry but I can't bear Wordpress. It's so sad how much time and effort people put into it. If they only knew how much easier it is just to learn a little basic html.0

If you go for the latter, be sure to learn html5. It has been greatly simplified and enables browsers so they can accept nearly anything that ever worked in the past in any version of html. Just remember to include the html5 tag in the opening, and you're golden.

Good luck with WP.

MarshallSJ - Monday, January 14th, 2013
simply stopping by to say hi

Alfred - Saturday, January 12th, 2013
Can I install a different Wordpress theme to a Wordpress hosted blog? wish you luck

New York workshop - Saturday, January 12th, 2013
If I submit, most likely I will be invited to attend, but not be a presenter. Based on past experience, it would appear the presentation slots are mostly reserved for NYU and other New York people who have succeeded in becoming "friends" with those selecting the presentations. This is par for the course in a world where "networking" is the acceptable description of activity that in the past would have been called something that doesn't sound legitimate -- sucking up, perhaps. A few years ago I described an experience that resulted in me getting the most heinous, monotonous, self-indulgent and puerile works inserted into my brain pan -- excruciating! Nevertheless I miss NYC and attending the workshop is something I'd like to do this year, having skipped it last year (and every year since '07, to be truthful, although usually I make the effort to submit, which is how I know the invitation would most likely be offered.

Oftentimes everyone knows all the works are very bad quality, but there is one that everyone thinks is "really good" and in fact that one is quite obviously the only one with any merit but at the same time deeply shallow. At least in my person opinion, works for the musical stage must rise above the level that passes quite nicely in film and television and even non-musical live theatrical "entertainment."

These forms do indeed fulfill even my own requisites if sufficiently entertaining, and achieving even just a little bit more can make them what is called "great." I mean pieces that resonate, stimulate conversation, provoke questioning and become the source of personal growth or at least course alteration. But because musicals (through the addition of the powers of music and poetry reach deep and far into the individual as well as the cultural awareness) must achieve more.

And so it is almost like slumming to attend the workshop. The room is filled with sycophants and egoists, most of whom have not completed a single work and never will but, as sycophants and egoists will always do, believe themselves to have achieved something merely by essentially talking about it, as though that were the same as finishing it. In a culture where it has been proposed that everyone is an artist, this is the usual case for "writers" and "artists" of every stripe. What these people do not know and perhaps never will realize is that a nascent work can be talked to death. Its need for expression most often will be fulfilled in the talking, an ego-satisfying moment as the center of attention that creates the virtual certainty that the work will never come into existence at all.

I cannot even remember all the cases of "collaboration" I have entered with such creative types that have produced no more than the awareness of one path to vast tracts of wasted time.

One memorable case involved a few people gathered from this workshop. Although I was not the progenitor, I was the only one who was able to begin, and so I wrote a concept, an outline, a scene or two, and made a few drawings -- and everyone loved it and immediately set about the project. Unfortunately, this involved a man with a very large ego deciding that not I but he would be the prime mover, and that I would be relegated to taking note taker for documenting the spout of verbiage he began to emit. When he got ahead of me and I had to ask him to repeat his point, it was quite amusing to see everyone, including himself, in the group realization that no one had any idea whatsoever either what had just been said or where it was going. I was traveling to NYC a couple of times a month to participate in these sessions.

I happened to remember this particular case just yesterday when searching for a CD for a piece of software I needed to reinstall and coming across my folder from this project. I still love the idea. It is a quite amusing piece about the relationship of place and mind that takes place in a recycling center. The drawings are very amusing indeed.

Anyway, after a few months of working on this, at the end of the folder, a song or two submitted for inclusion in the show -- the most shattering dreck imaginable, one of which is a love song to (excuse me, I really hate having to mention this) to a "dirty filthy whore" to whom the singer of the song will be rendering details of his desire to perform oral sex.

And so my idea of a comic piece about Place and Mind within a matter of a few weeks had become a work of degradation and pornography. I remember the studio where our meetings ensued was on the 15th floor of a building on E. 54th St. where there were no screens on the windows, which were open wide, with the author of this particular song perched casually on a sill as though he were not enjoying a moment only the slightest mischance from a fatal accident. I remember telling him he should not be sitting there, and soon after he did move to a safe place, perhaps in the dawning awareness that my own warning to him had come after a fleeting thought running through my resentful psyche of what might befall one of the persons at least partially responsible for my wonderful idea having been converted into something a dung beetle would find compelling.

I didn't quite the group, but I did mention to the originator of the group that it was my opinion that I was the best one to write the piece. He felt the man who had taken my place had more credibility than I, and so I should continue to take notes. I simply stopped showing up for the meetings after that, and many months later heard about a reading the group had given of a section of the piece -- by all accounts a complete disaster, of course.

The other type of person I've met in such workshops was unique and therefore not a type at all. He was the scion of a powerful theater family, a man of about my age in attendance with the belief that he was seeking "the next great thing" to promote. But as the family's fortunes have grown over the years, by the same degree have their inherent literary talents declined. I knew immediately that this man was of consequence. The attendees were all sitting and milling about in the room outside the auditorium when he appeared in the door. The first thing I noticed was that he was exquisitely dressed in casual but extremely good quality clothing. As a tailor myself by dint of my upbringing in a family that included more than a few expert cutters and tailors, I know very well that beautiful clothing is not in itself an indicator of wealth, so I looked at his shoes for confirmation. He was indeed wearing a small fortune in very good goods.

The second indicator this this man was "someone" was that an awful lot of the people in the room knew him, but rather than seeking his attention there was a flurry of activity as if of one mind they suddenly escaped to a slightly higher than normal level of animation in conversation elsewhere. Those unable to avoid acknowledging him altogether did so furtively and then quickly turned to whatever reading material they had with them, which had suddenly become irresistibly engrossing.

Ever the risk taker, upon realizing this was a person of consequence, I smiled at him then returned to my own reading.

Within a matter of moments I was quite shocked and frightened to realize he was suddenly sitting right next to me.

I pretended not to notice, considering the best course of action. Of course they fear him, I decided. Their work stinks. He has already rejected them. "But MY work is wonderful, and so mine will be the result much more in keeping with success on both our sides. This will be a good thing, perhaps just the very kind of thing that is the entire point of you being here today." It was not my first workshop, so I knew in all likelihood there was nothing significant to be gained from the program itself. But before I could decide how best to acknowledge this man, who was not only extremely well dressed but really very tall and gorgeous in every way, he had withdrawn to sit himself down on the floor with his back against a wall. Whipped open his current model Apple computer, and began laughing and chuckling happily to himself at the obviously many delightful emails that had arrived for him.

When we were told to queue up to enter the auditorium, I again found him by my side, so I said, "Are you on the panel?"

How clever that was, eh! He was shocked. Of course I had not thought through what might happen next, and was alarmed that he immediately demanded to know why I had said that.

I was forced to make like a sphinx and smile enigmatically.

But he now had his mission -- he wanted to know how I could tell he was an important person -- and so it was that there were two seats together available which we found outselves sitting in forthwith.

I can't tell you everything now. It would be a sad day to be so naive! Suffice it to say he was on a much higher level than I could have dreamed, we had an amazing conversation, he accepted the concept album of HARRIER ANGEL, and we exchanged business cards agreed to talk in a few weeks time.

Perhaps it was the timing. Actually I do not believe this. It turned out badly, and I am the one who did it.

I deeply feared I would be expected to prostitute myself (which is what usual expectations of up and coming or "wannabees" [what an insulting term, thank you Spike Lee] are in the entertainment field), and against this trend I had brought with me a special pair of trousers -- my ugly trousers -- reasoning that a person of quality who is seriously interested in developing wonderful new work does not require whoring to be among the skills being offered, and I wore those trousers to the meeting the next day.

It's a vast oversimplification and I am making light of a decision and ramifications that were extremely painful and damaging over the next couple of years. He was cruel. So what? I was stupid. What does one expect?

But now it's a few years later and I have STILL not succombed to (the very commonplace) demands for sex or other forms of whoring from people who perhaps themselves even believe they are capable of doing something good for the world through art. What will be demanded isn't always the thing I feared from the fellow I've been telling you about here. And in that case he certainly retains his plausible deniability (even though he still follows this blog one could almost say obsessively and I'm pretty sure he will be greatly amused to read here at last how I knew he was [or, since he has never actually done anything in musical theater depite his name and his money, at least he could easily manage to be] one of the big players). Okay, people usually aren't so overt as to demand literal whoring. More usually they merely demand that I hand over the project -- lock, stock, and barrel -- with no expectation of ever benefiting from it myself. They say things like, "We NEVER see anything this good! And Cass, I want you to send me a fax that says, 'I want you to make the film." And then I don't do it, they are insulted, and hate me and commit character assassination against me from that moment until the end of time.

Commonly, here in Boston (in fact in almost every single case of someone excited about my work) they want to be given credit for writing the music. As one notable example (now a shocking hack, doing the worst things and getting the worst reviews EVER while at the same time holding the exteem of students in classes where he is going to write them a reference -- ! see DEAN DON!!) said, "I'm going to Svengali you to a big career. You will retain book and lyrics credit, and that should be sufficient for you."

So yes, I do miss the workshops in New York, crazy as that may seem. But I am deeply involved with efforts to finish UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS and get LA MERRIO in shape, plus the usual projects which used to be called "commercial" but which are now virtually a joke as most everyone is hoping to secure creative services at little or no cost these days. It's January, and all so depressing I'm thinking a visit to the workshop would kick up enough grit in my psyche to motivate something energetic.

Who knows? I haven't decided. I certainly can ill afford much in the way of accommodations. There are several people I can stay with there, but they all have cats, and after years of having house pets I am now so allergic I cannot be in a house with cats, which is why I treasure my colony of feral cats -- they are so sweet, funny, wonderful and beautiful and never stop me breathing despite the fact that they are today frightening me awfully with their caterwalling in estrus and the five extra males in the yard I know full well there will be far, far too many of them (this is definitely going to be a problem) come April, when the workshop takes place.

swirling brainwaves - Friday, January 4th, 2013
Greetings in the New Year, friends!

I have been slaving over DEAN DON driven by the need to create an arrangement with a semblance of Kate's wild frustration and self-mockery toward her position in life. After a few days working with several choices, suddenly something started happening -- a breakthrough! What a feeling!

The next installment of LA MERRIO AND THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN is also in the works.

I wish you all a fresh infusion of creative energies to begin your new year!

Thank you for visiting.

casz - Thursday, December 20th, 2012
To the right is the second episode of the serialization of a novel called LA MERRIO & THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN.

Did I tell you this novel is based on a true story? It is a fictionalized account of personal experience following divorce from my first husband.

I shared the draft of this book with Jack LaZebnik, my beloved college professor, now deceased. His opinion was golden -- writers like William Least Heat Moon (Bill Trogdon, who was at Stephens as a lecturer when I was there) followed Jack's advice and changed his name to a Native American pseudonym, and the book became the best selling BLUE HIGHWAYS. And Jack's three sons all made respectable careers in Hollywood as writers and producers. Jack said he liked my LA MERRIO & THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN a lot. "It's clear and strong," he said. But he said it needed to be changed from third person to first person. Actually, I had known this when writing it, but with self-effacement and shyness characteristic of that period in my life, I feared it would prove embarrassing so opted for third person. Since the required changes involve quite a bit more than merely changing pronouns, I put it aside.

It has taken a long time to get around to finishing it, but I'm finding the process fun and exciting. I hope you enjoy it.

ELEMENTARY Episode 10 - Friday, December 14th, 2012
For the first time that I am aware of, last night's CBS show "borrowed" the idea of a security algorithm based on Pi, first proposed here, by me.

Various entertainment companies check in frequently, and I've seen my expressions reiterated before, many times and far more extensively than in this case, as mentioned in other posts. But those are usually cultural references whose sources are far less easy to identify. The "Leviathan" episode about a super secure vault generating random codes every two minutes is the first time I've seen my ideas about the uses and explanations of Pi can be adapted for use in encryption. Of course in this case the method was rather superficially suggested -- just well enough to suggest a leap the audience could make to bridge a credibility gap.

But hopefully it will inspire more serious inquiries, eh! Thieving magpies!

longchamp outlet - Friday, December 7th, 2012
Hi, good work , Thanks For share

In all honesty, IDK - Monday, December 3rd, 2012
Keephorposozy, your style is unusual for someone from GB : )

After a little research, I've decided your comments and inquiry are sincere, so I will therefore attempt a proper reply.

This web site and blog/guestbook are longstanding. Maybe it just takes time? I haven't done any of the things the big search engines or marketing consultants recommend, and it has taken quite a few years to reach the present level of readership. It is said that growth will be by fits and starts, and that has been the case here as many times over the course of creating this I have been solicited by supposedly "free" vehicles to purchase services and, following what you can imagine by the relatively huge expenditures required to create the original works here (all my own, with rare exceptions, and including things like mounting productions and hiring other talents for creating studio recordings, e.g., not to mention fatally neglecting my commercial clientele so that in the present state of economics my household income is now and has for some years been in the category of "working poor"), my inability to shell out the requested money to contract "web" or "social networking" services to promote the site has been punished by the signal rejection of those entities (who knock the site down in the search engine results and decimate, at least for a time, the visitorship here).

But each time the numbers have been knocked back by this type of vindictiveneass ("free" being a concept open to interpretation : ), the visitorship has recovered, then grown (I would say exponentially, but that would be an exaggeration in any but the most relativist of senses ; )

It began with HARRIER ANGEL -- rock remedy for the re generation. The web was just beginning, and seemed like a good place for migration after initial productions, paid out of pocket, delivered tremendous learning -- knowledge and experience -- in exchange for its cost.

Perhaps I will one day gather all of this in a memoir. Suffice it to say the audiences were wild with happiness and the Boston press ("suspicious of ideas they have not been told to approve" [in the words of Thomas Wolfe] and infatuation with the tragedy romance of Jonathan Larson's experience being killed by the stress of pursuing his musical theater dreams [IMO], provided a convenient distraction from the fact that this city had suddenly produced a work of scope and originality sufficient to return theatrical and creative legitimacy after decades of desuetude that were the result of the errors and false insights developed through precious intellectual extrapolations on ideas from Freud and Marx.

Intellectual life in Boston, which had been the flower of American culture in the early years of the republic, by the late 20th Century had died and petrified, yet I -- an innocent young artist hoping to plant myself here and establish my aesthetic credentials in the seat of culture in America -- had no way of knowing the glorious period of Boston's contributions to intellectual life were already set in stone, immovable and inert and resilient to change, quite some decades before I even arrived here.

My reasons for staying are another long tale for another day. Suffice it to say I have remained here --, and pretty happily, too, in the not insignificant realms of private life -- pursuing the life of the mind according to my personal instrument and capacity to do so, piling up works in my drawer and hoping eternally for the moment that will place one of them in the right circumstances to allow it to be heard and enjoyed by audiences (not fake journalists, sycophants and critics, which is all there is out there in media any more).

When the effects of these ideas resound (as they do, with people), it will be discovered that there is a substantial and good stock of works for trade remaining in the drawer, giving rise to some hope for the "me" generation, the "x" generation, the "millennial" generation, et alia, to be supplanted by a legitimate "re" genertion.

Having made HARRIER ANGEL flesh by mounting it on stage, and thus owning the imagery to support the web site at nine3, I asked myself, "What is the key element of this show that will attract the entire family of man to the site?" The answer is the sacred erotic, presented at nine3 through the ancient teachings of "The Secret Of The Golden Flower" and "The Tao of Sex." These components underlie the philosophy of Griselda's Fat Farm of Studio Art. They appear in the play in the rather offhand and quasi-satirical mode usually employed by literary giants of the past to mask (at the superficial level) the actual and true artistic intention of a given piece. "The Secret of the Golden Flower" is, after all, "secret," eh! It cannot reside at the superficial level as that would expose it to degradation of misinterpretation and misuse by aforementioned fake journalists and critics who, at this late stage in the culture, actually believe that their voices frame the supreme conduit of human intellectual life.

More later, my dears. Today I am essentially "une bonne femme." As essentially a kept woman, there are numerous demands on my time for the practice of the domestic rituals that provide a little piece of heaven in my dear benefactor's life. So I must go. For now, suffice it to say my choice of subject matter to draw interest to nine3 and to HARRIER ANGEL and the other works showcased here, has indeed proven its virtue, for the more the search results of these pages are degraded, the more human beings (hungry for the truth about their connection to the sublime eternal Being at Oneness with the Great Tao) share the links and discuss the links and benefits from the teachings. And thus the visitorship grows.

Apart from the aforementioned domestic rituals, and writing to you today, I am also doing three things at once: editing the next installment of LA MERRIO AND THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN, updating the DVD of THE TEMPEST film clips collection for a special friend whose brilliant young daughter's scenes were not included in the version released last month, and notating the new song, DEAN DON.

May your own pursuits in the arts follow your heart and provide the passion and happiness that will nourish you through years of laboring in obscurity.

As Nicolas Tesla said, replying to a question about how he could bear his cruel treatment at the hands of competing interests, "In the end it hardly matters as in fact it's really quite amazing just being me."

Blessings and love, it LALLA!!

keephorposozy - Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
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Ho-boy, sigh - Sunday, November 18th, 2012
This is really not the way I had hoped to do the novel's pages, but various machines agree on so little, apparently. These are jpgs. If you open them in a new window (right click, choose "Open in new window), resulting image on the new page should be sizeable for legibility.

Here are two extra spreads as a reward for your patience.

Enjoy!

xoxo,

I'll fix it later - Saturday, November 17th, 2012
How painful it is to fail to follow through with promised content.

The novel to which I referred recently is LA MERRIO AND THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN, and after a fashion it is ready to begin sharing with visitors in installments.

The animation here, of the seminal inspiration of HARRIER ANGEL, I used as a code reference for placing an image that would be a link to a pdf of the novel pages. The original still works fine, however the adapted code isn't working right, based on a "plugin error" -- not sure why, probably something to do with it being a pdf -- but no time now to figure it out.

For some reason I don't quite understand I've been invited to what sounds like a pretty nice networking opportunity, a cocktail reception -- something about "influential women" and previewing a new film soon to appear on PBS. It sounds like fun and I'm looking forward to it, but there is work to be done before I'll be ready to present just in case I meet someone interested in my projects, so that must take priority at the moment.

Ideally, these gif images of the pages, when clicked, would take you to a full-sized pdf of the page. When it's working it will certainly be much easier on the eyes than this is. Sorry!

But consider this a promise I have not forgotten, and these busted links are the evidence.

Wish me luck,
Bestest,

Cristobal - Monday, November 12th, 2012
The New York Times today publishes an extremely narrow view of human existence through its article, "Does pornography deserve its bad rap?"

Our own little Cristo could not resist offering a helpful comment, which almost certainly will not be published. Therefore it appears here so his efforts on our behalf will not be wasted. When he says, "Search Sacred Erotic for more information," he is of course referring to his own articles appearing here on nine3.com. There are many other fine discussions of this subject available on the network.

This is what he wrote to New York Times today:

CristobalBoston
Chinese (Tao of Sex) maintains the sacred erotic through a series of practical rituals that enhance longevity and support total physical & spiritual continence between loving couples. Prevailing culture's orientation to sexuality results in symptoms like addiction to orgasm yet that results in increasing dissipation and inability to achieve pleasure or even erection at all on the one hand and on the other, its opposite, of utter repression finding females evil because with increasing separation of the opposites in a natural pair the libido soon discovers even a stray lock of hair to be unbearably erotic. The prime mover of existence cannot be repressed. The fundamental natural impulse to sex is obvious, yet there exists as well a higher purpose to sex to draw the chi (vital life force) through the genitals up through the spine and into the brain where under the right conditions the pineal gland will burst into bloom (the secret of the golden flower) and enable higher awareness. Sexual revolution in western civilization has devolved into little more than increasing insistence on women's rights as the source of free prostitutes. Women especially should beware the use of electric vibrators as this destroys fine muscle control and not only results in incontinence but also eliminates the potential for chi rising to the pineal, nurturing the golden flower, and bringing the ultimate release of self realization. Search the Sacred Erotic for more information.

In peace profound,

Targu Mures - Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
I and my guys ended up analyzing the nice guides from your web site while before long came up with an awful suspicion I had not thanked the website owner for those secrets. Those ladies had been for this reason excited to study them and now have very much been tapping into them. Thank you for truly being so helpful and also for finding this kind of fabulous areas most people are really wanting to learn about. My personal sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to you sooner.

Greetings, anti piracy corporation - Friday, November 2nd, 2012
Glad to receive visits from Mark Monitor. Sure they won't find any piracy here, so maybe their purpose is to find some of those guys who are pirating us!

I've often found complete copies of nine3 being served from elsewhere, often translated into other languages.

I've long wanted to perform homage to Charles Dickens by serializing a novel here. It would, I am certain, satisfy the many visitors who visit here daily and for whom I feel twinges of guilt at my own laziness and inadequacy. I would like to feel you are being served, dear friends. But, if you please, how will I ever experience the benefits of my work — I mean in monetary form, of course : )?? as there is always the satisfaction, in another realm, of virtue practiced, i.e., satisfaction in the service of heaven, for giving voice to new work, as close as heaven allows, to being both truthful and new?

Did I tell you I tested at the high school level in all subjects when I was in the third grade? As a third child, and female (considered a misfortune in my family of that generation), I had long pretended to believe I was "average" although of course knowing otherwise. Then, in the first grade and once again in the third grade, we were given tests and I thought, "Oh good, now they will have to acknowledge me and I will cease having to pretend." I was wrong about that. My family did not acknowledge it. I learned about it from my childhood friend, Pamela Severe (r.i.p. 1952-2012), whose family always knew everything, and shared freely : ) They wanted to know whether I would be going away to the state boarding school for gifted students. This school had contacted my parents after the results of the exam came in, saying I could not be educated properly in the public school system in Pendleton, Oregon, and should be given a place at a special school in the state capital. Once I heard this, I begged incessantly again and again to be allowed to go, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. They simply pretended not to hear. This was excruciating to me, as not only did I long to learn much more quickly than was possible in the public school, but -- also -- I had for as long as I could remember been the slave and victim of my elder sister, whose case of sibling rivalry was in a related process of deliberate parental ignorance. Some other time I may detail the particulars of the relationships among the (eventually) four sisters in this family. But two of us died young and my elder sister and I remain —, sometimes cordial, rarely loving, but until this time forever trapped in a peculiar accident of birth order and gender. I love her quite a bit, strangely, but I do not believe she has ever advanced beyond the moment at the age of about 3 years old when I (at 18 months) clearly remember her finding in hypochondria a means of erasing me, and (enacting polio, with at least four adults hovering around her crib in grave concern) shooting me a look that was as clear as any language, conveyed, "See? I know how to make it like you don't even exist," and I shot back, "Yes, but you're the one who's crazy."

This girl faked ignorance as avidly as I flew through multiple choice questions. Her IQ came out to below 80, e.g., as she admitted to me only within the past decade or so, at the ages of seven and nine years old she refused the exams. "Oh, no you don't," she said she had thought, "I see what you're doing. I'm not going along with this." And so as a young child she simply would not allow herself to be tested and instead was labeled something strange that no one really believed to be what we now call "developmentally delayed," but clearly defied description. She was obviously very bright, but would not do any school work. At last, as a senior, Mr. Plants (her English teacher) said to her, "I'll give you one more chance, and if you turn in this last paper I will pass you and you will be allowed to graduate. Otherwise you will fail, and you will not graduate. Do you understand?"

She did understand, and she came to me with this ultimatum. She had never written a single paper before.She was extremely talented as a soprano, sang the leads in the school musicals and so on, had long success in her instinctive self-training as a femme fatale for the long trail of broken hearted young men who had loved her and so on. I think now the school system simply had no idea of what to do with her. So she told me her plight.

For myself, I had for years longed for freedom from her. We had always shared a bedroom, and I was as devastated as she at the prospect of her failing to graduate and, more importantly to me, failing to somehow "go away," as I had longed prayed I would be released from my bondage to her. So without really wondering too long how a sophomore could hope to write a paper for a senior, I said, "I'll do it." She gave me the book, it was UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, and I read it and wrote a paper, typed it up, and gave it to her. She told me later she turned it in without even reading it.

This was the first instance of what in my college years became the "story for another day" that culminated after receiving my bachelor's degree, to which I alluded to in earlier references to having had a special relationship with THE TEMPEST.

But my sister graduated with her class, and that is the point of this rather protracted digression. And I had my own room for two years before leaving for college.

Once, in response to a complement from a friend praising my work, I cited research demonstrating that high levels of talent and/or intelligence bear little correlation with success in life, and she sputtered, "Oh, stop it!"

And she was right, of course. It is actually quite nice to get to be me and such sadness over what might have been is petty and silly since, of course, no one can know what would have been, under even the slightest of departures from history.

Perhaps I will go ahead and serialize LA MERRIO AND THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN here. It does need editing, and if I do that one chapter at a time and post it here in a Dickensian mode, toward the interest of drawing more nine3 readership, then not only will readers be served but what seems like an odious task (editing the novel) could be accomplished in a nonce, after which it could be published as an e-book.

Or ripped off and turned into a blockbuster, which is what happened when I found an "agent" in Hollywood for one of my screenplays who said she was certain she could sell it. This agent suddenly displayed annoyance with me for inquiring about progress in its sale, saying, "Please, you MUST not call me again!" which I politely did not do, and whereupon within a couple of years I received calls from friends, saying, "Cassandra, they ripped off your screenplay!" And after I saw the film I agreed. But what could I do? lacking zillion$ to sue?

Then a few years later, attending a film school conducted by Hollywood professionals, we were told, "Your ideas are not YOUR ideas. The only thing about it that is YOURS is the way you express it. Others may express it differently, then it is THEIR idea." Yeah, sure.

A friend from Los Angeles had a friend who worked in a film studio office, and he told an interesting story. A screenwriter pitching his script, after an intensive meeting with many questions and discussions, received at last a surprisingly indifferent response. After he left, the studio guys shut themselves up behind closed doors and put their heads together, and the top guy said, "Okay, so we're gonna do it." THEIR version, of course. And for which in all fairness one may say there exists not one chance in hell it was a story they could have ever come up with on their own.

LALLA! "It looks a lot like art," eh!

So, knowing the foregoing -- what, pray tell, must I be thinking to express freely on this forum?

Everything is a test.

For example, I often wonder about the thousands of visits to my "nine3.com/concept.html" from major institutions worldwide in physics, mathematics, atmospheric research, space, and on and on. The concept expresses one of those rare, amazingly obvious principles which for some reason arrived in my brain and no one else's. It is a graphic system of number that enables calculation intuitively, with huge numbers, in base-16 ("sexadecimal") and even base-32 ("duo-sexadecimal") — and accounts for the anomaloy of pi!

A lot of people have looked at it and stared at me gape-jawed, in pure astonishment. But I started "thinking about it" when I was ten years old when I learned about pi for the first time and thought, "There must be something wrong with our numbering system to call this obviously extremely important value 'irrational'. I will try to figure out what it really means."

Over the years I pondered it, then suddenly it came together through a nine three configuration. It has seen discussions here about many applications from intuitive ways to calculate massive numbers, as a corollary to understanding binary values, for encryption algorithms and so on.

I do think it will be very hard for anyone to say this is anyone's idea but mine!

I hope the little drawings at right (seen elsewhere on this site), along with other figures (including the mobius and split mobius strips and others), tease the heck out of your brainpans, darlings!

Take that! I double-dang dare ye.

Until later, . . .
y'r l'tle cristo xxx

Tempest DVD - Friday, October 26th, 2012
I've worked on some clips of video taken at last month's THE TEMPEST performances. October was my window of opportunity for doing this, so even though the potential here isn't entirely actualized, I've pulled everything done so far together and made a few copies on DVD. I would like to share these with you all. Very sorry I didn't get to do the fabulous scene with the conspiring gentlemen, and a few other marvelous bits, but maybe I will eventually get to include everything I shot to create a thorough and proper presentation before the year is out, with proper title and end credit sequences and all that jazz, but in the interest of some kind of closure on a pretty great job by one and all . . . for the moment at least: that's all she wrote, now serving, you're welcome to it!

This is about half the show -- maybe 40 minutes or so -- and maybe I'm punchy from going over and over it fixing the places where the highly fatigued camera person suddenly started leaning precipitously to capture the view from the floor to the wall and over to the door . . . but the effects used to mask such flaws may be in themselves rather amusing additions to what all in all is a pretty hilarious document on a very pretty show.

If you want to view these disks on your TV, depending on your system, you may need to fool around with the "shuffle" or whatever to get it to play (it works for me), and it's pretty much guaranteed to work on a computer. I need $10 to cover materials and mailing, so shoot me an email if you're interested in receiving copy and we'll figure it out.

If it ever really gets done to portfolio level, it will have all the post production details that make sure everyone's tv can play it correctly (no fooling around with the buttons to trick it into going . . .) and a lot more of the music Tom wrote, etc. But for now, I gotta get going on another project.

Cheers!

650k+ - Sunday, October 21st, 2012
Dear readers, I have heard that web site growth occurs by leaps and bounds, but the major search engine just recently knocked us down again and I am therefore extremely surprised at the quickness of the rebound and renewal of expansion! I suppose it's possible your numbers are growing exponentially : ), and if it is then I thank you all!

BTW, if you need creative services and like my compositions, designs and accompanying prose showcased here, why don't you send me a request for proposal? I could certainly use the work.

Thanks, folks!

To the grand prize winning songwriter who just the other day downloaded nine3 in its entirety, I'm sure you must have a richly associative and assimilative personality (as most creative people do), but please take care to avoid "assimilating" my work and presenting it as your own. I don't have the $XX/per song to throw at those songwriting contests, nevertheless everything here is registered and copyrighted. I appreciate your consideration.

xto, casz

hey, thanks! - Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
We're getting half a gig per day of downloads. Pretty good!

I'm still making little movies out of my TEMPEST video footage. It seems a little naughty since there are still a few bags of TEMPEST things that need putting away, and my industrial machine that got knocked off its timing is still not quite right, and . . . so many other things to do! not the least of which is writing the new songs for UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS, set aside when I jumped in on the TEMPEST job, which was the cause of so much intense pain right up until it was over. Yes, the blog entry makes light of it, that's my job as a columnist -- to make light of things : ) telling but a small fraction of the story and barely hinting at the depths of the despair and agony. In truth I hardly even believe the exchange I came for (use of space to develop my work) I will ever call in.

Guess I have not truly recovered. The filmmaking coda is part of turning the whole into something good. And I am not sorry, because it was THE TEMPEST, and I knew one day I would have to present it. There were many, many sleepless nights, betrayals, egregious antics . . . all par for the course in a show that isn't going well. It did turn out well, by a miracle and lots of perseverance. But can you believe I still have the headache? At the top of my head on the right side.

Yet a couple of very dear friends and talented actors have inquired about whether anything can be done with the footage, and I cannot resist the temptation to try to please them, as their work pleased me enormously, and with this last push perhaps also endlessly as making something of the footage will in time supplant the suffering in the memory bank, I do so hope and pray.

It is another lovely autumn day, and there is a window here looking up and down the tree-lined street -- that's probably the most I'll see of the beautiful daylight as there remains but an hour and a half before I must go attend to tonight's evening meal preparation. Chicken cacciatore, I think -- and a first course of Calimari Puttanesca. The latter is a dish that makes diners sigh, "Lovely, lovely, mmn, mmmMMNn!" It's a little time- consuming but not difficult. Let me know, and I will send the recipe.

kisses,
casz

China - Thursday, October 11th, 2012
Really don't ruin your current worth simply by evaluating all by yourself with other people. It is because we've been different that each people is actually particular.
Do not be afraid to admit it

Graci - Friday, October 5th, 2012
Very nice to hear from appreciative readers : ) I hope it is not too inconvenient for those who subscribe that sometimes posts (such as the tome about THE TEMPEST) are written directly into this engine and thus in the course of my editing readers may receive multiple notices of postings when mere line revisions are the only cause of the alerts.

Blessings,
yr l'tl' xto

Sosa - Friday, October 5th, 2012
I searched a bunch of sites and this was the best.

Boston - Friday, October 5th, 2012
Every one like here! Because it so wonderful!

My Tempest thesis - Monday, October 1st, 2012
. . . never saw the light of day. It is a strange and telling example of personal history that after many years I've discovered a sort of compulsion to share. However when I floated the idea of doing that here, the proposal received dead silence for a reply, and that to me usually means it is not felt to be a good idea : ) the silence coming as it did from N, whose judgment I trust far above my own. Suffice it to say I had an academic relationship with Shakespeare's final play, learned a great deal about myself and (eventually) my alma mater because of it, rejected then against my better judgment embraced a key relationship only to be rejected by it in the end, and the "post graduate" (let's say) paper I shed blood, sweat and tears to write . . . to this day remains unsubmitted.

However I finally did produce the play, and we did mount it, and it even had original music (that we commissioned and that is wonderful) and also experienced many of the delights suggested by the beautiful, hilarious and heartwarming script itself, some extremely fortunate casting, a rather simple though lovely collection of designs, and a terrific finale, party, and strike.

With a name like "The Tempest," why would anyone expect it to be easy? In my experience, a play's interpersonal and other dynamics of fortune in some way mirror (often) the play itself, and this one was no exception. As alluded previously, we had our tempestuous components but in the end the experience is a treasure well-documented both in image stills and film clips and echoes in brain memory.

Certain pieces of the set design no one would attempt, so for starters I seized the bull by the horns so to speak and with N, G and L rendered drawings for and executed a ramp. I insisted on Equity standards, which at first seemed to make everyone either mystified or mad at me but for which all were very glad in the end as some of our cast would certainly have suffered from the one originally proposed (with a 7":1' grade, while the Equity spec calls for 1":1'), and the one we had turned out quite nicely. The set designer and I had got off to a rather difficult start for several reasons, including the ramp which had appeared in the design by surprise, long after initial discussions, and signalling a thoroughgoing ad hoc approach that any producer might take a fright from would prove necessarily or at least unavoidably be taken to virtually every detail of the production from thence forward.

The ramp itself had to be redrawn several times to reflect changes in the various ways actors would be approaching the stage from the aisles, which changes it was the custom not to tell me about so I could have the surprise of noticing them during rehearsals where it was clear they were blocking the action as though actors are able to defy the laws of physics and walk right through timbers, mount the air, and so on, rather than being utterly denied some of these prefernces by the existence of a rather large finite wooden structure spanning the entire front of the stage. And so I kept redrawing and redrawing the plans, which for me was not a problem because I am fond of my Adobe Illustrator, but annoyed the director who thought it would be far better if we could dispense with plans altogether and invite the master builder to execute in multiple extra dimensions simultaneously to the rhythms of somebody — possibly me — waving my arms around as encouragement to provide several different ramps all in the same place and all at the same time.

The last requested ramp redesign could not be accommodated after all as construction was already complete and the builder had left the country. Then strong emotions found expression by those permitted to be passionate about their art and, more commonly for the rest of us, repressed or expressed privately in the form of subdued and respectful if somewhat fearful consternation. Seems funny now, eh! It took all of ten minutes to arrive at a perfectly good workaround rather than attempting to tear down and rebuild or move the ramp, which weighed at least a thousand pounds and would certainly have ripped the floor apart had the tiny woman attempting to heave it ho by some miracle been able to succeed at pushing it 12 inches to the south.

A happier construction was the arbor of saplings requested for the entrance to Prospero's cell. Although it was quite a bit of work, this went together like a song as no one else had any idea whatsoever practical enough to offer hope of being executed by our little band and our littler budget.

I dyed 15 yards of linen to olive drab, then spread it out on the lawn and with a tube and syringe hit it with blue and red spatter. When dry, the selvedges were ripped away lengthwise creating matching, very ratty "string" which would later be very useful for tying. I cut 5-yard long strips in both 8 and 10" widths, then split each one diagonally and sewed each resulting super-elongated isosceles triangle into a sleeve (pretty irregular because of the different lengths of the sides being sewn together), and when it got too tight to sew simply leaving a longish tail at the narrow (top) end.

The reason for stripping the selvedges off is that they make a firm edge which prevents necessary stretching and mangling of the unequal-length edges to be sew together into a very long cone. If left in place instead of torn away, these selvedges make the sewing very awkward and difficult and result in a much shorter sleeve. I'm telling you now so if by some odd chance you try this you won't have to hear all the moans vented by stitchers with their knuckles cracking as they wrestle the intractable woven edges against the malleable cut ones they are meant to match up with.

There was just enough variation between the 8" and 10" versions of these sleeves to create two different thicknesses of natural looking saplings, which tapered nicely from bottom to top. Inserting 3/4" PVC tubing (each 10' long) into each sleeve, there was enough excess material to crinkle and twist the sleeve around the tube, creating the effect of tree bark. The long, skinny tip of each sleeve hung loose at the top and was ultimately useful, along with the ugly string made from the selvedges, for tying things together.

These saplings were inserted into a base described in the schematic drawing at right. Since this theater is a historic building and no nails or screws of any kind can be driven into the stage, the plywood base had to receive screws from the bottom up, into the 2x4 blocks each cut to about six inches long. We tried hot gluing the blocks into position, then flipping the whole thing over and attempting to drive the screws into the blocks. The positions of the blocks so carefully determined ended being done with guess work whilst the hot glue was giving way all over the place and threatening to mess up the layout that had been judiciously considered and determined by the director.

I had provided the schematic done as a mirror image, which would have saved us a lot of trouble, but not everyone will agree to what something will look like by observing it in reverse. In truth, I'm not that good at this either as I've discovered on certain occasions, after being photographed and realizing I'd apparently had no idea at all how much eye makeup I was applying that day. But whatever your spacial relations skills, you'd best figure out a way to mark the positions of these blocks from the opposite side of the plywood base before you begin attaching them else you struggle wildly, as we did, and end up holding the plywood sheet on its edge between two artisans who, pushing against each other with one attempting to hold the block in position while the other is madly screwing it into place, discover the symbolic power of these actions and spend the rest of the production trying to avoid violating their marriage vows through the sheer compulsion of the chemistry thus ignited.

Once the blocks are in place, it's quick work to screw the flanges into them and in turn insert the new "saplings" into place, all of which must then be bent and tied into an arch (with a single pole "sapling" running down the top center to stabilize it and provide a place to tie on the foliage.

The scenic painter and I visited a lot of Dollar Stores and found enough bunches of green leaves. We bought other grasses and foliage at a local liquidator store where they were selling Chinese brooms for $1 each that, once the strapping was cut off, released bunches of ragged dark brown straw which we spray-painted lightly with three different shades of green but left largely "tawny," as one line in the play describes the island's grasses.

The show's design, at the time I signed on to produce it, began with a concept described as "minimalist," but even from the very beginning it was obvious from the model it was not exactly something anyone in their right mind would call "minimalist." So little by little from the inside out and with nothing but the whiff of an unexpressed evolving vision to guide us . . .
we fell upon another of the mischances I am now glad of — it came to pass that I would be managing the costuming as well! Can you imagine? No? Well, I am sorry but I can't help you there as this happens to be one of several episodes that cannot be related without risk of shocking the sensibilities of people who should have known better than to wait until the last minute to begin. I was already producer of the show, a big enough job, but thankfully had the help of an experienced and capable associate.

So with many hands, it came to pass that I very much enjoy a sewing marathon, on this occasions turning out traditional mariners shirts and breeches and, especially, the garments for the central characters. Here are pictures of Ariel, Caliban and Miranda wearing my designs.

Some of the fabrics are very costly, from my own collection of fabrics saved from the days of Von Braun Custom Clothiers, a Newbury Street couturier that went out of business upon the death of my sister. By the time I stepped in, the need for costumes was so extreme that it was far easier to use materials from my own stock rather than expect to find what I wanted, and for a price we could afford, at the last minute. You know the saying: "Good Quality, Good Schedule, Good Price — pick TWO." It may take a miracle, but can be done, to get any two of these; all three at once is out of the question. As producer, it was my responsibility to bring the show in on budget, so expecting to be paid the replacement cost on the silks and not wreck the show's bottom line and fail at the fundamental job of the producer was a little too much to risk, so, after the show, rather than bringing the costumes here to join the other creations in my already too well-stocked studio, and despite the pain of letting them go, I donated them to the company. I hope they like them, and I hope to see them on stage again sometime. Miranda's dress, e.g. — that would look nice in "The Sound of Music," eh!

The gentlemen here are dressed by the good offices of Salem State University, who have an excellent theater program and allowed us to borrow Renaissance garb to fill out our wardrobe.

Also shown are the ramp and the arbor and the leafy shadows cast by the gobo (and some actual leafy shadows, too, depending on the light in any particular scene).

The only other staging were a papier mach tree and "rocks" built around wooden boxes of various sizes that were used for seating and to partially conceal the ensemble of flute, guitar and bass playing on stage. Our rocks papier mach required the special addition of muslin underlying the paper fa鏰des because actors were constantly sitting, stepping and jumping on and off the rocks throughout the play, and simple papier mach could never have withstood such treatment. Our rocks lasted admirably all the way through the final performance.

All music and sound effects were organic with no canned or amplified sound of any kind. Thunder we made by stagehands shaking sheet metal roofing material backstage. Also backstage, the company's "thunder box" was put to use. The thunder box is a large, quaint device which in the old days was used to make thunder. This time it created the bumping and shifting sounds of a ship foundering on a rocky shoreline. Our show marked the first time the thunder box had been used in more than half a century, which made some of us very proud, especially the woman who begged to be its operator. Her happiness at emulating Zeus both on thunder box and thunder sheets I believe resulted in her credit in the program reading "Goddess of Thunder."

I hope to take the time to make some kind of film, certainly a short one, from the video footage I managed to shoot during two of the performances. My camera jammed right before the final (and best) performance, cheating me of the feed from the opposing angle. I will try to limit this film to some kind of promotion for the Eliot Hall Restoration Fund, home of the Footlight Club since 1876.

My little film will certainly not do justice to the marvels of our "Tempest," nor to a level reflecting the excellent work The Footlight Club presents, but may be a good exercise in incorporating limitations as style, LOL!! We shall see if anything comes of it.

Tata for now.

Marie - Monday, October 1st, 2012
This is wonderful!

freelance art director needed - Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Here is a sick development! I received my first decent lead on a job I've seen in YEARS, and I can't even think about trying to get it because of THE TEMPEST going into tech next week. Someday I'll use all the posts I've written and didn't dare publish about how fraught this show has been.

It was probably very stupid of me to jump in on a last-minute insertion into the company's season that was the result of an Equity house grabbing the same show as their season opener and pulling the right from us.

Every one of the execs on THE TEMPEST had at least a full week of planning and hiring before we announced auditions and hit the road to Opening Night. The usual planning and hiring period is more like five months, so guess what we did? We usually hired the first person that came along, and that includes me and all the people I hired, and hoped for the best. Crazy. And the best sometimes did happen, but frequently did not.

