Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #382 - Dehydration



Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #382 - Dehydration

Hi Mom,

You drank a lot of water, and so this cartoon made me think of you.

A few years ago, I bought the same kind of plastic container as you owned to keep full of cold water in the refrigerator. I think of you every time I pour water out of it. So many things like this, simple things, the things of life, like water, given to me by you and now enjoyed in tribute to you.

Very short post today and the first in a quite a while not published at 10:10 a.m.

I have some that I want to write and not be under the gun to finish, and I am committed to a vareity of posts, some of which are shorter. I can maintain the blog better this way.

DEHYDRATION - XKCD

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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 384 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1607.23 - 8:16

The Not Quite Daily Bowie - #75 - "Warszawa"


The Not Quite Daily Bowie - #75 -  "Warszawa"

It's been a month since I last posted a Bowie feature, which is by no means daily.

But I felt it was time for another.

After a long hiatus, it seems appropriate to try to get back on track with "Warszawa."

According to Wikipedia: ""Warszawa" is a mostly instrumental song by David Bowie, co-written with Brian Eno and originally released in 1977 on the album Low.

The arrangement is meant to evoke the desolation of Warsaw at the time of Bowie's visit in 1973. The mysterious lyrics and the piece of melody in the middle part of the song are based upon a recording of "Helokanie" by Polish folk choir Śląsk.

The piece was developed using many of Eno's spontaneous and deeply experimental techniques, with Bowie choosing the creation of a texture over creating a piece that fit in context with his other songs. Resorting to Eno's techniques of "planned accidents," first a click track of 430 clicks was created by hand. From these clicks, a few were selected at random and catalogued. Eno and Bowie would each wait for their randomly selected clicks to sound, which would cue them to play randomly pre-determined chords. When the clicks were removed, the song's basic skeleton of chord changes remained, and the gaps were filled by their writing, with Eno on instrumentals and Bowie on vocals.

The result is a suggestive piece in four sections. The first section is sparse and mainly in octaves. Then at 1:17 the harmony fills out and the key changes to F# and the second section - the longest in the piece - starts. At 3:47 there is another striking key change, the texture thins out again and Bowie's vocal part starts. At 5:24 seconds the final section starts and this section basically comprises a repeat of a chunk of the second section.

All vocals were composed and performed entirely by Bowie, despite the presence of 110[citation needed] voices. Eno remarked that despite his tendency to work slowly as his own synthesizer technician, Bowie managed to complete his portion of the track rather quickly, recording all his voices in 20 minutes.

It was used as a live opener on Bowie's Isolar II and Heathen tours. Rather than quickly delving deeply into loud rock music, the song was used to intentionally provoke the audience into a calm, holding them initially in deep suspense. Bowie's choice to maintain a low profile during 1978 was expressed through his entrance to the stage during this song, not singing, but simply sinking into the band and playing the Chamberlin until his cue to sing the lyrics.

The band Joy Division was originally named Warsaw in honour of this song and it features in soundtrack of the 2007 Ian Curtis biopic, Control" ("WARSZAWA" - WIKIpedia).

These next two links are very cool and worth reading. I won't reprint their contents but give them a read if this is a subject that interests you.

HOW BOWIE CREATED "WARSZAWA" - Culture PL

PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME - "WARSZAWA"

And as always the main Bowie link and the albums on which this song is featured along with the video. Farther below, the Bowie list to date. The link to my You Tube channel for The Daily Bowie immediately below.