I knew this was going to be hard, but with a team that works smoothly together there's no reason it can't work on such an old chestnut as this popular work by the bard. It happens to be probably my very favorites, and one on which I even happen to have written a thesis.

And I do believe there is a cosmic benefit from accepting what is given despite obvious potentials pitfalls. It is part of the rules and covenants with heaven for those practicing the sacred arts, among which the living stage is paramount.

I gotta say we've seen our share of pitfalls, and some real setbacks as well, but we're soldiering on and I think we even have most of the actors going on fully clothed : ) heaven help us.

The aforementioned potential cosmic benefit could also materialize rather than just get me into heaven later or something should I drop from the strain : ) That is, promises have been made.

Of course, with theater, one never knows. People have to say what they have to say to keep the ship sailing, as the adage that "the show must go on" is an absolute fact. The show MUST go on, come what may and no matter what! Ergo promises not written in stone can easily be broken without ramifications as everyone understand people say what they have to say.

But I just want to note that among the visitors with producing interests who watch this space for news of movement on my works (which have been acknowledged to be worthy of development even by at least four Broadway producing groups), this would be a good time to come out of the shadows. We could have a production within a year.

I hope my rewards may soon begin to materialize, so to speak. Why not? I've certainly paid dues upon dues, and THE TEMPEST is in some ways going to be really terrific depite or maybe because of all the troubles that in retrospect we euphemistically refer to as "hard work."

Heaven help us : ) Blessings and peace,
xto

Boney, Naomi, Sherlock - Monday, August 20th, 2012
I haven't been able to look at what the visitors are looking at and listening to very much lately due to the demands of producing THE TEMPEST, and we're REALLY getting into crunch time now with less than 2 weeks to tech week . . . but I happened to notice that besides "Red River Valley," which continues in its various incarnation as by far the most popular song from HARRIER ANGEL, the next top three songs are the butt-kicking rock pieces BONEY BONEY, NAOMI, and SHERLOCK JONES.

I'm very proud of you guys!! Hard rock heals. The softer rocking, sweeter GULFPORT is next in line after the foregoing, possibly because Mike Mazola's vocal is so amazingly tender -- , and the guitar, of course, works better than a pain pill.

God bless you! and thanks for listening.

Oh, just one more thing, you really ought to try listening to the entire 60 minutes while driving in your car. Like a time warp, a sixty minute drive can get sucked into a single moment, with a deep sigh and release in the end. You will emerge refreshed no matter how brutal the traffic. No kidding. xoxox, wish me luck today with construction of a radical and original set piece for the goddesses to enter and exit through. hope to have pix in a couple of days.
blessings and love forever, y'r l'tl' cristo

JP - Friday, August 17th, 2012
I saw a provocative quote of Charlie Chaplin's the other day. He said, "You need power only when you want to do something harmful. Otherwise love is enough to get everything done."

A lot of people "liked" it on my facebook status., which prompted me to realize something.

The insight is beautiful, and true, yet in an imperfect world a double-edged sword.

To survive it's sometimes necessary to fight fire with fire. Unwillingness to seek power so one may do battle with fiends often means martyrdom of one kind or another. In cosmic terms, for the relentlessly loving person this can mean you hold up a mirror to the bad guys so at last they see themselves (through how they treated you). They may thus discover conscience, e.g., or some other greater good will be served.

On the other hand, you're dead -- hopefully not literally, yet there are only so many setbacks of this type that our short little lives can sustain and still hope to bounce back and prevail in that particularly passionately pursued worldly matter that has been your heart's desire and now defines who you are.

This quote seems to have a Christian orientation (which I love) but there are times I have practiced it to my regret, and sometimes think the Tao helps more by oftentimes mentioning cases where it is best to do nothing.

Boston - Saturday, August 11th, 2012
Sorry, no, I haven't seen your weblog, but will be on the lookout for it.

Also sorry you could be so misinformed, but you may certainy not suppose you may make use of my material.

Thanks for visiting here, though.

Why not be realistic and admit you really should not bother with a weblog if you must plagiarize to get material.

I don't say this to be mean. I write here for the traffic it brings to my site, and because I enjoy doing it and hearing from the people who visit. There can hardly be anything more personal than one's own writings. If you love me, you will understand : )

Heaven's blessings,

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Jasonterogaou0 - Saturday, August 11th, 2012
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Wake up - Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
We pay taxes, and hire officials through elections, and those officials are charged with spending our tax money to build the bridges, etc.

Anyone with a scintilla of knowledge about a balance sheet would never call a tax a cost, or a tax cut a cost, which the president does daily. Taxes are revenue, the opposite of a cost. Taxes pay for things, and are not in any way shape or form themselves a "cost." If you want to cut your costs, you cut spending. Incidentally, cutting taxes historically leads to higher revenues. Calling taxes a "cost" as the president is doing makes him sound like a complete fool, but of course the real intention is to underscore the idea of social justice as a fiscal value -- much like saying food stamps grow the economy.

This misuse of language is, as described by people like Derida and Lacan, the result of deconstructionism which is itself a methodology of marxist/leninist ideology.

Gore Vidal was a liberal, maybe even a leftist, but not an idiot. Yes, "liberating a city" is code for destruction, with the analogous outcome to the "useful idiots" who, having helped the "liberators" into power, then know too much, are potentially outraged by the betrayal of their naive expectations, and therefore must be put up against the wall and dispatched. It has happened to people by the millions and millions.

Example from one of the easily duped - Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
Smart man.......actually Cass...taxes pay for the COST of things we generally take for granted such as roads, safe bridges,fire depts.,police, ambulances, and a whole host of things that we could never afford if we had to pay individually !

and while we're on the subject . . . - Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
Does it bug anyone else to hear taxation levels referred to as "costs" to the government. Speaking of obfuscation. Taxes are not costs.

RIP Gore Vidal - Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.
~ Gore Vidal 1925-2012

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The Tempest at The Footlight Club - Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
Mark your calendars : )

The web version of the poster is the first publicity to be ready; the banner, poster, postcards, biz cards and ? (sure there's more, considering all the work that went into it) are off to the printers soon enough to be delivered to Nine3 for distribution.

Pictured are Damon Singletary as Prospero (wearing the magic cape designed and executed by yours truly : ), Christian Masters as Caliban and Kate Mock Elliott as Ariel.

Perhaps you will also notice my producing credit there. Open the image in a new window to see it bigger.

I've so many things to catch up on, and haven't even had time to keep a proper journal, yet the anecdotes are still fresh and I'm sure will be assimilated in due course.

In the meantime, rehearsals are well underway, we've designed a groovy ramp for accessing the stage from the aisles (don't worry, Andy, it's completely legal, even by Equity standards, with a grade of less than .75" per foot) -- thank you, designer Lara Holt, recently graduated Boston University School of Fine Arts, of Long Island.

Lara's twin sister Kathryn is heading up production of our trailer, which should be out in about three weeks. We also have another recent graduate, Thomas Blanford of Notre Dame (holding an electrical engineering degree and an aspiring microphone designer) as the composer of original music.

There are a lot of other massively talented people involved, too, and must mention Rebecca Glucklich as our choreographer working with Thomas and the ensemble.

Gotta go!

The Tempest at The Footlight Club - Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
Mark your calendars : )

The web version of the poster is the first publicity to be ready; the banner, poster, postcards, biz cards and ? (sure there's more, considering all the work that went into it) are off to the printers soon enough to be delivered to Nine3 for distribution.

Pictured are Damon Singletary as Prospero (wearing the magic cape designed and executed by yours truly : ), Christian Masters as Caliban and Kate Mock Elliott as Ariel.

Perhaps you will also notice my producing credit there, tiny type at the center bottom. Open the image in a new window to see it bigger.

I've so many things to catch up on, and haven't even had time to keep a proper journal, yet the anecdotes are still fresh and I'm sure all will be assimilated in due course.

In the meantime, rehearsals are well underway, we've designed a groovy ramp for accessing the stage from the aisles (don't worry, Andy, it's completely legal, even by Equity standards, with a grade of

casz - Friday, July 6th, 2012
Dropping in for a quick update and to tell you I think about the visitors to this space often and wish there were a way -- to clone my hands, perhaps -- so that more such manual tasks I love to pursue (such as writing, drawing, cutting, sewing, ironing and so on : ) could see progress.

Thanks so much for your interest. Google willing, we'll continue to grow as my earlier pleas apparently were answered and the traffic has not been kicked down to the degree it has in the past.

As many know, I am producing at last THE TEMPEST of Shakespeare, something I have always intended. It happened that Boston's Footlight Club, the oldest continuously operating community theater group in the nation, sent email requesting a producer for this show. I had written a major paper on this work in college and as a result have a strong conceptual framework for approaching this task . . . and I got the job. It's fun and exciting and opening in the middle of September for six (or 7, depending on certain factors) performances. Tickets are on sale now! : )

As publicity for any event proceeds on a separate (and accelerated) track from the production itself, the costume designer had more than enough on her plate, so to my delight I inherited the costume design for the posters, ads, banners, and other such collateral materials.

Because Footlight.org is such an excellent organization, it attracts a lot of great talent, among them the award-winning photographer Matt McKee who likes to do very creative work a few times a year (as opposed to the bread and butter jobs any photographer needs (corporate work and so on) that is also very good but not necessarily exciting and creative as theater imaging can be.

Our publicity shoot is in one week, featuring Prospero, Ariel and Caliban in a tempestuous environment, so I'm sweating my guts out with a steam iron and cutting table, having completed and fitted the muslins and now building Prospero's magic cape.

I'll post my drawings when I get a chance, and pictures of the finished garments or perhaps images used in the publicity itself, so you can see how it went.

In the meantime there are so many wonderful opportunities for commentary out there, nationally, aren't there!! I'm really dying to sit down to it, but until this shoot is in the can I am (happily enough) otherwise engaged.

Blessings, dear friends, I hope you are comfortable in this early summer heat!
until later,
cx

Bremerton - Friday, June 29th, 2012
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Hi, BigR - Thursday, June 28th, 2012
And let the big Oogle get the credit for all my traffic, not to mention spam the hell out of all my visitors?

That doesn't sound like me
: )
I hope the info here offsets the agony of the experience with the interface. Kidding : )

bigr - Thursday, June 28th, 2012
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Hi Jackson : ) - Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
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romiertoods - Saturday, June 9th, 2012
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agrireehach - Friday, May 25th, 2012
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Real Men Don't - Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Thanks for sharing this. Amidst all the "masturbation is healthy" literature, this a good counter and hard to find. I hope to read more regarding the regulations of sexual energy.

Abstinence from pornography will be a principle that I will keep and cherish until death.

I recommend The Deer Exercise at least once per day and/or every time you get an erection. Works like a charm to reduce cravings and it is supposed to recirculate the sexual energy. It has also helped me avoid wet dreams for 10 days now, whereas I would normally get one every 4 or 5 days. I suspect strengthening my PC muscles did the trick.

Paris escort - Sunday, May 20th, 2012
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submit questions here - Saturday, May 19th, 2012
Please submit your questions here. Your questions will be reviewed by the moderator before being considered for posting, so they may or may not appear. However if you include your email address (which will certainly not appear), I will do my best to respond to your questions, privately. Thanks for interest.

mirollec - Saturday, May 19th, 2012
I am new here, have many question about this title, so please contact me.Thanks a lot!

'Rah for technology - Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
My work group recently discovered an online "Crew" page where people can form workgroups with potential for notes, production updates, contact lists and tons of other networking tools. So we need to hire a bunch of people in various design and crew positions and hoped to be able to use it. Unfortunately it is nothing but a useless shell, "vestigial," as they say.

With technology constantly evolving, it's hard to keep everything working. IMO this kind of throws into question the idea that web stuff is "published" -- often it's more like "ephemeral." Someone expends a lot of effort to create a tool, then before it can even be fully implemented and debugged, it's out of date.

An ironic note, I refused to update this web site to css. Nine3.com now has a few css pages there just to demo I can do it, but I was wary about doing all that work since we tried using cascading style sheets "back in the day" and they never caught on because universal support was too hard to assure. It may have been the final nail in the coffin of Agfa Compugraphic (whose "PowerPage" program was actually html, so I never really had to learn html -- we were already using it. It was even created by the same group i Switzerland.)

Anyway, when all the mobile apps started addressing the 'net, people started commenting, "How come your site still works?" Apparently a lot of sites had to start a new scramble to make more new versions of their sites just for mobile apps. But guess what? HTML 3.2 still works. It's crazy out there. Instead of "art for art's sake" we're now doing "tech for tech's sake."

That's why I still resist going to Word Press for this site, even having professed intention to do so.

There are too many really savvy web designers on my listservs who are really sweating implementation of these so-called ready-to-go templates.

I want to do it, but really just cannot find the time to do something potentially "ephemeral" when there are other things I can do that have actual shelf life.

write your own job description - Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
Here is mine.

Marketing and Promotions in today's media environment offers grounded and well-rounded creative professionals a wide range of tools for interacting with internal and external customers in developing unique and highly targeted campaigns. To exploit the exciting potentials means acting in the full range of research, writing, design, advertising and promotional activities, then executing the message and its support through timely delivery of collateral materials from point of sale to point of purchase employing the gamut of print and electronic media. Identifying cross-promotional opportunities, and securing among sponsors, vendors and communities the necessary partnerships that mutually serve all these interests extends the reach of the message to unprecedented degrees. Such actions and interactions in print and electronic media require abilities to conceptualize, develop agendas, write and create materials, and manage workflow toward their execution across traditional and new media platforms, in print, social media, digital, video and beyond.

Be that professional. With a team of other multi-talented visionaries equally resourceful in surmounting obstacles and meeting deadlines, you will know every detail, and all the satisfaction, of bringing campaigns from concept to completion. Be interactive in the macro and the micro, discover and develop the new and ever evolving possibilities of enterprise today.

Three media greats - Monday, May 14th, 2012
Someone asked for my idea of three great news media companies. A slightly different take on the meaning of "news media," I decided on three:

Pinterest — a unique showcase for small business, enabling entrepreneurs to participate in a highly creative community, to make news and to be the news. Pinterest is a proving ground for new ideas, demonstrating in very material terms what works and what doesn't work.

Lionsgate — had the foresight to purchase Artisan Entertainment and thereby acquire a large library of existing media readily adaptable to changing technologies and appetites. A Canadian company with headquarters in California, Lionsgate moved quickly to internationalize its grasp through European and other foreign markets, innovated new film and television network relationships, and became its own distributor. These components of ferociously strong infrastructure they have recently applied toward production of already popular vehicles like the TWILIGHT SAGA films and HUNGER GAMES. Controlling their own development and delivery mechanisms coupled with respect for and insight into what people like makes them a model for effective and highly creative organization. I see Lionsgate as "news media" in the sense that they identify, respond to and disseminate a powerful cultural point of view.

WABC 770 AM NYC — the small business studios of WABC. The voices of megalithic mainstream media domination are mitigated here by individuals developing independent shows with fresh voices and audiences proving the viability of alternative sources of information. WABC (West America Bancorporation), a media giant wannabe by any reckoning, keeps it finger on the pulse of what people, not just corporate entities, think.

- Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
I just like the sound of that. I hope you are well out there in Udon Thani. Take care, friend.

InvemnTriamma - Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
Honourable bye, genial alternative other :)

- Thursday, April 26th, 2012
Julia Louis Dreyfus looks none too happy in today's NYT fluff piece re: her outfits for the new "Veep" series. Julia L-D hasn't the shoulders or the height to handle Michelle O's style (which is what they've decided to emulate). They're putting her in four inch heels with hidden platforms and claim that "Julia can stand in them all day long." Sure she can ; ) NOT.

The "subtle gray plaid" blouse is the ugliest thing I've ever seen period. After the distinctly unfunny "New Adventures of Old Christine," this could kill her career. PS She's got incredible hair, so what's with the horrible wig??

Don't let them do this, Julia! Somebody is out to get you.

neri - Saturday, April 14th, 2012
Hi there, after reading this awesome article i am too cheerful to share my experience here with mates.

Well, thanks, but . . . - Thursday, April 5th, 2012
It's nice to get offers from artists and techs wanting to intern here, but how would that work? Wouldn't you need the passwords and such, and -- since I don't know you -- wouldn't giving those be symptomatic of complete idiocy on my part?

Maybe you can suggest something to foolproof the process (for me, as I doubt you are foolish).

What I really want to do is write my second act, but I've go this show -- the last gasp of the PR before it opens, and it's giving me a sinking feeling for some reason. Maybe it's because the outlets are pretty unresponsive, in contrast to past campaigns that got lots of cheery thanks and assurances that the notices will be published. Is it because everyone hates this show? (I do, it's "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," parodying some of my favorite shows including "Oklahoma," "where the leading cause of death is melanoma!" OMG! and it sticks in the brain like glue on a frying pan -- truly horrible). Or perhaps the problem is that there have been more layoffs at the media outlets, and now there is too much work for remaining staff to bother with non-essentials, compounded by one too many web site updates that all of the sudden created monsters that are incompatible with a lot of browsers and there's no one there any more who can sort it all out?

I don't believe it can be personal, although it does sometimes feel that way. But in those moments I tell myself it's just this weird yankee culture (my father and my father-in-law both warned me about, saying, "The reason they call it 'Beantown' is because it stinks!").

I must embody some kind of an unrelenting force, eh! I still like it here.

My commercial projects went ot the door as of yesterday morning, and since then I've had a little time to play music and get back in the fine arts groove, but now it's Easter (with all that implies, such as the menu -- caviar and champaign for starters, but . . . shall I roast a lamb joint? What about dessert?

As for the blog update, I'm thinking Wordpress. Yeah, I know. Could have done that ages ago. Still, it's supposed to take all of five minutes to insall, but reading the specs it doesn't look that way to me.

I know! Kugel!! And eggplant with the lamb.

Gotta go. Let me know if you want to talk about Wordpress.

carpinteyrosjl - Friday, March 30th, 2012
Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.

translate this with Dutch filter ; ) - Friday, March 23rd, 2012
Ik moest schrijven een korte mededeling in te kopen om dank voor al die fantastische suggesties u het plaatsen van op deze website. Mijn langdurige internet lookup heeft bij de finish van de dag is erkend met betrouwbare gegevens en technieken om de handel met mijn collega's. Ik zou beweren dat een aantal van ons lezers echt serieus geluk te leven in een belangrijke locatie met heel diverse uitstekende mensen met een inzichtelijke pointers.

Camila_Oregon - Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
In doing this blog and thinking about this stuff, have you ever had any ideas for what kinds of tools (software, that is) that people could use to do things like share creative ideas in groups, create customer community, etc. etc.?

Sophia - Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
A better magazine theme will make the blog looks nicer:)

Valeria_Georgia - Sunday, March 18th, 2012
I like the idea of a private blog if getting the RSS and reading posts was as simple as public. If there are too many hoops just to get notice of and read a single post it will get frustrating.

pletcherqje - Saturday, March 17th, 2012
There is no end to learning.

ACT I exists - Thursday, March 15th, 2012
Without knowing what subject addressed at nine3 is the interest of your visit, I cannot but hope it is my musical theater work, and if this is so then I'd like to mention that I have just yesterday completed the draft of the first act and am absolutely deleriously happy about the way it is coming along.

I believe Act I needs two more songs.

The method of writing a few songs first then writing the book seems a good approach, as the context itself dictates what songs are still needed and where they should go (whereas the initial songs were truly felt, emerging from the subconscious desire to fulfill intention without too much intellectual interference ; ) and now I have clear direction on how to fill in the blanks, as it were. It is the same approach as earlier works, and seems quite natural and efficient with almost no wasted effort.

During the writing of the first act, I have mulled whether this must be a little musical (with as few characters as possible to enhance the possibility of getting productions), or a full blown musical extravaganza. If the former, then the final scene with the huge disaster of the gala fundraiser has to be off stage, probably handled much like "Lend Me A Tenor" approaches the performance by the faux opera superstar (but without the two couples schtupping front and center and front and stage left ; ) which sex farce is not really our subject anyway.

Today I'm thinking it really has to be the latter -- a lot of characters and a full chorus making a real big bang of a climax. It is, after all, a legitimately huge climax in the comic collision between the egoist peccadilloes of insider politics at the institution vs. the legitimate interest our heroes enact in attempting to award the Pappalapagapolous Prize to the most deserving student. Also, because the premise of the show is based on a true story, I was there when the evening erupted and the way the climax happens is simply too delicious to waste in "telling instead of showing."

If there must be a pared-down model, that can always be written to the necessary scale of such a production, but for now I simply cannot resist the delights cavorting about in my mind's eye. I know the audience will love it, and they will be on the side of the right -- and even the bad guys will find a way to laugh at themselves, and so all will be right with the world. This is, after all, the whole point of UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS, is it not? ergo I'm not planning on pulling any punches, not this week anyway. It's just too much fun doing it big and true, fighting the good fight.

So be it!
for light, life and love,
xoxoxo, y'r l't'l' vindicator, cristo

peterg8893 - Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
love it,

duplicate alerts - Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
Apologies to readers who receive an alert every time something changes here. I frequently have short time allotments available for this activity, which demands I write very quickly. I usually post what is essentially a draft, then come back later to correct the odd typo or grammatical error, and to make additional light edits in the substance of the material.

I hope this is not too annoying. Thanks for understanding.

cristobal - Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
I posted this comment on the New York Times today in response to Janet Camp writing about the cognitive impairments resulting from statin drugs. I had to send it to you because it appears The Times are not planning to publish my comment. It follows:

I'm sorry to say it, but this tragically ignorant excuse for journalism is written either by a big pharma consultant or a moron. I have taken umbrage numerous times in the past couple of years at the science writing in this newspaper, which too often recently resembles the writing on Sesame Street more than anything intended for adult readers, sacrificing accuracy and depth of understanding for anything cute, preferably including puns. The present subject isn't exactly on that level, as no one would suspect those pieces of serious intentions. This one, however, seems to tread the perimeters among various rationalizations for continuing use of a drug that is demonstrably devastating to that most important organ, the brain.

My husband was having "minor" memory lapses but stopped taking his maximum dose of the most famous statin a few months after his bypass mainly because his cholesterol had dropped so precipitously. Apparently he was at the brink of keeling over from stroke. "Too LOW, too LOW," the team started in alarm, "Begin eat tons of avocados and brazil nuts, and reduce the statin to half the dosage at once!"

What?? that half dose was still six times what a lot of people are taking as a prophylactic against "borderline" high cholesterol. His particular need for bypass was unaccompanied by high cholesterol at all, but the result of an inherited placement of one of the coronary valves almost at the very top of the heart, which causes a lot of congestion and has resulted in more than one of the cousins of his generation dying suddenly (at work, as a matter of fact, in very high stress jobs in places like printing companies and design studios).

I insisted he stop taking this drug altogether, and this time won the argument. Now we work with a variety of natural supplements supporting blood metabolism (Vitamin K, or nattokinase, and soy lecithin being high on the list).

Awareness of the cognitive problems caused by statin drugs is long standing and well documented, but this "feature" in the Times today approaches the subject as though it were breaking news and, worse, as a rather amusing problem for which people who feel desperate to conform to their physicians's commands are finding clever workarounds such as carrying around little scraps of paper with such information as their phone numbers and addresses and other commonplace details about their lives, information they can no longer recall at will for quick reference due to the use of the statin drugs. It is truly shocking that a reporter would make light of such serious devolutions of patient brain function.

Without intending hyperbole, I place this article in the category of moral insanity.

Anyone with half a brain will suspect these supposedly minor brain problems are harbingers of the Alzheimers to come.

I'm an alternative person myself, having survived a really bad cancer prognosis when I was in my early twenties -- a condition I am now told must not have been cancer after all, after I declined treatments that promised about 6 years to live.

"You're lucky, it's very slow growing," was the edict I rejected, and "lab rat" the vocation, unlike the idiot woman in the "famous" play "Wit," which I think of as "Witless." Readers may recall the unfortunate character who allows herself (in the subtext, whether intentional or not) to be conned into participating in the "research" of a "friend" and dutifully dies at the appointed time, another victim of "cancer." IMO, like so many with similar fates, she was actually the victim of her "friend" the doctor who needed to make a name and a career for himself through this "research." Modern medical history is full of such "cancer" deaths. The fact that the playwright shows the unfortunate woman dying alone in the hospital corridor does, in my opinion, support my thesis that the subtext I perceive in this play is indeed intentional, and it does surprise me greatly that even in the current Broadway revival that sounds ever so much the same, critics seem to think the play is about the sadness that such beautiful, bright blue eyes (of the supposedly highly witty protagonist — although I confess I do not think the writing at all clever, at least not on the level of a Tom Stoppard play, e.g.) must close forever because of The Big C and not because of The Big Betrayer, the character's physician/scientist friend and his need for a research subject, which need finds our heroine alone in a corridor, having suffered more than anyone ever should, when she sheds her mortal coil. This outrage, to me, is what the play comments most powerfully upon.

The research I'd like to discover vis--vis the Alzheimers epidemic of our time would be a corollary to the foregoing conundrum about the cancer epidemic. That is, whether the tragedy is not to a great extent due to the allopathic component (created by short-sighted medical treatments addressing symptoms without much understanding of the big picture of human being) of medical practice.

I never wanted my husband to take the statin, but he thought he should try it. Now he takes a combination of natural supplements and is very healthy, with his characteristic great wit intact, and unimpaired brain function.

Wake up, people. You don't need these "science experiments" ironically administered as medications. Not only are they a bane on our lives when we are sick, but thanks to the intractable quality of their synthetic compounding, they are increasingly a bane on everyone's lives as environmental contaminants as well.

The number of prescriptions medications purchased but not administered I have seen estimated at 40%, accounting for much of the existence in the water supply of these non-degradable chemicals. Certainly there is some conclusion that may be drawn from this, perhaps that these compounds are being purchased simply because medical insurance pays for them and not because patients think they are doing much good.

xto - Friday, March 2nd, 2012
I can't remember ever having so much fun writing for the stage as I am having with the book of UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS.

Hoping to complete Act I today (four scenes), I plan to print the draft for the first time this afternoon so I can look it over on the the weekend without needing to sit here at my desk.

I received an invitation to audit the NYC workshops mentioned earlier. These occur over four evenings at the end of March. I'm not sure yet whether it will seem like a good idea to attend.

Maybe the workshop would be an inspiration, maybe a distraction. Like the boomerang effect noted in the previous post, something that at first seems promising can turn around and make a wretch, so who ever knows?

I've seen Stephen Schwartz acting as a workshop director and he's really quite good, although when I've attended in the past the other panelists didn't offer nearly as much. Also, they were supposed to be available so members could network with them, but they really didn't want to be bothered, fleeing out the back as soon as possible. Schwartz, on the other hand, seems genuinely to care about the process and the success of the workshop. Will see how I'm doing on the UD libretto by then, and decide based on that.

The piece has 10 songs complete, with one still needing music.

It seems a good strategy to write the book at this point as this quickly clarifies where the rest of the songs (about 5) should go and what they should be about. Not that I've ever done it any other way, but this method seems to provide a good chance to avoid writing songs that aren't needed or, worse, writing to include songs that shouldn't be there.

Maybe I kid myself it's hilarious. but I find myself laughing out loud during the process.

It's based on real experience working at MIT, and truly does not exaggerate how nutty those geniuses can be. I see it as a Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn romantic comedy/spoof, and the central conflict is one I saw firsthand, with not the same wonderful results as this musical depicts — no doubt because Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn were never present to circumvent injustice. This is just my way of setting things right, I guess. I still believe that literature, especially musical literature, has power beyond any other force to effect this, and this is the basis of my motto, "Art is more powerful than politics."

The music sketches so far, for the most part, are just that -- quick sketches. Except for a couple, their stylings are just the quickest thing I could get down on paper, therefore certainly open to, and needing, in-depth interpretation.

I'm starting to include vocal work in my routine again as a friend has inquired about my work and seems interested in putting on a show.

Tata, dear friends! Until later —

YungSajovi94 - Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Much appreciation for that wonderful information.

back to basics, then running off the rails - Friday, February 24th, 2012
The aforementioned submission went in timely, and for most of the ensuing days I've romped on the libretto of UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS on the hopeful theory it should be possible to create the requisite 50 minutes should I be invited to present.
Considering that in 50 minutes of a musical play there should be perhaps five (for the sake of argument) songs averaging 3.5 minutes each, and these are already in reasonable shape, and since a page of dialog represents about a minute of running time, present requirements come down to a need for approximately 33 pages.

Is this the most boring entry ever? Sorry.

That's the back to basics bit. As for running off the rails, yesterday nine3.com experienced a download of this guestbook, including all the archives, from an esteemed lurker organization with offices in Burbank and NYC, and it's quite surprising to discover that while at first this discovery made me happy and excited (considering they may be trying to decide whether to invite me to the workshop), today it is making me wretched.

At midday I had to give me a nap, which I almost never do, and when arising from an unsuccessful effort at that, tried another tack with an uncharacteristic imbibing of Merlot. This I followed by reading poetry recommended in today's New York Times feature on female poets of the Renaissance. I found them very much like most of my female friends, utterly obsessed with love and the examination of its inconstancy not to mention absurdity.

This is probably the strongest reminder I could ever be given that I'm probably not much like most women in that way. I recall a fairly recent visit with a couple of female friends to an exhibit of art glass at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. I ended up wandering off, or they did, and when I finally tracked them down found them standing in front of an exhibit so deep in conversation they were quite unaware of the queue of other visitors stacked up waiting to look at the same piece. I approached them in time to hear them comparing notes on their suffering at the hands of various lovers, completely oblivious to the fact that they could be doing this in the restaurant over a cup of tea instead of blocking the view to an exhibit that others are presumably interested in for presumably completely other, though perhaps just as unrelated, reasons.

I almost feel in this alienated state I should quote one of the aforementioned Renaissance sonnets just to show what I am up against when seeking companionship among the members of my own sex.

Okay, here you go:

SONNET 3 by Louise Lab

Long-felt desires, hopes as long as vain—
sad sighs—slow tears accustomed to run sad
into as many rivers as two eyes can add,
pouring like fountains, endless as the rain—
cruelty beyond humanity, a pain
so hard it makes compassionate stars go mad
with pity: these are the first passions I´ve had.
Do you think love could root in my soul again?
If it arched the great bow back again at me,
licked me again with fire, and stabbed me deep
with the violent worst, as awful as before,
the wounds that cut me everywhere would keep
me shielded, so there would be no place free
for love. It covers me. It will pierce no more.

Now my lovely computerized alert is telling me, "It's three o'clock." This means it's time to go. Strangely, I detect a tone of foreboding in her digital approximation of civility.

So in UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS I am writing about intellectual honesty . . . and love, of course. There are three couples, a grandiose institution of higher learning (Barnyard University) and a requisite small number of antagonists.

All the love entanglements contain metaphoric and metaphysical corollaries to the central conflict revolving around the purloining of the Pappalapagapolous Prize, which the newest celebrity professor negotiating his contract has realized he may be able to abscond with to avoid having to pay his assistant out of his own budget, and depriving the deserving student whose academic career might go forward through the honorable and fair disposition of the prize.

It's romantic comedy, parody and social satire, and only about three quarters ripped from real life however carefully amalgamated to conceal its origins.

Now it is virtually the weekend, and I must go and prepare our evening meal. Having all but lost today, I can at least hope you may find some amusement looking in through this window to life in a garrett in Boston (that is, my office, which really is quite high up in the air, in a turret with a bay where my windows are looking up and down the street). The kitchen is downstairs, the pantry is downstairs from there, and the laundry another flight down in the basement, all of which I must visit a few times before Naro gets home.

So au revoir! I will pray for better luck to come on Monday.

rultd - Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
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disk - Friday, February 17th, 2012
Izan blog hau irakurtzen awhile baina izan i lazy comment jaregiteko eta esan esker. Amaiera right : Thanks mate!

sore - Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
Bravo! A zer definitly merezi iruzkin bat merezi, eskerrik asko.

disc - Friday, February 10th, 2012
Sentitzen dut, ez dute i komentatu Orain arte, izan zure blog irakurtzeko gaur egun, nahiz eta . Du bihurtuko parte nire goizean errutina.

agrireehach - Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
I dont usual comment, but that was an excellent post. cheers!

Thank you - Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
Perhaps we are relatives! I must go about collecting my family among like-minded souls, so I hope you do not mind if I consider you as one.
xoxo,

Danark - Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
I love this blog and every thing about it. I have been reading it for awhile but have yet to say hello. well...Hello!

Cathelda - Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
Do not doubt I have received each and every one of the posts visitors have attempted to make in their efforts to get me back here. Thanks for those. I do regret the lapse.

I've been stumped by the biography section of a submission to a musical theater workshop, and written at least five versions, which explains my lack of interest in sitting at this desk longer than necessary.

Apparently there must be a deep-seated need in me to discuss the ancient history of present existence, as I find my proposed biographical sketch going on and on and on — with results ultimately completely politically incorrect, of course, necessitating the pondering of another new start, which each so far end in the very same field, subtitle: "You can't say THAT!"

A helpful friend suggested I write about my grandfather. I may have mentioned at some point that he was an "extra" or "superfluous" son of an Austrian (n閑 Danish) baron whose military career in the Prussian Guard was cut short by insurmountable anger. Pictures I've seen of him indicate he was some kind of officer, probably quite junior, before he landed in a duel with a superior. This in turn landed him that very evening on a ship sailing for the new world with nothing but a single hastily-prepared trunk containing a few reminders of life with his family. Dueling was a capital offense, and the way I heard it his family learned of his crime and arranged everything even before he sobered up. They threw him on the boat, and promptly forgot all about him.

Anyway, I'm told that based on the way some people treasure such notoriety, and as this is the closest anyone in our clan comes to having an aristocratic heritage, it has been suggested that linking his story with my own might be just the ticket to somebody thinking me qualified or at least sufficiently interesting to merit a look at my musical works. I consider this fact, especially in the light that based on my earliest memories, and realize it might very well explain a great deal about the way things have been going for me here.

But there do seem to be many such ties. It was a source of animosity between my parents that as Americans his background would continue to be played as a trump card in the game of life. But he was the dominant figure, even after his death.

Just last evening, as a matter of fact, watching "Downton Abbey," I was reminded of exactly one such connection of my own family experience to that of the European aristocracy. The youngest daughter of the house, Sibyl, says she wishes she knew something about the mechanical side of automobiles, the chauffeur tells he will teach her if she likes, and she replies, "That's Edith's territory."

That's it. The moment passes as if it were casual — of no actual significance, probably just conversational fodder.

But it doesn't seem that way to me.

I realized that background as a gentried family in "Downton Abbey" is probably the source of the same value ruling the siblings in life with my parents (and six siblings and, on and off, our grandmother, the widow of Grandfather Fredr. Wilhelm Hardwig Ludwig Leopold von Braunschweick). I don't know where else we could have got the old world attitude ruling over us.

Just as Sibyl could ot encroach on the territory of her sister, Edith, so I was not to encroach on the territory of my sister, which in this case was not mechanics but music.

It was okay to have a boy whose territory was music as well as a girl whose territory was music, but it was not okay to have two boys or two girls sharing the same territory. Perhaps this was a pre-emptive strike against sibling rivalry by parents who wished above all to have many children and, secondarily, not to be bothered by them.

In better times or circumstances — in the old country, perhaps, but preferably not during a war — we might have had a Maria, like the von Trapps had, to give us the necessary guidance, love and support to grow into friends and not the fiends we became to eachother. However, without such means as could allow us our Maria, we were given to our eldest sister to raise. As she was herself a child, childish judgment on how most effectively to control us leaned toward the rather obvious selections of terrorism and brutality, in all fairness, much in the same vein as our parents themselves chose on such occasions as it was for some reason impossible to ignore us as usual.

Ours on a much reduced economic scale was quite a bit like the family in "The Sound of Music." Just now as this floats from my fingertips I realize that this may explain my overwhelming love of musicals. It hit when I was very young, and soon we were all singing it in school, and because that family mirrored our own, it changed us.

For one thing, we all began singing together. It was still not okay for me to be considered a singer or a pianist. Those were the territory of our eldest sister, while our oldest brother was a singer and guitarist. I had been given a violin, the next one was given a cello, and so on. But we were always singing together, especially in the car while travelling long distances to visit our relatives in Montana and North Dakota.

But this was supposed to be background information.

Skip forward to the third failed attempt at writing the biographical entry for the submission form, which describes my life about ten years later as the roommate of the eldest daughter, whose household duties had passed to others.

Despite no longer being the junior monarch and supreme enforcer of our house's order and quiet, because we shared a room, she had not been required to relinquish her hold on me. I remained her slave until she fled our small town in a romantic hysteria, pursued by a truck driver who had taken the name of a champion cowboy to flee his own painful past and, having met her while she was working as a carhop at The Arctic Circle, decided he must marry her.

I voiced my decision to write for the musical stage around the age of fifteen or sixteen years old, but my early forays in the field deduced a likely range of outcomes somewhere admidst the grand follies.

Along the way I had witnessed and shared in many of my elder sister's behaviors at the onset of her puberty. These involved forcing me each day to tease her bleached blonde hair into one of two hairdos (either a beehive or a horseshoe) and then meticulously critique and at last approve her applications of white lipstick, black eyeliner and mascara, and the donning of minidress or miniskirt with two pairs of suntan nylons and white gogo boots.

Outings to school thus attired resulted in my sister's proclivity later in many a day to lie upon her bed in the room we shared literally kicking and screaming in sheer hysteria related to some boy who may or may not have displayed interest in her, which kicking and screaming could only be allayed by my obligatory repetition to the poor hormone-inflamed girl, over and over again, the tale that the poor hormone-inflamed girl herself had related in the first place, the author herself having no firsthand knowledge of the matter whatsoever as she was a full two years younger and was neither allowed nor had any desire to socialize publicly with the other girl.

Despite the absurdly second-hand quality of my authority on the events of my sister's day, the slightest deviation in my relating it back to her as a story resulted in angry reprimands and demands that I must repeat it again and again until each telling was identical in every detail to at least the foregoing two or three tellings, and this was followed at long last by demands for assurance that there existed no juicy details I had somehow decided to neglect. The reintroduction of anything like some detail I had for whatever reason chosen to delete I learned quite soon would start the regime all over again, and so I learned very quickly that I must determine what exactly the story was, and stick to it.

Thus the delerium of one girl afflicted two girls at once in a sort of alchemical exchange that ultimately wrought storytelling ability in one from the addiction to storytelling in the other.

My hormone-inflamed sister happened to be an impossibly talented soprano who was tapped as leading lady in school musicals. Despite being a brilliant actress as well as a brilliant singer, she did not enjoy being onstage. She said she felt she was being used just to make the music teacher look good, however music and theater being the only courses she was not failing she was able to maintain some hope of graduating as long as she complied with the program of performance laid out for her. In the same manner, she submitted to participation in musical competitions, and these ended with her being awarded an "Aryan Prize" (which prize, for presumably obvious reasons, no long carries the traditional name). Eventually she was awarded one of the top prizes for young singers in the state of Oregon, a fact that has no bearing on present requirements but has its own narrative necessity, perhaps for filling to overflowing the crucible of ironies existing between the two.

A further footnote might also include the fact that although their vocal instruments were virtually identical, a parental desire to pre-empt even greater sibling rivalry than already existed caused the younger of the sisters to be discouraged through ridicule for any attempts at singing as a soloist, and to be forbidden to touch the piano.

After all I managed to fall into a nice life. This had little to do with me except insofar as after leaving an early disastrous marriage I heard bells and felt butterflies when I saw my true love for the first time, and in a moment that must have been heaven's own gift displayed the good sense to bring him home that night. He is a wonderful person who has meant everything in my life.

I mention this now because of an occasional tendency to come to terms with my birth family when I wish I had become a better singer or learned to play the piano properly. I mentioned this recently (well, before our latest estrangement), and it was dismissed, "because look who´s singing and playing now, so it doesn´t matter," as though there could have been no benefit — or none at any rate worth the trouble it would have brought — from the kind of lessons and training that had been lavished upon the elder girl, the one afflicted with what at the time was thought to be a case of raging hormones but which over time, perhaps predictably but certainly horribly and sadly, proved to be something far less transitory.

The unfortunate sister may in fact be the main reason I was never an innocent child.

Survival instinct kicks in automatically at even very early ages. This I know from many early experiences, one of which, for example, at age approximately eighteen months, I recall quite clearly my elder sister in her crib (then 3 years old) faking polio. Our mother, as you may recall from earlier comments here was quite an inventive hypochondriac nurse, and the ability illness held for galvanizing attention had not been lost on my sister, even at such an early age. That night, surrounded by sorrowful attending adults, my sister shot me a look that said, "See, I know how to make it so you might as well not even exist," to which I shot back with equally comprehensible albeit wordless certainty, "Fine, but you´re the one who has to be crazy." How could this be? Search your own memory. Perhaps you will realize it is not at all unusual to have full understanding of a situation, even as a babe in a cradle.

But enough on the first of the apparent follies subourning my early hopes for writing for the musical stage. The second would be an utter bore as it is such a commonplace. That would be penury. Abject poverty. Daily peril. In other words catastrophe inviting continuous contretemps — and the destitution both material and spiritual of unending trials, tribulation, curses and maledictions of every stripe emerging therefrom.

These rejected, I decided after brief post-college suffering in those realms to develop a profession that would allow reasonable comforts while practicing my beloved crafts catch as catch can, and biding my time until I could afford to play at theater.

Some of the foregoing is what I decided I would not say in the submission. I dearly hope no one among my family reads here. I'm fairly certain to do not, but! Do, please, pray with me, So Be It!

as ever,

Naro - Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
The term you refer to is "adverse possession." If people trespass and you do nothing to stop it, then over time, the trespassers can acquire rights of access and of possession, as in the case of squatters. As another example, if you had a field and a neighbor planted and harvested the crop without permission and you did not stop it, the neighbor could acquire the right to continue to do so.

casz - Saturday, January 14th, 2012
Thanks for your comment. From your IP it doesn't quite look like you are coming from Iowa. Perhaps you don't feel secure writing from your own? Oh, well. I can certainly understand that.

Have you noticed you can pull the box out to a larger size (from the right lower corner)? This may make it more pleasant to use.

This seems a good time to mention that unless comments are in line with cultural areas of interest to me (arts and sciences, math, politics, economics -- a pretty wide range, actually) I don't publish visitor comments.

I do appreciate the many comments I receive, however, and hope readers will not feel slighted if theirs do not appear. And yours is here because you are making a valid point, and one with which I entirely agree.

I'd like to do more toward threaded discussion so comments can be germane, and do have a blog on a commercial site that does this, however I hardly ever post there as it annoys me greatly to see work profit someone else (like blogspot, livejournal, wordpress, etc.) without any tangible return. My content gets ripped off plenty as it is without me giving it away deliberately. It occurs to me that doing the latter might also provide some legal argument to someone violating my copyrights, as an indication that I don't believe there is value to what I am doing here and thus anyone has a right to take it freely. This argument might be based on property rights relinquished because the owner has knowingly allowed others free access, resulting in the property being defined as a public access area with free rights of way. I forget the exact legal term for this, but it does happen in the U.S., surprisingly readily.

As to whether anyone would mount such a defense for plagiarism, this is just a guess. However it is my belief, and this ranks as a sacred principle, that nothing that has any value is "free." This is one reason I disassociate myself from partisanship in my political thinking, because basically I think the "Republican vs Democrat" structure in the US is almost a complete joke. I truly believe it should cost money to belong to any organization, or require specific "work for membership" or some other form of real payment. Otherwise it's a lot of hot air and way too easily manipulated to serve the greater good.

But that's just me. I don't think I've ever heard anyone else say something like this outside the mystery schools : ) (where it is an ancient principle, i.e., "nothing for nothing" and "nobody rides for free.")
It's simply imperative to assign value where value exists, otherwise one is hurting oneself in the karma department, as well as presenting oneself to be used as a tool unknowing of what purpose.

I will take your critique and hope to soon find time to make this a threaded forum. However I must warn you I find it very hard to find time for this at present since I continue "marketing" efforts to procure commercial projects essentially constantly and continuously, I am working pro bono dong marketing communications in theater and the arts, and really want to finish UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS this year.

If you would like to provide PHP code for the threaded forum, I could probably implement it, however (as I said) I'm not highly motivated to do this "for you," who are contributing . . . what, exactly? I do love you, of course, but you haven't added anything new or valuable. Just saying.

Heaven protect you,
xoxox,

Katherine_Iowa - Saturday, January 14th, 2012
Use your passion and geek expertise to liberate the latent creativity that resides in readers, something that works better than the linear, sequential and fast fading stream of comments (yeah, this is recursive). Comments are writing, but lets have something not as we know it. Writing in this box just feel a little klunky, there must be a better way, make a better blog :)

xto - Thursday, January 12th, 2012
Now that winter has finally arrived, a friend expresses mystification that her grandfather and husband both prefer using cloth handkerchiefs to tissues. At lot of people don't understand this, asking, "Why? Why?"
so in their defense I say, "They're good because cloth handkerchiefs don't blast paper particles up into your brainpan, that's why. And you wonder why you're sick all the time. Sheesh."

BTW, I have dozens of beautiful embroidered handkerchiefs, some antique, with colored and monochromatic edgings in seasonal motifs and for each hour of the day, also piles of very fine Italian cotton ones woven in brocade, Irish linen and damask. There is an enamel counter top in my laundry especially for spreading the freshly laundered hankies to dry, which makes them come out crisp and ready for folding without ever needing to be ironed. I usually carry two or three, and many is the time I've been able to rescue a distraught human by offering one when they are lacking even the saddest scrap of tissue, and overcome by a most urgent need which threatens to decimate their dignity in a very public way. Rarely are these offerings ever returned, nor do I expect them to be (or, to be frank, even wish them to be).

I remember when President Obama took office his first opportunistic calamity was swine flu, for which he mounted a national campaign encouraging "sneezing on your sleeve," and I even witnessed him wiping his own mucous on the sleeve of a hapless journalist. I saved the video, and wrote a song about it.

Sung to the tune of "Bringing in the Sheeves," it's called, "Sneezin' on Yer Sleeve." Try it yourself and experience the laughable state of our national discourse under this foolish man. It goes like this:

"Barfing from the TARP bill, on Cap and Trade you're road kill
With the president we're falling to our knees
Now you've got the swine flu and if it doesn't drop you
You'll be taken to the cleaners for sneezin' on your sleeve

Sneezin' on your sleeve, sneezin' on your sleeve
We shall be revolting, sneezin' on our sleeves
With public option health care, why the hell should you care
We shall be revolting, sneezin' on our sleeves

At the fateful "Achoo!" we don't need a tissue
Barak Obama's genius as everyone can see
Now that we are all Green, forget your stinkin' hygiene
Just take us to the cleaners, we're sneezin' on our sleeves

Sneezin' on your sleeves, sneezin' on your sleeves
We will be revolting, sneezin' on our sleeves
Now that we are all Green, forget your stinkin' hygiene
We'll be taken to the cleaners, we've been sneezin' on our sleeves

Vote of Confidence - Monday, January 9th, 2012
For the reason that the admin of this web site is working, no question very rapidly it will be well-known, due to its quality contents.

slissinny - Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012
Awesome topic for discussion!

Thank you for bringing this up!

Occupiers vs Hippies - Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
Mario said:
Hippie's had a motive, a reason, and they changed the world. This generation, of which I just tail end, has proven to be the most productive, creative and impactful in all of history. This could almost be a theme song for a generation. And, like the hippie, will live in infamy.

I think Mario is right.

Compared to Occupy Wall Street people, the hippies were better educated, more articulate, and were capable of formulating actual intellectual discourse so that individual voices rose as leaders, above the fray, with galvanizing messages the entire culture purchased wholesale. The creativity and energy of that generation caused an explosion in consumer spending based on human craving for beauty through design and style. Before the hippies, even all the household linens were nothing but white, and fashion dictated the cut of clothing in total defiance of individual body types.

These examples describe just a small part of the up side; perhaps the down side was even more extensive: the hippies and later the yippies dissected the components of "power," codified it, kicked out the old guard, and proceeded to level the opposition with much greater effectiveness than the hokey pokey "fat cats" of the earlier, more naive era would have ever dreamed feasible or even morally justifiable, incorporating messages from the arts and eventually even the sciences in their polemical machine. "Radical chic" was virtually mandatory and by the late 1970's it became impossible to even consider an academic career without willingness to hew to the party line. It shames me now to realize to what extent I bought into all of this without even realizing it.

Perhaps iit's in the "unintended consequences" spectrum, nevertheless "political correctness" is the child of the hippies, as is the vapidity of the cultural discourse evinced by the mush-brained Occupy Wall Street protesters. Equally vapid but much more rapacious is the new class of billionaires who with a few strategic moves and very little actual work or merit exploit IPOs and various bubbles to arrive at fortunes not seen since the robber barons (who unlike the current crop of noueau riche btw actually produced something, many of them bestowing legacies to the nation that are beyond the measure of money such as libraries, parks, museums, universities, etc.).

By comparison, most of these present day nouveau riche have contributed nothing. How many who tipped their friends to impending IPOs in the dotcom bubble in exchange for the same favor returned the next week were ever investigated, let alone indicted for such serious crimes and ethical violations as produced this class of the new wealthy? We were warned for nearly a decade that the housing bubble was the only thing holding the economy together, yet the response by government was to enable Fannie and Freddie to spread the wealth down through the middle and lower classes, forcing banks to loan to unqualified buyers and then "guaranteeing" the loans (which is always a license to steal, which the bankers of course knew quite well, jumping at the chance) while the cunning discovered that they too could flip houses in the new shell game, real estate, where only the naive would be left sitting under water in houses worth far less than they had paid for them.

My generation -- the hipsidipsitistical elite full of righteous indignation and too clever by half -- are still holding the bag for these developments. Thanks to us, the public school system cannot produce on a large enough scale a citizenry with the kinds of minds that in the past were able to circumvent the machinations of the entrenched elite. Like empty young dreamers, people obsess over endless streams of meaningless text messages, so unable to divorce their misplaced attention from such obsessive feelings of "connectedness" that laws must be passed to keep them from doing it while operating motor vehicles and sometimes even buses and trains.

Over the last couple of weeks, while the the so-called news was filled with the sturm und drang of a two-month tax cut (an incredibly simplistic description of the legislation), I mentioned to friends that I believed the entire affair to be an attempt to maintain relatively innocuous "issues" at the forefront as a distraction from many much more serious problems on the horizon. Specifically, I said the next thing coming down the pike would be another increase in the debt ceiling.

How I wish I'd written it instead of merely speaking in casual conversation. Then I might truly be considered a prognosticator, eh! But now that we see it in the headlines today, who among us would not say they saw it coming? This was not the functioning of prophecy. Really, it was far too obvious for that distinction.

Hi Samt0 - Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
Thanks for your interest. If you will link back to my site in your article when using ideas inspired here, then you are welcome to use this as the basis for your own posting. Do let me know when you have something. I will read it, and perhaps we can get mutual benefits from riffing off one another. Best of luck, casz

Samt0 - Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
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Samh0 - Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
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GorfhGorfo - Thursday, December 8th, 2011
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When the ego rules, defending lies - Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
"Cuando crezcas, descubrir醩 que ya defendiste mentiras, te enga馻ste a ti mismo o sufriste por tonter韆s. Si eres un buen guerrero, no te culpar醩 por ello, pero tampoco dejar醩 que tus errores se repitan."
Paulo Coelho.

"When you grow, you will discover that it defended lies, deceived you yourself or suffered for foolishness. If you're a good fighter, do not blame you, but do not let your mistakes be repeated."
Paulo Coelho.

Is he talking about the ego? I found this a comfort after quarreling with young people at Mitt Romney's campaign headquarters in New Hampshire last weekend.

The argument arose after an effort by some campaigners to vilify Sarah Palin, but unfortunately it concerned her accurate assertion that Paul Revere had warned the British, and their continued obstinacy about how ignorant she is based on that well-publicized incident.

The media lambasted her royally, and the next day, when slight research proved her correct, several outlets suggest quietly that she had accidentally gotten it right.

The young people I found myself among had not heard the upshot and were continuing to revel in her supposed stupidity, so I defended the truth.

It was distressing to see the level of hatred they harbor for Palin, calling her a bitch and calling her daughter a bitch, etc. I later visited one of the young men's facebook page, where he (a homosexual muslim variously describing his country of origin all over the middle east) also asserted that the Palin women do not deserve the "beautiful" men who love them.

The two young men actually got up and walked away after demanding I should stand down when I produced the historical account in Paul Revere's own words. The young woman proceeded to totally ignore my existence.

One of the young men, a rustic Italian-looking guy with werewolf eyebrows (strong resemblance to the actor Bobby Canale) wearing a tight-fitting periwinkle blue sweater that branded him as a class metrosexual dude despite a proliferation of body hair, appeared to be about to beat me up when he decided to walk away. I was about to tease him about his pretty sweater and girlish figure. I suppose that could have sent him right over the edge, and I'm glad I didn't say it, although it would have been an attempt to molify him — horribly misguided, I'm sure, but I was really upset to see such anger directed at me after proving my point, and was considering things to say to defuse the irate young republicans with humor. I also considered, "So she accidentally got it right, while you are actually mistaken??" but could not see that as ever being taken as humor. All three strongly preferred the fictitious Longfellow account of Paul Revere's midnight ride.

I must add that I am not a republican but strongly independent. I campaigned for Mondale against Bush 41, e.g.,, however I had met Romney on two occasions during his gubernatorial term in Massachusetts and instinctively understand him to be a straight shooter, a massively talented and creative executive, and unwilling to oversimplify complex issues to the level of sound bytes (which I think voters do understand despite media efforts to report every idea in a dozen words or less, apparently so they can move on to the more interesting exercises of spinning implications). In this PC environment, this takes real fortitude. I'm just hoping he isn't giving people more credit than they deserve. My readership I know to be curious and open-minded people capable of assimilating and apparently even enjoying the stream of compound complex sentences I regularly write here, and it even appears based on the many requests for new postings during my hiatuses that people are positively starved for input from anyone who credits them with the gift of their intelligence and speaks to the heart of it. Surely we here are not so far removed from the commonplace?

But I digress.

The hirsute fellow had suggested that "we" (meaning New Englanders) are the ones who know history, and the history of activity immediately before the Battle of Lexington and Concord is written in the Longfellow poem. At the time of the original conflagration in the press over this issue, a local talk show host who purportedly reads history and holds himself to be an authority on matters political hewed to the same line, which I found quite shocking at the time.

Many of his callers did attempt to correct him, but he shouted and dismissed them demanding that they should read the Longfellow poem, and that was the final word on the subject. In fact Paul Revere rode straight into the arms of a British outpost (accidentally, of course), and was captured. He wrote that they demanded to know his business or they would "blow my brains out." Straightaway he spilled his guts entirely. They demanded to be taken to Concord where they could check the story for themselves, and "if you're lying we're going to blow your brains out." They arrived in Concord, matters stood exactly as he had described them, and the British released Revere and hightailed it back to their regiment to report the developments. Please search this on the internet if you are interested in the subject. There are any numbers of essays soft-peddling the Longfellow account by authors unwilling to disabuse readers of their sentimental favorite version taken from Longfellow, but most of those writers do uniformly caution that there is a difference between the requisites of writing a popular poem that relies on scansion — "William Dawes" being much less useful to rhythm and rhyme than "Paul Revere," the latter of whom is also a popular and colorful figure in numerous other fields of study — and writing history. However, Revere's own account is also rather easy to find. It's written in highly flamboyant and direct prose you are certain to enjoy.

In the case of the young would-be political animals last weekend, I pointed out that Sarah Palin's parents were both educators in the Pacific Northwest, and as I was also educated (at least through high school) in the Pacific Northwest, I could attest to this bit of history vs. fiction having been carefully delineated for us in middle school. The erroneous account by Longfellow was given to us side-by-side with the historically accurate account to serve as an example of how one cannot believe everything appearing in print.

The young natives of New England were clearly and deeply further incensed at the suggestion that people in the Pacific Northwest might possibly be receiving better education than they.

This altercation with people I had supposed to be friendly in the way compatriots ought to be nearly spoiled my day.

Or maybe it did. As a matter of fact, that night I became ill with a gastrointestinal bug, and now on the third day am just starting to feel myself again. I'm not sure whether it was the argument, the pizza (which people were helping themselves to by tearing slices off with their bare fingers — one dirty bird in that scene could easily account for a case of salmonella ; ) or the crowded bus we rode from Massachusetts to New Hampshire, which bus is normally peopled by pupils at no larger than grade school size who I have been given to understand are positively seething with microorganisms. It is true I have rarely touched on so many questionable surfaces in one day, and it should have come as no surprise that I would straightaway have to be put to bed for the better part of three days as a result.

Now I am even more concerned about my candidate, for if his own supporters could possibly include such a confederacy of dunces, I'm afraid I must redouble my commitment and help as much as possible in advance of the New Hampshire primary one month hence.

cicViachVem - Sunday, December 4th, 2011
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NY - Thursday, December 1st, 2011
I suggest adding a facebook like button for the blog!

xto - Monday, November 28th, 2011
A friend in the space industry in Huntsville just discovered MIT's Open Courseware Free Online Course Materials, and was astounded that the entire curriculum is available there, without cost, to everyone.

Search "MIT Open Courseware" to discover a genuine pot of gold. You can even get their drama/theater coursework, the inclusion of which in the MIT curriculum is solely to engage students in working together, which is something engineers really have to be able to do and which is, IMO, the true test and miracle of civilization.

Putting on shows together is truly excellent preparation.

"Collaboration" is a familiar and formidable buzzword nowadays, but all it really means is "working together." However, like a lot of buzzwords are wont to do, this one gives a superficial idea of what it seems to define. In my experience the loosely tossed around definition of "collaboration" can mean just the opposite, e.g., it often implies "everyone is equal," "it's okay to team up in opposition to perceived adversaries among the collaborators in order to press personal agendas" and "it's a great way to take credit for someone else's work."

OTOH, theater is a very old model with fairly rigid departmentalization of functions, with directors in each department, and people "below" them who work for them in well-defined roles. It is indeed "collaboration" but quite unlike much of what is meant by those who tout that idea in popular culture.

Payton_fromAF - Monday, November 28th, 2011
I was thinking the same thing about Alexa as there was quite a lot of movement. They might have readjusted their adjustment for "technology skew" - or what ever it was….

Claris Hooke - Thursday, November 24th, 2011
Your resource is really great. Keep posting that way.

Welcome Young Turk - Saturday, November 19th, 2011
The code you inserted does not look like it can hurt, so I leave it. Those of you who don't have the sophisticated methods for tracking feeds can also use it to get back here. Just search. It is doubtful that this method can help with notification of updates, but what do I know?

If anyone knows this to be something that can be used by the bad guys, do please let me know so I can remove it
: )
Thank you.

Ankara - Saturday, November 19th, 2011
Hello! ebcaggb interesting ebcaggb site! I'm really like it! Very, very ebcaggb good!

Welcome - Friday, November 18th, 2011
It seems a good moment to remind readers that the list is monitored, and that while I love all the messages it makes no sense to publish everything. However, real insights and strong narrative is always welcome.

Thank you so much for your interest and support. After my latest, the traffic increased significantly, so I am greatly cheered to know some of you have assisted.

Cefetwine - Friday, November 18th, 2011
Just wanted to take the time to say hi to everyone and get to know people a little. We look forward to contributing to the community.

Sincerely,
Alcock and Associates
2 North Central Avenue, 26th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 989-5000
alcocklaw.com

SEO hard knocks - Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
Hey, friends

I'm just here briefly to thank you for visiting and contributing to the growth of the readership through your recommendations, and to ask you to make a special effort if you get the opportunity to link nine3 on Stumble Upon or other favorite places where people go to discover interesting reading.

I mention it now because of the two or three previous occasions when the big search engine companies decide that I ought to be paying for the privilege of your readership. Typically I receive email requests for services to optimize seo rankings, and then (failing to pay someone for something that has been flowing here as a result of reader interest) suddenly my rankings drop precipitously, cutting the traffic by as much as 60%. It then takes a year or so to grow back to its previous levels, but they never seem to let it get beyond approximately where it is now before killing it again. So I see they are probably getting ready to lower the boom and would like to mitigate that if possible though your assistance.

I should just mention that I have zero disposable income at this time as for perhaps the first time in in my life I'm not multitasking, i.e., not multitasking that much, having eliminated commercial billings (not by my preference) from my activities. Not sure what will happen in this regard, I'm okay for now, but tending to spend less time searching for customers as there seems very little point to that pastimeat the moment. People ask me to do things to further prove (beyond my resume and portfolio) my skills, I comply, and then nothing comes of it. I'm sure a lot of people are in the same boat right now. But in a way it's a stroke of luck to be "given" this time to concentrate on creative writing.

On the other hand it will be seriously disappointing suddenly to see the readership disappear because the search engines that bring you here have decided it's time to review where I appear in the ranking.

I'll be thankful for whatever you can do to help. Guess I should get "tell your friends" button on here. Have no idea of how to do that, though, and need to research the best way to do it.

I'm making a preliminary arrangement for FADA, having found a wonderful singer who is interested in performing on the demo. He will also make suggestions to improve the singability of the song, in the event it turns out to be trouble in that regard. I'll be singing it myself on a "pre-demo" so he can hear how I do it, which should help.

Will get back to you as soon as I can. Thought of a good subject while driving in the car yesterday : )

Until later, friends,
xoxox,

Binizicky - Friday, November 11th, 2011
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brdijoo - Friday, November 11th, 2011
I am new here but i think he is right.

Congratulations - Friday, November 11th, 2011
This stock blog question finally came around to a point of relevance to current topics, so Here is your comment at long last ; ) with my congratulations for making it into the feed.

The answer is no, I haven't thought about it. I think about what I think about, and use what tools present themselves to my opportunities with the least commitment to breaking my head mastering the next software in line.

A person who is fascinated by and/or must continuously keep up with every new interface, utility or web site claiming to have a better way of answering the need to express things in multi media -- and whoever answers this call with a resounding "Hip-hip-hurrah! I get to spend more time setting things up so I can begin to express . . .! Whoopee! [wait a minute . . .]" has very little in common with me.

OTOH, perhaps you are posting as someone who wants to spend time setting things up so it is I, i.e., as a customer, who might use your services to reach a greater audience . . .

well, then, what do you propose?

I take to use the tools that present themselves to me to enable what I wish, and then I start wishing (i.e., expressing, actualizing) something that is not the tool but is, partly, the product of the application of the tool. Plus the thing itself.

Genesis_fromAC - Friday, November 11th, 2011
In doing this blog and thinking about this stuff, have you ever had any ideas for what kinds of tools (software, that is) that people could use to do things like share creative ideas in groups, create customer community, etc. etc.?

Thank you - Friday, November 11th, 2011
You are very kind to say this. It truly means a great deal. If I were as deeply modest as I am lazy, I would convert this forum to a format where comments are hidden under a "comments" button so it would not give the appearance of boasting that yours is here in plain sight for all to see -- a 'little only," as though I have not many, many charming comments from lovely readers I could share if I were willing to be truly bombastic in my egotism : )

But alas I cannot change the forum now as I am puzzling over the notation of the song whose lyric appears below -- and, may I say in all honesty, it is agony! I don't mind spending hours creating songs, but the hours spent bending my will to the notation software I do truly resent. It is in so many ways much easier to write it by hand, at least at first. However the revisions are much more difficult, requiring actual recopying and so forth. Besides, people never want to see hand written notation these days. Everything must look published.

Colin in Spain uses Sibelius, and he is very fast at it. Perhaps that's the one I should get. Alas, I am relatively poor now, with little disposable income for things like software upgrades.

I realize there are very many people in the world in the same shape. Looking at the visitors is especially interesting as it forces one to realize how many servers and individuals's machines are still on early Microsoft products. Windows 95 and 98 are still very much in evidence.

I mostly have Macs now but nothing beyond OS10.11, and the music machine is on OS9. It's all working pretty well. I gave up PCs for many years but this year had to get a Win7 machine to interact with a favorite colleague, and was shocked to discover how much worse it is than Win98 was (my last PC before this one). I remember that being a very robust machine with few problems, but the Win7 is truly annoying to navigate and use.

I did get a wonderful midi utility that runs exclusively on the PC, called gnmidi from Gunter Nagler. Search "gnmidi" if you are interested in getting it. Gunter is very clever about how he approaches everything, and a registered gnmidi also gives access to a couple of other products of his (gnmixer and gnfmt) which really extend one's ability to enhance midi sequences. Not that I will spend much time at doing that for the present, as my focus must be on creating the final pieces for UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS and getting what Stephen Schwartz claims is a very basic demo, which he says is the extent of what is demanded of composers -- just something to hand off to an arranger/orchestrator that shows a fair representation of the piece. I'm not completely convinced this will fly here in Boston due to the extreme snot factor which has migrated from the ivy league into every smelly little school with a music department ; )

And then of course I am also writing the UD book, which is a great pleasure as it is a very funny story, and there are a few places who have said they will accept my submissions without my having to spend money on them, and some of them are in New York, where the people seem high above the snot factor in understanding what is good. I believe that's because they are interested in making money, and they don't care who has the talent or where they went to school. It's actually a much cleaner standard, IMO, than the shennanigans that go on around here! Did I tell you that the nasty Harvard brat who tried to say he had composed the music for THE RAZZ (with a promise to "svengali me to a big career" (as his lyricist!), when contradicted by someone who wished to defend me, replied, "Oh, COME ON, do you REALLY think that SHE could write an absurdist French comedy! PLEASE!" Which of course begs the question of why he and his pals at [name withheld] Music Theater were so keen to have it on their own resumes instead of mine! Anyway, that was a long time ago and I realize I'm not greatly affected by it today, except insofar as everyone in this town thinks I'm a nightmare harridan for having been so ungracious as to reject the offer. And after they had already told everyone they were doing it!

Oh my word. Why haven't I given up?

Anyway, no doubt I should give priority to the submissions, but am bearing down hard on writing at the moment and it's very difficult to find time for everything, especially when drawn to blogging : )

Actually I must now go and prepare dinner. I'm cooking early so I can have my spa before going out to help the Milton Players with their final performances of "Lend Me A Tenor." It a very popular show, we're all dressing as for the opera, so it truly would not do to have aromas of curry and chicken about my person for such an occasion, eh!

Must run. xoxxo,

trivysils - Friday, November 11th, 2011
One does not often find on the internet as decent articles as yours is. I cant wait to read some more of your works.

FADA - Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
FADA

If I could love you just exactly as you need me
That means I´d be wise
Wise enough to play the fool

With a swagger of manhood, and jocular prattle
You may find a moment when interesting tattle
Will get a whole war won, to great approbation
While the general´s still pondering the field for a battle

If I could save the day for you, in just that way
Then you might say I´m wise
Wise enough to play the fool

Fada is wise enough to cut the shoot
And give to it the ground to root
For these are lessons learned in school
But do they make him wise
Wise enough to play the fool?

Cruel as April showering petals from the trees
Careless as a breeze
Some things spring up on their own
Fresh, blown, bringing hope against hope

Unfed and unnoticed there blooms such a garden
Unlikely it is, as a cold winter´s pardon
Gloom in the shadow of all which is absent
And because of that creation has happened

Will Fada discover something new
To shatter what is left of you
For you, who always find your way to art
After passion leaves you picking through the pieces
Scattered in the breaking of your heart

Fada lets the garden be closed to you
To make for you the grief you need
To knit with words the rows of seed
And weave with flowing waves of tears,
The low notes only your heart hears

So the world can be singing, as it keeps unravelling
And you keep making it whole again
Despite, no because of, the rain

Fada must know to cut the shoot
And give to it the ground to root
But these are lessons learned in school
And do not prove him wise enough
Wise enough to play the fool

A friend from Pakistan tells me the meaning of the word "fada" is "cracked wheat" and it is the name of a product known in other regions as "cous cous."

This is most interesting, creating the possibility for pretty names and endearments for the man to be murmurerd in secret among the various women vying for his love in UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS.

Apart from this added depth in characterization, the lyric itself has changed, and been shortened.

Melody is language with its own meanings, and lyrics often must be changed in order to be stitched onto melodies, for melodies can be less flexible than language since they will often lose the strength of their core meanings if they lose their inherent rhythm. In language, or at least in English, there are usually numerous ways to arrive at similar meanings. That is one of the strengths of English, a component of its strongly associative and assimilative character. As well, the meanings of words (especially significant words) can be made emphatic by drawing their vowels over several notes, maintaining or even enhancing melodic rhythms through variations. Therefore I rarely consider a lyric inviolable. I like to write the draft of the lyric first, always fully prepared to tailor it as necessary to the melody that arrives, deeply mysteriously, from secret sacred sources in the universe once the central idea exists.

There are cases where a phrase or even a whole section of a lyric cannot be changed, for sometimes, of course, especially in the kernel of the lyrical idea, the best and necessary words spring uncogitated in exactly the correct expression, straight from the subconscious. It is usually this part of the lyric that is used as the incantation, repeated endlessly and felt deeply, that calls a song's very own unique melody out of the ether.

Sometimes the draft lyric is more poetic than the finished lyric can be. In the case of Fada, arriving from a bittersweet sense that it is the suffering of the artist that brings the transcendant into existence. The wonderful thing that can be shared in the world, those things that LALLA
; ),
come to be "despite -- no, because of -- the rain."

This is a complex idea upon which, historically, endless critical commentary has been lavished. "Golly gee and goodness sake," you know how the old tome rolls, "how could that artist have created such amazingly wonderful things and yet go on and whack his ear off, throw himself down a bottle of booze, give his brain a shower of buckshot, or [fill in the blank]." Fada is the song of a man who understands this process, and, valuing the art above the individual comfort of art's creators, does not stint at delivering the necessary dose of emotional turmoil.

In the second section Fada demonstrates his mastery of playing the fool. One of my dearest friends, a talented pianist and teacher, showed me by "playing dumb" in a carousing group of guys where, by cloaking his superbly keen intelligence so that it is completely invisible, how suddenly a group dynamic will swing around to a moment when magic can happen. Instantly, what seemed impossibly long odds materialized and he got he gig. That's the sort of magic Shakespeare relies upon in his comedies by employing "the wise fool." This is the personality and intentionality of Fada in his everyday existence, and it makes him irresistible to women.

But in the coda, in the too poetic (read "too truthful") draft, he explains the deeper level of playing the fool: he risks his own heart again and again, as even in relenting and giving himself to this artist whom he loves, he knows in the end -- despite how much she suffers, strives and longs for his love -- she will leave him, or at least reveal herself to be, at the ultimate level of intimacy where two hearts conjoin, to be unavailable.

This had to be excised.

It is something I truly believe and wanted to tell, but in the end had to think of my own Fada, and question whether he would ever reveal such a thing. And the answer is no.

And so there it is in the draft. And there it is not, in the song.

It isn't easy to be Fada. He is the master. Ultimately he makes magic happen. Of course he has a heart, and it can break, but he cannot be other than he is, and therefore he cannot reveal everything he knows.

Dear Friends - Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
I apologize to you whose automata you have set to alert you to changes here so that you may come and read, for the times when all I have done is a little light editing to improve the sense of certain sentences or even to correct typographical errors. This writing too often is literally stream of consciousness. I type quickly and never have enough time for proper editing and sometimes execute the submissions when I know they are too drafty : )

I have also been guilty of sharing lyrics that are known to be unfinished. Sometimes such entries remain in the too poetic condition that precludes their description as "lyrics." Lyric poetry they may be, but certainly not "lyrics" in the sense they are suitable as the basis of song.

This is the case with the most recent "Fada" entry. That one is as of very late last night nearly nailed to the cross of structure and melody, and I hope to give you the updated version immediately following (above) with perhaps some superficial explanation of factors necessitating the changes.

The main reason I am here now is that my mail is at present bombarded with pings from dear readers who are hoping to encourage me to write something. Thank you for that! It is lovely to know you are enjoying these entries.

I've recently spent some hours wandering through the world of blogging (the blogosphere) to try to find writers whose pages I enjoy reading, and to my surprise have found the pickings sadly slim. One of my favorites is the ex-wife of an increasingly rich and powerful man. Alas, her divorce settlement now complete, perhaps the reality of her new life is taking her in a new direction. At any rate she suddenly seems to have lost the taste for writing. I hope she returns to blogging soon. She is a writer of novels, as well -- the kind that unfortunately the superior man (Lao Tsu's ideal, previously mentioned) would turn away from as from plague. I love her prose, but her fiction is so powerful that I could read less than half a page before taking flight. Her subject include vampires, cannibalism, murder and so on -- so-called thrillers. The sexy young demon who on the first page we find hitching a ride along a highway, slaughters and consumes the poor human who stops to offer her a ride. I don't know this author personally but through her blogs have come to care for her, but since that opening page have baulked utterly at the prospect of ever giving her another chance as a novelist.

I also read the facebook of a particular person of what could be called aristocratic lineage (I have mentioned a few times here, though not by name) whose many visits to nine3 I have found vexing at times because there was a great promise in our brief acquaintance which he withdrew in the cruelest terms by suggesting that in writing works that are my own I had somehow betrayed him through not being the reincarnate being whose legacy endows him with a somewhat exalted existence and most certainly meant everything in his life. The irony in this case is that his relative indeed inspired me to write for the musical stage and in a very direct way I and my work are the offshoots of his work. He is one of a few people whose visits I note at various times with satisfaction, sadness, vexation, anger, remorse, self-hatred, frustration and the host of other emotions you might experience yourself if you realize you have the attention of someone who could mean everything to the fulfillment of your heart's desire but who, for reasons you will probably never understand, lurks instead of engages and withholds instead of encourages. It's a situation where indeed less would be more, and what would have in earlier times be considered much greater potentials for gathering information bears the net result of a negative value through underscoring personal helplessness in a situation that at one time seemed to empower.

In any case, when I met this fellow I could tell he was someone of wealth and privilege. It was an industry event. I was already seated in the waiting room along with perhaps a hundred other people when he appeared in the door. He scanned the people there, our eyes met, and I smiled at him then went back to my reading. He materialized in the seat next to me. Terrified, I pretended not to notice. Ultimately he retired to sit on the floor within my line of sight, where he opened his notebook computer and began laughing with quiet delight and murmuring at the amusements offered by his email or something. When we were called into the auditorium, he again appeared by my side, so I asked him if he were going to be on the panel of speakers.

Obviously impressed, he demanded why I should even think such a thing. "But you ARE someone, aren't you?" I said. He was astounded and demanded to know how I could tell, but I refused. Later we chatted and exchanged cards.

I think I mentioned this encountered in an earlier post but I do not recall whether I divulged the details of my observation of him that led to me to conclude he was someone on the level of exactly who he turned out to be. I'm not sure I will now say, either, as I see this account is getting rather long and those facts don't pertain to the point I was hoping to get around to making before too much more time passes.

What I meant to say in bringing this up is that this fellow also writes online, not in the form of a blog per se, but as is a generous commentator on socio-political issues through exchanges with "friends" on social media.

One of the notable things about his commentary is that it now has a non dogmatic basis whereas in the past it had been overtly aligned with partisanship of the left wing democrat variety. Perhaps this is owing only to the facts of President Obama's administration turning out to be such a sad collection of incompetencies wedded to bad faith that no one in their right mind would continue to support the activities we now so bitterly refer to as his policies. On the other hand, it may be possible to hope this thoughtful man has discovered the pointlessness as well as the weaknesses inherent in his position as a person of vast wealth and privilege continuing to express support for the machine that has surely stripped him and his various enterprises of shocking levels of value. Who knows? perhaps he has even found instruction here that it is at least worth exploring, as we do at Griselda's Fat Farm of Studio Art, that the "No Dogma" zone is really the only sensible place to reside, intellectually speaking -- indeed, socially and economically speaking as well.

I would appear our so-called right wing and our so-called left wing have edged 'round the circle until their so-called fringe elements (the Occupy Wall Streeters and the Tea Partiers) now have more in common with each other than in conflict. Perhaps the smart politician can notice this and discover the common ground is at the edges, and the edges conjoin to become the new center. I am so pleased to have lived long enough to see this happening : )

bient魌, friends. See if the current state of my lyric appears above, and if it does, realize I have spent far too much time here today.

Blessings, and profound peace,
xoxo

Testicular Cancer Symptoms - Friday, October 28th, 2011
I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with most of what you´re saying here and the way you´ve presented it is awesome.

casz - Sunday, October 16th, 2011
Dear Gammertingen, I don't think anything really matters in this activity quite so much as actually beginning. Once you get rolling, you'll know what you want to do next.

By all means, do get a free blog. (Liver Journal, blogspot, wordpress -- to name just a few.

What if you go to effort and expense of setting up your own domain with this type of script (allowing the postings, and the moderation, BTW, just as reminder to those who may not remember that your messages are received and appreciated, just not always published ; ) only to discover that for some reason you enjoy reading more than writing blogs?

I happen to be one with an excess of emotion, memory, and expressiveness, so a blog is the perfect place to blow off extra energy.

I hear wordpress is very nice.

Joy of Living - Sunday, October 16th, 2011
If you're like most people coming here, you mean you would like to continue balancing and growing the vital life force within you.

The sacred mysteries of Griselda's Farm Farm of Studio art describe multitudinous treatments and rituals to help orient your "Eternal I" (the one you recognze as "you," who constantly cerebralizes with its intellect's mighty abilities) place itself in the appropriate perspective vis--vis the collected factors the oneself probably in some way or other considers "other than oneself." : ) but who also has (you deeply suspect) many other senses and abilities that might be potential to it if only it could get that antic guy (your "I" : ) to listen quietly for a moment.

The paradox Western civilization's mores in the present time provide enough confusion to engulf the state of affairs entirely. I can't even begin to get into that at the moment! It's such a nuisance to such as I am, who live my own life privately and well-distanced from the maelstrom. Thanks be to heaven!

But in particular I suppose you would like to use the amazingly powerful libido nature endows for the benefit of your existence instead of something that imperils every moment with its insistence and urgings, eh!

There are sacred mysteries that can help you attain the condition the master Lao Tsu referred to as "the superior man" -- a man free from (among other things) the fear of disgracing oneself through notoriety or, worse, being utterly destroyed through personal failure to understand and command these powers and potentials, as befell the unfortunate Strauss Kahn and Polansky and countless others: "another slave to passion accused by a slave to fame." Attain mastery through these means we share at nine3.com and at Griselda's Fat Farm of Studio Art and Spa in the world of HARRIER ANGEL and you will discover amazing things about yourself and the world, you will realize what you want and actualize what you want from this life -- and you will no longer even be capable of enacting pigdom in your quest for your beautiful life. Not only will it be unthinkable, but your heart will contract with revulsion at those things that tempt you to self destruction.

After you have rediscovered the charms and delights of the garden of pleasure that is natural sex as practiced through the tao of sex (emancipated from the pornogothic malocclusions of the collective industrial disease ; ) . . . you will have devoured the meaning of the nine3.com/Tao.html and the collected truths presented at nine3.com/SacredErotic.html and the pages linked there.

If you love me for showing this to you, then do two things in return:

Practice your practices by nines, as those will harmonize your being with the universe and bring all things at the right time; and
Buy my music : ) at
nine3.com/PurchaseCD/

Truly this request is for much more than commercial value to me. This work in its entirety was written on the strings of my heart, and if you listen to it all the way through, you will discover there are secrets written in harmonies and their overtones, as well as through lyric imagery, rhythm and rhyme, that makes a difference, as it is written, "for the re generation."

Tell you friends. See you at Griselda's! It's for the Women, Infants, Children, Craftsman and Artisans," and that's the whole human race, darlings! We can be there now!

in peace profound, "It L.A.L.L.A.!!*"
Cristobal

*looks a lot like art ; )

Jubail - Sunday, October 16th, 2011
Great information guysmuch appreciated especially with what i'm seeking to do.

Does someone have further reading? Where is the best place to get started on here on this web site?

How To Keep A Man Interested - Saturday, October 15th, 2011
I just book marked your blog on Digg and StumbleUpon. I enjoy reading your commentaries.

Gammertingen - Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
Awesome blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers? I'm hoping to start my own website soon but I'm a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I'm totally overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Many thanks!

True, Larry. True. - Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Thanks for encouragement. Believe me, I am trying to move forward on multiple fronts simultaneously.

How many really great things have come of one person working alone? Working together is the only way. Alone I can create manuscripts, scores, scripts, libretti. But I also need an agent, a publisher, a record label, production company and probably more.

I hope you will point some of these in my direction, Larry.

So often when people say "tools" they mean a piece of software or an interface to enable the creative person to become their own publisher, agent, editor, etc. For this they expect the creative person to pay, and this is not really any help at all, but merely another sales pitch. However, if when you refer to people who "will make sacrifices" for me, i.e., spend their own equity (sweat and or money, as I have spent in the creation of these works) to become a member of the team, then yes, a creative team is excellent. If everyone works in good faith, each person can supply some of these pieces to their partners and become the required company. But time and again such teams as these that I have worked with have absorbed weeks and months of my support (to the temporary abandonment of my own creative) and in the end they have refused to lift a finger on my behalf. In one case the false promises in exchange for various of my services went on for ten years and in the end, at the moment when he had a chance to introduce me at the highest levels at the Boston Pops, instead he chose to give the impression that he could have a girlfriend (me), and went on about what a generous and kind woman I am instead of saying what I needed, i.e., that I am a colleague and have written lyrics (among other things) for the best work he has ever composed, and which lyric not entirely incidentally he continued until the time of our estrangement to attempt to credit to someone who had not written a single word of it.

People tell the young that to try to do something grand will mean diving into shark-infested waters. But such a frightful image cannot instruct without also giving specific examples of the kinds of things that can happen. This is why I mention the foregoing.

Not that I am comparing my abilities to anyone on the level of Nicola Tesla, but it was he who could be philosophical when asked how he could bear such treatment as he received at the hands of the world. He said something like, "It's actually just so amazing to be me and to be able to see what I see and to execute the things I have executed that it almost doesn't matter." I think what he was saying is true in my case, as well.

There are many keeping an eye on me through these posts and the new entries made toward completion of my pieces. To those who know they should help and will not, I can only say, "It's your loss." Perhaps they will see themselves more clearly for who they are because of how they feel about, and have acted or not acted re:, me, eh!

It's one of the reasons I can call our clan schlemiels (bunglers) : ) because I (and some of the others) have more than enough of what is needed to make the manuscript, the melody, lyric, etc. Just not enough of the other stuff. Therefore we say, "Mazel tov, schtupp nagel." Part of who I am does rely on who we were in that clan. When I have gone to visit, or they come to see me, too often there has been a sewing machine in the cards, and grandiose exuberance to help secure my willingness to give what is so desperately wanted that it will be said, "Sewing! That is where your REAL talent lies!" To me this is a horrible insult, of course, because sewing is a craft and can be taught to almost anyone who wants to learn it, and nothing of the sort can be said about literature and music. But I can't exactly say, "Shut up, you stupid, insulting, selfish, rude cow." Or [insert exasperation here] when they lose patience and begin jumping around nervously and ultimately go off and leave me alone to finish whatever it is I have been charged with making for them because they can't sit still that long keeping me company, and in fact probably had no idea that the finished work doesn't happen just because of the twinkling of my eye. Hey, it's my mother. I don't say that to her. Not even after I have finished the outfit that she asked me for, and now, wanting another that I will not begin, says, pointing to my clothes, "I'll take that one. You can always make another."

"Schtupp nagels," most of us! I don't try to explain. It wouldn't matter to her anyway. What I get from the experience is a lyric called "Work For It" that mentions that while there is some magic and inspiration in creative process, it is mostly concepting, visualizing, sketching, procuring, cutting, fitting, trimming, inserting, stitching etc. etc. . . . i.e., perspiration.

And that is merely in bringing something new into the world, not including sending out the perfect marketing packages to all the people whose names and addresses reside here on my desk (of which there are only one or two out there currently "under consideration") (on the "get a producer" front), or hiring staff, equipment, hall, dressing everyone, doing publicity and marketing and spending a pile of dough (on the "I'm a great producer, what do I need them for" front) or even the marketing and publicity for an actual theater group (on the "quid pro quo" that will probably never be remunerated, ergo the "paying it forward" front). Thanks, heaven! : )

I am at this time able to continue proceding on all these fronts simultaneously, thank heaven -- but do not wonder why everything is taking so long!

I know there are people with good names and fortunes who observe no doubt philosophically. It is their option to do as they like. Perhaps though they might also consider whether it is their unwillingness to follow the gut instinct that caused them to become interested in me in the first place that may be the one and only reason my obituary may include only three or four works for the art they profess to adore when with a little help and engagement from them toward something they profess to wish to be doing, the list might have been much longer.

Hope you can follow. Someone recently called this forum a "stream of conscious" style blog. It is, it is -- but that could be remedied with a few more punctuation marks. OTOH, he said he likes it. So be it, I must go.

Not to my credit, but by the blessings of heaven,
cristo

LarryRenato - Thursday, October 6th, 2011
There are many opportunities and tools for companies available in the market who are keen to make sacrifices to create good fortune for you.

derogatory endearments - Monday, October 3rd, 2011
A friend and her friends were highly entertaining on the subject of what super heroes everyone would make.

I decided that mine would have to be a kind of Jim Crow for schlemiels. My dad's German sounded like yiddish so after he failed the WWII secret agent test they asked him to pass as a jew, which worked out well since everyone thought he was anyway. We say stuff like, "Mazel tov, schtupp nagel" and no one gets offended.