MY YOU TUBE CHANNEL LINK FOR THE DAILY BOWIE

DAVID BOWIE

LOW

STAGE


"Warszawa" - LOW (1977) and STAGE (1978)




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THE DAILY BOWIE LIST
1601.20 - The Daily Bowie #0 - "Space Oddity" - SPACE ODDITY - 1969
1601.21 - The Daily Bowie #1 - "Ashes to Ashes" - SCARY MONSTERS - 1980
1601.22 - The Daily Bowie #2 - "Cat People" - LET'S DANCE - 1983
1601.23 - The Daily Bowie #3 - "Sons of the Silent Age" - HEROES - 1977
1601.24 - The Daily Bowie #4 - "Running Gun Blues" - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD - 1970
1601.25 - The Daily Bowie #5 - "Sound and Vision" - LOW - 1977
1601.26 - The Daily Bowie #6 - "Fill Your Heart" - HUNKY DORY - 1971
1601.27 - The Daily Bowie #7 - "We Are The Dead" - DIAMOND DOGS - 1974
1601.28 - The Daily Bowie #8 - "Yassassin" - LODGER - 1979
1601.29 - The Daily Bowie #9 - "Time" - ALADDIN SANE - 1973
1601.30 - The Daily Bowie #10 - "Where Are We Now?" - THE NEXT DAY -2013
1601.31 - The Daily Bowie #11 - "Sunday" - HEATHEN - 2002
1602.01 - The Daily Bowie #12 - "Loving the Alien" - TONIGHT - 1984
1602.02 - The Daily Bowie #13 - "The Loneliest Guy" - REALITY - 2003
1602.03 - The Daily Bowie #14 - "Young Americans" - YOUNG AMERICANS - 1975
1602.04 - The Daily Bowie #15 - "Thursday's Child" - 'HOURS...' - 1999
1602.05 - The Daily Bowie #16 - "Buddha of Suburbia" - THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA - 1993
1602.06 - The Daily Bowie #17 - "Please Mr. Gravedigger" - DAVID BOWIE - 1967
1602.07 - The Daily Bowie #18 - "Sorrow" - PINUPS - 1973
1602.08 - The Daily Bowie #19 - "Golden Years" - STATION TO STATION - 1976
1602.09 - The Daily Bowie #20 - "I'm Afraid of Americans" - EARTHLING - 1997
1602.10 - The Daily Bowie #21 - "Pallas Athena" - BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE - 1993
1602.11 - The Daily Bowie #22 - "Glass Spider" - NEVER LET ME DOWN - 1987
1602.12 - The Daily Bowie #23 - "The Heart's Filthy Lesson" - OUTSIDE - 1995
1602.13 - The Daily Bowie #24 - "Rock 'N' Roll Suicide" - THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS - 1972
1602.14 - The Daily Bowie #25 - "Lazarus" - BLACKSTAR - 2016
1602.15 - The Daily Bowie #26 - "Tin Machine" - TIN MACHINE - 1989
1602.16 - The Daily Bowie #27 - "Baby Universal" - TIN MACHINE II - 1991
1602.17 - The Daily Bowie #28 - "Changes" - DAVID LIVE - 1974
1602.18 - The Daily Bowie #29 - "Fame" - STAGE - 1978
1602.19 - The Daily Bowie #30 - "SENSE OF DOUBT" - HEROES - 1977
1602.20 - The Daily Bowie #31 - "John, I'm Only Dancing" - CHANGESONEBOWIE - 1990
1602.21 - The Daily Bowie #32 - "London Bye Ta Ta" - BOWIE AT THE BEEB - 2000
1602.22 - The Daily Bowie #33 - "Real Cool World" - BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE - LIMITED ED - 2003
1602.23 - The Daily Bowie #34 - "Five Years" - THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS - 1972
1602.24 - The Daily Bowie #35 - "Speed of Life" - LOW - 1977
1602.25 - The Daily Bowie #36 - "I'm Deranged" - OUTSIDE - 1995
1602.26 - The Daily Bowie #37 - "Fall Dog Bombs the Moon" - REALITY - 2003
1602.27 - The Daily Bowie #38 - "I Can't Give Everything Away" - BLACKSTAR - 2016
1602.28 - The Daily Bowie #39 - "Diamond Dogs" - DIAMOND DOGS - 1974