I realized others besides ourselves and the blacks should have a super insider insult,. It's special b/c it is the highest form of endearment. No one but one of the clan would dare to repeat it.

Kirk - Saturday, October 1st, 2011
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casz - Thursday, September 29th, 2011
They're singing my RED RIVER VALLEY in Sri Lanka! and many other places around the globe. But Sri Lanka! How fantastic.

After all these years, in the various forms it exists on nine3.com ( including the pdf score, various arrangements of the music, with and without vocals in .mov, .mp3 and so on) it is playing around a thousand times a month. Ah, if I only had a penny for each of these I would not be so frantic about my lack of income ; ) But thank you, internet, for allowing me to know this and to know this feeling I am feeling today. And thank you, all you lovely human beings, for sharing this truth, this antique song mended by my own hands into something that heals. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Now I will give you the draft of the current state of the LYRIC for the last song in UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS. I know I promised a fair copy of I CHING! some months ago now, and that song is complete. However it needs to be opened up, with spacing to make it into the torch song it truly is, and I'm sorry to say I have not done that yet and find myself unwilling to trust the world to know how much better it will be with this simple expansion. As you know, there is nothing more controversial than a being such as I am. I have come to understand the conflict t as the gift's tax -- and inevitable. I have felt the burden of that tax, and complained about it far too much here! But today I know with sheer gratitude the blessings of the gift. Because I have a new song for you. Along with I CHING!, FADA forms the coda ("the tail") of the piece. Knowing how it lands, and believing in every word and every note because in its entirety it "felt" and not merely "cogitated" -- well, today I'm happy.

The chord structure has existed for a long, long time -- given to me by my own Fada : ) and at last becoming real to prove that the force of nature that is my personal being wastes nothing.

Blessings!

FADA (Wise Enough To Play The Fool)

If I could love you exactly as you need me
That means I´d be
Wise enough to play the fool

With a swagger of manhood, some jocular prattle
You may find a moment when interesting tattle
Will get a whole war won, to great approbation
While the general´s still pondering the field for his battle

If I could save the day for you, in just that way
Then you might say
I´m wise enough to play the fool

Fada is wise enough to cut the shoot
And give to it the ground to root
For these are lessons learned in school
But do they make him wise
Wise enough to play the fool?

Cruel as April showering petals from the trees
Careless as a breeze
Some things spring up on their own
Feeding hope against hope

Unfed and unnoticed there blooms such a garden
Unlikely it is, as a cold winter´s pardon
Gloom in the shadow of all which is absent
And because of that creation has happened

Will Fada discover something new
To shatter what is left of you
For you, who find your way to art
After passion leaves you picking through the pieces
Scattered in the breaking of your heart

Fada lets the garden be closed to you
To make for you the grief you need
To knit in words the rows of seed
And weave with flowing waves of tears,
The low notes only your heart hears

So the world can be singing as it keeps unravelling
And you keep making it whole again
Despite, no because of, the rain
But now methinks it´s time to smile again
Methinks it´s time we bide beside one another
Another little while again

Fada must know to cut the shoot
And give to it the ground to root
But these are lessons learned in school
And do not prove him wise enough
Wise enough to play the fool

For wise enough I cannot tell
Even as I, a long cool drink from an antique well,
Will lose you to your bending still
Beneath some ancient tree on some faraway hill

Falmouth - Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
It's good idea to do internet page like this one! Very interesting articles and attractive graphic.

XTO - Sunday, September 25th, 2011
Today Brother Bear spoke at length about the layers of sentimentality and barbarism isolating our understanding of the concept of the American "family farm" from its actual character, at least in the region where he has been cultivating wheat for the past three decades or so.

When we hear the term "family farm" today, what we think of is framed within 19th Century images of homespun values struggling against corporate interlopers. Yet this is (as are many icons) far removed from the reality of what some family farms have become.

The game in agriculture today succeeds only because of leasing, ownership of land accounting for less than 20% of yields. Those who cannot lease land for cultivation will soon lose the advantage they enjoy through tax write offs (and other perks) feeding into what today exists as an essentially feudal structure with titular manors supporting generations of offspring who are no more capable of farming land than stray cats living wild upon the legacy of past generations.

For example I am personally aware of a case where the greed and jealousy of the sons of such a family infected their children. These children, when suddenly presented with opportunity, in a shocking act like a scene from THE LORD OF THE FLIES, slaughtered the young child who they understood to be their future adversary.

Because the legal system in our country did not at that time admit that people younger than a certain age could understand right from wrong (a situation that is slowly changing as more and more cases of such heinous acts by children begin to demand clearer thinking on the part of society), there were no legal ramifications for those children or their parents (who were at the time of the crime supposedly in charge of the children but in fact were off on their own, drinking and taking drugs while the children were left to their own devices). To the casual observer these people may appear completely normal, if not enviable in every respect, for they appear rich and handsome and entitled to the best of everything money can buy. But those who were murderous children are today quite mad with moral insanity, unable to admit what they did, and slowly destroying themselves from the inside out. Thus it may be many years, perhaps generations, before the end of this savage ritual plays to its final scene.

It is a colorful tale indeed, one I hope to collaborate on eventually in bringing it to the world. It is an example, like a William Faulkner novel, of wrongdoing on a deeply personal and entirely local and regional form of evil that arose from the territorial instincts of generations who believed they were owed their living as heirs to the profits of a family farm.

Here is another example of how local wrongdoing conglomerates to become institutional evil.

The many houses long ago built on lands now belonging to many of such "family farms" are the currency of modern serfdom in America. Housing given "almost free" in exchange for labor have the effect of enslaving the occupants and putting liquid currency into the pockets of the land owners, who can simultaneously "expense" such housing, while the relatively small rent checks (perhaps $300-500/month paid by the tenants, or around $3,600-6,000/yr. for each house) when processed through the loopholes allowed to the corporation equals tax free income in the pockets of the land owners and their kin.

Tenants are frequently poor, down-and-out people who consider themselves fortunate to enjoy "cheap rent" in exchange for their labor, but when the chips come down in the competition for leases with neighbors, these hapless tenants often feel themselves "beholden" or even "owned" by their landlords, and can easily be induced to perform many acts which -- except for this perceived or even real obligation -- they would never entertain otherwise.

The cruelest part of selling one's soul to the landlord, as in in any feudal order, is that it blinds those who could and should be practicing and observing the natural processes of cultivation to the fact that that many of the so-called "timed honored" traditional methods of agriculture are so tragically ingrained and obtuse among the family farmers competing for land and are themselves the reason for reduced yields. For many generations many such "family farms" have followed methods and procedures that, with a little real care and sensitivity toward the land, might have been observed to be hopelessly antiquated. Feudal orders are thus "stuck" in time. They cannot adapt and move forward because of the various material and psychological debilitations of the structure.

In the meantime, readily available -- through the talent of careful and practiced observers -- we already have the knowledge to enhance abundance by quantum degrees.

Brother Bear, a leaser rather than a land owner, has just this harvest brought in the crop that this year fared well enough to pay off all the equipment and mortgages.

The land under his stewardship produces yields astonishing to the feudal contenders, so much so that this year competitors used some of the aforementioned sadly dependent tenants to follow his harvest by hiding in the fields and attempting to count each and every load of grain harvested in an attempt to prove that Brother Bear was stealing loads from other fields. It was very easy for Brother Bear to notice the existence of such hapless spies parked for hours at a time out in the middle of nowhere. Mostly they were addle-pated drug addicts ill-equipped even under the best of circumstances to fulfill their mandates.

And such "work" can be be dangerous. A semi truck hauling a twenty ton load of grain creates a huge dust cloud as it leaves the field, making it difficult to impossible for the driver to anticipate and therefore notice the possible existence of a car with a sleeping spy in it parked where it should not be. On more than one occasion last summer a truck driver brought his rig to a screeching halt mere feet from such a vehicle, and thankfully avoided crushing to death the poor foolish young man charged with following the truck and learning the details of where the grain was unloaded and how many such loads had been carried that day. The unfortunate young man could not be induced to divulge his reasons for being there on that day, but a few days later he again ran into trouble, and on that occasion was so shaken that he gave in and told the whole story.

I hope to give details of this at a later time. It is a dramatic tale of exploitation and peril for the unfortunate tenants of the farm, and (as a force of nature itself, like the truth, which will always out) utterly failed in most enlightening and amusing ways as a method of delivering information to the feudalists. But this I must save for a later day, when the first chapter and the outline of the book have been written, a literary agent secured, and when some of the more technical details (not conducive to popular entertainment but important to the pedagogy of farming) have been shared with the appropriate entities in the Department of Agriculture. I do not think I should give this story away, as it were, without arranging somehow for some benefit to its owners and to the farming culture of the nation : )

Brother Bear is a born naturalist and, of his own God-given talent and hard work (using farming techniques all his own that he has evolved through his observations and practices, learned through listening quietly for three decades of farming and following the wisdom of the spirit in the land). Now, released from the insecurity of indebtedness, he can begin to speak freely about his knowledge that allows him, as a recent recommendation by his local grain co-op officer attested, to "farms like an 80 or 90-year-old farmer." By this I believe the aggie agent meant that Brother Bear is smart, and learns by observation year after year, to follow the spirit of the land.

Loss of fecundity experienced over the past half century is the result of the ignorance of Monsanto and other conglomerates whose real interest is, as in the case of all power players, to own everything and control everything. They, while manipulating the greed of regional feudal barons (many of them owners of what is sentimentally described as "family farms), would prefer to extinguish those like Brother Bear -- reduce them to their component parts (chiefly carbon) and return them to the earth where their voices will be heard no more.

But yields from the land can indeed be by quantum degrees more abundant than we are seeing today. Agribusiness as it is in practice today destroys the very processes it seeks to sustain.

Like the unfortunate administration in the White House today, it is yet another case of misguided belief that squeezing the neck of a golden goose is the method for producing golden eggs, when even slight patience and observation of natural processes will readily reveal that the husbandry of more golden geese is the true path to the desired end.

In peace profound,
Cristo

confidential to FP - Friday, September 23rd, 2011
Masquerading as RF ; )
icu!! : )

I get the feeling you may have contemplated and are perhaps still contemplating a denial of service attack. Forgive me if I err in this observation, and the offending server is not "inquiring" on your behalf. From here it "seems" that this is about to happen, and that it you who are doing it.

I belong to the "never complain, never explain" school of dealing with less than stellar-level professionals. Just because the "mean girls" approach to professional interaction (benignly framed as "office politics" which implies the full gamut of social evils determining one's professional "behaviors") is "just the way it is" in today's world -- well, this does not really imply that I must go along.

"Never complain, never explain" is the first ground rule for those who do not submit.

Did I ever mention "Suzy Shiner" -- a song I wrote for the ringleader of one such "community" -- of course the song remains unpublished because, because of who I am, things that are allowed to others are forbidden to me, and that includes enacting the acts of all who destroy others through dirty tricks (defended so effectively through blanket plausible deniability that operates in the electronic world and which the hapless marauders erroneously believe to be a boon or even a blessing in their lives). This I cannot do. Not that I wouldn't be very good at it if I did. I proved that as a young child. It was scary how good at it I was back in those days of self hatred and attempted self-annihilation. I literally could and did read people's minds at that age, and it was so easy to manipulate them it was ridiculous. I was the object of jealousy and hatred by my family , and also pouring forth from the barrel new evils of my own (such as my songs, which I write but don't always publish to avoid this error while enacting the necessary exorcism from my own being the dybbuks that are the very ideas themselves which I do not want and do not wish to promulgate). And so I wrote for her "Suzy Shiner" which includes the memorable line,
"Suzy Shiner, clever wife, da/ ta ' da/ ta' , butcher knife" (the part where the stresses lie in place of the lyrics proving it is not all that memorable ; ) I have it somewhere. Perhaps some day I will run across is again, and share it with you then ; ) Searing my heart with this forgotten lyric is not on today's slate.

Anyway, she is the one who tried (actually rather patiently, for a time) to enlist me in a campaign to eliminate "the person on the next rung up," (inviting me to lunch, to go on walks together, etc.) and in the end warned me, saying, "We like you, but if you won't help us do it to her, then we're going to do it to you . . ., 'cause that's our game."

Can you imagine this? That was the period of great opportunity at a large publishing company. My way out was the dangled carrot of a much better, and permanent as opposed to freelance, position -- but one I would have had to fight for, just as I was at that time being required to fight for my much lower position (which was nevertheless perhaps a half a rung up -- paywise, anyway -- from the one Suzy inhabited, and which made me a logical second choice to be her "next victim of industrial disease" (thank you kindly, Thomas Dolby). Anyway, I didn't fight to stay and didn't fight to climb, in fact left summarially to the regret and shock of my boss who had just the day before commended me for making him look good ("No one ever makes me look good," he said with sincere gratitude) and also to the regret of a friend who had just that day gifted me with a bottle of wine in thanks for defending her against Suzy's and Kelly's (the one Suzy was trying to get rid of) heinous actions. Unfortunately the same weakness of character (allowing vipers to sit in my boss's office by the hour talking about "frustrations," which sitting around and talking about "frustrations" being really the one and only tool such vipers have at all -- it is all done with language, there is no question of productivity or other concrete value playing into the process) that made him refer to the group as a "snake pit" was the very condition that determined he was and would forever remain himself the king cobra. So what could I do? If he were anything else -- a better man -- he could have ended the entire war by saying, "Get to work!" We were amazingly unproductive there. We had "duplication of effort" standing in for quality control, which means more than one person is doing each and every task, independently of one another, with the idea that "someone" would be able to compare the two and, where differences occurred, determine which was correct. This used to work back in the days of typesetting (errors in that field being pretty easy to judge), however our layouts were extremely detailed and complex (math textbooks), and moreover we were all charged with being more creative and user friendly, and therefore many things were ambiguous and no one could be held responsible for accuracy since all of our mistakes, by design, belonged to everyone.

Due to group psychosis, the industrial disease infecting our production process, I'm quite certain the total cost of creating these textbooks was probably around four to 6 times what a reasonable total would have been, and the extreme expenses of our operation drew dismay from the corporate entity, but in our defense it was always argued that math textbooks were a unique and fully opaque business that the suits could never quite apprehend. Moreover the economies of scale kicked in pretty early on in the sales department so it actually didn't really matter how much it cost. Even huge overruns were marginal amounts compared to the expected profits. There were literally millions upon millions of these editions of textbooks to be manufactured and sold throughout the national public schools system as well as in many nations abroad for some years to come (until the next edition was deemed necessary), and we probably could have spent quite a lot more before the production costs would have begun to make a difference.

What really turned out to matter was the corporate culture at the local level. The art director and the managing director were upset by the venom in the snake pit, though apparently not especially upset by keeping company with serpents themselves. For whatever reason, they seemed incapable of putting a stop to it, although I've never found it that difficult when I was in managerial positions. Our group held at least two and sometimes three meetings a day, if you can imagine that. Such meetings were almost never attended by the art director (who had more than one such group under her purview). In order to maintain my sanity and basic integrity, I worked hard cranking out chapter layouts on our side, and on another side (which no one else participated in) creating a series of tutorials and workbooks for the multimedia component of a different group's textbook. In the department to which the multimedia project belonged, there was no money left to create these, and so our managing director was asked if he could help to get them done "somehow," and he thought of me. He gave them to me to do -- autonomously with no daily meetings and little contact with anyone at all, which suited me very well -- and I did them, lickety split, and that is why he came and shook my hand and thanked me and said I had made him look good and also why, I am sure, I was asked to apply for a much bigger job with the company.

The fact that I was busily doing my own work on our project as well as taking care of the other group's minor emergency did not matter to my colleagues as long as they believed it was impossible to succeed at doing both jobs, and they really knew very little about it anyway, but once the workbooks were complete and I was being offered the much better job (being told simultaneously I might be too good a designer to spare -- this being the moment I could have chosen to fight to climb the corporate ladder) then it was as if a long-festering carbuncle came to a sudden boil ; ) Suzy (along with Kelly, who was extremely grateful not to be the target of the attack for once and jumped into the intrigue with both feet) cooked up an argument that was meant to be le coup du mort for me.

However I have dog hearing. This extremely acute audial sense explains much about my proclivity for finding melody everywhere. Among other things, I hear overtones, which are tones at specific intervals naturally occurring over time. In most interesting ways these "lead" to melody, drawing me into harmonies (chord progressions) that composer friend John marvels at, and about which he has questioned me closely. He is the sort of composer who has studied the work of others with great attention and arrived at his vast musical reach thus, encyclopedically, while I (like some idiot savant) seem to draw mine out of thin air. "Always the interesting chord," he says. "It doesn't quite . . . fit. Except that it does, and it takes you someplace no one else can find. And all your songs have this highly individual quality, they are distinct, and instantly recognizable as yours."

It's my hearing. I am a Lapp (my maiden name). Axel Munthe, in THE STORY OF SAN MICHEL speaks of travelling in winter, and his party being caught in a blizzard in Finland, taken in by Lapps. He describes them as strange, almost fairy-like people with strong intuition, extreme sensitivity to color and other heightened senses. That night, after the storm had ceased and the world was buried in new snow, the ten year old daughter of the house was sent out to find the sheep who had not come home in time. No one else could do this job because all were too well grown, and only she was small enough to walk upon the surface without crashing through the deep snow. Munthe was astounded to see this little girl leave alone at night, and even more astounded by her return some hours later with the herd of sheep, who were seen from a long way off leaping and bounding to break the trail home. Munthe asked the girl how in the world she had done it and she replied simply, "I could hear them bleating. They were huddled between some hills, so I followed the sound and showed them the way back."

Well, I have embellished the tale a bit. The facts are true to what Munthe wrote, but I have doubtless colored it a bit as I write it from memory -- but just a little. If you want to know exactly what he said, do read his memoir. I promise you it is an extraordinary tale of a magnificent man's life about a hundred years ago.

The point of mentioning it here is to say that that child's hearing is the kind of hearing we Lapps still have to this day, at least some of us do. I do. It is dog hearing.

My colleagues whispering their plots a couple of cubicles away might as well have been speaking directly to me. I heard every word that was said. Suzy said she would argue to our boss that it would be very unfair to all of them if I were to have done any less work on our projects than any of them had done during the period when I was doing both, that to keep peace among the other artists I must be given a few more chapters, that everyone must make a notebook of all their chapters (as complete possible and fully up-to-date) to present at the meeting later that afternoon, and that anyone whose work was incomplete would be in trouble.

"She can't do it, no one could," Suzy whispered, "and that will be that."

The funny thing was that I did do it. Working fast as possible, I discovered among the new chapters I had been given nearly everything was "to come." They simply weren't even ready to be given for layouts, and so I did what little was there to do, inserted "to come" all over the place otherwise, and handed in a fully-up-to-date notebook at the meeting.

This caused an upheaval that resulted in a third meeting, to be conducted by the art director, scheduled for the end of the day.

At this meeting the art director, a nice British lady on the verge of tears, was distraught about all the hatred and venom in the atmosphere. She asked for discussion but no one would begin. She then asked me, "Maybe you can tell us WHO IS DOING IT??"

All this time later I believe perhaps I should have said, "Why don't you tell us who it is sitting in your office for hours at a time talking to you about it? They are the ones who are doing it. It's a mind game, and no one is really 'doing' anything. In this case, the 'saying' is the 'doing.' You don't have to buy into it." But I was ready to take the bullet along with my moral victory : )

I said, "I am not aware that anyone is doing anything like that. I'm kind of busy. I hadn't noticed."

Very soon after this I resigned. And the song, "Suzy Shiner," came out to rid my soul of her power to anger and upset me.

That was another occasion, like this one, dear RF, where there is little I can do except follow the rule to "never complain, never explain."

Others, including you, may gossip and commit character assassination and worse -- far worse -- as much as they please. They and I are truly not on the same level. I shudder at the prospect. It is not that I don't understand it, or even master the process myself. I do, but choose against it. As a child, fighting for survival as the "smart one" among many unwanted daughters (while our parents continued having children to try to get sons), playing such games made me deeply self-destructive. Even now I am sure that for me it would be fatal. If others may do it, if it makes them happy, and gets them what they want, then who am I to say that at their level it is wrong? Perhaps they are meant to exist in mortal hell. Isn't that what demons prefer?

comforter - Saturday, September 17th, 2011
This is the first time I comment on your site, but I've been keeping up with your work for a while now. I admire the passion with which you write the articles and hope someday I can do the same. Love

Elli.W - Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
Sometimes things are not working as forecasted, thats life....

bye,
Elli

DeesseGoachek - Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
Good site, good luck!

- Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
Among the increasingly large number of visitors to this forum there are three or four regulars who appear to be some of the highly placed professionals in my field whom I most admire and with whom I have either corresponded very briefly, attempted to contact and received no replies, or had some slight personal interaction. Their attention to this forum is mostly merely noticed with slight chagrin but sometimes ranks a little further out on the chagrin to mortification scale. Today I also received promotional material from a popular showcase of new works for the musical stage, where an acquaintance's show will be presented at the end of this month. This very talented person happens to be one who was run out of the local musical theater workshop even before they first attempted to grab credit on my work and then, having failed, ran me out, too. You may read much more about these latter fellows in a few of the entries below, and in entries to come I am sure, since I'm definitely not over it.

But I must confess to a sense of envy at my friend's good fortune at being included in this prestigious festival this year, and even though I did not apply myself and do truly wish him the very best and even hope to attend a performance, this is I believe the source of a bit of a letdown I'm experiencing today. Persistent rain and unseasonal gloom may also contribute. It's too soon to remove the air conditioner in my office, and its vents let in a damp chill that has me dressed in long sleeves with the grayling cat on my lap for warmth as I'm typing.

For these reasons, included here today is a bit more of an autobiography than given in the past — this repeated from an application to a grant last year that resulted in a letter of encouragement (but no money) from the organization.

I'm getting perilously close to revealing for the first time things about my college years as concerns the "other" New York Times columnist alluded to a few entries ago, and that tale will be much better understood with a little more background.

I corrected my own dyslexia and taught myself to knit and crochet (left handed) before entering kindergarten. I knew many things inherently, such as the name of the fellow conducting the symphony performance on television (Arturo Toscanini), how to draw and paint with oils and watercolors, and how to write verse and invent melody. Thus, as a young child with quite a relatively vast knowledge of subjects I had never studied, somehow I managed to present a reliable force of entertainment with antics of intellectual prodigy, plus singing and dancing, at the local Lions and Rotary Club luncheons, and became a local "really smart little thing," knowing quite well that much of my knowledge and understanding was coming from a place beyond my own head — perhaps from my hands, and my own private geni.

In the third grade I tested at the high school level in every subject, and this caused the State of Oregon to offer me a place at the state school for gifted child璻en in Salem. Although I begged to be allowed to go, this was refused, without discussion. I was given instead extra measures of Lutheran religious instruction, along with the designation "The Genius" which, by the way, was not intended as complimentary.

Because I did not seem to need to be taught arithmetic or reading, I spent most of my early years at school alone in an old cloak room roughly fitted out as a painting studio and from whence I created (with the aid of an enormous opaque projector) large-scale murals and seasonal window coverings in water colors on butcher paper. For many years after, these were used to decorate the school. I remember driving past the elementary school when I was in high school and seeing the giant Easter lilies I painted in the fourth grade filling in all the windows on the second floor.

Our mother had trained to become a Navy nurse, but the war ended before she could be deployed. Nevertheless, going to nursing school in wartime had been an exciting experience for her — exciting and glamorous — so much so that her idea of working in a hospital would be forevermore approximately the same as everyone else´s idea of acting in starring roles in Hollywood movies. In order that she could pursue her career as an RN as well as give birth, or have a miscarriage or still birth every couple of years, our eldest sister was flogged into becoming the household drudge and primary child care provider at the age of nine. She was given full responsibility for the family´s evening meal and wash-up, ruling over the rest of us, the (eventually) three younger girls and two baby boys, during the after-school hours. When I think back on it now, I realize what a genius job she did at bringing us girls along in whatever servitude our ages permitted us to perform through various applications of her considerable talents for mockery, derision and playing us off against one another along with the predictable beatings and whippings. Through it all she pleaded endlessly for a piano, which for some reason she believed had been promised to her, and leading us in singing "like Dalena Hawks," the soloist at Peace Lutheran Church.

Finally, we did get a piano, and the girls (but not the boys) were given lessons. This turned out to be a rather pointless expense as our by now thoroughly mad sister secretly allowed no one to touch the piano. Even though we did sneak in and play it as much as possible, this remained a rather dangerous activity should she enter and discover the incursion upon her property. Music — starting with the piano and eventually including singing, and playing violins, flute, cello and guitars — framed a familiar source of discord in the family. Nevertheless some of us kept doing it, and as much trouble as it gave to everyone, for there was a great deal of competition and jealousy, still it was the best thing in life. Even our eldest brother joined in, and by the time I was in eighth grade our little family band was offered a Civic Music Association tour. I pleaded to be allowed to do this but no one else wanted it. The inquiries of the promoters were refused, without discussion.

In high school, a teacher asked me how I would ever choose which of the arts to pursue. "You are excellent at so many of them," she said. I asked her if there were any that would use all of the arts at once, and she confirmed musical theater and opera would, and were moreover both the highest and the most difficult forms to create. I was already quite over the moon for Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Meredith Willson and others, and so with great happiness immediately replied, "Oh, good. I´ll write musicals, then."

Needless to say, any really smart little thing like me would have to try many other avenues of egress from that little town, including becoming a foreign exchange student (wrong kind of family background for the taste of the committee), getting a GED and leaving town (GED not available to students on the dean´s list), and applying for scholarships to colleges "back east," which, by learning to recognize and sidestep the warning signs that my mother was about to claim my father would not allow it, worked amazingly well except on the last evening when my mother arrived in my room where I was packing my bags to claim that my father would not allow it. But I had an ace up my sleeve. Since the age of 14 I had worked various jobs, and thus had my own money, and a checking account. I told my mother I would buy my own ticket, and if she refused to take me to the airport I would call a taxi. We had a fearful row, and the next morning she did take me to the airport after all.

Along the way to this great moment, our neighbor on the school committee whose husband was a nice jewish doctor had personally paid to send me to a summer session at the University of Oregon School of Music, and I had taken and passed various Advanced Placement exams, and so I entered college as a sophomore.
The findings of my friend and client Dr. Dr. G.N. (author, researcher, lecturer and clinician in neuroscience) confirm and validate my own sense that, to quote a lyric in "The Chain of Being" (encl.), "Even your mind is more than something that is all in your head."

LianeWollman - Sunday, August 28th, 2011
I'm here to say hello to each body.
Glad to meet you here.

Karakol - Saturday, August 27th, 2011
Really interesting blog, keep up the good work!

Strange poetry - Thursday, August 25th, 2011
Dalton and Jarold, it is a serious error to dehumanize this process by saying "money has no conscience" (which is a non sequitur, and a logical absurdity). Money and the software that enables the playing of the game on levels by quantum degrees different from the way it has been played in the past do not change the fact that these are inanimate tools of human being, and it is human beings who remain at fault in absence of conscience. I do not consider it clever to introduce such precious (even poetic) apologies. You cannot hope to develop strategy for improving what are certainly dire conditions in this way.

Mammon - Thursday, August 25th, 2011
I am sick of ignorant news writers who call every upswing in the Dow Jones a "rally." These "reporters" obviously know nothing about the market. Until a rising trend has been in evidence for a few months at the very least, such upswings might as well be called the "pump" side of the "pump and dump" game. Did you know that Clinton's rescinding of the Glass Steagall Act (which said there must be an actual share of stock for each option "put" or "called") returned market trading to the same (or worse) condition it was in during the "Roaring Twenties"? It is illegal for options traders to collude, but with the billions and billions of trade done every day, there's no one watching. I've tried to get financial journalists to talk about this, but they don't want to because everyone's doing it. Ask any trader, and they will tell you you are crazy if you aren't doing it, too. It's legalized theft.

It is not the corporations themselves but the analysts who determine what percentage or growth or contraction should be anticipated. Analysts effectively tell public companies what they must do, explaining things like huge bonuses given to people who figure out how to restructure to meet analyst expectations -- often by firing regular employees -- for they have protected the stock price (the "value") of the company. Of course this has nothing to do with the real health of the company, and is a good reason for companies remaining private or for returning to private ownership. But if everyone did this, there would be many fewer options for investors.

Nuncanict - Thursday, August 18th, 2011
My best to everyone, enjoyed visiting your sites.

Baghdad - Monday, August 15th, 2011
Very interesting topic , thankyou for posting .

Falmouth - Friday, August 12th, 2011
Hi, I love your project in your page, you are giving good information with knowledge! This web site is much helpfull! I'm Ana, I Live on Geneve, and I'm going to be a fan of this web site, my personal details may be boring but I will tell them off course I am very found of swimming as well as sports in general, and I also listen a lot Radiohead on my bedroom, I'm single now so boys watch out for me....just kidding :)! I already tried online dating it didn't work out very well.... I will also have to apologize for my writing it is the only way I get to talk with you.... Good evening to you all, love you all

Kulim - Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Just wanted to say your Blog is in my rss you got a way with words.. Cheers,

Cristo - Thursday, August 11th, 2011
I'm fed up with conservatives and republicans with the monomaniacal, sound byte approach to Romney Care. Romney is asking a modicum of intelligence from the base by expecting people to understand there are shades of gray in this matter. I hope Mr. Romney is not giving people more credit than they deserve for expecting them to understand that the "sound byte" is a manipulation of the stupid, lazy, and/or ill-informed.

Romney's team was energetic and creative, developing many ideas and proposals for solutions to Massachusetts's fiscal and social problems. The commonwealth was on the brink of bankruptcy, and he cut through the morass and largely corrected the problems within a matter of months, surely displaying extremely valuable skills and a vast intellect and depth of experience and knowledge that would serve the current national condition better than anyone else on the horizon.

As for "Romney Care" the Democrat legislature screwed up the health program Romney's team put together, and laughed happily at the double whammy it delivered, allowing them to spend ruinous amounts of money and blame it on Romney. "Romney Care" is an epithet invented by the left to discredit the best candidate we have. For a conservative to use it is analogous to me referring to myself as an "aryan" -- using a (made-up and nonsensical, since the "aryans" are dark-skinned people) term created by the opposition as a manipulation and to damage the strongest adversary they have. Stop doing this, please. You are playing directly into the tactical "advantages" of the left who are redefining using "hope and change" to mean "fear and sabotage".

I am certain the Mitt Romney learned an immensely valuable lesson from the experience of how the left can sabotage a good bill and then blame it on the bill's developer. Don't expect him to tip his hand and tell everything he knows, he is not an idiot. I do know that it will not happen again. That's what administrative experience delivers: experience, and the ability to anticipate outcomes and be ever more effective.

There are so many strong and honorable things about Mr. Romney that we can discuss, and yet you use your position in the public awareness to harp on the chords given on the sheet music of the left that have been distributed for you to help disseminate. If you don't understand this, you, sir, are among the stupid, lazy and/or ill-informed upon whom the message of Mitt Romney and the promise of his presidency are wasted.

To the latest attack from the Obama camp that Romney is "weird" I must say that is clearly coming from people who never speak to anyone who isn't drunk or stoned. I've met Mr. Romney, even attended a Christmas party he hosted, and I can assure you he is a delightful, personable, intelligent and elegant gentleman who will restore "presidential" as one of the descriptions of the POTUS.

He will not "apologize" for Romney Care because it is an epithet and also probably because he knows that one of the reasons he is the front runner is because people understand the complexity of the issue, and most are wise enough to realize the risk of speaking publicly as I am speak now. He must trust the people, and keep his own counsel on such things as he has learned and will execute on our behalf.

If you help to destroy this man's candidacy with such baseless, illogical and insulting rhetoric, republicans will be hoist on their own pitard. You have no reason to do this, except lack of imagination, lack of rigor in promoting new and exciting ideas instead of pabulum cant, and unwillingness to understand what Romney's supporters already understand: the adversary is far more dangerous than we have yet to observe. Without the need to be re-elected, a second term for Obama would unleash a far broader set of shockwaves to our nation than he has already delivered.

Why do you not rail against the "super committee" which will effectively block the legislative process, disabling the ability of regular members of congress to propose legislation and returning the process to the proverbial smoked-filled backroom where debate is private and the bright light of public discourse excluded? There is a scandal for you to decry.

This "super committee" is exactly the sort of powerplay that dictators use to gain their advantages.

Do not play into it, use your brain, and it will make you more popular and successful than regurgitated cant will ever do.

La Lima - Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
Hey there, just wanted to say hello!

cristo - Sunday, August 7th, 2011
Thanks for gracious comments about my prose. It is appreciated! I did read once again to discover whether I agree with your assessment and in the main believe the style helps to make the point, perhaps as you have said, marvelously : )

However these are usually rather quickly made, often in a break from other tasks, and so inevitably there remain a few grammatical or other problems.

To the editors among you, I mention this merely as a way of saying, "I know, I know -- I should have tweaked it some more. But really it should also give you tremendous satisfaction to realize than even I could benefit from your services.

: )

funny me!

Reading Dant today, I am working on a vocal to serve as the "presentable sketch" for "I Ching!" and researching for the lyric to "Fada." At present these two songs are the planned finale of UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS. The Dant is a new volume comprising all three books of THE DIVINE COMEDY, including the engravings of Gustav Dor.

I must say I got involved in INFERNO, the first volume, which is not likely to bring me much insight for "Fada," but what nightmares it may bring tonight! Heavens, it's simply frightful, althought it must have been a lot of fun for the poet since he gets to say exactly who is in hell, and in what circle of hell they reside, with what torments. There is one particularly horrendous illustration of naked souls tormented by creatures carrying long "rakes" (pitchforks), and the caption reads, "Whysofor thou piercest me?" Supposedly this is an eternal punishment with no hope of ending, forever. It's a little mindboggling to contemplate the culture that produced this work from a great poet.

I think I had better go outside and work on the porches. We were supposed to attend a Shakespeare in the Park production of COMEDY OF ERRORS" today, but it is pouring rain. About the only thing this weather is good for is swabbing the decks. I shall get to it, and certainly contemplate sins I may have committed that would result in being hurled downward for eternity to some of these dreadful realms.

If I am so unfortunate as to discover I may have committed any of these, I will drink some wine and do penance (since swabbing the decks in service of the cats is probably insufficient) and pray a better lyric will arrive.

So far I've only a litany of qualities Fada reveals to explain the many different loves in his life. Based on a few recent experiences of my own, these include, "She didn't have enough to be upset about/Needed something more to fret about// clawed her way to the top/ And didn't know when to stop// . . .
so far it doesn't seem to lend itself to a finale : )

until later,
xoxo, xto

MRSA - Thursday, August 4th, 2011
A friend who is a registered nurse recently commented about how distressing it was to be wearing a hazmat suit one minute for packing the wounds of a patient with one of these these deadly infections, then breaking for lunch. He was wondering how it is possible to consume nourishment after such fearful activity.

I said, "Eat your sauerkraut!"

For those who for whatever mysterious reason were unaware of what "MRSA" means, the nurse said, "MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It's a drug-resistant superbug that causes awful infections."

Well, I guess I would have said, ". . . a CLASS of superbugs . . ." because there are more and more of them turning up all the time, even versions of what had previously been fairly benign infections.

For any who may have been likewise unaware, these MRSAs have been created by the overuse of antibiotics which gave the pathogens an accelerated rate of adaptation for survival.

On the subject of antiobiotic use and misuse, way back when Harvard Community Health Plan was created, the first health maintenance organization (HMO), the docs in Cambridge where I lived and worked and had my health insurance were ecstatic about being allowed to throw people into the hospital and experiment on them.

I had had a few bouts of tendonitis in my hand from having been a truck driver hauling grain during the harvests in Oregon where I grew up. This remains one of the jobs young people take in summer. As bad as the pay is, there is no time to spend any of the money because you work seven days a week, twelve or more hours a day, and so even though it works out to far less than minimum wage you do end your summer "vacation" with a few thousand in the bank because the only thing you can do at the end of the day is collapse — unless of course you want to create time to "party" artificially through using meth or worse, which was not my choice.

Frequently the trucks we drove did not have power steering, thus field driving (often through steep fields full of ruts in the mountain foothills) could wear on the hands. What was worse in my case, when my muscles got tired I wuld let the joints take the stress, hooking a finger or two over the wheel and cranking it without benefit of muscle exertion. This was obviously wrenching to the joints, but wasn't exactly painful and it gave the muscles a rest. The young are often unaware of the consequences of such "solutions" and mine included recurring tendonitis of the right hand in bouts of swelling and pain lasting about a week, every couple of years.

A few years later in Cambridge I experienced such an attack, which caused my newly minted doctor in the newly minted HMO to hospitalize me.

They put an intravenous (IV) drip at the site of the swelling and administered 500 iu's of the strongest antibiotic known to medicine, four times a day. I did ask her whether this was actually known to cure tendonitis, and she said it was not known, but worth a try. The attack lasted exactly a week, as usual, after which I was discharged with the only noticeable effect being a small brown spot at the site of the IV.

This spot grew slowly. I "erased" it a couple of times, literally, using the eraser of a No. 2 pencil to abrade the spot until the epidermis weakened and I was able to rub it off. However it always came back, larger each time.

That brown spot I finally got rid of just last year, using a little known product from Oceans Lab called "MMS" -- which means "miracle mineral solution" and refers to sodium chlorite, and about which they claim, among other things, that:

The average Human body already contains about three-fourths of an ounce (.75 oz) of ClO2. Unfortunately when our levels fall we lose the protective properties of this compound.

MMS is too weak to break the bonds of protein in our tissue yet strong enough to blow apart the cells of all microbes.

I purchased some of this to use primarily as a cleaning agent but have also experiemented with using it in other ways. For example, it took about a week to destroy the brown spot on my hand. It created a "burn" in exactly the area of the brown spot. Exactly as claimed, it did not affect the normal skin at all. After a year or so, the brown spot shows no sign of returning.

Among the other claims of the manufacturer is that the compound was developed as a cure for malaria. I can't vouch for that application as I have never had malaria, but I can say that mixing up a small amount and leaving it open on a countertop removes cooking odors. I also use it (wearing latex gloves) as a disinfecting wipe on counter tops or other areas where a lot of people use retail disinfectants that are off limits to me because of multiple chemical sensitivity (cf. earlier post about my career in commercial art and exposure for many years to various chemicals).

Oceans Lab documents numerous cases of ridding the body of many infections and pathogens through the use of this compound, and I have no reason to doubt they are sincere people using good science. I am certain that were I to be so unfortunate as to acquire a MRSA, I would certainly add sodium chlorite to my treatment regime.

For those interested in trying it, do read the cautions carefully and follow all instructions as improper use of high concentrations of this solution could cause serious chemical burns. Search "Oceans Lab MMS" for more information, or visit them at humblemiraclemineral.com

I mention this merely to suggest there are other solutions besides antibiotics for destroying pathogens. I would further suggest that any home emergency kit should include a product like this for purifying water and other emergency conditions.

But a reminder about the virtues of home made sauerkraut is the real motivation for this discussion. It is a prevention rather than a cure. It boosts the immune system and provides numerous probiotic advantages like other fermented foods (such as naturally fermented vinegars, yogurt, tempe, kashi, and kombucha to name a few). With a strong immune system, problems with infections (whether bacterial or viral) are vastly diminished.

Unfortunately, most sauerkraut available in the markets of the U.S.A. are not "alive" with the beneficial components, having been "stabilized" or "preserved" with distilled vinegar, and so it is no longer alive. The "living" product (available at health food stores) can be quite expensive because of its relatively short shelf life compared to the (from a health if not gustatory point of view "useless") stabilized forms.

It is true that left undisturbed and under the right conditions, fermentation will continue until there is nothing left for these good bacteria to consume, often resulting in a stinky mess no one (or at least very few) would be willing to consume. This process slows with lowering temperatures, but the product really must be consumed when "ready" just like all good food, within a certain window of delectability.

Search "vinegar" in this blog for the post called "more goodness from the vinegar vapor" to learn how to make your own sauerkraut at home. It is easy and inexpensive, delicious and healthful.

I'm sure at some point in these talks I have reminded readers of research stemming from HIV and AIDS that revealed more than twenty years ago concerning the white blood cells which "antibiotic vendors" use to determine the presence of infection. It was learned, among other things, that the white blood cells are actually the immune systems's SECOND line of defense, the first being the "K" or "killer" cells discovered through those studies.

White blood cell counts rise only when a body is already very ill. It is the "K" cells that are the primary line of defense, and only when these have been depleted and the body really suffering symptoms of disease does the second line, the emergency back system of white blood cells, kick in.

Naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut (and other others mentioned above) feed and support the immune system by supporting the "K" cells.

It is a matter of personal convenience for those who prefer ignorance over knowledge to forget about this more than two decades old knowledge about the immune system. Like the false knowledge or partial knowledge about the evils of cholesterol, weight loss dieting, and other areas, the popular perceptions about health and wellness are too often illusions maintained through careless or studied ignorance of consumers, opportunism of drug vendors, and conflicts of interest by physicians who, like one of my friends who is a physicians says, "I am a whore for the pharmaceutical companies." The latter is the result of the misconception that the proper service of medicine is to commerce. Part of what I am doing through one of my musicals, HARRIER ANGEL, is to begin to reveal a more humane and appropriate model for health and well being.

A word to the wise: it's fun, easy, interesting and even entertaining to discover the many ways now known through good science that make it even more promising than ever for living live to the fullest through knowledge and the excitement of looking after oneself.

For truth and knowledge, peace and art,
Your little cristobal

Lisbon - Thursday, August 4th, 2011
holla friends! very informative its your guestbook! I also write guestbooks, like you, I really like but hate social networks like twitter ! As for me I am Lucy, I'm from Bristol and I am currently studying elsewhere in art now to get my PhD. Kisses, See you tomorrow ... with the hope that you enjoyed my first comment. I also apologize for my writing, is the only way to contact you ...

note from the moderator - Monday, August 1st, 2011
Farrux, your comments are interesting but it is no recommendation when searching their content to discover they have already appeared verbatim on numerous other forums. Speaking of the actions of, as you say, "riff raff."
: )
BTW, I'm very fond of Riff Raff, the character in ROCKY HORROR SHOW. He's a lot of fun.

Without wishing to denigrate your advice on how to proceed here, we hope to soon discover postings worthy of publication.

AlishKrisa - Saturday, July 30th, 2011
In relation to the Technorati rank it´s pulled down via an API (geez I think that´s what it´s called) as is Alexa rank & the script calculates the index - I just need to record the figures in a spreadsheet for upload.

sharcephoca - Thursday, July 21st, 2011
Hello ALL! My name is Vitaliy Kokosko!!!

xto - Friday, July 15th, 2011
Perhaps for the majority of human character types, there could never be enough money. Yet the game of making money can be a source of happiness, I'm certain.

Like most cases, one must allow for the vast differences in human types.

I know a woman who could never have enough money, who takes pleasure in her husband making ever more and more, and especially enjoys the sometimes overtly crass and hurtful things she does to others in the exercise of what she believes is the power of the money she controls.

I don't suppose you could be thinking how lovely it would be to be married to anyone like that? Yet I do assure you her husband loves her and does his best to put things to rights with the unfortunate people who find their own happiness has been an inspiration to, and thus a target of, this woman's rapacious nature. Fortunately for me she is an anomaly among the people I have met. I mention it merely because it is one example of having fun with wealth, probably not the sort of fun most people contemplating this subject would entertain.

Yes, I'm sure one can enjoy the game, play fair with fellow humans, prosper wildly, and enjoy every moment of riches well deserved.

Making money doing something loathesome cannot be much fun -- e.g., those who hate their vocation and feel diminished in the soul for believing they "must" do these things to survive at the level to which they [or their dependents] demand or have become accustomed.

Lottery winners often discover they have lost happiness in gaining fortune. I believe this is a debacle expecially characteristic of the newly wealthy, but how can they know they are beloved for themselves alone and not for the advantages others hope to gain by the association? By having plenty of wealthy friends, that's how! Some such friends may even have little interest in pressing the question of who has more. Lots of rich people hide their wealth, work regular jobs so they can be "just like other people," and perhaps they do not even question whether their doing so isn't depriving someone of a job they actually need, and whether it would not be better figure out how to be a good person while admitting who they are. Some wealthy people ultimately feel a huge burden in their fortune, and give it away.

I'm sure at this point you have figured out that how lengthy this section of the response could become : )

That point is that because of the multiple hierarchies of the affairs of living, it is impossible to generalize.

An experienced, successful entrepreneur (writer and executive director) who is one of the few (if not the only) individual to have won "best television drama" Emmies in each of three decades, Larry Brody told me, "Never use your own money."

I believe there is a great deal of wisdom in that, for having others invested in your success brings a team of like minded people to your table. Even having a vast fortune and doing everything oneself toward the fulfillment of creative aspirations may do little except place one at odds with every other competitor in the field. Even paying the hired help every penny they are worth cannot buy the kind of loyalty that skin in the game delivers.

As for the hope and dream of freedom, no doubt a certain amount of money is absolutely necessary -- and, of course the amount necessary for specific individuals varies widely.

At the risk of seeming a "moral relativist" it is my opinion that transgressions of sexual mores by a man whose wife understands him (Dom Strauss Kahn, e.g.) or even of the man of vast wealth and power (e.g., Governor Arnold Swartzennegger) amount to jaywalking compared to a man whose wife will be emotionally destroyed by his infidelity and/or a poor man whose family will be destitute and impoverished by the same actions.

Many Americans profess a rigid set of sexual mores that do not allow any level of transgression. I heard it frequently during those recent scandals: "Why should he get away with something that no one else is allowed to do?" This mindset is often called "puritanical" but we know very well from history that even the Puritans winked at certain things, perhaps because they understood that people are not perfect, and circumstances very often can and do dictate the amount of harm done by human shortcomings. Therefore I do believe it can indeed be "more wrong" for a poor man to succumb to weaknesses/temptations than it is for a rich man to do the same. In some ways money can purchase that margin.

Yet perhaps this also explains why it is said to be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter heaven: even in doing no harm or little harm through failure to avoid temptation, because of the indulgences permitted by wealth, a soul may never be tested, refined, and clarified in the ways necessary for attaining those things cherished yet beyond the material realm.

Thank you for your interesting question. This immediate and highly incomplete exploration of thoughts that your comment provoked is in great part your responsibility, and not mine. I was only resting my voice between takes on the vocal track I am working on this afternoon and may, I hope, be forgiven for procrastinating in this way.

Until later, cheri --

Elvas - Friday, July 15th, 2011
We all want to be free but how is it we actually get to that point? Is it by making money, or just general happiness? In my opinion it's making money ... What's yours?

Montpelier - Sunday, July 10th, 2011
In it something is. Thanks for the help in this question. I did not know it.

Phil Adelphia - Sunday, July 10th, 2011
In brotherly and sisterly love. How could you know I was struggling today to remember the name of the first Boston club I performed in?

I LOVED the Adelphia. Of course, it is long gone. Probably this is a coincidence, and you mention this City of Brotherly Love to remind me that you are an adult and have not taken this latest episode to heart. For that I thank you.

And I appreciate your literariness very much, and your taking time to convey meaning symbolically which, as so often happens, resonates at levels you could not possibly have anticipated.

I hope I get to see your screwball comedy piece soon. You are gifted on so many levels.

Peace,

Philadelphia - Sunday, July 10th, 2011
It is remarkable, rather amusing idea

- Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
I get the feeling my visitors from Germany may have got their feathers ruffled. I am sorry. I do not wish to offend. I am not over it yet myself.

cristo - Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
Vous savez, je peux composer avec le fran鏰is. Je suis s鹯 que tu veux dire, 玅ue ferions-nous sans votre excellente id閑!" Correct? : )

AdheMeTek - Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
que nous ferions sans votre id茅e excellente

Thank you - Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
I do so appreciate your kind comments. As you can imagine, it is with the greatest trepidations I have posted the most recent entry. I have tried to strike the right balance to inform and inspire the readership as well as mitigate embarrassment to beloved friends and colleagues whose only faults have been that their ambitious desires perhaps exceed my own at the level of willingness to bend others to one's will.

With the great hope of avoiding alienation of affection, I yet must strive somehow to counter impressions given by others. These are in all probability no less self serving than efforts I may make to set the record straight, and I know how little appreciated is any criticism whatsoever. I hope mine may be received in the humorous and loving spirit that I've tried to express.

I have been told it is imperative that the defense of my arts and my personal reputation is something I should be willing to render face to face. Friends "strongly encourage" me to meet with all those who have been given false or colored impressions of who I am, or whom I even suspect have heard such things. Perhaps it is my background in Lutheran protestantism that so ill prepares me to enjoy such a prospect!

This week I'm reading the history of Milton, Massachusetts, where a 350th anniversary of the town's founding will be commemorated in 2012 by galas and other public occasions. Some of these celebrations will include dramatic reenactments and speeches given at the direction of the Milton Players, a theatrical troupe in its 79th year where I am a new member of the board of directors.

Some of my reading of the town's history has been such an inspiration to my own plight as a person with some degree of ambition for success at the highest levels of cultural accomplishment who yet lacks the willingness to present the work of others as my own or to discourse at such intimate levels that seem to be necessary before defenses of one's own position and denigration of others's becomes possible. It is heartening to realize that the nature of my struggles may be seen very clearly reflected in the historical record. Human beings are, in all places and for all time, utterly consistent. If it makes me shudder to realize my fate may be forever to labor in obscurity, at least it also made me smile to think of some who did the same during their lifetimes but whose names resound today as our faithful and diligent leaders in the past while those who denigrated them and fought them at every turn have been forgotten.

I remain hopeful that Milton Players will be the ideal group for one such as I am, and that I may begin to see material progress on their behalf and my own. We meet tomorrow to begin discussions of Milton's 350th and the new season for the players.

I am also preparing a submission for a group who last year received my application quite late and "strongly encouraged" me to apply again this year "as the panel responded favorably to your work." I think I can write a couple of scenes for UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS that will incorporate new songs written this year and last.

Still working on the vocal for "I CHING!" I'm also playing with steel drums (that is, figuring out how to emulate them in MIDI by layering other sounds). Without abandoning hope that a friend will have time to help with the arrangement, I do realize I must keep going and that I am ultimately responsible for arrangement of the demo myself. It's fun and exciting, but I'm sure others are better and faster than I at this. After all, even Richard Rodgers had his Robert Russell Bennett : )

This is a good time to add the writing of the next lyric into the mix -- one for which the music has already been written, a rare case.

I have also applied for another job today. I'm well-qualified for it, so hopefully something will come of it and I can cease wasting hour upon hour looking for work.

until later, friends,
xo

easiest way to make money - Monday, July 4th, 2011
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workclothes - Monday, July 4th, 2011
Thank You all for your help and perspectives.

One part of the problem - Friday, July 1st, 2011
I would not have said this a decade ago, but I now believe that part of the reason as a creator of works for the musical stage that, in the estimation of colleagues, I make a pretty good sister -- good for writing one's melodies "by virtue of singing this or that on the piece," as well as cooking and hostelry and occasional sewing and mending and other feminine roles such as standing in as presumed paramour when one wishes to present oneself as heterosexual, etc.

In order to get the aforementioned credit for my lyric (see "Lyric changes" below), I disconnected the offending composer's link to the song (that resides here on nine3) and changed the credit to read, "Melody by Cass and Mr. X. Lyric by Cass. Arrangement by Mr. X." This is as near as possible to a precisely correct credit on the song as it now exists, and I knew it would be a spur to the flanks that would ride that lyric back to the barn of its rightful owner.

The melody is indeed my own. I sang it after an unsuccessful outing of the original melody. That "first performance" had been sung by another soprano according to the notation provided to her. This performance was a deathly failure blamed on her lack of practice, but which more fairly should have been blamed on the fact that the melody's original composer lacks feeling for melody in English language vocal music.

This current unhappy episode concerning my credit on a lyric is the another debacle in a saga that began more than ten years ago.

In a workshop at that time, 3-member teams comprised of book writer, lyricist and composer were assigned to prepare a scene with one song to be performed for the workshop a month later.

Our team set an appointment to discuss the scene we would write. I, as the lyricist, arrived with a suggestion that I thought held promise, ripped from the headlines, based on the murder trial of an Italian shoe designer. However the book writer and composer (both men) had discussed it in advance and already decided that we would write a scene from TALES OF THE CITY.

Creative work for me carries an extreme premium, as it requires a special kind of effort that not always but often does demand large blocks of time in the midst of other business and travail, and very often concludes with nothing on the board, a laundry piled high, with ill clad people, and the house in disarray. DUNCAN'S SONG, for example, as it stands now, took a full six weeks to write. In that case the song had to be written twice, due to the conceptual error (mine) that it should be like a Beatles song. The lyric of the first attempt was pure treacle, but the music will perhaps be usable at another time -- it is nice, but it would not serve Duncan, alas. And so I had to begin from the beginning, and let me assure you that six weeks is a very long time to live without housework being done!

Therefore I know that even wariness about ill-found beginnings cannot always prevent these kinds of things from happening, and so I take as many cautions in advance as I can surmise.

Therefore, to the TALES OF THE CITY concept, I argued that it would be unwise to expend creative effort toward a project whose rights were controlled by others. My colleagues argued that they would pursue the rights straightaway, but as the text was and remains an exceedingly popular work I doubted we would be able to secure those rights. To our collective ignorance, this concern happened to be very well founded, as we were to discover some months later when we learned that exclusive rights to the text had indeed long since been assigned elsewhere.

Nevertheless, at that time I did not fight the losing battle -- it was already two-to-one, and I was the odd woman out at the inception, and so we set about the work. The composer said he could not begin without a completed lyric, therefore I sat down to it immediately and after nearly two weeks of approximately full time effort I delivered the poem.

The composer, the aforementioned Mr. X, a man with not bad academic credentials nevertheless rather sadly discounted in this town (that for this very reason we affectionately and correctly refer to as Beantown), set about his part and delivered the music in another week or so. In the meantime, the book writer (of the highest possible academic credentials, being a Harvard man) had in the meantime not set pen to paper for a single moment and very nearly missed the deadline, delivering the dramatized scene (as far as I could tell, a direct representation of a scene from the novel) at the workshop on the evening of the presentation. This was not really a problem since it was given with script in hand and didn't require advance rehearsal.

We had rehearsed the song in my studio, just once, and for that reason I'm sure I still possess -- somewhere in the piles of cassette tapes I have kept over the years -- probably one of a very few copies of that performance. Even with the composer directing her, the unfortunate singer could barely make sense of it at all, and by the evening of the presentation had forgotten most of that.

I was rather unhappy to see such a fate for a lyric I had labored upon so intently. I played it for my husband and asked him whether he thought there was any hope for it and he said he thought it simply awful.

Not one to waste my efforts, especially when they were as bright and funny and politically correct as that one (full of sexual innuendo and gay references to suit the taste of our audience at the workshop), and so I decided to see if I could sing it myself, with whatever melody came to mind.

And that is the melody that exists on the song to this very day. And that, in consideration of Mr. X again restoring my lyric credit to me after having been given a taste of the disparagement levelled upon me, as a female, as a matter of course. The melody I now once again ascribe on the nine3.com page in a manner that implies its authorship by the orginal composer, and this is perhaps overly generous of me as I apparently even now resent having done it : )

I don't think I should have done it. I think I should have left it the way I made it yesterday, as the device that forced him to credit me on his page.

But, when we said goodbye on Sunday night (as he was leaving at daybreak on Monday) he said, "You are kind." And I am, at least insofar as being unwilling to impose on others (for more than a little while) the same conditions that so angered and upset me and which I prevailed upon for years to correct.

You see, these are not the only episodes in the saga of the misrepresented lyric credit.

Long ago, after the sorry soprano took Mr. X's melody before a live audience, after I repurposed the song under a new title, to be sung by a different character in a different scene, as part of UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS, a work in progress of my own (nothing to do with TALES OF THE CITY) -- and prevailing for some time upon Mr. X to provide me with my copy of the music, he did at last give it to me. Then what to my amazed eyes did I discover but that he had given Harvard Man credit for my lyric!

It took a full five years to restore my name to my work. As many times as I requested that he do it, and remove Harvard Man entirely because of the fact that not one single word on the lyric had been written by him, that many times he had ignored me. Once I even wrote to Harvard Man in email, subject line: "Stop it, Mr. X, you're embarrassing me" -- suggesting that Harvard Man himself should insist on the removal of his name from work he had not done. I still own these emails today, as I own all emails of any significance that have been sent to me.

What do you supposed Harvard Man replied? Yes, I imagine you are perfectly correct in your assumption that he would in fact write to me saying that he thought he did deserve to have the credit for the lyric because, as book writer of a work that would never see the light of day because we had no right to it, he felt he should at least be given credit on the lyric as the book writer's credit normally does not appear on the music.

So after five years of this maneuvering, I finally did a mortise (what we now call "cut and paste" in the electronic world, no longer involving the use of an Xacto knife and mortising tape) removing Harvard Man's name. I showed it to Mr. X, and at that point -- really in a matter of days -- he presented to me a new copy of the music printed out from the official Finale file, that said, "Lyric by Cass."

I created Mr. X's first web site, where the song was properly credited. But recently he has found another female to create a new web site for him, and so you can likely well imagine my great annoyance that with the new web site this lyric credit problem would once again flare.

It was nearly enough to make me rescind my invitation for hospitality during his recent appearance in Boston.

How I came to notice it is equally strange and annoying. Mr. X called me to say that literally within one or two minutes of his new web site going live, someone wrote to him from the web site saying the singer of the song was incorrectly attributed (for he had credited my vocal to the original singer, who apparently has alerts set by her fans to let them know whenever a reference to her appears on the web). The singer's fan said, "That isn't her singing at all." Then the fan wrote another note a few minutes later that said, "That isn't even the same melody that she sang."

So somewhere out there in the ether that singer is still singing, and has her adoring fans, and so it was she, indirectly, who let me know about this latest embroglio, and in the bargain reminded me that the melody on the song is mine and not Mr. X's (a matter of small consequence at the time which I graciously ignored but which suddenly presented itself to me as a way to show him how bad it feels to be ill treated by one's friends.

If Mr. X hadn't called me about this email from the other singer's fan, I would not have known that he was once again, for whatever reason, doing what he does to avoid acknowledging my part in this work.

I was literally within a few moments of calling my husband and asking him to help me come up with some excuse for why Mr. X would not be able to stay with us after all, and beg off altogether, but once again my heart melted and I couldn't do it -- leave him in the lurch.

While he was here I did try to get him to fix the error, but it didn't happen. Darkly lurking in the corner of my heart remains the suspicion that these slights are the result of his allegiance to Harvard Man, who (as I believe I mentioned) now works at The New York Times. It also occurs to me that perhaps Harvard Man has listed this work on his resum! Would not that be a tale fo the city, eh! another plagiarist on that staff!

Well, everyone knows about the the infamous Jason Blair who got caught faking stories at NYT -- yet I happen to know of another case (not Harvard Man's, which I must emphasize is only my conjecture of possible explanations for why Mr. X persists after all this time in obfuscating the author of that song lyric) of a plagiarist and criminal who has had a by-line there and whose resum (received by them but obviously not assidulously validated) includes false information about her academic credentials, among other things.

Of that I happen to have intimate knowledge, but it shall remain a tale for another day. For now it must suffice to say that I know first hand that the awarding of a columnist's job a prestigious old school institutions of so-called journalism is very often a means of "kicking upstairs" someone who, in less genteel society, would simply be fired.

And now, having once again restored "Music by Mr. X" on this song, I am wondering whether I should change it back again to reflect the fact that that is my melody? It's a question of whether it matters a little or a lot. A big sister to him I suppose I am: I don't like to take anything away from the bratty little brother. Probably it will become an issue again some day. As they say, "Truth will out."

Lyric changes - Thursday, June 30th, 2011
The full form of "I CHING!" is now complete, with minor adjustments in the lyric, as is usual in this process. However, somewhere in the teeth of the laboring to bring this piece into the world I did lose the compulsion to update the lyric at every turn.

The song is now a final draft form, having been sent to a friend for comments, corrections to my guitar chord spellings (which are also written as notation. Owing to their idiosyncracies I'm not yet certain of the correct names) and so forth. I am hoping he will be inspired to toss it into a quick arrangement that will be sufficient for the purposes of a demo, and in the meantime I am learning to sing it.

As you may know, we entertained a guest last week while he was being feted about town in honor of his world premiere at Boston Pops. I'm sure he was a very good guest as house guests go, with the possible exceptions of his bringing mending and sewing for me to do, carrying no American currency and thus requiring spot cash for various purposes, refusing to correct the oversight of providing my creative credits on his new web site (as quite possibly his friend, who had conspired with him for more than five years to have his own name on this work to which he contributed not one single word and who now works at the New York Times as a culture writer, may presumably be of some future use and thus continues to require maintenance of this charade in the form of crediting no lyricist among the many entries where all other lyricists are credited), letting me know that as long as I never give up I need not consider myself a failure, and inviting his own guest (someone we had not had the pleasure of meeting before) to stay here without mentioning it to us.

His gift to me was two small heart-shaped lumps of tea from Japan, the equivalent of two cups of tea.

He mentioned having met the former ambassador and his wife who have now immigrated to live in Boston, and who now may afford a place for him to stay when in town in future. It will be interesting to discover, should he indeed be invited to stay with them, whether accommodations will include a private apartment for his own use such as he has enjoyed here, and whether I will be made aware of his presence in the city at such a time.

Do others have such friends as these? I have learned much this week!

At the concert we sat in the second row at cabaret style tables, right in the center. Symphony Hall is absolutely amazing. Even from such seats, the orchestra's sound doesn't rush out at you at all. It's truly amazing to be so close that every detail of the beloved maestro's and the orchestra's performance, rather than blasting a muddled cacophony, sounds even more creamy and fabulous as from the balconies (the only other places I've ever had seats, and it also sounds very, very good way up there). I had been impressed with the sound from the cheap seats, and now that I've experienced it from about ten feet away I realize what it means when it's said that Symphony Hall is truly an acoustic miracle -- one of the finest venues in the world.

The audience were genuinely delighted with my friend's piece, but he assumed a rather snotty posture about so many things I could hardly believe it. I found it shocking, especially when he was quite audibly mocking the audience at "Armenian Night" (which is the only reason his piece was included) and said of the Armenian "Lord's Prayer" in the program (with everyone singing, which I thought rather sweet), "They definitely need to take that out of the repertoire." He also hated the non-Armenian parts of the program and could not contain his disgust at the tribute to horse racing (including "Camptown Races" -- hey, it's the Pops! what does one expect? A great fan of all things equine, I quite enjoyed it) and Ricky Skaggs. The featured singer was international opera star Hasmik Papian, a wonderful artist who performed some great (familiar) operatic arias as well as traditional Armenian music plus my friend's song.

Thanks, but ?? - Thursday, June 30th, 2011
Those who appear to have interesting ideas yet post in languages expressed through fonts other than those used in English and the romance languages: Please remember that I no longer have all those fonts on this machine and therefore cannot hope to translate your messages. I suggest you translate your messages into English via Google Translate or some other translation engine before posting.

Madagascar - Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
Appreciate it for this post, I am a big big fan of this site would like to continue updated.

Pops! - Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
My dear friend has got his piece at the concerrt of the Boston Pops on Saturday, and as I am hosting him this week I shall be delicously and ecstatically present at his table when he takes his bows for the world premiere of his piece.

So that explains why I have not been talkng to you very much lately.

That and "I CHING!"

I absolutely love this song. It is coming right along, having seen the complete system appear in notation as of this very night. There is only one other verse, and it admittedly does have to be opened up a bit to accommodate the extra phrases (yes, I cn write it exactly to form, you idiot, but why should I considering how excessively boring that would be)!! So yes it is a little more work than it might be, and worth every second. So it is nearly there. I can't stop singing it. It is most amusing, I assure you! will post demo asap.

While he is here for the week, my friend (as a collaborator) is tending to creation of a new arrangement of "Galadrial's Aria," in consideration of the great new instrument sounds he is capable of creating without the services of a full symphony orchestra. Being the husband of a full professor sitting in the Canada chair has its advantages! He is doing fine, as are we all.

Tata, darlings. I am so gladdened by the signs of your interest in these procedings, and saddened that I have no staff as you do, Sir ALW! to proceed apace on multiple fronts simultaneously as you do!! Do, please give me a jingle when you decide it is really past time for assisting in the development of my piece in BWI! At least in that remote corner of the world of your enterprises, I reckon you need me as much as I need you.

For LLL,
it LALLA,
cx

casz - Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
Hello, you Romanian! I get the feeling I would like it very well in that land. Welcome.

Nuttsinee - Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
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Angele - Thursday, June 16th, 2011
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casz - Monday, June 13th, 2011
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Neuroscience - Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
Thanks, viedlibre -- what you say is true, and very important. Those of you who read here regularly know I do not accede lightly to any current findings of science, for I have lived long enough to see how the newest expressions of "science" so sadly and far too often more resemble pure "politics."

Perhaps this point is too obvious, for isn't this the case throughout history, especially when reminded that "politics" merely describes the processes of change -- all processes of change. The sciences, like all fields, are "peopled" and that means imperfect and not only because of benign factors like honest mistakes and incomplete information ("there are things we do not know we do not yet know we do not know"), but also by such elements as the status quo and its bully pulpits positioned so strongly to protect its own investments, and is even more deeply (and possibly even more often) corrupted for the protection of other, purely monetary interests.

In my life time I have witnessed the same again and again. Remember how for decades "science" was called in to defend the tobacco industry: when "anecdotal evidence" strongly insinuated the dangers of smoking this drug (nicotine, which does have medicinal qualities and could probably be used very well in other applications that do not impair the functioning of the cardio-vascular system), it was said "only long-term studies over vast populations can verify this." Therefore, for the contingent of the wishful thinking and the heavily invested, until such time as studies upon studies had been proven and verified, the truth could not be considered to be the truth without the qualifying and marginalizing note about "anecdotal" evidence.

Now we are seeing the very same use of science defending cell phones. I heard this just yesterday: "Until long term studies over various groups have been conducted and verified," and so on . . . I suppose we cannot "know" that the brain cancer that has appeared next to the site where the cell phone has been pressed how ever many thousands of times has been caused by the cell phone.

This is a particularly irritating case because of how simple it would be to greatly reduce the dangers. For example, not pressing the cell phone against the brain but using additional wireless interfaces to place it at some remove. But that is the hard line "science" is taking, defending the stakeholders of the primitive dangerous versions of what could soon enough be rendered harmless, at least insofar as the cancers they have caused if not in the loss of freedom for those willingly placing everything about themselves within constant surveillance of the power hungry (which is another subject
: ).
But you, viedlibre, have expressed ideas here that I know through associations in the neurosciences are absolutely clean and fresh. I am very glad you posted. I'm sure "exercising" the brain functions through cognitive work is an excellent approach, and am also a great proponent of nutritional support of brain health through supplements like soy lecithin, l-glutamine and several others.

Your post also gives me a chance to mention to friends and visitors that Georg Northoff (professor of neuroscience, philosophy and mathematics) and John Sarkissian (composer) have a terrific new piece for the "edutainment" concert stage called "Gruesome Grey Pulp" that discusses through music, humor and metaphor some of these wonderful discoveries about the nature of the brain and developing strategies to enhance its function, in a way that is simple and memorable. It is a new piece, but has already been given in China, Canada and Germany -- to the delight and enlightenment of their audiences. The knowledge arising from science (and in this case its marriage with art) is truly wonderful.

Incidentally, Sarkissian is also the composer of a new piece being performed at Boston Pops this month. Any of you who know how staid and deliberate is the chosen repertoire of even this "popular" grandchild of the the exceedingly grave Boston Symphony Orchestra might take cheer that the winds of change must be brisk indeed.

After they have met Mr. Sarkissian face to face, I would not be at all surprised to learn even they realize that by every standard he passes muster as an artist, composer and raconteur, and that they can do no better than to encourage both his works and his audiences through greater exposure to his talent.

And by this I mean new talent, fresh and real, and very well schooled in many places around the world, and also in five languages and no bullshit.

Thank you.

vieldibre - Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
As many people hit middle age, they often start to notice that their memory and mental clarity are not what they used to be. We suddenly can't remember where we put the keys just a moment ago, or an old acquaintance's name, or the name of an old band we used to love. As the brain fades, we euphemistically refer to these occurrences as "senior moments."

While seemingly innocent, this loss of mental focus can potentially have a detrimental impact on our professional, social, and personal wellbeing.

It happens to most of us, but is it inevitable?

Neuroscientists are increasingly showing that there's actually a lot that can be done. It turns that the brain needs exercise in much the same way our muscles do, and the right mental workouts can significantly improve our basic cognitive functions. Thinking is essentially a process of making neural connections in the brain. To a certain extent, our ability to excel in making the neural connections that drive intelligence is inherited. However, because these connections are made through effort and practice, scientists believe that intelligence can expand and fluctuate according to mental effort

FedecEdesee - Saturday, May 28th, 2011
Hello Sirs and Madams very happy to be here.

new song updates - Friday, May 27th, 2011
I'm sorry for those of you who have subscriptions and keep getting alerts that seem to make no sense.

I am compulsively updating the lyric I'm working on. With several copies floating around in various workspaces here, it's maddening to keep finding old versions, and that includes the one I put here. These changes are probably unnoticeable to anyone but me. So apologies, this peppering of notices is worthless to you.

BTW, I've got the verse melody and harmonies nailed down at last. Now I hope I can dream the rhythm for the refrain again, as that happened a week ago but I lost it. Dream streaming the bridge that way would be nice, too. This is wearing me out.

Happy Memorial Day. Remember our veterans, fellow Americans -- especially The Greatest Generation guys, who are so precious and getting fewer and fewer, their numbers reduced by 1,000 or so each day, as I understand it. God bless them.

Rossio - Friday, May 27th, 2011
Hi there this was the 3rd time that I saw your web space and I liked it very much! Good Work!
Bye Bye

het up indeed : ) - Thursday, May 26th, 2011
Yes, of course you are correct. I was simply half mad with sudden heat and humidity. A couple of days ago I still needed the heat on, and suddenly today it surpassed 80稦 in the studio. It was insufferable, and I've been really crazed with this lyric. Do, please, excuse the ravening surge.

By "barbers" I did mean literal Barbers -- so if that is not you, then you are not the ones to whom I refer : ) I do very much appreciate and feel somewhat encouraged by some of the others who have taken the time to send notes.

Later I played in the music room where there is a real piano. It is cooler there, as it is on the ground floor. I must wait while the cats eat, now, and bring their food in after a half hour at the most to prevent the raccoon from feeding at their dish. The little beast is adorable, and the cats are fond of him, too, but if he gets comfortable here he starts climbing all the way up to the roof to sleep in the chimney and has already knocked a chimney brick down. Therefore I must go there a few times a day to let the cats feed, then bring their dish back inside.

While somewhat less productive in some ways than working up here (which is equipped only with a synthesizer) the piano really "sings back to me" and is much more lively, with overtones ringing all over the place and everything resonating between me and the instrument and the room -- it's delightful and I think I shall stay there most of the day tomorrow. The half hours there while the cats feed pass like two minutes.

This evening I was also able to walk by the sea at high tide where the parasailors were flying around in the breeze, and now -- by comparison with this afternoon at least -- I am feeling much better, thank you, practically reposeful if not actually sedate.
Blessings,

all het up - Thursday, May 26th, 2011
Surely you don't wish to be misunderstood by your legions of friends and benign potential investors?

iLove Marc Kudisch - Thursday, May 26th, 2011
Everyone interested in theater should check out American Theatre Wing's interview with Marc Kudisch. It's an hour-long feed, and at that is a bit much for someone with my ADD but also supposedly (REALLY) writing UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS.

My remedy is to play it over and over and over. Like the oversize poster of the Periodic Table and Atomic Data chart on my studio, somehow it sinks in, and on some other level I get it.

"When I wonder what for if I see you no more
"He says, 'The horse wanders but returns of its own accord."

I wish to h*#% I could ask my beloved other about whether this melody is completely ripped off from somewhere else. It's so real to me now I almost think I stole it. And, then, for all its interesting harmonic qualities it seems oddly static, probably because I've been playing the first two phrases for the entire six-line verse. Is this utter crap?

Unfortunately all my beloved others are at this moment estranged, suffering no less than I, no doubt. But unavailable to me as I am unavailable to them. Except for Marc Kudisch.

I'm praying for the moment when I get to the refrain, because that has a special rhythmic riff and breaks out in the mysteries of faith and hope.

Then I compulsively look at the log of my visitors --, and I hate you, you barbers! I see you! Buzz off. I mean you, whose attention at such moments as these could help us both instead of leaving me floundering in my solitary me-ness and you floudering in your own voyeurism. You think these careless efforts at hiding are cute? You're hurting me, go away.

So I am writing this song, but I am also finishing the first act of the book. There is some relief in this split. It nourishes me via procrastination, as at this moment each action in avoidance makes a step forward on the other extreme.

I'm reading Robert Starer's memoir, CONTINUO, and he relates how his first notice mentioned that the work had been written literally with gloves on. As you may know, I work all winter in this studio with gloves on, the fingertips clipped off. Sherer did the same, and for the same reason (because getting the heat on was too much trouble -- in his case in Vienna it took two hours, and in my case it makes noise). What he failed to mention was that his gloves were also worn while drinking coffee with schnapps. He said it was a good thing the biographer didn't know about the schnapps. But now I know about the schnapps, and decide to try something like that myself, and so I've had two shots of dark rum, straight up, with my coffee. And I want more, but now I am in the studio and there is no rum here. But there is Marc Kudisch streaming through the internet, so I think I will manage.

Until later,
xoxo,

Brad - Thursday, May 26th, 2011
it's the exact info. i need,many thanks!

confidential to shornteel - Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
Do not wonder, I see you. But no one who loves me would say I should take such a chance, considering your strange approaches.

Businesslike methods are the only ones I may indulge. Please be serious or be gone.

Thank you for understanding.

casz - Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
You are right, Cristo -- there were two forces rather like gravity in the ancient lore. As I recall "cohesion" was the force that kept things of like quality together, whereas "adhesion" was indeed the force that tended to draw them together. Therefore "adhesion" would be correct in this context.

Thanks for pointing to this interesting distinction.

xto - Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
Casz, re: the moon comment below, as I recall there are two ancient principles that antedate Newton's gravity, and they were "Adhesion" and Cohesion" -- I forget the precise distinctions. It is subtle. But there is a possibility the force you refer to between the earth's water and the moon's is not adhesion but cohesion. Can you look it up and let us know?

This is interesting.

I Ching - Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
Now I have the harmonies and some melody for this song of Mary's in UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS. The versification is somewhat reduced, and nodding to rhyme but at the same time demanding I must be allowed my modernity. Too much rigid scansion and incessant rhyming sounds a little too much like Tennyson or Kipling or the jumped up masters of nothingness in the gangsta rap. But it's playing me now, which is how I know the time has come to hammer it all together.

I'm still waiting on what I expect should be significant rhythmic characterizations on "I CHING!" This plagues me roughly now but will I trust be a force of memory if not of nature herself when ultimately it plays upon the ear. This is how it goes now:

I CHING!

He told me not to ask about you, my tale of woe
I know what he will answer to, "Should I Let You Go?"
He'll always tell me, "No," you know? "You know who you need beside you."
When I wonder what for if I see you no more
He says, "The horse wanders but will return of its own accord."
So all I can say is I wait for that day
And what I pray, until then, "So be it. Amen!

"May the devil burn up on your threshold if he tries to come through your door"

But what would it be like if . . . [instr.]
You would see me? I Ching!
Three times you've paused and then, turning
Three times I've been rescued from burning.

Maybe you only turn to the light when you learn you can't hide in the dark
Well, I don't know, and then I throw K'un and fu, which means, "A fresh spark!"
And so I ask Him how should I act towards you
And He says, "Intractible youth
"You know the score. Ask me no more
"I've already told you the truth."
So all I can say is I wait for that day
And what I pray, until then, "So be it. Amen!

"May the devil burn up on your threshold if he tries to come through your door"

So what will it be like when . . . [instr.]
You will see me? I Ching!
Three times you've relented
Three times I am heaven defended

So what will it be like when . . . [instr.]
You will see me? I Ching!
History reinvented
With all of its sadness amended

So what will it be like when . . . [instr.]
You will see me? I Ching!

VAMP

casz - Sunday, May 22nd, 2011
I think it's some form of water, which would explain why it always faces earth and exerts great influence on tides: i.e., the moon's water and Earth's water are trending toward "adhesion."

For those who are unaware, adhesion is an ancient principle similar to gravity that describes the natural tendency of like substances to draw towards eachother.

I'm glad you asked : )

A simple experiment is to fill a bowl with a relatively large surface area with water, let it settle until it is still and calm, then add a few small drops of oil at great distances from eachother. The oil droplets will drift toward eachother and form one drop.

narbeh - Sunday, May 22nd, 2011
Mare means "sea," but maria on the moon are plains on the moon. They are called maria because very early astronomers thought that these areas on the moon were great seas. Maria are concentrated on the side of the moon that faces the Earth; the far side has very few of these plains.

What's your idea? Is it water or ice?

Bethesda - Sunday, May 22nd, 2011
Thank you for your wonderful post. Quite informative and I enjoyed reading it along with your other content articles. Thanks for sharing and continue the excellent work.

numbis_08 - Thursday, May 19th, 2011
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only desire to tell you "howdy", desire to use various fine time period with this site ;)

Lome - Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
I am impressed with this website, really -- I am a fan.
Great post, you have pointed out some good points. I besides believe this s a very great website.

Jo - Friday, May 13th, 2011
When you feel like giving up because gratitude eludes, remember that God is delighted in your efforts. Don't stop showing kindness because you feel unappreciated. The author of good things appreciates you very much.

Macau? or Mumbai - Thursday, May 12th, 2011
Hi, Kim -- Your email said you were from Mumbai but the isp was in Macau, so I don't know where you are, but it probably doesn't matter as there is no impediment to executing these projects remotely.

You could upload your raw video and pictures and Skype to discuss terms and production specs.

Email me directly if you would like to discuss. Contact links appear on most pages of nine3.com (just not this page as it makes me a spam target). Good luck.

DancingKim - Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
Hello, i'm a professional dancer. i'd like to see to make a showreel with regard to my promotions. I also would like to use some animation. Can someone suggest me a fantastic animation studio, but not really very expensive? I'm here for 3 months for a tour.
Love
Kim.

Hi again 4 lovely Rita - Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
It's time to take a break from the relentless Windows 7 pseudo operating system -- and do something fun for a few minutes.

Did I tell you I purchased a Windows 7 machine to enable use of Skype without having to upgrade the Mac's operating system?

Long ago I used to stay up-to-date on both platforms but since Mac OSX the Macs cover just about everything, except in this case Skype. A collaborator who doesn't type fast needed to be able to communicate without spending hours writing emails, so I got a cheap Dell machine to fill in the gap without the time sink and uncertainties of upgrading the operating system on a machine with a huge disk.

To give the new machine something to do, I've been trying to see what else it might be useful for, since it's sitting right here next to me taking up space against the moment when someone needs to converse. But, my good lord, it's really pretty stressful trying to strap my brain into the Windows 7 modus operandi, which feels more like a strait jacket than a tool. I used to dislike Windows but not excessively since I loved the machine's raw speed and was pretty used to it back then. But I swear, Windows 7 ! it's worse than ever! Unless one is very careful, anything saved may disappear into the machine not to be found without agonizing over what seems like a ridiculously complicated architecture. Anyway, heaven forfend, all this needless stress is emerging just in time to see Skype purchased by Microsoft. I'm sure they will ruin it in the name of creating as much work as possible for those who must kneel and worship at its bulbous parts.

But finally my exercises in saving, retrieving and comp'ing images resulted in this humble picture of one of my new favorite old pin-up girls, Rita Hayworth, in "Cover Girl," a movie I have recently viewed. The outfit she is wearing here I simply must have.

It's easy to see why Hayworth was the #1 pinup girl of the Great Generation -- she's so beautiful and graceful, funny and smart and nice. I love Marilyn, but her glorious bimbo is so much imitated by pale comparisons it's almost as though her influence over time has been largely negative. But Hayworth is a dream girl for the generations, even those of the liberated feminine stripe.

The music and dancing are sublime, and there are far more pretty girls than usual, including many famous models of the period making cameo appearances.

The script does flag in a few places, and the men who love her and let her go could have been a little more evolved, but their hearts are always in the right place, and the clothes? To die for. I'm copying her checked suit with the fingertip-length jacket with double notched collar to wear to interviews and a couple of theater parties upcoming. With it's simple black straight skirt (vented on each side for dancing) and the black-piped yellow vest and a white shirt, it's smashing, and I think will come out well even though there's no place on earth to get that jacket's crazy checkered print. The pattern is small and looks pretty neutral from a distance, but if you can pause the movie and look at it closely you'll see it's not at all what you thought, and just wonderful. I found this "Cover Girl" interesting right down to the tiny details. And let me not forget to mention -- oh, yes -- we don't think of her this way very often, but Eve Arden was a dish!

I took the trouble to make an Illustrator drawing of the jacket fabric pattern -- it's in the background of the picture at right -- so that if anyone would like to put it to the loom, just let me know and I will be glad to set it up for you. As it is I will have to make do with a conventional gingham print, although I was able to find it in silk, and I have on hand a wonderful rabbit felt for the collar and facings that is so black it will suck eyeballs out of the sockets of anyone trying to look at it too closely. The rabbit with its mysterious sheen, if not the gingham, should go a long way toward attracting attention in a quietly exciting entrance.

Okay, time to go for singing and trying to write the music for "I Ching!" This song promises to be one for the record books, at least insofar as how many hours I've stared at it without choosing a single note! Love you,
xoxox, as ever!

erulvaliola -- Monrovia - Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
hey friend i m newbie here just want to say hello to everyone.

Bad Dream On Easy Street - Friday, May 6th, 2011
I saw that someone had searched one of the performers and played the clip I had placed at
nine3.com/X0013_HA_Bad_Dream_On_Easy.html
and because I am so very fond of this person, and thought it might have been him searching for it, I just put the entire track there.

It may not be able to stay for very long, so if you would like to hear it, please visit soon.

xoxox, casz

PS I miss you!

mamSheese - Saturday, April 30th, 2011
be happy and love. kiss

casz - Thursday, April 28th, 2011
I'm deeply moved by the number of people who have expressed their gratitude for my humble efforts at writing to you all here. I have posted just a few of them, as a mainstay for some level of support for your interest. I regret I cannot post everything, but suffice it to say these are exemplary, and all are welcome.

I did begin what would have become a reasonable post two or three days ago, but got sidetracked when trying to get an exact quote and attribution from my favorite broadcaster, John Batchelor (johnbatchelorshow.com). It took a day to hear his response and unfortunately he was unable to recall the reference. He must be incredibly busy as he produces a four hour show seven days a week, and I find every segment is exciting and interesting. I guess he probably produces these segments somewhat catch as catch can, considering the hour at the various places in the world from which his guests appear. Perhaps he then assembles these segements to conform with what he believes is important, interesting and humorous enough to suit the day's news and his own mood.

Bravo, Mr. Batchelor! I really appreciate the streaming segments on his web site, too, as rarely can I listen to the entire program.

But anyway, this is my apology for not completing that entry and getting it out to you. Now I'm afraid I've moved on.

I'm trying to get work, as usual, you see. Despite the existence of my on line portfolio, most companies have their own career/jobs sites requiring their own specifications for uploading portfolio samples. Therefore what "they" tell you about looking for work is unfortunately quite true: it must be one's full-time job. So I have been spending quite a bit of time looking for projects.

And I'm sure you know me well enough to know my commercial portfolio will never be my full-time effort when there are so many interesting things to do.

When I complete the current round (one of which web sites ditched several hours of my work due to a bit of bad timing in the IT department's backup routine, or some such frustrating fact -- half my uploads disappeared in a nonce! and I stayed up last night until 1:30 a.m. doggedly redoing what I had lost.

Now today I must have a bit of singing and will continue tweaking the beautiful arrangements Colin Price made for my "RaZz" which, it turns out, is not getting a concert in Spain after all, but I am working on getting a production here and need to be able to sing it through as well as (this probably won't happen) find some singers to perform some of the songs for the demonstration purposes.

This is all fun and games, dear readers -- do not fear I may be miserable; I'm not. There simply isn't enough time in the day at the moment to write my lovely thoughts about the F8%6%$#ing DOUBLE federal bank bailouts that have relieved banks "too big to fail" of all the responsibility for their bad practices while at the same time filling up their balance sheets with real estate they now own and are too greedy to sell at the real current market rates. Perhaps they collude with cities and town who, were these properties sold at what they can actually sell for, would vastly reduce the tax base and screw things up even more.

Anyway, I was going to give due documentation and references on such matters, and that is what I did not write, and now you have my opinion in ten minutes or less.

Gotta go,
Love you dearly, my friends,
cristo

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snimmishime - Monday, April 11th, 2011
great post, i agree.

Paketresor - Sunday, April 10th, 2011
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titusag - Thursday, April 7th, 2011
A question I wanted to ask. Guys, do you believe it is expected to go all out and spend all your money on an engagement ring to please your girl?

Girls, does the amount spent on the ring actually increase how much love you feel for your man?

I dont have a ton of money in my amount of money but the ring I brought home for my potential wife the other day she said was to small so that hurt and now I don't know what to do. So, what's your opinion?

carpinteyrojjm - Thursday, April 7th, 2011
really appreciate YOU -- thanks a lot!