1602.29 - The Daily Bowie #40 - "The Laughing Gnome" - THE DERAM ANTHOLOGY 1966-1968 (r.1997)
1603.01 - The Daily Bowie #41 - "Fascination" - YOUNG AMERICANS - 1975
1603.02 - The Daily Bowie #42 - "Panic in Detroit" - ALADDIN SANE - 1973
1603.03 - The Daily Bowie #43 - "Modern Love" - LET'S DANCE - 1983
1603.04 - The Daily Bowie #44 - "Fashion" - SCARY MONSTERS - Deluxe - 1980
1603.05 - The Daily Bowie #45 - "Life On Mars" - HUNKY DORY - 1971
1603.06 - The Daily Bowie #46 - "London Boys" - THE DERAM ANTHOLOGY 1966-1968 (r.1997)
1603.07 - The Daily Bowie #47 - "Fantastic Voyage" - LODGER - 1979
1603.08 - The Daily Bowie #48 - "The Man Who Sold the World" - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD - 1970
1603.09 - The Daily Bowie #49 - "Stay" - STATION TO STATION - 1976
1603.10 - The Daily Bowie #50 - "Starman" - THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS - 1972
1603.11 - The Daily Bowie #51 - "Crystal Japan" - SCARY MONSTERS - Deluxe - 1980
1603.12 - The Daily Bowie #52 - "An Occasional dream" - SPACE ODDITY - 1969
- FOUR DAY BREAK
1603.17 - The Daily Bowie #53 - "Miracle Goodnight" - BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE - 1993
- TWO DAY BREAK
1603.20 - The Daily Bowie #54 - "5:15 The Angels Have Gone" - HEATHEN - 2002
1603.22 - The Daily Bowie #55 - "Queen Bitch" - HUNKY DORY - 1971
- SEVEN DAY BREAK
1603.29 - The Daily Bowie #56 - "Criminal World" - LET'S DANCE - 1983
- ONE DAY BREAK
1603.31 - The Daily Bowie #57 - "Move On" - LODGER - 1979
1604.01 - The Daily Bowie #58 - "Rebel Rebel" - DIAMOND DOGS - 1974
- TEN DAY BREAK
1604.11 - The Daily Bowie #59 - "Telling Lies" - EARTHLING - 1997
1604.12 - The Daily Bowie #60 - "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" - THE NEXT DAY -2013
- THREE DAY BREAK
1604.15 - The Daily Bowie #61 - "Jean Genie" - ALADDIN SANE -1973
- SEVEN DAY BREAK
1604.22 - The Daily Bowie #62 - "The Dreamers" - HOURS - 1999
1604.23 - The Daily Bowie #63 - "Breaking Glass" - LOW - 1977 - and STAGE - 1978
1604.24 - The Daily Bowie #64 - "Tonight" - TONIGHT - 1984
1604.25 - The Daily Bowie #65 - "Up the Hill Backwards" - SCARY MONSTERS - 1980
- SEVEN DAY BREAK
1605.02 - The Daily Bowie #66 - "I'd Rather Be High" - THE NEXT DAY - 2013
- SEVEN DAY BREAK
1605.09 - The Daily Bowie #67 - "A Better Future" - HEATHEN - 2002
1605.10 - The Daily Bowie #68 - "Strangers When We Meet" - BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA - 1993
- TWO WEEKS OFF
1605.24 - The Daily Bowie #69 - "She'll Drive the Big Car" - REALITY - 2003
- SIX DAYS OFF
1605.31 - The Daily Bowie #70 -"Days" - David Bowie - Reality - 2003
- SEVEN DAYS OFF
1606.07 - The Daily Bowie #71 - "Under Pressure" - NOTHING HAS CHANGED - D2 - 2014
1606.09 - The Not Quite Daily Bowie - #72 - "Moonage Daydream" - THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS - 1972
- BIG BREAK - 12 days
1606.21 - The Not Quite Daily Bowie - #73 - "Don't Let Me Down & Down" - BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE - 1993
1606.22 - The Daily Bowie - #74 - "If You Can See Me" - THE NEXT DAY - 2013
- ONE MONTH OFF
1607.23 - The Not Quite Daily Bowie - #75 -  "Warszawa" - LOW (1977) and STAGE (1978)

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Rest in peace, David. We miss you.