Liberia - Thursday, April 7th, 2011
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WickWelsHeisE - Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
Remember, you just copied it a couple steps ago.

Car Hire - Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
Maybe you'll want to get a facebook button to your site. I just bookmarked the url, however I must make this by hand. Simply my 2 cents.

the mother of all compression formats - Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
Supercomputing groups, space technologies labs and those searching for academic answers are visiting practically continuously now.

Inklings appear. I see so many opportunities in compression and algorithms in general through my concept of the graphical sexadecimal (hexadecimal with "floating point" [or asymptotic truths in black and white before me : ] ) paired with the very convenient expression we call "pi" that happens to have a tendency not to repeat itself through pattern EVER simply because it is the rounding factor of our geometry and, hence, is in MOTION.

And yes, I thank thee, you are (many of you) greatly relieved to understand now at last what was meant when the ancients declared and to which logically even your own fifth grade math teacher acquiesced: all lines curve.

But I just realized something new I should tell you. In fact, I've realized a few things that I have not shared and still feel no compulsion to express here. But this one will be very helpful, and it is simple, so I will give it to you in the ten minutes I have before I must begin placing some ads here on nine3 in space that some kind person yesterday said she wishes to purchase. And that is just in time, I might add, as I have been losing sleep in a rather serious way because my poor old mother, who could never exercise any fiscal discipline and (worse) has the streak of a trickster running where the spine usually resides, is once more needs to be bailed out of a bad situation.

My dear sister-in-law, a stalwart in every sense of the term as well as a beauty in her own right and the mother of a beautiful daughter and wife to my own dear brother, has over the past few years successfully worked (and it must have been difficult indeed) to relieve the old dame of a rather incredible burden of debt, at no cost whatsoever to me. This she did by pursuing mountains of paperwork -- really a huge pile of effort on her part, but no actual cash. My mother at one point admitted to the original debt as being about $12K, but I have recently learned it was more than $80K, which my sister in law in a couple of years of tenacious and clever work whittled down to three payments of $1,800, which the beneficiary of this effort did herself pay.

Now, it seems, free of debt and apparently with her credit rating intact, our mother secretly borrowed from two lenders and is (of course) again falling behind.

This time I am being asked to take turns with my other siblings in making her payments. It is deeply infuriating to contemplate who it could have been that would have been so irresponsible as to lend this money. Lest you suspect I am niggardly and cruel in this matter, I must assure you she is (or was) far better established than most people and still has a state pension and a social security check, secure lodging in the assisted living facility of her own choosing, etc. etc., really I could go on and on but . . . I've already said too much . . . what a mess, at this point we would all count ourselves fortunate to have her level of security if we are fortunate to live so long, moreover she has already outlived two of her children and will probably still outlive more of us . . .. In fact since there is little I can do about any of this (being half a world away, and matters such as the foregoing explaining much in the reason for it) I'm afraid I really don't even want to know. But I do want to pay my share. Yet my business wouldn't support a flea at this point, and I justify myself by being the best bonne femme and helpmate to my husband that ever there was (please heaven).

I am also, perhaps regrettably, something of a bourg insofar as I have until the past two years succeeded in having my own income and I find it very difficult to ask my husband if he will pay for my mother's latest peccadillos.

So this advertising on nine3.com is welcome indeed, and I have already committed the income to the mad old cow's bottom line : ) I say that affectionately, of course : ) much as Mr. Bean referred to Whistler's Mother as a "mad old cow."

Therefore I must run within a few minutes and execute those ads so that ma dame's creditors can get paid.

But the simple fact about the magic of pi and sexadecimal could be like the pearl the ancients say reflects (and therefore contains) the entire world. And I do wish to express these ideas while it still seems interesting enough to me that I must do so.

Really, I should write a film script about this instead of handing it out wholesale. That would be a pretty fast way to demonstrate it, as literary timelines go : ) could probably do it in a couple of months, as opposed to writing it in a novel (a couple of years?), or a musical (a couple of decades?).

Too bad I refused the formal study of math. There is probably a ten-line hypothesis I could use, unfortunately fiction is my only recourse.

Not counting this blog, of course.

Okay, so here it is:

Using the asymptote and the sexadecimal expression of any binary construct . . .

this is so simple I keep expecting someone else to think of it, considering how many clues I've already dropped : ) simplicity is funny that way. Must be a "forest for the trees thing" -- something in a way invisible in its obviousness.

With these principles, we are now "at the end of long division" because the sexadecimal allows one "to see" the nature of even extremely large numbers without long division. It is more like a visual abacus (as I believe I have said before).

Because most readers have not created the base-32 (or dual sexadecimal, hereafter given as "dsex.") calculator I gave instructions for, I will have to try to explain verbally rather than iconically, because even if I put the font on my computer you still wouldn't be able to see it on yours. What a pain. Let me see . . .

Choose, at some point in your incredibly long string of figures that is a duohexadecimal value (dsex.) conversion of a giant binary value, one figure comprised of symmetries that make the value instantly, intuitively apparent. For example (because I can give a reasonable approximation of the following figure here, and bearing in mind that 8 (the crazy eight) equals 16dec. (16decimal value) because there is NO zero in sex. and dsex., and what looks like a zero is actually 8dec. and because the second half of the system is expressed as the first half plus its mirror image, then 8sex. (and also 8dsex.) =16dec.

So what if in your big string you encounter (in ddec.)
88
88
(pretend there is no line space between the two lines of the foregoing, i.e., all the o's touch one another, as a single figure)

in this case we are talking about 32dec.

(you could use any other value landing on a symmetrical construct within the expression)

Almost the entire data set could be expressed as ox4

That is one pearl of the the three pearls that make up the pearl that is the world of your data set.

In order to reconstruct your entire data set from this one figure, the other figures you would need to know are ?
the [two or three or four or five -- however many, determined by specific realm of the calculation] occurring on either side of the
88
88

(which would show you the exact position where your "key" appears in the pi (algorithm) and hence includes all the data up to that point in the data set.

It might be a good idea to write three figures on paper in ink and put it in a safe place in case you need to regenerate your data set after it has been hit by the pulse : )

I think of the foregoing as a sort of kludge fail safe, because it will still require knowledge of the vast string that is the pi algorithm, and this may not always be available to you, e.g., if our data got hit with an electromagnetic pulse weapon and we had to start regenerating pi manually, from scratch as it were.

I'm sure there is a better way to hold the key to your pearl that involves two other factors: the asymptote (whether rounding up vs rounding down had been used in original calculations, i.e., either a "+" or a "-" designation).

The asymptote's job is to let you know whether you are working with the "fat" or the "thin" tendency, i.e., whether you are rounding up or down.

This is pearl number two. And pearl number 3:

Every position in the fraction of pi must be given a line number.
e.g.,

Pi-dec. (3.141...) actually is more like Pi-sex. (3.243...) and Pi-dsex. (i have no clue).

The line number of the fraction of Pi in any given numbering sys, e.g.,

3.
line 1=2
line 2=4
line 3=3
etc. ad infinitum

Therefore, if you have 1.) the symmetrical figure you can "know" intuituitively, 2.) the correct asymptote, and 3.) the line number on pi where your symmetrical figure resides (and/or "X" number of figures on either side of your symmetrical figure, depending on scale), then
you can "unfold" your entire data set from these three factors, storing them, therefore, in about 16 bytes in the cloud (or on your legal pad, along with a good long calculation of pi in sex. or dsex., locked in a thick leaden safe in your basement.

And all will be well for modernity, after a period of regrouping, even if an idiot taunting fate with "end times" or whatever other madness infects feckless fools in the present day has his way and unleashes mahem throughout the globe, in the name of dog-mah or (if I may be excused for not seeing it this way (ah-hahaha God).

Slots - Monday, March 28th, 2011
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just enough rope to hang ourselves - Thursday, March 24th, 2011
Greed is a powerful emotion.

If those who wish to see a nation fail have enough power to deregulate markets, the greedy rush in and eventually pull the whole thing down.

That's why your friends are saying, "You're crazy if you're not doing it."

Because they are sucking sucking sucking and those who are so "crazy" not to engage in that behavior think . . . heaven knows what! that at least their consciences will be clear, no matter what else happens? Some people believe it is important. And those who are NOT "so crazy" so they get in on what is essentially the gang rape of a nation? they believe at least they will "get theirs" before the fall?

How did the multi billionaire whathiSface destrOy Maylasia's thRiving ecOnomy in Such a recent but apparently easily forgettable manner?

See hints above. The technique is well developed by now.

ronjj, IMO you should avoid debt like the plague, even if it means liquidating and living with roommates until you get ahead enough to pay as you go.

Why, with all the "stimulus" and "quantitative easing" whereby the banks received liquidity from the FRB, are the banks still not lending?

Because it's more like a sure thing to take the money and play the markets, duh. That's my opinion.

diversify - Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
diversify diversify diversify

The money has to go somewhere. Money doesn't like keeping a cash position, but where should one put it?

Everything is rocketing around like mad.

I think we should ask our legislators to reinstate the Glass Steagall Act. Basically the reform (of the early 20th Century) required there exists a stock for each stock option. Is that too much to ask? It was an obvious necessity, was it not?

Options (short trading) are what killed the market in '29. Glass Steagall put it to rights. Then Clinton cancelled it.

Now once more there can be many options traded on just one stock, and friends who are options traders freely admit that although it's illegal to collude they are in fact doing it. And with the readily available computing solutions to the need to track and hide collusion, it's pretty easy for almost anyone to learn.

At first (when this ugly serpent first starting rearing its ugly head once more) we would hear about the need for Glass Steagall, then everybody started doing the down and dirty (making even more money when the markets go down than when they go up) so that now so many people are invested in the shameful behavior that no one wants to bring it up any more. [fallacy]There's too much to lose.[/fallacy]

My dirtbag friend who told me about the collusions he and his "friends" are doing with Cisco stock tried to get me to give him some money to play with, or to teach me how to do the parasite suck on the markets. "You're crazy if you're not doing it."

But he already bottomed out once in his career, and he said he'd learned his lesson about greed so now he's probably riding high. I dumped his ass a couple of years ago, osensibly over some vegan diatribe he sent me on Thanksgiving (very insensitive, considering how I had also expressed my belief about the spirit power of Thanksgiving Day emanates fro how much the Divine One loves the smell of roasting bird wafting up on that sacred day. He leans over and breathes a heavenly fragrance and says, "God Bless America" because it is we who are giving it to Him). On this great day, which was also my birthday, this ex-friend rather than apologizing when he realized he was insulting me decided to escalate the argument and suggest I should go to a meeting where they would teach me how to ask questions in a way that the stupid fools would be unable to formulate responses, thus "convincing" everyone the left wing vegetarians must be right about everything.

Yes, I escalated in response -- so much so that after a few such exchanges he said I had given him no choice but to block my messages so that I couldn't hurt him any more. (Sometimes it makes more sense, when dumping someone, to make them dump you. This makes them feel a little better and defuses some of the desire to get even, stalk, or threaten -- thus explaining some of the reasons why women despite being considered callous and calculating for "indirect" or "manipulative" acts hew to the time-tested feminine techniques.)

Because as annoying as his proseletyzing for vegetarianism had always been, I had let it go until that moment, when the real reason I cancelled our friendship was over his parasitic trading behavior.

"You shall have no intimacy with worthless men," is one of the commandments written on the wall of the pyramid of the Sun King.

Yes, I had a friend who was a worthless parasite. But no more. I don't even want to know if he's growing rich on the wasting of our body politic.

He still entertained hope of profiting through our friendship. He never contacted me unless he wanted something, and he very rarely got what he was looking for, although he usually got something of no consequence. But I had purchased a number of Casio MIDI saxophones when they were being discontinued, to gift to the children of families we knew. The horns were wonderful, but after a few years developed a "squeal" which with a few dollars could be repaired with a new chip, and the instruments that had cost a mere $35 when being liquidated could now be resold for $500.00. I had kept one or two, and he had set his cap on getting them from me (along with a few other benefits he periodically tried to extract).

But what was the straw that broke him and made him dismiss me even though he most likely still considered me a potential member of the flock for the fleecing?

I told him that if everyone became vegetarians, then very soon all the domesticated animals whose primary reason for existence was to participate in the food chain would no longer exist. I told him if he believed in climate change he must surely believe that on a destroyed planet it will be a whole lot easier for most people to eat animals who know how to survive than it is for nincompoops to learn to grow crops, and therefore the unintended consequences of the high moral ground of vegetarianism would be cannibalism.

Yes, that was the escalation to which I refer, and plead guilty of ridding my life of this fellow's association.

thoma sabo charm club - Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
Seriously happy to get in touch with folks on this page

i prefer to say g'day to folks

tarralovesit - Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
Hey just joining, glad to be in! I'm glad to be here last but not least, heading to post due to the fact I've been reading a lengthy time.

Sooo anyways, plenty about me, see you all-around and hello yet again haha.

PS, how do I make myself have a cool title like some people here have? I just got a new phone, even a nutritionist requires so much to keep up to date!

Abavimaimpabe - Monday, March 21st, 2011
Very good resource. Make Home Page!

thomas sabo charm uk - Sunday, March 20th, 2011
Delighted to come together all men and women at this site

i are going to say gday to all men and women

ronjj - Sunday, March 20th, 2011
Stock Market dropped 138 points yesterday. I read by next week it will lose another 500! That is so bad. I am already on my way to being deep in debt. Anyone know a good market to be in?

xto - Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
RE: your Toyota marketing campaign proposal, I believe there will be many opportunities created by this crisis. Business people of good sense (and no one has had more good sense than the Japanese in business matters) know that marketing becomes even more important during difficult periods.

@romanda, glad you asked about hair loss. There are a couple of very helpful products in the herbal realm.

The first is FO TI, which I have written about in the past. Search fo ti (polygonym multiflorum) in this forum and elsewhere to discover its benefits.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware you should only use the herb that is dark (deep brown to black in color) as this will indicate it has been given the black bean treatment that extracts alkaloids that will be harmful to the liver if taken regularly. It is surprising how many "health" preparations of this herb are pale yellow to white, which indicates ignorance on the part of the compounder of this important caveat.

A good source of properly treated fo ti is the tea section of the oriental supermarket. I like to tear open one tea bag and add the contents to our daily coffee grind. It also seems to reduce the acidity of the coffee and mellows the flavor somewhat.

The effects of this herb may take a few months to become noticeable as it takes effect in the natural course of cellular renewal of the hair, skin and nails, all of which will be more robust after a time.

The second remedy is something I discovered very recently and its effects are immediately noticeable. This is an eastern remedy (I believe the one I use is made in Pakistan or India) called "Kalonji." It comes in a bottle of only a couple of ounces as the dosage is a single teaspoon combined with lemon juice and hot water. It is a scalp massage that stops dropping hair immediately by strengthening the root. Both my husband (a black-haired man of Italian extraction) and myself (with fair skin and hair) swear by it. My husband is not one to bother with all of the remedies I suggest, but this is an exception. We now keep a tiny pitcher at the ready because it is the reason there is scant hair in the brush and comb since we began using it.

Good luck, and thanks for compliments : )

romandaQER - Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
Is there anyone esle experiencing hair loss in here? Do you have any recomendations? BTW LOVELY FORUM!!!!!!

mornFoewGerry - Monday, March 14th, 2011
I'm wondering how this earthquake will affect Toyota Manufacturing? I've been working on a Toyota concept for awhile now, something pertaining to internet marketing.

Hey Maputo - Friday, March 11th, 2011
Advertisers are welcome on any page at nine3.

Please go to nine3.com opening page and follow the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page to send email.

Thanks for interest.

xto - Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
Dyep, there are no reptiles or monsters here, but we greet you with congratulations all the same.

Since I had to translate your post, I hope you will consider yourself gifted : )
Enjoy your day.

Dyepsaste - Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
Hello all!!!
Today is my birthday!!!
Congratulate me, all you reptiles and monsters.....ha, ha, ha!

OK - Monday, February 28th, 2011
Moi, b aware that while I am always interested in hearing from you, your posts will not appear unless your comments are pertinent to our explorations. Fear not, it is a very wide field we range, so you should be able to come up with something : )

If it's only to explain why you liked something you found here, it might very well be the sort of thing we will enjoy, so do give it a try.

BTW, with my regrets, it's English only (for those of you who continue to send your posts in other languages).

莂 va? 莂 va bien! (Kidding!)

MoibToofNiz - Monday, February 28th, 2011
After exploring through the boards for some time I thought its time to join. I hope we can all get a long and share knowleadge.Iam looking forward to it. Let the fun begin :)

Napolean's Hat - Friday, February 18th, 2011
Thanks for weighing in, Mia. Same to the rest of you who sent similar greetings.

If I can figure out how to get a snapshot out of the new machine (purchased to enable video chat with collaborators and to isolate non-creative from creative files) I will post a picture of the wonderful little old work of sculptural art I found in an antique shop. It is Napoleon's Hat, used here as a stylus holder for the drawing slate I have been using a lot this week as I painstakingly plod through the formal notation on some songs.

I suppose the hat was meant to have a feathered pen that would look like Bonaparte's plumage. That would be very amusing, But I have no feathered quill that can communicate with the drawing slate, so Monsieur's chapeau looks quite a bit less fabulous than it might.

I was just about to add that I rather like Windows 7 -- it is a good deal better than other versions I've used. However in trying to get the snapshot off the machine I see MS Office is still trying to dictate how I work. It REALLY wants me to use Outlook, e.g., which I have no intention of doing.

Oh, well -- so much for this little diversion. Must try again later. Back to work!
xoxo, cx

P.S. I've just had a great experience with someone who purchased an ad on the main "Red River Valley" page on nine3.com -- look for it as a short bulleted list at the bottom of the left column pointing to ways to get PDFs made without purchasing Acrobat Professional. This will be a great advantage to many. In fact I've noticed numerous examples of visitors who would like to have copies of some of these pages on their own machines, and they have wasted a lot of time trying to get around the security on my server. I don't mind if visitors avail themselves of this feature, added by my esteemed new customer : ) After all, this is "publishing" is it not? In so many ways it is a public service, especially the SacredErotic.html and Tao.html pages that share ancient wisdom.

Information on these pages (comprising nine3's "Ancient Primer to Practical Godhead") can (among other things) circumvent the debilitating effects of that component of western civilization of the present day that encourages males to dissipate their vital life forces through onanism. In fact there is a far more pleasurable and life-enhancing way to balance sexual energy -- known throughout the animal kingdom (which is why some of the practices refer to "The Deer Exercises for Men and Women"). The ancients (in this case the Chinese, even before the time of Lao Tsu many thousands of years ago) observed these practices in animals and carefully codified their applications for use in human enlightenment. These exercises and practices not only relieve congested sexual energy but "grow" the stream of vital life force, strengthening and enhancing existence at every level.

So be it! I would like to hear from more potential advertisers. Blessings for profound peace,
it LALLA! cx

Another Friend - Friday, February 18th, 2011
Thanks for post. It´s really informative stuff. I really like to read. Hope to learn a lot and have a nice experience here! my best regards guys!

MiaBergdorfl - Friday, February 18th, 2011
Thanks for info on this issue. I dont know that

- Thursday, February 17th, 2011
Someone I "knew" quasi personally some years ago as co-members on a couple of listservs, an academic and wordsmith in the field of journalism whose name came to my attention today, was wondering (in his blog) whether bloggers can be considered "real" journalists. In, part, he comments:

"Never before have we had such complete and total access to the ignorance, depravity, ugliness, mundanity and folly of others than we do now.

"And never before have we had access to the wit, wisdom, intelligence, humor and warmth of the human spirit as we do now.

"It´s this latter access that enthuses me. The ability to read, watch, listen to and interact with people who have deep, deep knowledge on discrete subjects is something that perpetually amazes and gives me great hope for the information age we are in. I´m optimistic that way.

"Are all these people journalists? Or 'real journalists' as the case may be?"

I added a comment on his entry, and because I don't want the time it took me to do that to be thrown down the rathole of that blog's moderator's discretion to use or discard my ideas there, or to borrow them, as would be his perogative, I decided to use them here.

I replied:

Strictly speaking, a "journalist" writes (daily) a journal, which legitimately includes everything the writer [and the editor] cares to include. A reporter is someone who reports specific factual information, the four w's: the "who, what, when and where" of a subject of interest to somebody.

However, "reporters" now very often include a fifth "w," the "why," which is subjective rather than factual.

Subjective material, when well substantiated, is obviously a legitimate component of reporting, but thanks to the explosion of the "soft" sciences like sociology and psychology everyone is now in the business of journalism (and not reportage), moreover also knows how to frame questions to gain desired responses (and other newish tricks of the trade), which I will enumerate upon request (but not without remuneration).

Ergo, to frame the issue as an answer in one of this week's journalistic foci (the man vs. machine contest between supposedly super smart humans and the computer Watson), when the Jeopardy clue is "journalism" the question is, "What is yellow?"

That would be under the category, "Coloring."

Commercial journalists write prose that sells products for advertisers, and "editorial policy" has for a very long time been formulated to keep the "remunerated" proviso of the definition of "real" reporter alive (albeit to less and less general acceptance).

It is easier to argue that those who do it for love and passion are more "real" journalists than "real" journalists.

The foregoing being my first point, my second is: "enthuses" is not a word.

Speaking of remuneration - Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
BTW, if supercomputing and space communications folks out there are using the sexadecimal system, won't you please drop me a line and let me know how it's coming along.

I did have a couple of new insights on the subject recently but haven't had a chance to write about them here. It's usually important to give such ideas a little time to gestate, and invariably when the time comes to make the expression it turns out to need refinement and further discovery. Certainly this is part of the process.

At the moment I need to catch up on a lot of music notation. There is quite a backlog in peril of becoming too remote to capture.

My sincere thanks - Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
Undova, forgive the edit on your post. I interpreted your "right parenthesis" figure to mean "right." It's necessary to study carefully some posts for character usage that could translate to php cues giving hackers access.

Thanks, Soillakag, I think we are on the same page.

I'm pleased to have your interest, and the interest of those who only lurk but who are kind enough not to arrive through the various black holes that would conceal entirely the level of their interest. Your visits are the only remuneration I receive for these efforts, since the value of free commentary would certainly be diluted by advertising placements.

If you would like to help make this worthwhile in a material sense, please purchase the HARRIER ANGEL cd or tracks (available at CD Baby, iTunes and other major outlets).

Griselda's Fat Farm of Studio Art, which is the setting of HARRIER ANGEL, depicts a non-dogmatic approach to gathering a family of humankind. The structure is based on a private club, not unlike the structure of the Squantum Yacht Club where Naro is a life member (and where I, as his wife, enjoy the same status). This is as near as anyone could hope to an ideal structure, but certainly not without problems. In recent years, the municipal authorities who have, for the more than century-long existence of the numerous yacht clubs along the beaches in this city, traditionally supported pleasure boating as a healthy way to maintain the skills of mariners (among other virtues), but over the past decade or so have begun to crack down on "the freedoms of the deep" by demanding ever higher fees and greater and greater regulations along with an adversarial tone that suggests it would be preferable in the view of some to keep people from going abroad upon the sea. It's as if they would rather say, simply, "Everyone out of the water!"

undova - Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
100% right

soillakag - Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
An fascinating dialogue is value comment. I think that you must write extra on this subject, it won't be a taboo topic however usually people are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers.

Black Oak, Long Island - Monday, February 14th, 2011
If you live out there, I'm officially jealous of you! How well I remember sailing from Miami back to Boston through Block Island Sound and wishing from the depths of my soul that we could take a hard left into Long Island Sound and sail all the way up to New Rochelle.

I even dreamed a few times of leaving Boston on the sailboat named Moonraker (our 28 foot Morgan Outislander) and coming into New York, tying up, and heading into the city for a meeting. It seemed real, and I was so glad to be able to sleep aboard and step off onto the dock perfectly attired. But I was single handing, so I knew it had to be a dream!

Vive la France - Monday, February 14th, 2011
Thanks largely to French culture, no one needs to rant any cant making points that inevitably divide along dogmatic lines. Without question, the credit for the concept of "good faith" comes to us through the French.

As values go, "Good faith" is non-dogmatic, and as powerful as the Golden Rule.

As Detective Reverend Jones admits in HARRIER ANGEL, "Ah, yes, the dogma. It slouched into the camp after the fires burned down."

It's a watch dog, present to protect the sleeping. It is useful in its way — but alas, there is a lack: it cannot express the fullness of the divine, or even human, insight. After all, it is only a dog.

For arguments, I like the "No Dogma" rule, and am doubly glad to have "Good Faith" standing with it shoulder to shoulder.

Pymnomido - Monday, February 14th, 2011
This is HossDawg, and I'm here to stay! This is an amazing site!

Democracy - Saturday, February 12th, 2011
I believe most people favor democratic ideals, but when we talk about a democracy of any longevity what we really mean is a "democratic republic" or something like "constitutional monarchy" or others, where the reference to democracy is as an adjective used to describe some other construction that is the government itself, and it is this construction that strives to encompass democratic ideals.

This is because there are inherent weaknesses in democracy itself, e.g., "one man one vote" quickly leads to a "tyranny of the majority" where the rights of those outside the mainstream are trampled forthwith. I can quickly think of many other painful examples showing that the simple lack of good faith readily allows those who do not at all respect the freedoms idealized in democracy join together and use the democratic system itself to vote democratic principles out of existence.

The original democracy of Athens quickly collapsed because of such factors these -- the beautiful dream completely and immediately overrun because of its failure to recognize the fundamental barnyard hierarchies (politics) human beings (and indeed most animals, we are beginning to see) will always attempt to enact on every level. This is "nature," the principal of survival of the fittest, that must be mitigated somehow if fairness (democracies) will be assured a place at the table of human interaction.

A modern government that encompasses the ideals of democracy needs various checks and balances (like the division of powers among separate competing branches of government), and that will allow the voting process to correct mistakes very easily made --, for example when a charismatic person with a strongly appealing message manages to get elected to lead the Administrative (Executive) Branch of the Federal government of the United States of America but proves lacking in the knowledge, experience or perhaps even the good faith to act on the agenda for which people have voted. When the Legislative Branch forges partisan agendas forgetting their mandate to jealously guard their own power in opposition to the Administrative Branch, or the Judicial Branch becomes highly politicized and polarizes along party lines, these three branches of government that were themselves described specifically to prevent the collapse of the democratic principles into the fatal process of compounding power (recognized by Thomas Jefferson and John Adams as natural tendencies) may yet be redressed by a staggered schedule of elections, among the two houses of the Legislative and the single Administrative entity, that make it difficult for any single party to gain control of the entire government. The fact that in the U.S.A. there are fifty states which each have their own structures and their own power to serve their specific and highly diverse constituencies goes even further to dilute the tendency to conglomerate absolute power. These factors have meant much to the longevity of the modern world's oldest democracy, the democratic republic that is the U.S.A.

My favorite example of a democratic form rum amok in short order is the United Nations, wherein it is a commonplace to find logical absurdities like Iran and Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) on the Security Council, and where the Secretary General can easily appoint his own son to oversee (e.g.) a Food For Oil Program that is actually a license to commit grand larceny for personal gain. The idealism that drove the United Nations into existence lacked the hearty disdain for "human nature" held by the founders of the U.S. Constitution that might have ingrained more cautionary factors in the structure of this organization. Once such a structure exists it is very hard to change. Respect is given to its members -- respect perhaps deserved, perhaps not.

Likewise, as "tribalism" is given the nod in Afghanistan, because it is "traditional" the president can still have the respect of his office even though he may walk across the border carrying fifty million dollars that cannot possibly legally belong to him. It is absurd -- another cautionary tale -- in the foibles committed in the name of imparting democratic freedoms to nations lacking the necessary culture demanding good faith no matter what other dogmas anyone may admire, and the sense to enact a strong system of checks and balances to maintain orderly, if not predictable, outcomes.

Some of the most profound truths ruling my existence (referenced in these posts in numerous ways) came from Egyptian culture of deepest antiquity. I've also known personally a couple of Egyptian citizens -- both highly educated, intelligent and evolved human beings (one a female dentist and the other a male microbiologist), and to me it seems that if the character of these people is representative of the Egyptian national character today, then there is a very good chance Egypt can evolve into a modern democratic republic. Let us hope they are able to install a new government with checks and balances that can incorporate democratic ideals while precluding power grabs by bad guys (those of bad faith) running a slick confidence game that sounds good to enough people to get themselves elected but promoting a hidden agenda of running the nation straight to hell for the glory of their own compounding power -- and even worse. For as bad as such ego maniacs can be, let us not forget there are plenty of potential outcomes that are even worse.

It's a treacherous path Egypt embarks upon today. Heaven help them.

teemarrelty - Saturday, February 12th, 2011
Well this morning is certainly a triumph for the democracy of Egypt. Living in a democratic country it is difficult to think how terriuble dictatorship can be. Long live democracy

Where in the world are you? - Thursday, February 10th, 2011
The comment by calories burned lifting weights" (re: the round of applause) arrives all the time, from different servers all over the world. I wonder if it's a generic comment many people use to encourage bloggers to write more, or if it's one person obfuscating their location?

Oh, well -- I'm sure it isn't worth worrying about.

But yes, the calories burned lifting weights are probably among the most productive. Which reminds me to try to fit in a session right away.
: ) Thanks.

calories burned lifting weights - Thursday, February 10th, 2011
You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material

kudos 4 Lia & Michael - Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
Maestro weighed in on Lia's and Michael's performances in the film at right. Orchestrating "Nicole," he looked at this little film and said, "She is some singer! And so is the guy at the end."

I'm proud of them, and especially thankful to Michael Pratt, who is a great choreographer and director as well as a very well-rounded performance talent, and worked for Disney in Orlando before returning to his hometown — Dorchester, Boston. The shows he produces and directs are terrific.

I'm certain the images and videos I was able to capture from these performances had much to do with attracting the interest of the people in Spain.

One trick pony - Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
confidential to visitors in Russia: I'm sorry to say I threw away a whole bunch of foreign language fonts, including Cyrillic (if that's what you're trying to post in -- it comes in as gibberish) and a bunch of others. I was having problems with the machine and that was one of the actions I took to correct the problem (probably a mistake). But anyway, English and potentially other languges that I can translate (that use the same alphabet as English) are the only ones that can appear here.

Sorry about that!

The title is content - Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
People seem to use names that suit the subject of the post. It's a smooth way to roll : )

Welcome. Make yourself comfortable here.

I'm seeing almost daily progress on the RAZZ orchestrations from the musical director in Spain, a fascinating British conductor who is also a well-known Gilbert & Sullivan scholar. In addition he's a very nice man, a brilliant and entertaining light in the middle of my cold February, and father to a young girl who is herself conducting now -- can you imagine? What a lucky young lady to have such an attentive papa.

I'm very excited by his work with the RAZZ but probably should not post more midi files just at the moment as they are preliminary and also too easy to borrow. This would not be the right time to invite everyone to experiment with the pieces. I will post some samples with vocals as soon as it makes sense.

In the meantime, don't hesitate to try out some ideas here. Thank you for interest.

jceJen - Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
Hey just joining, glad to be in! I'm glad to be here as a final point, heading to post considering the fact that I've been reading an extended time.

I've been involved in some other forums and have found this put to have a great deal greater written content, so it tends to make sense to ultimately post!

BTW where is the option to make myself have a cool title like some people here have?

Yes, Cosette - Friday, February 4th, 2011
Thanks, that's correct. I knew I had it wrong, but was rushing along as usual and did not take the time to fact check.

Now I realize I haven't given you the midi file of the ONION as promised, either. I have been tangled up in tech, patching my system together with a new but cheap PC to run videochats with my dear music director who does not wish to type. And who can blame him? He's got much more important things to do than spend all day writing exactly the correct emails when five minutes of conversation on Skype will keep us on the same page. Of course Skype needs a later operating system than mine, so rather than accept that headache (cloning a big disc just for an op sys upgrade) now I have a new PC that can't talk to my network without a patch. Apple's support site is so slow, I decided to pop in here while it comes in.

I'll run over to the machine that runs the sequencer and try to get you the midi file via multitasking. It should be up in a nonce.

tata, bulla razz!

Cosette - Friday, February 4th, 2011
You are thinking of Fantine's child, Cosette. She was found in an orphanage by Jean Valjean and taken away to be raised by him.

So Happy - Friday, January 28th, 2011
I'm sorry for heaven's sake because I am so happy today I can't make myself start working. I know I have been virtually handed everything I need to do what I must do, so it is doubly wrong for me to shirk productive pursuits. It is a little corollary to something Bruce the Deuce told me once when (without my solicitation) he looked at my natal chart. He said, "Others may lie and cheat on their taxes and do other wrong, but you may not. You have been given everything, and any wrong you do will come back at you like a shot, so don't even think of it."

He said I have nearly the same birth chart as Friedrich Nietsche! If that shouldn't frighten a creampuff of a girl like the one, pictured here — myself at the age he mentioned it.

Actually I had already decided that I was some kind of artist. I think I told you the story somewhere here in this tome of a forum that my teacher had asked me, since I seemed to be good at so many art forms, which one I would choose, and after a moment of consideration I asked, "Which is the hardest?" She said "opera" and since I already loved musical theater, and because she said, "That would be good, because it uses all of the art forms," I said, "Okay, that's what I will do." So here I am pictured then, and here I sit now, some decades later, if only to say, "And oh how very right she was!" but to quote a lyric (my own, of course), I'm certain I could have worked much harder at it, but I didn't like to be miserable, impoverished, loveless, etc.

What a humorous decision it seems today! And for once I am laughing with sheer delight!

I was already practicing a lesson from Hugo's LES MISERABLES, learned when reading the part about — who was it, Fantine? — being reared by nuns who strove above all to prevent the girl from trading on her looks, regularly saying to her such things as, "You are very fortunate to be such a homely girl." The idea was that she would learn to make her way with other virtues, so did I — in our family life pretending to believe that I was very homely indeed and thus dropping out of the beauty contest among the sisters in our family that actually destroyed our relationships. Perhaps it would have been better to own up to who I was. In addition to the copious blond hair and blue eyes I was also possessed of an acute political sensibility that made me a natural leader — another of the qualities in myself that I rejected. Oh, well. Only one of my three sisters survives, and she still hates me. "C'est la guerre," as they say, cavalier!

The after affects of "hiding my light" so to speak do still reverberate and despite my happy life still intrude with their inherently sad consequences, in some ways, yet too few to mention here. But when I discovered The Tao (my sharing of some of it no doubt the reference BedBuygDoginNYC1u makes below, and BTW thank you for that, my dear visitor) I was greatly soothed by the hexagram in I CHING that says, "The weak ascend."

This does not mean the weak ALWAYS ascend, of course, for it is the "book of changes." It means that at certain times the weak ascend and have their moments, too, if only they can sieze them.

So after all of this buildup, that is the point of my happiness today! I received a draft of one song being orchestrated by the wonderful music director of the symphony orchestra in Spain where my RAZZ is (God willing) going to be performed this year. He is making it for string quartet with clarinet, bass guitar, banjo and marimba.

Here is a midi file of the basic sections of THE ONION RAG, very much a sketch, of course. None of the levels have been adjusted and the midi instruments give the barest hint of what the live performers would sound like . . .

Oh, my word — JUST LOOK AT THE TIME!! I am making a special "Chicken under Bricks for this evening's meal, and must go at once!

I will add the picture and THE ONION RAG sketch when I return in a few hours. Perhaps I will give you the picture now . . . will see if it works right off the bat, if not, please look at "The Onion Rag" and see if you can tell how I came to write this:

"She said the onion is a remedy
A cure for melancholia . . .
With pain that's this tremendous
The smallest things upend us
I'd have to get five tatoos to feel this much relief!
And feel that I have grieved to the end of all my grief!"

Yes, it did come from my life. How many the times over the years have I been grateful to give the excuse of my culinary pursuit for the tears I could not contain.

However, not today, my friends. I will be peeling, chopping, slicing and dicing them, and may cry my eyes out, but not without great cheer!

all the best,
xoxox,
casz

PS Thanks to those who have added content here over the past few days. I like what I'm seeing.

Best of luck, Emeline! We have many intelligent readers in Germany. Perhaps you will get good recommendations.
bient魌! cx

emeline-etranger - Friday, January 28th, 2011
bonjour a tous

Je suis expatrie en allemagne et j'aurai aime savoir si certains d'entre vous connaissent des endroits
sympa pour se divertir a berlin.

J'ai essaye pas mal de discotheques sans jamais m'y eclater.

Je compte sur vous !
PS: Si vous etes dans mon coin, pas de soucis pour se rencontrer !

marchi !

BedBugDoginNYC1u - Thursday, January 27th, 2011
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Dearborn - Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
Since the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer has a mask on it, though, just select the Brush tool (B), choose a soft-edged brush from the Brush Picker, then press X to swap your Foreground and Background colors, making your Foreground color black.

Dear friend - Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
Thank you for your several entreaties, your pleas have moved my heart at last
: )
Allow me to say the list is moderated, and I usually maintain the policy of withholding notes unless they convey some insight or other, or inspire the same in me.

I hope this is a satisfactory explanation. Please let me know your thoughts. If they seem to conform to the requirement detailed above, they may appear here. If not, be assured they most likely have been received, with appreciation.

Blessings,

xxxxestwwg - Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
hi
i hope i enjoy my stay here


pls be nice to me

thanks!

confidential to DoD - Monday, January 24th, 2011
I see that your scanners have finally found THE WIRE SONG and the portfolio entry for the amusing and amazing Mathemetician/Neuroscientist/Physician whose initial web site I created.

If your analysts are typical of those I am more intimately familiar with, then you are possibly assuming my ideas stem from that illustrious man's. Be assured they do not. They are mine own alone. They are insights that come through my personal instrument that is my brain and my body -- the very one being squandered by some of the lurkers on this forum and on nine3 generally, including some of the most illustrious supercomputing and aerospace entities in the known universe.

It is really quite amazing to be me, to be here in this moment and realizing how not only that my "concepts.html" and the corollary discussions about it here, plus the sacred erotic of the tao that link us to our binary being, but also the simple dialogs of HARRIER ANGEL -- my rock remedy for the re generation -- also have so very much to offer to the fundamental humanity of these exalted scholars and professionals.

I hope you are following my web traffic (which is public, so if you are so smart and it matters that much to you you can certainly find for yourselves) so that you may observe, as I do, the depth and range of the truths I have discovered about (for example) plausible deniability -- how that cherished yet poisonous tree saps moral fiber and depletes one's stock of merit. Ho, mon dieu, I would not want to be you.

I publish these insights here for the benefit of our species. Surely you must have observed how partisans on both sides of the global conflict mine the metaphysical precious metals of these insights.

And to you who are on the side of capitalists who profess to both buy and sell in fact blunder in plundering me in attempting to develop the nuggets you have derived here for your own profit alone. Do you truly believe that accessing it through the back end of a pornography site in a foreign country (among the many proxies dispensing nine3 regularly without any benefit whatsoever to the progenitor of these ideas you plumb and suss and "collaborate" upon with colleagues, not including me) will not dim your vision?

You would like the scene in HARRIER ANGEL where it says, "Doesn't it feel good to give credit where credit is due, how now that makes you so much more than the thief you often were, to become a paying customer."

One of the great things about music is how emphasis can be drawn out along a melodic line and cause lines like that one, that have let us say idiosyncracies of scansion to nevertheless fall in perfect rhymes! As opposed to the more demanding and difficult requirements of (the classical definition of) poetry, I love that about lyrics.
It LALLA!
y'r l'tl' xto

I hope

Who is doing it? - Friday, January 21st, 2011
Someone please let me know what this is about. I am aware that there are proxy servers addressed via "Guestbook-to-Wisteria" -- at least I have assumed that's what's going on because I've identified at least one of the proxies. But what kind of hacks are you experiencing? Is there some kind of other content being delivered to people wishing to read this blog?

I would truly appreciate enlightenment, including suggestions about what I can do about it.

I have a workaround in mind, which I will implement asap, however I am on deadline and cannot attend to it at this very moment.

Thanks for understanding.

Game Marketing - Friday, January 21st, 2011
Because of various cultural elements that a specific to a place or territory, a video game which is considered completely problem-free in one region could be rejected as unacceptable once released in a new territory. Such issues highlight why video game localization - unlike mere translation- is necessary for games.

However one seemingly simple yet relatively deep and complicated question has always bothered me: when does the "localization" of content stop being "localization" and turn into full-on "censorship"? And is that something one should accept?

In order to illustrate my thoughts, I'll use the newest installment in the Yakuza series. Yakuza 3 - an imported Japanese PlayStation game - was recently released in the US. A lot of gamers complained because some scenes and important elements of the games where changed when the game made it to US.

Now the question is: do all of these elements actually required to be changed? Isn't that just based on a stereotype that American gamers tend to be more religious and concerned about nudity and violence? Gamers were most likely expecting something different after reading about the game in specialized media

Most of gamers are reasonable adults who just want to enjoy the game as it is, instead of playing an edited, censored version of it. So please, developers, think of gamers first when you are localizing your games.

Game translation is not censorship and should be adapted to players in a certain territory.

Playtime - Thursday, January 20th, 2011
For children, play often involves, besides the nervous consumption even the simplest games, and exercise, unlike adults where it is missing altogether. We often see children playing football, cycling or walking in and not playing backgammon or chess on a bench in a quiet place as adults usually do.
Some games are difficult, others are simple. Depending on age and ability of understanding and action, children show different preferences for the game, the passing from one stage to another mental development. Your toddler tends to participate in the big games, but often fails to fit the conditions imposed by the game. A child with a stronger personality does not resign, but efforts to cope. The others, with a weaker personality, folds. For older children easy games no interest, because it enables them to train, to exhibit his powers games with their colleagues.

blog sites - Thursday, January 20th, 2011
To me it seems a waste to use blog sites unless there is no alternative. Does it make sense for people who share their thoughts and ideas by writing a journal online should provide this content free of charge to blogger or live journal or word press or any of the others?

OTOH, those groups no doubt have large IT departments that can keep an eye on hackers and protect everyone from their activities.

I deeply regret any troubles my readers may have encountered because of this simple forum. Perhaps I will have to rethink the whole affair.

Johnny2x - Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Stop hack the program!!!

Jews and Cyrus the Great - Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
Interesting comments, thank you for taking the time to share this historical note.

cypePeadync - Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
Judah, one of the 12 tribes of Israel, descended from Judah, who was the fourth son born to Jacob and his first wife, Leah. It is disputed whether the name Judah was originally that of the tribe or the territory it occupied and which was transposed from which.

|After the Israelites took possession of the Promised Land, each was assigned a section of land by Joshua, who had replaced Moses as leader after the latter´s death. The tribe of Judah settled in the region south of Jerusalem and in time became the most powerful and most important tribe. Not only did it produce the great kings David and Solomon but also, it was prophesied, the Messiah would come from among its members. Modern Jews, moreover, trace their lineage to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (absorbed by Judah) or to the tribe, or group, of clans of religious functionaries known as Levites. This situation was brought about by the Assyrian conquest of the Kingdom of Israel in 721 bc, which led to the partial dispersion of the 10 northern tribes and their gradual assimilation by other peoples. (Legends thus refer to them as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.)|The southern Kingdom of Judah thrived until 587/586 bc, when it was overrun by the Babylonians, who carried off many of the inhabitants into exile. When the Persians conquered Babylonia in 538 bc, Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to their homeland, where they soon set to work to replace the magnificent Temple of Jerusalem that the Babylonians had destroyed. The history of the Jews from that time forward is predominantly the history of the tribe of Judah.

86 the potty jokes - Thursday, January 6th, 2011
Assange Live Ser, you are naughty.

L-glutamine - Thursday, December 30th, 2010
I have taken the amino acid L-glutamine for most of my adult life because it improves brain function. It occurs in high concentrations in squid and octopus which I am sure is the reason those cephalopods are so addictive for me. I absolutely crave them. And I take a teaspoon of powdered L-glutamine in my smoothie a few times a week, along with a few other things, primarily lecithin, powdered pomegranate seed and rhodiola rose (all plant-based estrogens which have prevented me ever having hot flashes along with their numerous other advantages) -- by the way, and just in case you happen to be interested.

L-glutamine is a favorite of body builders because it helps to maintain muscle when losing weight, and I believe actually helps to add muscle -- and I suspect bone as well.

To try to get my husband to take this wonderful stuff without subjecting him to the hormones, I also dissolve L-glutamine during the cold phase when making jello. My husband likes jello -- the non-sugar kind -- especially with all manner of fruits suspended in it. Powdered L-glutamine is tasteless and odorless and dissolves nearly instantly in water. It cannot withstand much heat, however, so must be kept cool and used cool.

I tried takine creatine for awhile, but quickly realized it was doing bad things neurologically. I like to economize as a kind of game (when your happiness lies in blowing thousands on musical theater pieces, not to mention hardly ever working at income producing activities when caught up in the magic of it all), but even though the creatine was quite expensive and I had purchased three bottles to get started with it, I threw it all away including two unopened bottles, after trying it for about a week. It seemed likely to bring on something really bad, perhaps a stroke. If you find that supplement interesting, do please be very careful with it.

On the subject of musical theater pieces, take a look at the video and enjoy the vocal performance of Lia Macrina singing "Cry Me A River" at
nine3.com/Lia_Cry_Me_A_River.html
She's a great vocalist, and also happened to perform my "Nicole" from THE RAZZ, a little film of which I am uploading to youtube.com as we speak. The latter is a bit more elaborate and nearly a gig in which would eat most of the remaining space on my server. But I will send you a URL as soon as it is functioning and let you see what you think of it.

Ciao for now, bambini.

Until later,

Failure to yield right of way - Thursday, December 30th, 2010
I believe there are but two incidents staining my driving record, and both happen to concern this very subject.

I believe a straight interpretation would find you at fault. My mother-in-law failed her first drivers test because a gentleman stopped and beckoned her to go ahead. If someone willingly yields their right of way out of politeness there should be no wrongdoing, but perhaps the testing person was hard on her becaused he wanted to stress the need to cede. The family teased her about it forever after, and she never stopped bristling -- at the initial injustice and the teasing. Presumably no one had ever failed a driving test before. Anyway, she wasn't Italian, and I suspect that was the main problem.

The first time this happened to me, I was fortunate enough to be hit by a young woman who had an assortment of unpaid parking tickets strewn about on the front seat of her car. I believe the officer ticketed her instead of me in an act of vindictiveness.

However I was not so lucky the second time. A young woman was getting to be late for work and was letting her boyfriend drive her car. It was a real traffic tangle by the Boston University bridge in Cambridge, in case you know this area. I was turning left, a man let the traffic open up enough for me to get through since my passing through wouldn't be contributing to the jam but alleviating it.

However, tthe young man with the nasty girlfriend, from three cars back, saw the opening but not the reason for it, and attempted to jump the line and insert himself in the spot I happened to be emerging from. I stopped short and actually did not feel an impact at all, and there was no damage of any kind. But the young woman insisted it was an incident.

In Massachusetts in such minor cases it isn't necessary to involve the police. You just trade information and file your own police reports if you so choose. But I should have made them wait for a police officer, as in retrospect I think she might have relented in the interest of getting to work sooner. However I thought I was in the clear legally as it was not I who acted piggishly. I took the quick solution, and the one that let the traffic flow, and regretted it mightily.

The police report I filed got the same result as yours: failure to yield right of way. There was a small fine, but an insurance surcharge for the next five years ended up costing thousands.

I hope it works out for you.

unresaura - Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Good Day

Has anyone ever tried this muscle building supplements? I am looking for opinions on bodybuilding supplements and if you have any imput, please tell me.

Illidgetite - Thursday, December 30th, 2010
I was pulling out of a gas station, and traffic was backed up about 8 automobiles down, a guy was allowing me out of the drive way. I looked both ways as I always do prior to I pulled all the way out. And then out of nowhere a car hit me as I was pulling out in front of the man. The car went around all the other cars on a one lane street, over the double yellow lines I might add, but the police gave me a ticket for "Failure to yield the right of way. Am I at fault? Also I am disputing the ticket but I dont have any witnesses

Rio Grande - Sunday, December 26th, 2010
Hi good morning! Sexually Active Men Stay Healthy, Live Longer!

Medical Jobs - Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn´t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.

iceduchTeen - Saturday, December 18th, 2010
hello!

Beast - Monday, December 13th, 2010
You got it.

cathelda - Monday, December 13th, 2010
So you think that's what I am supposed to do? Flog them?

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Beast - Monday, December 13th, 2010
If you beat them, they will love you more.

That's human beast being for ya! LMAO!!

cathelda - Monday, December 13th, 2010
I concur with Cohen's point, but would offer the secondary point is that those who love to engage in intrigue and power struggles frequently mistake the truly powerful person's kindness for weakness, and are doubly incensed -- even to the point of madness -- when their error is discovered. I happen to be feeling guilty at this very moment because long after the fact, seeing the devastating effects on the scrappers of my inviolability, it occurs to me that it may be much kinder in the long run to fight it out with them, just to be nice. To be forever passing ever more kindness on beasts? Yes, of course. Who am I kidding by even asking the question.

The downside, of course, at least with the human form of beast being, is that the the present struggle is only ever one battle. In cajoling and fighting and intriguing along with the best/worst of them just to keep going with them, the only certainty is there will be another battle coming on the heels of this one and -- win or lose -- ultimately you will have worked worked with people who love you not.

I still believe it will prove better to wait for like-minded souls. Do I not deserve this? And do not those who joined my cause only to take up the reigns of power for the fun of trying to wrest it from me, in failing to have done, deserve their suffering? I mean, it is sad. I am not perfect. I should be able to seize the reins, and rally them to me, that we may enter the even greater fray to come -- the actual horse race, and be done with this petty stumbling. Why have I not done this? Become even more powerful? Is it not permitted to be such a one who doesn't care for that?

Who was it who said, "The real miracle is working together." Henry Ford, I think.

This time . . . So be it!
xocx

Radiant - Monday, December 13th, 2010
"People who know they are powerful do not need to engage in power struggles."
~ Alan Cohen

Tomohon - Monday, December 13th, 2010
hmm interesting.

Thankyou

Tomohon - Monday, December 13th, 2010
nice post. Will Keep reading.

Thankyou

Maine - Sunday, December 12th, 2010
Awesome Blog. I add this Blog to my bookmarks.

Wiethold, I don't know what you are doing - Friday, December 10th, 2010
Thanks for letting me know you attend these sessions. I'm sure you understand why your post would be disallowed, however. No offense, my good fellow.

I think I have already told you, or at least alluded to the fact that, my insights have a source very different from those who practice the math and science trade in commercial undertakings.

I am a poet, inducting rather than deducting, if you will. While it may excite you to contemplate these insights, I cannot be relied upon to deliver their proofs. It simply is not going to happen, though you may benefit from speaking with me or asking questions. I may know things I do not know that I know, a fair and balanced corollary to the fact that (to quote myself in "Duncan's Song") "There are things we do NOT know we do not yet know we do not know." Between the two sides of this equation, we are vibrating strings upon a cosmic bow."

Do you understand? It LALLA, dahlink!
for light life and love,
y'r lit'le cristobal

xto - Friday, December 10th, 2010
One of the most radical facts about democracy -- crucial to democracy yet feared in any system once centralized power becomes entrenched -- is to accept that it must be "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

In the USA we are seeing democracy erode like an avalanche, in exponentially widening realms, because centralized power has become entrenched, and entrenched power fears nothing so much as the genius of the people.

One of the weakest things about democracy is that it relies on the good faith of its citizenry, for the perks and predilections of those reaching the level of governance have conflicts of interest between rank opportunism and faith in the precepts and presups of the genius of the people. And good faith cannot be legislated, as has been so amply demonstrated in the past couple of decades where (to quote myself, in "Sherlock Jones," "the things they say they're doing don't explain what's going down."

I see the United Nations as the prime example of a starry-eyed democratic ideal destroyed by the very structure it embodies. Democracies have always been fragile because the system itself can organize in a way to destroy its own principles. Thus did Saddam Hussein's representative attain a place on the Security Council. The bad guys, lacking good faith, can form coalitions and voting blocks just as anyone else can, and undo the entire package of hope for the empty young dreamers who think everyone is as okay as they. I take heart in another ridiculous enterprise, narrowly averted, that Iran sought a seat on the United Nations's committee on women's rights, and did not succeed. That was a blip on the screen for the newsmakers, but a little bright spot for me.

Without good faith, democracy cannot long survive.

It is a miracle of the US Constititution's checks and balances working as long as they did saw that our nation survived as a democratic republic for more than 300 years. It is the checks and balances that are falling apart now, that up until the most recent elections the US Congress seemed to believe that its purpose was to secure the power of the Administrative branch, rather than to jealously guard its own power (which is what the founders intended, that the three powers of Administration, Legislation and Judiciary should continuously quarrel among themselves and slow the compounding tendency of power. What we are seeing this month is the Legislative branch looking after its own interests after finding out what The People thought about Congress as the lapdog of the President.

In some ways I see Wikileaks has revealed little that can truly shake the foundations of the nation, since what has been revealed so far contains little of long range substance that should be damning to our nation as a whole. IMO what it really shows is how mediocre most of those in the diplomatic corps really are. The level of their exchanges is shockingly simplistic. It reminds me of reading the recently published letters Hilary Clinton wrote as a young woman -- a woman obviously posturing for the ages in the nascent stage of ambitious questing for power. I expected some spark, some insight. Instead they read like most of the Wikileaks material, as the mundane posturing of a dullard.

As for the international maneuvering of diplomacy reflected in Wikileaks, the average MI5 script reads on a level by quantum degrees more advanced. Perhaps diplomatic service is unattractive to smart, clever people of good faith. Or perhaps the corps screens for "the middle" of human intellect? I do not know.

The whole matter does remind me of the effect the youth revolution of the 60's had on Harvard University's selection process for its undergraduate student body.

I believe it was Thomas Wolfe who commented on the brilliantly talented, creative and daring mavericks of the undergraduate at Harvard, comparing them to the graduate students there whom he found to be (I am paraphrasing) dull, arrogant and suspicious of any ideas they have not been told to approve." Wolfe probably wrote this sometime in the 1920's.

Fast forward to the years of my own life.

I remember it as being the very year I entered college (not at Harvard, which I now believe to have been good fortune for my soul if not my pocketbook), at the sunset of the rioting in Harvard Square, that Harvard made a conscious decision in future to select not the most amazingly talented but those who would be easier to control. It was as though the standards used to select graduate students were decided to be ideal for the undergrad student body as well.

In searching the web for the accurate quote paraphrased above, I did not find it. But I found others from this great writer from the flowering period of American civilization that I thought inspiring in the present political climate. I will quote them here, but not before adding one final observation on the Wikileaks era, and the era of the the Greens.

I believe that when the communists of Europe finally saw the sunset of their beloved Marxist estates, ushering in a period of democratic hopefulness for people who had lived for generations with the crushing inanity, mediocrity and bad faith required to carry the most passionate dogma-spouts to the apex of power, those madly mundane souls who believed it the core of intelligence to be able to spout dogma scanned the landscape for their best opportunity to carry forward under the shield of subterfuge and anarchism . . . and they reinvented themselves as Greens. This has made for some wildly divergent bedfellows, as so many good and simple idealistic souls in love with spirituality and feeling good about oneself in the very personal terms of one's private life have adopted Green as the way to become who they are, and in truth they do not know with whom they are sleeping.

Enjoy, you wikis -- wake the fuck up. The Thomas Wolfe quotes I found on the internet do not, I fear, distinguish between the author of "You can't go home again" and the author of "The Electric Kool Aide Acid Test." Now that's a shocker! How did that happen? Well, screw me up, I guess I'm just going to have to go back to reading the books.

See if you can guess which is which. Here are a couple from Amalgamated Thomas:

"Not even the most powerful organs of the press, including Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times, can discover a new artist or certify his work and make it stick. They can only bring you the scores."

"If a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged, a liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."

"The modern picture of the artist began to form: The poor, but free spirit, plebeian but aspiring only to be classless, to cut himself forever free from the bonds of the greedy bourgeoisie, to be whatever the fat burghers feared most, to cross the line wherever they drew it, to look at the world in a way they couldn't see, to be high, live low, stay young forever -- in short, to be the bohemian."

Lorencolib - Friday, December 10th, 2010
Dont touch WIKILEAKS, faked DEMOCRACY!!!
Thank you

I'm sorry. I love you. Please forgive me. Thank you. - Friday, December 3rd, 2010
But as you are hiding in a black hole, I don't know who you are.

I'm sorry if you have been disappointed. I haven't given up at all -- I am here alone in this world where I can keep creating new things, piling them up in the drawer, making my gingerly forays as increasingly well-informed ways, having learned much through experiences that -- as well as they have taught me -- have also taken years, mecessitated material sacrifices, and delivered me disappointments also. These are all things I attempt to convert here, into positives like shared knowledge with those who might try as I am, that they may perhaps avoid some of my mistakes.

I endeavor to explain to my visitors some of the particulars of why it is said that it is "very difficult" (perhaps impossible) for a straightforward person, in good faith and trusting in good faith on the part of those working together -- having created something of acknowledged value and interest -- to succeed in bringing that creation to its audiences.

I do not think anyone outside of the immediate "family" of team members should think they could even begin to guess at specifically to whom, what, when and where the examples given refer.

If you do think you can guess, or do better than guess, at the particulars, then please search "lying in wait" in this forum to consider some of insights I have gained through this journey as to why lying in wait is an error that redounds upon lurker and quarry alike. It is a death trap for creativity, and an obstacle to progress, and the very antithesis of good faith.

In fact as I am thinking about it now I believe what I am trying to address is the same type of error (albeit differing substantially and materially in degree) as that committed through terrorism: they are behaviors where good faith is neither held as a value nor seen as a factor in decision making. Some over-riding idea -- a mental construct, whether it is a religious ideology or a professional modus operandi inherited from schooling -- dictate how the world of that particular pursuit "must be," notwithstanding anything. It is really a profoundly lazy mindset, freeing one of any requirement, at least on the superficial level, for thought, meditation, rumination, cogitation and self examination.

But that freedom from questioning is indeed superficial. On a deeper level, it is fatal to wellness. It is a small wonder that it is a spiralling trend to madness. If an entity so enthralled experiences a physical manifestation of that madness, for example living with such anger and pain that waking finds your hand clenched in a fist and your arm aching from the prolonged dream of readiness to punch someone, then that is actually an improvement in the condition, for at last it is becoming externalized. It is now available to conscious awareness where it may be addressed and corrected.

Of course, this correction is one of those difficult disciplines that one can only do for oneself. This applies to everyone. No one can do it for anyone else.

I'm sorry. I love you. Please forgive me. Thank you.

If it matters very much to you, then come out of the shadows, then we will proceed, then all will be well.

My own ruminations on my experiences bringing HARRIER ANGEL to the light inspired this song, the first written in "The Fin Demonium RAZZ," written in 1995.

"ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE" . . .
Time's the only wage
You're an actor so
You don't have to let
What hurts you show
Now let's see you come through
The scenes it's better when you do.
Someday will find
Place and time
And we'll play head to head
And there will be no questions
No betrayal, no deceit
And no regrets

nine3.com/worldstage.html

Black Hole - Friday, December 3rd, 2010
DELETE THIS POST

Prostate Cancer Symptoms - Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

Thanks for checking in - Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
This seems like a good time to remind visitors that I dearly appreciate your comments. Even though most of them cannot appear here, it is heartening to hear your cheering.

Do you know, I think I may have neglected to ask you to buy the HARRIER ANGEL CD CONCEPT ALBUM -- ! Such "behaviors" are baffling to many who know me, as it is common wisdom that no matter how good you are at something, you will achieve your dreams only through the pursuit of them. I know nothing is ever handed to anyone, if only for the sole reason that however sparkling the gem in the unfiltered wild world, hardly anybody would be expected to see it or even hear of it through the the cacophonous montage that is the world.

I do pursue, you know I do. If not, how would these arts, resident at nine3, exist?

But there is the pursuit that is the progenitor, and this kind is cooking along quite merrily. And then there are all the other kinds of pursuits, that include the live performances, the marketing (holy and unholy) and the endless justifications, explanations, explications, and self defense that must follow and attempt to defuse the outrage of entities who can smell an upstart interloper approaching their turf from miles away and take it like the threat that it is to their own entrenched mediocrity. The whiff of this is the primordial signal to bare malice and savage with fangs. Prepare and beware: The pre-emptive strike awaits the unwitting affront you gave by the act of your mere existence.

But however painful my wounds from these skirmishes, I know these things do not hold here in this little forum. There is little to fear here. Here, e.g., there is no one who is suddenly going to offer me a discount on their services (for which I had contracted at the going rate) in exchange for sexual favors that they suddenly and perhaps in some surprise discovered was interesting them --, and who, in being declined (however gently, as though ignorant of what was being proposed), then trash me as some kind of harridan or demon to the host of their colleagues and employers whose own weaknesses prevent them from realizing that what they are hearing are the subterfuge and lies of wounded machismo, and this prevents them from availing themselves of the very value that could save their radio station from its present trajectory where it can be seen slowly swirling away down some bung hole to oblivion.

Yes, even after more than a couple of years this injustice continues to dog me at this very moment. Yes, I know: it is par for the course in Boston, and just one more example of why it is said by more worldly people that Boston is provincial -- deeply, beanishly odiferously, and narrowly recursively provincial.

For these powers, however precipitously slipping away, believe themselves insightful, savvy and unimpeachable and perhaps may never know that the producer I was so foolish as to hire (even though it was at the behest of my own ally) acted as he did because some unknown while ago he had already had sex with two of the women in my band -- one of whom pushed me repeatedly to make out with the guy, and the other of whom revealed that her experience with him had a "bad aftermath" that, though unspecified, sounded pretty certain to include STDs. The guy probably almost certainly believed it was some kind of sure thing that offering me a $40 discount on my bill would buy him something more (shall we say) intangible (whatever that means, it also would mean my self respect).

But there was never any chance I would have any congress whatsoever with this so-called man outside of that which I had specifically contracted (rehearsal space and recording services), and if any of his colleagues and employers knew the whole story they would doubtless appreciate my position very well, but they never will because none of them will even talk to me.

So this is only one (admittedly circuitous due to a practical need to obfuscate specifics ; ) account of many, many rotten experiences I have had when trying to get something done in the world outside of my own head. Once one of the heinous fiends (whose lieutenant let me know I should go up to the big man's hotel room) landed in jail a couple of years later. Another time one of them landed in jail at least five years later. And then there was the man in Nashville who (I believe I may have already told you) claimed to have killed someone and never spent a single night in jail.

And so today I acknowledge the very least I can do in this haven of the nine3 guestbook is to ask you for your help. Do, please, download the tracks, better still buy the CD itself.

Please also continue to do -- as I have repeatedly given thanks to you -- continue the kindly words of mouth and recommendations of my forum and my works to your family and friends.

In this you are doing well by me: readership grows, and that too is material -- a gift. Bless you all.

Here is the link to the CD --
nine3.com/PurchaseCD/

HARRIER ANGEL is a "rock remedy for the re generation," and the principles and insights you enjoy discovery here on the forum are embedded in the music and lyrics at a profound and meaningful level. Strong medicine, it took more than four years and $25,000 to create. And yet it sells for less than ten dollars American.

Won't you buy it, please? You'll be glad you did!

blessings, as ev'r,
y'r l'tl' xto, casz vn brun

adderall - Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
this my first post!

arcarge - Friday, November 19th, 2010
I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with most of what you´re saying here and the way you´ve presented it is awesome.

Open image in a new window - Friday, November 19th, 2010
So many visitors have sent greetings like Dakota and arcage that I must take a moment to thank you all for encouragement.

Just as a reminder about the numerous hidden of quasi-hidden aspects to assertions made here, many of the drawings and other images are links and/or animations. To avoid having the site continually sucking bandwidth as you read, most of the animations are set to play a limited number of times. Consequently, by the time you scroll down far enough to see them they may have stopped running. If you want to see all the phases of any of these, just "right click" (or the equivalent) and choose the option to "open image in a new window." There you can see all the phases of the animation, and reload it to replay as many times as needed.

SOLVING FOR PI
Specifically, the mobius strips and the "complete quadrilateral" illustrations can give you cloud cats some major clues about writing infinitely variable yet predictable algorithms on pi with the fairly simple equations demonstrated by the "complete quadrilateral" shown here, which not incidentally also contains / describes the special nine3.com type of nine three configuration.

This is going to free you from needing ever larger arrays of servers for storing your data, children! You will love it.

: )

for light, life, and love,
y'r l'tl' cristobal

Dakota - Thursday, November 18th, 2010
I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with most of what you´re saying here and the way you´ve presented it is awesome.

arcarge - Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
I just book marked your blog on Digg and StumbleUpon.I enjoy reading your commentaries.

Yankee Doodle, a personal fave - Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
A friend writes that her young son just discovered a subtle delight in the song YANKEE DOODLE -- delivered by the word "Macaroni."

That reminds me it's one of my delights, too.

Here's the context.

YANKEE DOODLE's use of "Macaroni" is also a rather subtle insinuation about where the British colonials are getting their muscle: the "pony" they are riding refers to the Italians in the North End of Boston aka The Sons of Liberty, who could be counted on to perform in secret the acts of knavery the Adamses and other bluebloods could never dignify.

A song in UPSIDE DOWNSTAIRS (a Cambridge comedy of manners) carries this one step further by suggesting these proto-English gentlemen yanks (never true puritans ; ) give a wink and a nod to the satisfaction their wives derive in that quarter. The song is "FALLING FOR YOU" -- "With some surprise I realize / That one has to be a Rover / She circles endlessly underfoot / Enough to knock you over / When your brother with a feather in his cap rides out / On a horse called Macaroni, / You suddenly relent, and send out the hound, / Bounding after the pony. "

Yeah, she's a "bitch' : ) he seems to want her anyway, and everyone will be the better if she's content : )

Sure this kind of humor is beyond the pale in new works of today's world, but it's the sort of thing Gilbert and Sullivan do all the time, and audiences still love them madly, so maybe there's a chance for something like this -- given the accurate brand and targeting.

Or so I hope -- the tune is here:
nine3.com/productions/falling4you.html

arcarge - Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
You certainly have some agreeable opinions and views. Your blog provides a fresh look at the subject.

WoWAngelaX - Saturday, November 13th, 2010
This is quite nice post. I would like to see more people posting in such informative way.

PloneeEnfoK - Thursday, November 11th, 2010
Hello

I really like your forum. Greetings!

OC3 - Thursday, November 11th, 2010
I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with most of what you´re saying here and the way you´ve presented it is awesome.

Oslo - Thursday, November 11th, 2010
Great Post. I add this Post to my bookmarks.

Marketing Gilbert and Sullivan in Tenerife - Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
Over the past week I've been foraging for participants in what promises to be a wonderful holiday experience studying and playing Gilbert and Sullivan's "Trial By Jury" and "HMS Pinafore" in Tenerife, Spain.

It's a terrific program, but I must say, it's tough going out there.

A normally very effective way to target those who might be interested would be to meet and greet those studying and playing Gilbert and Sullivan, to get some of them on board for the workshop, and also through their enthusiasm for the subject matter get them excited enough to want to help spread the word. Since I am on the east coast of the USA, and it's a pretty straight shot from here to Tenerife, I have concentrated on groups locally and along the eastern seaboard.

However there seems to be a highly competitive spirit out there for leveraging contacts and preventing those who have not paid the keeper of the keys the appropriate tributes from making the kinds of approaches that used to be pretty facile. I'm finding my efforts stalling every which way I turn and am at a loss to understand what appears to be a pretty high level of provincialism.

Partly I believe my effort may also be experiencing further unintended consequences of the promise of a free and open internet that was so quickly exploited by spammers and other bad guys trying to make money a fraction of a penny at a time by sending out zillions of annoying and even pernicious pitches, and raising the levels of resistance by weakened, saddened and angry people who might otherwise be interested in hearing the pitch. Defensive actions were inevitable and now, compounded by an incredibly weak economy, no one seems to want to allow anything even slightly resembling free and open to have any access whatsoever.

I would very much like to help the Music Amici folks in Tenerife. Musical director Colin Price is a distinguished conductor who recently edited the music of the Savoy operas to enable performances very closely resembling the originals, and he has a full profesional symphony at his disposal in Tenerife. Moreover, not only are Music Amici brilliantly qualified to present a rewarding experience for participants from the strictly artistic point of view, but the accommodations (in a 5-star hotel) and locale (in beautiful Isla de Tenerife, which has everything you could desire culturally from cuisine to architecture to beaches and nightlife -- and is right next door to a geologically very interesting national park on its very own island). These factors will combine to create an experience well beyond the ordinary, and certainly beyond expectations for the kind of cash outlay required. In other words, it's going to be fabulous, and very affordable, and if you haven't decided what to do with your summer holiday I must encourage you to investigate it.

If you click on the image at right, you will be directed to the little pages that I set up for information and downloading the brochure, and from there it's just a click to the producing organization, Music Amici, in Tenerife.

Do, please, give it some thought. Music Amici are even encouraging participants to attend with "an observer" -- which is to say, you could bring someone else who is not planning to immerse themselves in the Gilbert and Sullivan workshop but who can audit as they wish, attend the final performances, and otherwise busy themselves amidst the pleasure of this delightful area. Workshop sessions end at 5:30 p.m. each day to allow everyone to dine, relax and explore.

Confidential to the New York group whose AD seems to think they are better qualified to present such a workshop, "Well, but you are not running one, though, are you?" And, IMO, the Brits offering this event do have the edge here. Not only are their bona fides on a higher plane (being, well, British), but this Tenerife package is far more likely to be a pleasure rather than a stresser like you would get for far greater expense in New York, and you would return to your own life refreshed and invigorated with no lingering questions about whether your luggage will bring some of New York's legenday nasty little parasites into your home ; )

Sorry, I couldn't resist. : ) It's the least the fellow in New York deserves. He took an unmistakably elitist tone and of course mentioned his colleague who had gone to Harvard : ) and even slammed me for referring to myself as "Cass" when the email header says "Cassandra."

"Well, you really threw me off with that," said he, despite the fact I signed my emails "Cass" -- and he said he welcomed my phone call. Well, like all such experiences, one cannot assume it has anything to do with oneself. He probably took it on the chin from some old sod just a little while ago and was spoiling to do the same to someone else. That would be the usual explanation, eh!

But this seems a good time to share my recent insight that all over America, the "snotty stuff" that for so many years gave the ivy brats all the edge over everyone else has become ubiquitous in our culture -- and therefore cannot stand much longer, if indeed it does still help at all even at this pass. After all, it only works if it's exclusive, and now every silly school from Suffolk to Hunter is cranking out people who know those tricks, too.

If you are among those acting like that in the hope it will get you something, allow me to suggest you are going to be needing some new material.

For the good people who love life and their fellow humans, try the sweet people in Tenerife. Their hearts are in the right place, they are doing it for love.

For light, life and love : )
It LALLA! xto

bimollser - Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
Big world hello. Big world hello, Jan. Big world hello, and bay, "Ow-woO00!"

meaning of thrill seeker - Saturday, November 6th, 2010
I´ve been visiting your blog for a while now and I always find a gem in your new posts. Thanks for sharing.

Blestedex - Saturday, November 6th, 2010
The possession of unlimited power will make a despot of almost any man. There is a possible Nero in the gentlest human creature that walks.

Frankfurt - Friday, November 5th, 2010
Very enlightening and beneficial to someone whose been out of the circuit for a long time.

- Lora

Montpelier - Thursday, November 4th, 2010
Hello

I really love forum here. Greetz!

Brazil - Thursday, November 4th, 2010
You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material

Confidential to J in Bel Aire -- now selling by the pound - Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
J, I was responding to the apparently depressed K.S. who despairs about what she sees as limitations imposed on her by femininity. She believes the only way she can win is by being "hot" (which means "fuckable" and nothing else, despite other potential and various component parts that you describe as your personal stock of hotness).

K.S., you might not like it if you had the attention you think you desire. The men who respond to your hotness by rushing at you out of the woodwork are not the good ones. The good ones, if attracted, lay back and possibly appreciate you and are amused by you from afar, or even discreetly place themselves at your disposal and wait for an invitation or an introduction. It's possible they are gentlemen (no guarantees, of course) who by losing self control would think the less of themselves, thus protecting and respecting you. I tried to tell my beautiful younger sister this. I said she should ignore the mashers, make her own choice and her own move towards someone she liked, and thus find a far better person to love. But my sister didn't have the knack for avoiding flatterers. She was a man magnet, and it didn't help that our father gave her a red sports car for her high school graduation present (I got an electric typewriter).

Far better looking than I, and five inches taller, yet I was the one to receive five marriage proposals while she had maybe one -- with only a very few, very bad lovers and two rotten husbands along the way -- and died of cancer at 42, the age of culmination.

The ancients say if you haven't got something going by then, heaven pulls the plug on you. In this case anyway it appears to have been true. Her second husband whom I introduced bedded her the night they met. Ultimately, with the storms of tears and flares of rage that became her most reliable techniques for getting what she wanted from the cads she allowed into her life, she forced him to marry her. In the end, he was angry with me for trying to help her survive the cancer. Sad to say, despite her talent and beauty and the couturier studio she built on Newbury Street (a cash business -- six figures of disposable income from dressing the richest women in Boston) he thought she was a bore and he wanted her dead.

J, I'm not sure why you introduced the idea of the abused here. It seems something of a non sequitur. Perhaps it was merely a useful cliche trotted out on an occasion when actual thought formulation was beyond present intention but the drive to express would not succumb?

I'm more sympathetic than you might imagine to the abused, and I must ask: Have you ever gotten to know any specifically sexually abused girls?

I have -- several. Your characterization of what you think is your appeal has some things in common with their affectations, especially the tinge of the "fuck you" provocateur (inviting a slapdown).

The really ugly taboo many do not know about the abused brand of hottie (at least I have never seen it mentioned in the countless articles and studies I have read) is exactly how the wrong that has been done to them reverberates and is exacerbated through all their relationships, years and years on. The by now familiar canticles of popular journalism will describe the ruined lives without ever specifying what that means.

But here is what is means among those I have known. Without exception, each and every one of these women had moments when they could not resist the temptation to shock, and would say something in a freakishly sudden transformation to the kittenish slut persona (THAT word again) to the effect that she was a better fuck than anyone else. Try having that come out at your elegant dinner party for eight with a nice young man present whom you foolishly believed might be interested in getting to know the "hot" but fatally broken female. I had no idea she would begin discussing her breasts and pudenda at the table. This is but one of the social disasters I entertained in my various acquaintances with women who turned out to have been sexually violated in childhood through incest.

Would I like to have helped them? Yes, and I did try. Most of them went away quietly, usually owing me money (which I was relieved to think meant I would not be hearing from them any more). Was any kind of success (at least by my definition) even remotely possible? No.

I believe there is actually a growing subclass of people (crossing all socio-economic classes) from a society and families accepting incest, suffering addiction, and a host of other deeply destructive ailments, with the abusers and the abused drawn to each other like magnets. An observation that these people lack self respect is not equivalent to "laughing at, mocking, harassing or raping" them and nobody here either suggested or committed any such thing.

Most people simply can do nothing at all that will help, and can only hurt their own relationships unless the attempted intercessions are carefully (probably professionally) conrolled. I'm sorry my brain is polluted with their stories -- e.g., the little girl whose father said of her, "This one is for fun," and passed her around to his buddies and even to his own father, who was the only one she didn't like doing it with, and how years later when he tried to take her again she told everyone in her family what they did to her and went down on her knees loudly praising heaven and praying for deliverance, at which moment he suddenly dropped dead of a heart attack. This woman (a POP agent and amateur singer) wrote a song called "Do Me" that she wanted to record in my studio, an absolutely disgusting song, though not that much worse than the usual hit-hot fare. She often made fun of her "fiance" by imitating him having an orgasm. They fought and fucked constantly, and when he finally broke it off with her she sued him for everything she could get and ruined him both personally and professionally.

The purpose of the cheerleaders at the Lakers game is to excite the men and make them wild with lust. If a few squirrelly little boys laugh at and mock any half-naked girls dancing in public in their bras and panties, that is not equivalent to men disrespecting women. After all they are squirrelly little boys excited and confused by the sensations in their gonads. If anything, it is the women who are disrespecting the children, and rather than hoping to get your boyfriend to repress them you should have taken them out of there. If you disagree you know nothing, not even who you are kidding.

You will not help anyone to rise above the basic animal instinct by repressing sexuality. cf. nine3.com/SacredErotic.html

"She had the audacity to be born beautiful" is "copy" ripped straight out of a fashion spread -- meaningless, trite, absolutely silly and shallow. Extrapolations upon what I must be thinking -- e.g., that I think women don't appreciate attractiveness in males or that I think it's a crime for a woman to dress to impress in whatever way pleases her -- are more of the same.

Why did you spend so much time writing your response (your blogging machine sent me each and every one of the eight edits you made over three hours) and yet fail to remove such reaching? Surely you would not mistake me for someone who could fail to notice the carelessness and absurdity of your assertions, even as you apparently missed noticing that I might be a woman.

K.S.'s sad little dilemma of self hatred is false, self-inflicted, narcissistic, and (compared to many women's real limitations, described earlier in my explanation of what "abuse" means in just one actual case of an abused woman I have known) pretty easily circumvented, however not by anything she will learn from you.

J, there are many other points in your note I would willingly refute but I'm sure this has already antagonized you sufficiently, however unintentionally. I have followed some of your blogs, drawn perhaps by something in common with you because of your early life in a small town and your escape into a bold and daring existence of your own creation.

The final sentence of your latest reads, "Because she is still a fucking human being, and our culture should be smart and progressive enough to recognize that, instead of buying into this idea that the female is responsible for how the male does or does not comport himself." I find this nearly tragically and comically absurd.

"She is still a fucking human being?" Perhaps, but not for long. Like my poor younger sister, hers is not an approach that will see her keeping anybody's interest for long, moreover the harder she works at this tack the more difficult it will be to stay on the receiving end of the acts of fucking that appear to verify, in this ironic grammatical error of your attempted melodrama, that she is a human being.

Well, that's very funny, is it not? Yes, okay -- I know it was a simple emphatic profanity lacing the tone, hotness and style that you think are your very own but in fact bear stark resemblance to the standard pleasure model of a pornographer's fantasy.

But despite the general short sightedness and obsession with self that a person often suffers during the period of re-discovery of self outside a recently dead marriage, surely you will not hold your little boys to the standard an adult male must emulate while a bunch of sluts are pounding tits in their eyes. I would call that cruelty to children.

Now selling by the pound blogger responds - Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Following is the response I got from the Bel Aire woman whose boyfriend provided tickets that plunked their young boys in seats at the Lakers game right in front of the cheerleading squad, which caused the youngsters to squirm and act like little boys, laughing and pointing at the ladies dancing in essentially bras and bikinis. I'll post mine to her immediately following, with apologies for any who may have felt this blog has a g-rated policy. There is some salty language, which is difficult to avoid when discussing "hotness" and what it is that's being sold when girls dance around more than half naked in public. Sorry, too, the posts arrive "at the top of the thread" so unless you scroll down and read the ones below first, you will be reading in reverse order, which is not what I want sometimes but there is nothing this format allows that can change it.

So, anyway, here's what she said in the 8th edit I received : ) The previous seven iterations were not that much different, reflecting changes that appeared to be attempts to make certain things more politically correct.

--=--

Funny. My sister took that picture on her Blackberry during a magazine
shoot. That's why it's blurry.

Oh, okay, so if, say, an abused child doesn't know how to value himself,
then other people don't have to either? WTF? And who are you to decide
how someone 'values' herself (and what difference does that make)?

I enjoy my physicality. Usually I'm in jeans and no makeup, but tomorrow
at a party I am planning to don the silk minidress and killer heels. So
sue me. The hotness is a loser's game only when that's how you choose to
define yourself (or, for that matter, when you allow others to dictate
just what 'hotness' is in the first place -- which is all about
insecurity -- and that of course is not hot. Because confidence is hot.
As is a little bit of 'fuck you' spirit. Just a touch.) I also enjoy my
brains, my talent, my skills as a writer honed through decades of
obsessive reading, hard work and practice. Those things make me hot.
Hotness is a package deal. And hotness is not a crime. It's just not the
*power* that girls are still trained, conditioned, to think that it is,
partly through this idea that female sexuality is so powerful that women
themselves have to protect men against the blinding devastating effects
of it.

By the way, men can also be "hot" and women do enjoy that. Or do you
believe that crap about how the visual just doesn't matter to us &
doesn't turn us on?

Sharon Stone is drop-dead gorgeous in real life, by the way; I've met her
several times & seen her very much up-close. She had the audacity to be
born beautiful. Some people are.

By taking a catty tone, and by referring to women as sluts or not-sluts
or whatever, you're only reinforcing the very paradigm you're trying to
rail against. You should banish the word 'slut' from your vocabulary,
period.

A woman has the right to be hot. She has the right to be sexual. She has
the right to parade around in hot pants and bra tops if she damn well
pleases and not be laughed at, mocked, harassed or raped. Because she is
still a fucking human being, and our culture should be smart and
progressive enough to recognize that, instead of buying into this idea
that the female is responsible for how the male does or does not comport
himself.

And the Laker Girls deserve more damn pay.

All Saints Day - Monday, November 1st, 2010
Hi, I need to change my fb pic, but it's all soul's day and all saints day tomorrow, and my sis Mags died from cancer on this date exactly fifteen years ago, so I'll keep jack a little longer.

On the subject of what was in the water in Pendleton . . .

After my divorce I had a nuclear engineer boyfriend for awhile and when I told him where I grew up, he said, "OMG!" He said we were screwed. By that time David Dallas's mother and a few other people I knew had died from brain tumor, leukemia, etc. and so I wasn't that shocked by the news. I know exactly which sunburn I got did it to me. Anyway it's pretty well known in the professional community that we were nuked. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, folks. I thought you knew.

I got my miserable prognosis when I was 24 years old (squamous cell of the subcutaneous layer, and was told, "If there is anything to be glad about, it's good you got this one because it's very slow growing. You'll probably live between 6 and ten years"). Had been in Boston for just over a year and was on the flagship of all community health plans, Harvard Community Health Plan. Got the distinct impression I was going into the guinea pig pool -- the insurance was paying for everything, and boy did they want to try everything. "But I'm not sick," I said. "Yes, but you will be," said Dr. Joan Goldman (might as well out the beach, eh! I declined the treatment [chemo + radiation] and she kicked me off her patient list, which I guess was only correct). Strangely a few years later I met a woman with whom I became really tight friends kind of suddenly, which isn't that much like me, and it turned out her sig other had the same thing exactly and had been in treatment (which was pretty horrific) for the few years that I had not been in treatment. He died at 35, right in the window they had exxed out for me.

I never went back to the doctors -- have been seen maybe five times in thirty years or so (not counting eye docs and dentists). My approach was to do everything possible with education and natural remedies. My advice is that unless you are actually ill, you should just figure out how to get rid of it naturally or at least keep the symptoms at bay. There is a great deal of information and remedy that is very helpful. It isn't all bad. Sometimes I think the old wives tale about cancer just being the body's regenerative engine run amok (due, "new wives" would said, to toxicity) a correct surmise. The body is genius at healing itself, even if it has to do horrible things like push your cancer into your fetus, etc. If you get to know your own body, you can see what it is doing to heal itself. It's your job to help.

Everyone is terrified of cancer, but what is not known is the extent to which people submit to research programs without really listening closely to what they are telling you is going to happen. See the movie "WIT" if you want to see how witless smart nice funny creative generous kind people can be when a doctor (looking to make a name) asks them to participate in the research.

Oh, I guess somebody's got to do it. Just not me.

mzsftsxu - Sunday, October 31st, 2010
Great Post. I add this Blog to my bookmarks.

Splittail - Saturday, October 30th, 2010
Hi, Derek
Would you mind dropping me a note to let me know how you found that proxy server? Would love to know what's going on, who is contemplating nine3.com from afar
: )
besides Disney, of course who made at least fifty "secret" visits last month. I'd look at this month's raw logs, but it's kind of a PITA for me as I've a few deadlines looming that must take precedence.
Thanks!

ON ANOTHER SUBJECT:
The hotness mama had a great response to the foregoing (Oct. 28 post), and I've written her another, too. Will post asap. I'm kind of worried because she enjoys being provocative yet doesn't seem to appreciate it in others : )

Of course I do not wish to antagonize her. I'm sure she has enough problems, I'm guessing especially in the identity department. At least I certainly did when my first marriage died. that's probably where her obsession with being sexy comes from. Or maybe it's just the LA scene. It must be tough.

But she's bringing up some salient issues I certainly enjoy exploring with her, even at the risk of increasing her pique (which I did raise quite by accident : ).

Stay tuned . . .

yogamatfan - Saturday, October 30th, 2010
Hi, I'm Derek, I'm new. Please tell me if I'm violating any rules and posting in the wrong thread. I just wanted to say hello..
Don't worry, I'm not selling anything.

hotness revisited, now selling by the pound - Thursday, October 28th, 2010
A female friend bemoans the appearance of creases on the backs of her thighs and realizes the party is just about over, i.e., no one will want her any more.

She was responding to a woman who constantly worries about her own hotness factor, while criticizing her new man for failing to instill respect for women in their collection of sons, of which there are several under 12 years of age. This woman, still in her 30's, is a millionaire many times over, and the recently divorced mother of most of the aforementioned sons. The photograph she provides on her blog appears (to this artist's eye) to be heavily modified.

To the complaints of these sad, worried ladies please allow me to reply.