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1607.23 - 4:30

NOTE ON WHY THE DAILY BOWIE IS NO LONGER DAILY: For 53 days, I completed daily Bowie posts. My schedule is too demanding to make a post every day, so this will now be a feature that is called The Daily Bowie, but it will not be daily. I will post as I can. I will post often. But if I miss a day, I will skip it. Otherwise, I get in the position of making five Bowie posts all in one day, and that's a lot of Bowie for people to swallow all at once... (yeah, leaving that badly phrased, innuendo packed statement. I bet Bowie would have laughed at it).

Friday, July 22, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #381 - The Little Mermaid


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #381 - The Little Mermaid

Hi Mom, Not a lot of newly generated content today. Just wanted to share my review. And for fun, I am also sharing the Encore Michigan review.

I wish you were still here.

You would love this show.

But more than anything, I want people to attend the live theatre.

I hope the Barn is killing at the box office.

LINK TO MY REVIEW IN THE ENQUIRER

"The Little Mermaid”
a production of the Barn Theatre
at the Barn Theatre, Augusta, MI
Attended Date: July 19, 2016
reviewed by Christopher Tower

It’s rare that the audience is as entertaining as a musical production, but on Tuesday night at the Barn Theatre, dozens of little princesses in training roamed the aisles to catch bubbles and sang along while shushed by their mothers to the familiar and joyous music of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”

Enjoying a nearly full house of families with small children, the Barn Theatre launched its most ambitious and magnificent production of its summer season with the theatrical adaptation of the hit Disney film that has inspired girls nationwide to aspire to new worlds, sunlight, dancing, and singing as they make their transformations from mermaids to the wives of kings.

Using its substantial 70 years of experience, the Barn assembles its best and most massive musical production in years to wow audiences with visually-arresting sets and props, aquatically-themed costumes, moody undersea lighting and effects, and a company of outstanding performers. Hoping for a blockbuster with the audience-favorite Disney epic, the Barn delivers in oodles of seashells, bubbles, and corral reefs.

Think about it. How do you depict all that water and the undersea world of the Little Mermaid and her family? For those who adored the 1989 Disney film, no problem, right? It’s animated, after all. But how to show that undersea world and its cast of aquatic characters on the stage?

Like many productions that followed the 2008 Broadway opening and the subsequent re-imagining in 2012, the waves of the oceans, the tentacles of the squid, and other features are mimicked by a combination of actors in aqua-colored tights, puppets, and long swaths of seawater fabric rippled by performers. Sea creatures like jelly fish and sea horses on long poles are manipulated over the heads of the audience while a bubble machine that fills the air with enough bubbles to entice wee ones out of their seats. Add to these other special effects, complex sets of corral and kelp, and you can imagine why this is the Barn’s most ambitious and yet successful production in years.

Awe-inspiring tech work includes gorgeous scenic designs by Michael Wilson Morgan, brilliant lighting by Molly Lamperis, and delightful costumes by Carly Heathcote. All of this beauty is orchestrated masterfully by director Hans Friedrichs with choreography by Jamey Grisham and musical direction by Matt Shabala.

And yet, the technical features of the show are only one of its successful elements. The Barn’s company may be its strongest in over a decade as remarked upon by producer Brendan Ragotzy in his pre-show speech. Not a single performance is lacking, and some are especially exciting and enjoyable.