The hottest hostesses "do it" the same way Jerry Lewis avoids messing up his tux: by never sitting down. I mean that is how to avoid the creases on their thighs, of course. You have to get off your own ass if you hope to stop riding tail to the bank.

How can the big male tell the little males to respect the female when he himself has no clue? She values herself by the pound, so how do you think he is going to value her? The shelf life on anyone's personal hotness factor wanes rapidly, but the good news is it's not too late to change the game. By reinventing oneself in non-slut terms, perhaps.

Recent prominent "Sex at 52" (Sharon Stone) and "Sex at 62" (Cybil Shepard) articles bear images of "hot" babes that are so PhotoSchlocked it's just embarrassing, especially in the latter case where any hotness Ms. Shepard maintains are most likely due to the fact that she is a pheromone factory and always seems to look incredibly good when visited in person. The pictures lie, but that's not the story. My guess is her natural perfume overwhelms visual critique, and after the shoot they were horrified at what the pictures looked like. They would never have guessed they could be so wrong. It was all chemical.

This "hotness" you describe is a construct of the pornographic mind. It's the fantasy of arrested development and a game that you as a female even in the short term cannot win. After a certain age, only the deck is stacked.

BTW, the pic here looks pretty heavily processed. In just what market do you think women are, anyhow? As my native American mentor would explain, "Getting up on the rack with the meat, fish and game is a self-fufilling nightmare, Little Splittail."

Greetings! - Thursday, October 28th, 2010
Nothing happened on the full score front, but I did practice the 5 songs I am preparing to be able to present live. It's exactly one set. That's the very least of what I ought to be able to do, right?

And practicing is the best and most satisfying activity, especially when the alternative is breaking my head with 3 part wind/brass harmonies : )

Is it falling into place yet? Oh, OW!!!

Austin River - Thursday, October 28th, 2010
Greetings everyone.

Hi, Henry! - Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
Thanks for your lovely note. It is good to know people understand the ravages slings and arrows psyche may sustain when mining the minefields for truth.

Your praise and thanks soothes a sometimes sorrowing soul -- !

Perhaps with such gestures we in this relationship do serve the god within --, for he is both, the act of you fulfilling through expression the love that you feel AS WELL AS, SIMULTANEOUSLY, my craving need for thanks and praise!

It is a perfect closed system, is love. And even in our little example, very close to what is meant by the three-in-one.

Now if I could just attain to the level where those who love me could also make offerings : ) and I could mount me scenes in the real : )

I really have fine instinct for how to do that. You know, it's just money. Money to pay people to do so many of the tasks that need doing. For those who think trading services in kind can compensate the way that money can, let me assure you it hardly ever works out that way. If going the quid pro quo route, bear in mind: You are really giving it to the universe, as the humans are not going to deliver their end in almost every case : )

This reminds me. I don't think I mentioned that the orchestrator's work on my project was delayed since last summer all the way through to the onset of cold weather, and then it became impossible to host him in my domicile for fear of the unthinkably high expense of burning the furnaces and humidifiers to a level that would sustain his comfort and health?

Last time he was here in October the utilities shot up by hundred$, and that was only for a few days while this visit was projected to be two to three weeks at the very least. I guess it would cost a couple of thousand to have this admittedly brilliant composer and orchestrator fulfill his end of a quid pro quo of longstanding, since he experienced delay after delay in his efforts to make himself do the job (which in is opinion could only be done in my presence).

The apartment where he would be staying has large rooms with high ceilings. The bathroom is also a gym, and has a large open tub and shower. It's great for working up a sweat and then taking a spa, but if you aren't going to get warm from your exercise, it will not be possible for me to get you warm by running the furnace! You may only come in the summer!! Is this reality too harsh to contemplate?

Actually I think now perhaps he believes he is entirely off the hook for this work he has owed me for scandalous ages, more than a decade that found me on numerous occasions working, sometimes for months at a time, advancing his projects.

Yet perhaps I will approach him again in the spring, if I haven't succeeded in getting the orchestrations by then, to see if he will once again say that he is going to do it!

If so, there is a very good likelihood I will ask for a different situation -- perhaps one that does not require me to play the host.

I have seen singers rehearsing in my music room that has been warmed to 70 degrees for their comfort shiver with chill and ask to borrow warm clothing.

I know how that goes. In Florida with J once, it was 85 degrees outside, and a sudden breeze flew through and gave our friend a grip and a chill. He was living in Florida. We were there shopping for a boat, and perhaps the phrase "hardy New Englanders" does apply. We hardly felt the breeze, let alone the freeze. We thought it was nice!

It doesn't matter how warm it is: if there is a chance of a breeze of a lesser thermal description, unless you are tough, you are very likely going to get cold. Maybe you will even get a cold! We don't get those, either.

We here are tough, and after some years of hardening ourselves off now feel content with 50 degrees F, 60 at the most. Already this year, sometimes I arrive in this office to find the temperature in the 40's, and it doesn't seem uncomfortable.

Of course, that is when I am still warm from my bed, hot shower and coffee, and I do turn on the two little warmers that by the time I would be starting to freeze have already brought the temperature to a good 50+ degrees.

Did you like the rhymes? Shouldn't I stop here and build the lyric that goes with it? : )

The point is: we go as cheaply as possible -- how else do you think I would be able to pass these hours writing, practicing, (and now orchestrating) . . . and playing the bonne femme in this enormous house? which in itself requires quite a bit of effort : ) well, okay -- the house is only relatively enormous. But, I fear, really a bit too much house for us, or at least our pocketbook.

Dear John! If he could ever think I love him not, he would be wrong. But I don't think he will think that. I am sure he knows that this disappointment for me at his hands will make no difference after awhile. Pretty soon. Not at the moment, but pretty soon.

a bientot! push me a hope that I will begin orchestrating today. I have been reading about it in various places and following the on-line tutorial from Rimsky-Korsakov's book (search "Garritan Rimsky-Korsakov" and you too can follow this lovely course). But I really should begin. It was student conductor of our orchestra in school! One thing I know is that is isn't brain science. It's just art. Anything that can be made to work will work.

I know a few of those reading this will be smacking their lips with satisfaction, believing what I am saying is proving them right: that in fact I am not a composer and should long ago have submitted to requisites to assign the writing credit on my music to those who will write the orchestrations. To them I say, search "Stephen Schwartz" and "orchestration" and you will doubtless find that he, even he, says, "Just write your songs in whatever way is needed for making the demos. You don't worry about the orchestrations until you have a production." Confidential to M: I daresay you do not assert that Stephen Schwartz is not the composer of his works, so why say that of me?

But anyway, maybe now I'm going to be the orchestrator after all -- just not if I can help it! I'm sure I will continue to try to get someone else to do it! Still, here I begin. Doing two opposites, simultaneously. That's why they laugh when they say, "It LALLA!" It is a joke.

xo, xto

adult dating - Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
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- Henry

Amber Kelps - Monday, October 25th, 2010
Hello everyone...looking forward to using this site!

Sir DD - Sunday, October 24th, 2010
Great blog! Please continue the informative entries.

very funny, you Swedes - Thursday, October 21st, 2010
thanks for showing me the proxy
: )

I don't really blame you. I know you have your reasons. But how about recommending me for a job at Lincoln Labs? Those guys can't be that intimidated by me person : ). I hear they are looking for a couple of artists, and appear to be perfectly well qualified. Really.

London - Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
U can see it. It is following the earth's own geometry. That is key.

stuck on rewind - Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
I love you guys, and that's why I keep putting these insights out there, even though some of the biggest and most influential interests lurking here steal freely, apparently without remorse.

guestbook - to - wisteria: "jump to proxy" -- you think I don't see it?

That's the most painful example.

There are plenty of others: those who wait for these posts with bated imaginings, refusing even the fundamental connection between your own binary code addressing you through the power of your pulse (which is of course secondary to the breath of life that caused you to "become" a living soul), choosing instead your darkness that is the fear that this site is "pornographic."

To you alone -- and not at all to my dear friends who understand me -- I send you my lamentations for your sorry state. Even as you seek with as much ardor as your dissipated state can muster, you cannot advance. You can only go back.

The Sacred Erotic pages of nine3 are your salvation. You who are men, stop ejaculating so compulsively! Practice the deer exercise for men, and do not succumb to the easy release of rising passion but learn what continence means to the pathway of injaculation: it means everything.

The mere fact that the methods involve genitalia must not lead you to conclusions that you are to be encouraged in pornographic fantasies. If, for example, your brain is sick with rape fantasies and worse, start counting! Preferably by nines, with the algorithm of holding and releasing that I have given you so many times in these explanations. Thus you circumvent your death.

To those who are longing to hear a new voice but who encounter here the essays on the sacred erotic and react immediately with a rejection of that voice because of your own erroneous presuppositions, it is you who are truly stuck on rewind.

All your thoughts are unwise.

I know there are many who understand the relationship between your own unseparated part, i.e., "the god within," and see immediately the simple yet profound clarity of sexadecimal counting -- and here I would like specifically to applaud the cloud computing engineers who are getting closer and closer every day to understanding what is meant when it is said in the ancient texts that the whole universe can be seen reflected in the surface of a pearl . . .

I see you every day. Thank you sincerely for your efforts!

Teach these techniques to your children. As easy it is for you who "conceive:can see," their little brains will grasp the truth of it even more readily, and run with it. Then they will make the deserts bloom. The earth's own water and the salt that is in it will prove all that is needed for the next step. Return to the garden. "Return to the state of the uncarved block." It is already here, waiting for you.

Birmingham - Saturday, October 16th, 2010
Hi Folks

Just thought I'd post to say hi. I've been a lurker on here for a while and as a natural introvert, I thought it was time to "man-up" and make myself known.

Anyway, hopefully I can add some value on here and don't get flamed too badly ;-)

Thanks
Cannon Fodder :-)

Braunschweigers - Friday, October 8th, 2010
Wegehts, you krauts. You finally found me : )

For those who don't know me, I am addressing my relatives from a world gone by, before Grandfather Friedrich Wilhelm Hardwig Ludwig Leopold von B (not a first son) was expelled from homeland and family and came to fend for himself in the USA.

Today I see these long lost relatives have been searching for me.

How many times I "dreamed" I am he, from one of my first memories when I was small enough to remember things I did not know. I had gone in search in my parents's closet for a magnificent toy bear hidden from me there because I had done something wrong and been punished by having it taken away. My family were poor, and though we children wre constantly reminded there was no money for anything, still somehow we didn't know it. What for some reason I did know, at that moment, was that my prize possession had been taken from me and hidden by my parents in their closet. But I was confused for some reason, remembering a deprivation not from this but from another life.

The house was small and crowded with our family of nine, ten or even eleven people depending on whether it was a period when my grandmother or my uncle, and sometimes both, also lived with us.

I don't know exactly how old I was, only that I was very small. The reason I know this is that there was a nail sticking out of the closet door frame, and in my haste to visit my bear I struck my left temple on the nail as I ran by. I remember the shattering pain, awareness that I may have seriously injured myself, and what it felt like to lose consciousness in a sea of agony. I thought I was dying. Even very young creatures have the awareness of such things, when it appears life it about to be taken from them.

I dreamed a whole world then. Perhaps it was the equivalent of life flashing before my eyes, and since I was probably less than two years old at the time the meaningful episodes of my existence would probably have occurred before my current birth.

I dreamed of a paddock and many wonderful horses, of a large house and many wonderful rooms and toys, and my mother and father who were lovely and very handsome in their elegant clothes. I was happy, and running and running and running about my fabulous business, in a world that belonged to me.

As the agony returned to flood my senses, I began to awaken to a world dark with bitterness and loss. I was alone in a heap of clothing strewn on the floor of my parents's closet. I didn't even bother to go to the back of the closet to see if the bear were there. I knew it was not. I remembered that this now was not that one. I was crying, not bawling like a baby. Just weeping quietly as anyone might at the profound realization of such loss.

I pulled myself together and struggled to my feet. The nail that had struck me down was at my eye level, and I touched my left temple and felt the painful raised stripe of the abrasion. It was perhaps my seminal injury, one that in some way dictated all the other head injuries later sustained, one after the other, some out of mere recklessness or carelessness on my part and some "accidental" but bringing such experiences and revelations as I would suspect on some level a larger hand dealt the blows that one by one in their long sequence formed the conduit that would define my path to self awareness. Some of these injuries I truly believed had fallen at the exact moment and on the exact spot of my person that was absolutely necessary to my development. I will detail some of these at a later time.

But my thoughts at that particular awakening I recall verbatum to this very day. My thoughts then were clear and rational and noticeably, even to a small child, not the thoughts of a child. My brain said to me, with a matter of factness only slightly tinged with assimilated bitter sadness, "There is no wonderful bear here. That is all gone, you are now living in this dump!

"And you're a girl!" That was a truly hateful thought, but then my brain said, "Oh, well. You should be able to cope with that. Women have a lot of natural advantages. Besides, by the time you are grown up women will be able to do anything they want, just like a man.

"But SHE is your mother!! Oh, my God!"

I must have appeared very ill because even in the chaos that was our domestic life my condition drew the attention of my family. They were not often motivated to take notice of me. Perhaps it was the cut on my temple that did it.

I believe I have told you how low my status was in our family, being the second daughter born, the third child -- after my brother, the eldest conceived though not born out of wedlock, who even though he carried our father's name resided perhaps even lower than I in the chain of our collective being because of the perversity of European social order living on in our house that somehow deprived him of full legitimacy and drove our father to demand ever more pregnancies from our mother because he had to have "his boy." I don't remember an occasion when this was overt, but we all knew it, as four times daughter after daughter was born until at last she presented him with another son.

How we prayed for that second son, elevated to the top rank by an accident of an incorrect, late, wedding day! How well I remember each night our prayers, first the traditional, general plea, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep. But if I die before I wake, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take," followed by the personal, "God bless Mommy and Daddy and Grandma, and please make Mommy's new baby be a baby boy so she won't have to get pregnant any more."

Working full time as a nurse, for what seemed a lifetime, our mother cried each time she became pregnant, and continued crying each day as she vomitted with her morning sickness saying, "Oh my God, what am I going to do?" I felt so bad for her that I disliked my father for making her have more babies, for what seemed like the longest time, girls upon girls, until finally another son was born.

Actually it was less than six years after my birth that the correct son was duly presented. Six years seems a very long time when you are young.

Then there was an accidental pregnancy, another time of the world that saw us praying night after night that she would give birth to a boy. And this she did. There had been multiple miscarriages and one full term still birth in the between times, but at last our family was complete at seven children, three boys and four girls.

But I have digressed! I meant only to say that the injury to my temple was noticed, and the offending nail pulled out of the door frame. I visited the little hole that nail left, many times, remembering my memory of the magnificent bear and the strange dream from the nail, and the even stranger thoughts of my brain upon returning to my conscious state, so that by the time we moved out of that little house to our big house in town, when I was nine, I was very keenly astounded at how small I had to have been to be struck in the temple by the nail that had lived in that little hole, because it was only a little over two feet from the floor.

Thank you, friends - Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
I appreciate your comments.

blue dolphin, this seems like a good time to mention the forum is moderated. Many attempts to post don't make it through, for a variety of reasons.

Guess the reason it has to be this way is pretty obvious ; )

Don't worry, I still like taking risks, just not the kind that allow people to embed php code that could crack open my server or some of the other clever things I've seen attempted : )

Submit Form - Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
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- Laura

gift mouse - Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
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blue dolphin 11 - Sunday, October 3rd, 2010
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Axum - Thursday, September 30th, 2010
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Casino Club - Monday, September 27th, 2010
excellent points and the details are more specific than somewhere else, thanks.

- Norman

Hey, Copenhagen - Sunday, September 19th, 2010
Why don't you send me email and we can talk?

xto - Thursday, September 16th, 2010
The foregoing is an exchange cross posted from fb.

Isabel's voice to me sounds like the love song of the female genius. She is a remarkable person, very popular among her many friends, and I'm so glad to have made her acquainance.

Dearest Isabel, thank you for your gracious acknowledgment. I have been away for a couple of days and feared this thread might have disappeared down the fb bunnyhole before I would get a chance to respond.
My own experience validates entirely what you have said about the means and methods of "humiliation, denigration, exclusion, slander and even character assassination" -- these scandals I consider to be sibling rivalry mishandled. By extension they reach down the ages in the history of that branch of the human race as it descended through the line of Abraham, does it not?
I am so glad you enjoyed THE ONION RAG. xo, in cristo

Isabel - Thursday, September 16th, 2010
Whatever it is dear friend Cass it is hoped that it is effective enough to reach some dumbed down sheeple. Those who continue to slaughter the innocents do not give a tainker's damn what any of us has to say. for the moment, they have the power. But Karmic Law cannot be changed and sooner or later it comes down on everyone here on this planet. Why should I or anyone take offense? To have accomplished what I have done in the world, I needed very thick skin to fend off attempts at humiliation, denigration, exclusion, slander and even character assassination - not by adversaries or friends but by relatives and blood kin. The forces of evil have not prevailed upon my person. Those who would readily betray you for less than thirty pieces of silver. are usually your relatives.
I thoroughy enjoyed The Onion. Love your melodious voice and the aphoroisms contained therein. And I must say the humor is very profound. Much Love.

the onion rag again - Monday, September 13th, 2010
A friend recommended an article in THE ONION, giving voice to "God," and I responded, "What cheek!"

She said, "More than cheeky I find it is an ironic way of stating the obvious which many humans have forgotten.'Thou shalt not kill.' It was not meant to be disrespectful. God /Cosmic Forces are in a stae of rightful ire."

So here I will say more.

It is sarcasm, which differs from irony in ways in which I am certain you needn't be instructed. Mass psychosis is what is in a state of ire -- happily or regrettably, depending on individual proclivities. You, quoting Akhnaton this very day, must on some level know that the cosmic is a set of laws -- as it says on the wall of the pyramid of the sun king, "The 42 laws of god which are god."

Until recently our science had not reached the stage when these can be understood except in terms of the metaphors of various cultures that enabled the barbarians of those particular regions to begin to grow civilizations wherein it would be possible for self-realization to occur for more than an insignificant part of humanity. We are in a moment of great change, but change most likely resembling not at all what those so fearful of change envision. I believe it will be the marriage of physics and metaphysics. What is practiced today as various religious dogmas will join the rest of the pantheon of anthropomorphic figures and fables of literature and mythology: beautiful, perhaps meaningful, and emotionally charged methods to guide souls in the absence of factual understanding of how the universe operates.

The hyper-emotionalism of those espousing organized religions's sentiments is the fruit of same chicanery and manipulations for political gains as seen again and again over aeons. Since, to quote Cyndi Lauper, "confusion is nothing new : ) is should be easily recognized by reasonable people. In times past it explained why people were cautious about pronouncing on "morals" (as they used to say in the 60's, "Did you ever notice those who talk about morals are the ones who have none?") and kept their heads covered and quaked and shook at the utterance of "His Name." But those times are not now, and instead we are witness to mass insanity resulting from the profligate manipulations of these principles. I believe the virulence of the current epidemic to be a combination of "millennial fever" and the timely application of strategies of contending natural political forces, long lying in wait and now rolling out into "play."

Whether individuals buy into this is a personal choice. It isn't "real" but the carnage is.

A fine example of true irony in the current madness redounds to the very subject of the Onion's shamefully ignorant screed, which must have taken all of ten minutes for some nincompoop to poop: "Thou shalt not kill." Details would be tangential to my point here, however, and moreover might run roughshod over readers' ideas of what pious people think ""God" means by this, since we and all of nature by definition in "His" food chain. And I have run overtime here as it is.

I do apologize if this offends. It was not written to do injury. Please visit "The Onion Rag" at nine3.com/onion.html
In it I sing the A flat above high C, the highest note I have ever used in a song : )

xto - Monday, September 13th, 2010
Here you go . . . for you, Lazybones, who wouldn't bother to corral all the corrollaries ; )
and so struggle along with disparate parts, trying to realize what it is that is being given to you here : )

For you I have put these drawings all in one place, even though you could have done that much yourself
: )

Wake up, Lazybones. Multi-dimensional Mind is calling. "The Way Is Easy and Fun."

In the past we have had such cognitive difficulties with calculation that we could not do without the zero, but now in the digital age we know zero is just another number and it does have exactly the same unit value as all the other numbers in any given system, and on the whole introduces a mental stumbling block if we take it as "cypher" yet include it in our system. Therefore I have given you the asymptote drawing, along with all the other pieces (well, there may be one or two I have to deliver ; )
to help you conceptualize how easy it will be for just the average human intelligence to learn to calculate in this new way, without the zero.

That is why we say, "Down cyper, null set, uncertainty . . . yours is to do or to die!"

Thanks for your interest! You can do it.

And, please, you must not forget, dear Lazybones, (this means you, M) that your ability to arrange these notes and these melodies will never mean that they are yours, to your own credit, and something for which you may demand royalty.

Accept this, darling: iamb their author
: )

&
IT LALLA!!
for light, life and love,
y'r l'tl' xto

Copenhagen - Monday, September 13th, 2010
So you are in DK and your server is in SE? interesting.
Thanks for the tip, look forward to connecting.

fliplespine - Sunday, September 12th, 2010
Nice site

breakfast - Saturday, September 11th, 2010
i have been following this blog for some time now, good job by the way

Hetelakytem - Friday, September 10th, 2010
Hi, you really have a nice website.

xto - Friday, September 10th, 2010
The Tao mentions the uselessness of visualization "in certain operations" because the human brain is far too slow to affect the changes in these energies, which they say by far exceeds the speed of light.

Our understanding of physics and laws of motions are advancing exponentially. Think of the crazy eight, infinity, like two bubbles rolling along eachothers' surfaces. The reflection of the thing is also the thing itself : ) Like the roiling rainbows we see in the soap film. The point of exchange (of information) between the thing and its non-thingness may resemble a split mobius strip, which has numerous ways for information to travel simultaneously without various date streams interfering with eachother

Look at this figure, a projector, using a nine three configuration where two or even three of the known quantities reside at infinity --
nine3.com/guestbook/images/CompleteQuadrilateral.gif

casz - Thursday, September 9th, 2010
There are always so many practical considerations in the end it hardly matters. I am excited that John is taking on the orchestration of THE RAZZ, incidentally for exactly a 30-piece orchestra yet scalable to a cabaret-size group, and I think he's deserving of plenty of credit for what he's doing. From now on THE RAZZ will credit "Music by Cass and John" because John is a great "composer" and the depth and detail his orchestrations will bring to this piece will I am sure be of inestimable value to the melodies and chord changes of a "songwriter" who is glad indeed to escape the requirement of laboring over the score. In truth, I baulk. I simply cannot make myself do it any more for fear of relapsing to the world of the jar, for always far too quickly and eagerly did my intellect begin looking at the music in those very interesting and structured ways rather than simply transcribing what was coming through to me from someplace where it seemed indeed it already existed.

What else matters? And how else am I going to get the orchestrations? : ) Why would I go to the trouble to find someone I know much less well, when I can work with John whom I know very well and in whom I have every confidence. He has promised to make a quick job of it and not break his head doing every single thing in that world that could ever be done to these songs. The situation simply doesn't require it. The songs and indeed the piece itself were inspired more or less by "Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well . . . "

It would make little sense for John to dig deep and bring out the Bartok in it, e.g., who was also writing European folk songs (in a manner of speaking ; )

But these melodies are simple and straightforward with perhaps a few unusual chords that thrum the heartstrings unexpectedly. None of it will become more wonderful through making them complex and circumscissile ; )

Thanks for the memories. However a lot of things went into my abandonment of music for twenty years, not just the need to find my voice. Maybe I would have found it somehow, and at a younger age. But the music industry I attempted to enter at the age of nineteen (that looked and felt like it could easily be the end of me -- not just the end of "my" music, but the end of "my self itself") was as least as big a factor as my own inability to get my head out of the jar of formal training.

I've always loved Dante Pavone, ever since my first lessons with him back in . . . was it 1989?

His studio in the South End was a wonderful place to sing. With a doctorate in physiology from the conservatory in Milan, he said he was the first voice teacher to apply classical techniques to the needs of contemporary and pop vocalists. Whenever a young vocalist tells me their voice becomes fatiqued and hoarse from a tough gig, I think I would like to teach them a thing or two from Dante's book. His methods allow contemporary vocalists to sing even with great volume and power without tiring or hurting the voice. I think he had a great influence on what is today a very robust group of excellent contemporary vocal artists.

Among other things, he also said, "Keep practicing. You'll be so good they can't ignore you."

xto - Thursday, September 9th, 2010
The next time M suggests you are not the actual writer of your work because you have not done, and indeed are not wholly capable of, arranging & creating the full score for a 30-piece orchestra, and that in fact the one who does this should be acknowledged as the real writer of your material . . .

you should say something like Vasari wrote about sculptors but applies across the board to artists of any stripe:
" . . . despite the diligent efforts which endow beautiful figures . . . with the essential elements of art, they could not they could not quickly achieve the finish and certainty they lacked, since study produces a dryness of style when it is pursued in this way as an end in itself."

I remember you said something very much like this about the time you turned your back on music for twenty years. Remember? : )

You said you were trapped by your formal training and couldn't find your own voice.

Now your songs have that finish and certainty -- Dante Pavone used to say your songs have "integrity" -- even though they may lack formal rendering.

Hi, Pamela - Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
You sound like a nice person. I am curious to know if you have any idea why your message comes from a server in Israel? That is odd.

Thanks.

AngelCutieinTampa - Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Hello Everybody,

My name is Pamela Watson and i live in Tampa, FL. I teach 9th grade math and im 39 years old. I've been married for 12 years and have 2 wonderful children.
Anyway, i am glad I found this great place and just wanted to say hi and I hope to meet a lot of you and contribute
as much as I can. Have a great day.

Best Wishes,
Pamela

casz - Monday, September 6th, 2010
Thanks. The site is handbuilt, without templates of any kind : )

The funny thing about html is that back before desktop computing and the web, when computers were big and expensive, there were machines dedicated to typesetting.

When the first wysiwyg ("what you see if what you get" i.e., graphic interface) machines arrived on the desktop, some of the first best machines came out of a company called AGFA COMPUGRAPHIC providing machines for typesetters using a program called PowerPage.

I had one of those systems back when Nine3 was called "Cristobal designs." The machines were dual core with a counting keyboard which gave the ability to build what we now call "macros" only better because you could leave gaps in dynamic info by inserting something called a "data key" which could be filled in with the changing information, whereupon you could trigger the next group of commands in the program string to then "burst" the next segment of code into the line until it hit the next data key, whereupon it would wait for the next bit of changing information. PowerPage also had what we now call CSS, divs and a very powerful search and replace feature with which you could build as tables of any length for globally massaging data. And there were many other powerful and much more logical ways to do other things, too numerous to detail here.

Apple Inc. formed a partnership with Agfa Compugraphic to build the Apple Lisa.

Apple basically robbed Agfa and ran off with the goodies they buddied up in order to learn about. When big bad old Microsoft came along with what a lot of people considered bullying and dirty tricks for pressing their advantages, much of it used against Apple were nasty things learned from Apple itself, tricks Apple had used to ice Agfa out of the desktop graphic design business, but by quantum degrees more onerous -- sleazy practices different in scale but not of kind.

About ten years later when the web came out for the masses thanks to the ability of html to structure data for visual presentation, my business partner at the time was an MIT PhD who thought he was some pretty hot stuff "programming" web pages in html. When it came time for me to sit down to it, he was pretty astounded that I seemed already to know how to do it. That's because html was really PowerPage, dumbed down a little because we no longer had the dual processor and the counting keyboard (the latter of which arguably we still do not have . . .).

The funny thing was back in the day no one called PowerPage users "programmers."

Cascading Style Sheets didn't really catch on back in those days -- it was a cute idea that ultimately usually ended up taking more time and causing more confusion than it was worth because people began to believe it was okay to assume certain things at a much higher level than had ever felt safe in the past. Proofreaders disappeared, even editors have now largely disappeared. The person who used to do the typesetting became, in addition to typesetter, the graphic designer, proofreader, editor and sometimes even the writer.

The history of this period has much insight to offer on how we arrived at the current decrepit state of literature and language. Last week, for example, I received in the mail a rather slick and undoubtedly expensively printed (full color, nice coated paper, etc.) for a politician who, on the cover in large display type, promised to "reign in" government spending!

That reminds me of the old Firesign Theater gag about settling the old west when the priests come to the villages of Native Americans and sprinkles holy water all around, saying, "Domini domini domini, you're all Catholics now."

Only at the end of the 20th century, when desktop took over the publishing industry, they spoke to the hierarchy of professionals in the newspapers and publishing houses throughout the world, and bestowed their great mixed blessing, thus, "Domini domini domini, you're all typesetters now."

Fareox6 - Monday, September 6th, 2010
how's things, Awesome website that you have here.

Love the layout, do you mind telling where you brought the template from?

All the best

Factoringsn - Sunday, September 5th, 2010
great stuff gotta love it when you're lost

Marshall Islands|Kwajalein,Majuro - Saturday, September 4th, 2010
hey great thing we have going on here, hah

sayonara sista - Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Thanks to everyone for your encouragement. So many posts along the lines of the shorts appearing below came in that it didn't seem prudent to publish all of them. If your notes do not appear at this time, please know they are nonetheless very welcome.

I spoke recently with a distinguished medical doctor of a grand age (84 years, a psychiatrist still active in his profession) who is seeking ways to enhance quality of life through the Tao. He had visited nine3.com and said, "The Taoist Secret of the Golden Flower taken from your unusual website, nine3.com,爓ith its1999 explanation about prostate massage, ejaculation/injaculation, the Lion, Deer Exercise, etc.爄s truly new & amazing . . ."

He had many questions, mostly pertaining -- perhaps not surprisingly, since he is a psychiatrist -- to my own story and how I come to write these posts, as well as the music and lyrics, and conceive and execute the rest of the ideas here. I got to ask him questions, also, and his responses were convivial and detailed. It was truly exciting to make the acquaintance of this gentleman, and thoughts of our conversation and what else we could talk about energized my thinking for the rest of the afternoon.

He is particularly interested in Tao, and wanted to know my progress toward this creative state I by some miracle appear to inhabit. He wanted to know specifically how I had thought of the title HARRIER ANGEL, where the idea for the rainbow-driven heart art came from, and other things. In all candor I had to admit, "It just jumped into my head, or off my hands is more accurate. I often say my brains are in my hands. That's where these things really come from." It's true. Remember the inscription in the old books, "Caxton did it?" It was the fifteenth century printer's signature. In the present case, you could say, "The digits did it."

It occurred to me that perhaps these musings are stories you would enjoy, so today I write freely with this in mind.

Among other wonderful things about the Tao, I find I CHING a very reassuring voice of wisdom that proves the Great Undivided One is truly alive in my world. Whenever I address the tome, invariably its responses match with great specificity the circumstances I question. I'm sure my new friend, whom I shall henceforth refer to as "Doc," would be interested, and so may you all, in the hexagrams I recently received, so I have posted it at right.

I will explain the details later.

But first I must say in all humility I do believe the particular body that is myself has entailed whatever special attunement it has because extreme psychological pain in early life emboldened me to undertake the "vision quest" -- more than once, in fact -- for the purpose of offering the deity the option of taking me back to the loving embrace of the cosmic. I did love my life and want to live, but the pain (as they say) was tremendous : ).

Perhaps there are some posts in this blog that refer to my early attempts to escape in this way. To call these "suicide attempts" would be inaccurate for I did not really wish for death so much as to throw myself on the mercy of the judge, so to speak. The third child and second daughter in a group of siblings that ultimately reached seven, I was certainly not the worst treated person in the home. That distinction belongs to my elder sister who was deceived into quitting her dancing lessons to become chief cook and child care provider for the entire clan at the age of nine years old. Many fascinating anomalies attended the ensuing group psychosis, and I am convinced that one day I will open the book on that subject for all to read. At any rate, my husband often says, "You ought to post that voicemail on your web site, it is truly astounding," and when I say I think I should not do any such thing, he replies, "There must be a reason you were born into this family." That's adorable, isn't it? And he says it with humor, and truly bears no ill feeling toward anyone, let alone any of our relatives.

For the moment, it must suffice to say that my sister was given full command over all of us children except the eldest (a boy). She was a great reader aloud of fairy tales and loved the ones about ogres eating children the best. She was very musical and sang all the time -- we all did -- trying as much as possible to sound like Dalena Hawkes, the soloist at Peace Lutheran Church. Yet despite our Von Trapp or Partridge family image style, it was also with the mostly crude and brutal tactics that a child requiring discipline from other children might employ -- beatings, whippings, tongue lashings and psychological manipulation -- that she was also very effective at enlisting us, unwillingly of course, in family service. Unsurprisingly, a veritable hornet's nest of sibling rivalries ruled over all.

As part of the ritual of self preservation in the clan, I pretended to believe I was no different from the others. But in fact I was highly intelligent, and that did make a difference. I knew this, as did everyone else. But in our case the second daughter and third child in a hierarchy of young was most certainly not the one who was supposed to stand out.

I like David Byrne's line, "You think you're the fortunate one." Well, yes and no. As can easily be seen in a clan of cats (which we closely resembled, having no practicing "moral" oversight* : )

aside:
(*I love that use of "oversight" -- er, that is, I hate that use of "oversight." I remember when it replaced "supervision" in the Federal Aviation Administration regulations manuals. The best summer job I ever had in high school was working for them, mostly doing the thousands of page replacements in a veritable wall of binders lining and chief's office at the Pendleton Municipal Airport. How I got this job is another story, but here I must say these page replacements were almost entirely for the sole purpose of replacing every instance of the word "supervision" with "oversight." I thought it humorous at the time, and only now to do I see the ultimate meaning of changing that language in that particular way. But anyway, as I was saying)

It occurs to me now that the mishandling of the inconvenience of a very quick-witted girl child in a batch of pretty smart kids is probably the chief factor that set our particular brand of sibling rivalry on its rocket ride to hell. Officially, I was to be ignored, and was possible to ignore specifically because I had been pre-empted and shut down by a consensus of which I myself perhaps had been the progenitor.

When I was six years old I tested at the high school level in every subject. With great elation as I sat at my test, flying through every subject, I thought, "This is wonderful! I know all this stuff, and when they finally see how smart I am they'll have to give me a proper education." I'm not sure how I knew about such things, but indeed when the scores came in the state offered me a place in the state school for gifted students. My parents refused. In fact they didn't even tell me, I learned about it from a school mate whose mother somehow found out and told everyone. I'm sure it was because my parents considered it their own responsibility to raise their children, so instead of receiving the huge gift of escape I craved, I was given extra measures of religious education instead. I begged incessantly to be sent away, to no avail.

My sister started calling me "the genius," then others started doing it, too. I hid my poems and paintings in a box in a secret place, which she ferretted out and burned in a ritual while my younger sister and several of the neighborhood girls danced around laughing and jeering as they read some of my things and threw them into the fire. You will have to imagine what that felt like, as so far I have found no way to describe it.

At seven I took several deep sniffs from the cyanide kill jar my brother used in his insect collecting. I noticed immediately that I became more stupid, and regretted it deeply. My second grade teacher, who loved me, noticed it as well. My penmanship, which had been very beautiful, instantly became an illegible scrawl. She was horrified on my behalf, and demanded, "What happened to you? You've slipped! What happened to you?" Of course I did not tell what I had done, but rationalized sadly in my own heart, "Oh, well. You were too smart for your own good anyway." And this, I have come to believe, most likely was quite perceptive and true. For example, we now know definitely that high IQ does not correlate with happines or success in life, and with that first impetuous act of self-destruction I carved approximately twenty points off mine.

The school principal joined Mrs. Gould in saying good-bye to us on the front steps as we were leaving school that day. When I saw him I began to cry and cling to my teacher, and I heard her say to him in hushed tones that no one else was supposed to hear, "These children are being neglected."

Mrs. Gould sat me apart from the class, along with a girl who had motor problems, and together the two of us labored over our penmanship until we caught up with the rest of the class, which rather surprisingly took only a few days. With that I realized I might have to learn to work a little harder, but that overall I had probably not been greatly injured by my folly. And at least I knew what cyanide smells like.

As I am writing just now my head begins to swim with these recollections. It isn't painful now, not at all. But every few moments I feel faint, then it passes. Even now it recurs, momentarily, and my vocabulary fails me. These must evince some sort of event underway in my psyche ; ) I don't think I have ever written anything like this before.

At eight, our family visited Yellowstone National Park where we spent quite a lot of time among the geysers. There were wooden walkways to follow, and many parents (though not ours) had their children on leashes to prevent them from straying onto the thin crust which, we were warned again and again, could crack open with a single footfall, sending the hapless child into the boiling cauldrons of mineral water that hissed below the earth all around us. I, of course, ventured fearlessly onto the crusts, tempting fate. This behavior did create some commotion in the crowds of visitors who were upset that my parents did nothing to try to control me. And my parents were quite embarrassed, I'm sure but pretended to take no notice. I looked at my father's eyes and saw his thoughts, which spoke to me as clearly as language, "You are the only one who can decide to live your life. If you are a dummy, it will be just as well if the bad thing happens sooner rather than later, before we spend any more money on you." It hurt to know it didn't matter that much to him, but I thought he was right.

My father was a Volga German, of a pioneering group brought to Russia by Catherine The Great to prevent incursions on the territory by colonizing the area across from Turkey. They was an isolated group, very prosperous but extremely hardworking -- not Amish but much like the Amish -- living in such harsh conditions that childhood mortality was always high. It was believed to be dangerous to become overly attached to one's children because the depression resulting from their losses often destroyed whole families. My father's family saw the writing on the wall in 1916 and by 1917 and were able to sell out and emigrate to North Dakota. Many who stayed lost everything, including their lives -- slaughtered first by Cossacks and then by Bolsheviks.

I don't think I ever stopped running around on the thin crust covering the geysers until we had seen them all. I believe I kept at it, completely intractable, and was neither punished nor lectured at all. They simply ignored me, as usual. Since nothing happened to me, I was actually thinking the warning signs probably overstated the danger, at least for a person of my size, but to everyone's horror later that day a young boy did crash through the crust and was boiled to death within moments. To me that seemed like the answer from heaven that I sought. I was supposed to live. The next morning there was a massive earthquake and the park was closed to visitors for a long very long time to come -- until the locations of the geysers had once again been ascertained and new boardwalks laid out. That was the only visit I have made to Yellowstone. This occurred in 1959, which I can pinpoint because our family drove from Oregon to Montana in a new blue Chevrolet station wagon.

When I was ten I ventured the farthest my ridiculous "vision quests" would ever take me. One night at dinner, which all attended without exception, there was so much conflict and misery on every side that my mind teemed with the terrible escapist imaginings I believed I might be capable of enacting. Like a Roman, I even thought I knew how to make my antagonists get dead -- and that there was somehow a distinction to be made between a course of action such as this and actual murder. But this wasn't even kidding myself. I knew how wrong it was, and as agony and hatred for the tormentors quickly converts to self-hatred -- at least in me and I am sure many others so afflicted -- I left the table and went into my parents' bedroom. Confronting my own reflection in their big mirror over the dresser, I spoke to Him, the heavenly father, as I began to brush my hair.

"I can't do this," I said. "I don't see how it's possible to be a good person. I'm going to break my neck and come home to you, and if you don't take me from now on I'm going to be YOUR problem. YOU are the one who will be responsible. I can't be held responsible because I am only a child." Then I felt shame because I knew it wasn't true, and it was utterly foolish to think I could lie to God. I had wrapped my hair around the brush, and with a great sadness said, "Okay," and yanked with all my might.

Regaining consciousness who knows how much longer, I struggled to my feet and saw the ghostly pale reflection of myself had its head twisted strangely, with a large lump on one side of the neck. I felt very ill. I struggled back to the dining table where I had apparently not been missed, but my mother leaped up and caught me just as I began to fall. I had fainted again. They put me on the bed in their room, the hairbrush still twisted in my hair. The doctor was called, and he quickly arrived. They tried to force me to tell what I had done but I would not, and as I was really quite ill finally they decided to let me alone.

I did see, actually see, Him, that time, and many other other times in the years to come. Through this escapade I had given myself a tendency to lose consciousness and have little fits from the energy flying up the spine and taking a wrong turn, leaking out perhaps, through slightly separated cervical vertebra. The frequency of these has lessened greatly over time, but usually it would happen in response to strong pain, anything from swallowing too-hot tea to striking my hand against a chair accidentally or being thrown down mountain road embankmant by my first husband (which he actually did one time, only because he was drunk, and just to be humorous) or getting an injection from a nun who hurled the hypodermic into my hip and I felt it jam into the bone, or having a leg cast removed by a nun who didn't see well enough to realize the saw blade was set too deep and was cutting my ankle, while my mother (her green eyes snapping with pre-emptive fury that I might embarrass her professionally by crying out) wordlessly warned me that I had better shut up.

Each time, with pain that grows and grows, the light of vision and consciousness closes down like two sides of an archway clapping shut. Then I am running to Him, and I am happy -- ecstatic -- and He folds me in waves of indescribable loving kindness. I am so glad to see Him, and I beg to be allowed to stay with him. He waits a little moment, considering me, and then he says, "No, you have to go back. There is much for you to do." He understands, completely, and so do I, and as I begin to regain consciousness I am crying with all my heart, then pain is everywhere, and everywhere there is a sea of chaos and noise and ringing and roiling, and I am very ill.

The blessing of knowing the two nuns who accidentally injured me was that I learned to distinguish between those who care and those who do not, for both those ladies were horribly upset -- indeed shocked by what happened, especially the lady with the saw who realized that my mother had stood there the entire time and not noticed the sheen of blood spread up the circumference of the blade and the red mist of tiny droplet -- but was entirely engaged in maintaining my cooperation. I was in agony and couldn't believe they didn't see it, as I tried to suppress screams and crying. When a small shred of flesh caught by the serrated blade started flying around too, the nun finally noticed and stopped cutting, and that was when I fainted. Reviving, I could see very clearly the nun's emotions were totally different from my mother's. The nun's reaction of mortification was palpable, and she turned her back on us and walked out of the room and someone else came in to complete removal of the cast. I think there were many who did believe themselves to love with me -- probably at least the half dozen men who proposed at various times believed they loved me -- but until I met Naro there were no fluttering butterfly sensations in my stomach, and nothing at all like the feeling of being with him.

These fainting spels have happened only three times in our years together. The first time there were buttons strewn all over the hall when I came to -- he had ripped my shirt open and he was looming, a supernaturally enormous and heroic entity hovering near, as I pushed the chaos away from my senses, knew his love, loved him with all my heart, and hastened to assure him it was not that serious.

Therefore please do not fear for me, dear readers. My life is full of love now, and that's what matters. It is exactly as my sister said when I tried to get her to apologize for refusing to allow me to play the piano and ridiculed my singing. "Well, lbut ook who's playing and now," she said, "so it does matter." And she is, in fact, absolutely correct. For who can say what would have happened had I gone to the preferred scho