The story of “The Little Mermaid” is familiar to most people who have had children in the last 27 years. Ariel, the Little Mermaid, (Melissa Cotton Hunter), yearns to walk in the sun on the surface world of humans rather than being confined beneath the sea as her human-hating father King Triton (Eric Parker) commands. But when the king’s sister Ursula (Penelope Alex) trades Ariel’s voice for legs to replace her fins in a magically binding contract, the young mermaid turned human woman gets to venture on land to meet the prince (Jamey Grisham) with whom she has fallen in love. Though she cannot speak or sing, she manages to capture the prince’s heart but does not receive his kiss in time to stop Ursula from stealing the undersea throne from Triton. Though all’s well in the end as Ariel manages to thwart the squid witch and restore her father to his throne.

After two years off from the stage to marry and give birth to her first child, Melissa Cotton Hunter re-establishes herself as the star-in-the-making type talent that audiences saw in productions like “Legally Blonde,” “Shrek,” and “Hair.” Cotton Hunter is the perfect Ariel with a voice like golden sunshine and a body that can make the mermaid costume work, especially as she undulates to simulate swimming, aided by three performers who represent the water. Her rendition of one of the show’s signature songs – “Part of Your World” – is achingly beautiful. But Cotton Hunter is not just a pretty voice. Her acting talents are as sharp as ever, especially in the challenging scenes in which she cannot speak.

Cotton Hunter’s performance alone will captivate audiences both young and old – though especially young – but the supporting cast is just as worthy of accolades, most notably her companions.
First year apprentice Quin Moran steals the show with the outrageously humorous role of Scuttle, the seagull. Second-year apprentice Kasady Kwiatkowska manages her puppet of Flounder with the goofy sweetness that makes the character so popular in the film. But also show-stealing is the talent of Michael Fisher in the role of Sebastian the crab, who holds center stage during the show’s biggest and most incredible musical numbers: “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl.”
Penelope Alex is delightfully wicked as Ursula while aided and abetted by her slithery eels Flotsam (Brooke Evans) and Jetsam (Nicholas R Whitaker). Eric Parker earns marks for the dotting yet stern father of Ariel, King Triton, and Jamey Grisham is just the right leading man to win the mermaid’s heart as Prince Eric.

Still, the show would not be as successful without bit players making a big splash in their roles, including Patrick Hunter as the fish-slaughtering Chef Louis, John Jay Espino as the perpetually seasick Grimsby, Charlie King as the swarthy ship pilot, and most importantly Ariel’s mer-sisters: Sarah Lazar, Hannah Eakin, Samantha Rickard, Jackie Blasting, Lauren Landman, and Andrea Arvanigian.

The Barn’s production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” delivers wave upon wave of spectacular entertainment for audiences of all ages. Judging by its opening night near sell-out, tickets may be carried away by a flood of requests soon. Experience the magic of live theater before its time afloat sinks away.

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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = ## days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - date - time

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #380 - Talking conversations - Throwback Thursday

Mom and Dad - 39th wedding anniversary - 1997
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #380 - Talking conversations - Throwback Thursday

Hi Mom,

I have missed our conversations in the last 382 days (and a few more since you were not so conversant near the end), and I have gotten away from the purpose for this blog, which is continuing those conversations.

So, today, on the Throwback Thursday, here's the news that is news. Here's what's going on and coming up.

The photo above will be 20 years old next year; next month, you would have celebrated your 58th wedding anniversary (August 16th), which is the same day as I acknowledge my cancer surgery.

So these assorted things that are happening are in no apparent order, much like our conversations.

Liesel and I went out to dinner last night and after trying to get in two different places we ended up at the Texas Corners Brewing Company and had a terrible meal, which is a shame because last summer it was one of our new favorite restaurants.

Liesel took a lamp to work for her desk, and I have to bring her a new bulb this morning.

It may be interesting to note that there are things I would share with you on the phone that I will not put in writing and publish to my blog. But I still tell you those things in my head, through my spirit.

The chickens need a new ramp for their coop, so we're getting one made. Paul Abueva should be over some time soon to measure. We're still waiting on our new awning, which I was hoping would get installed this week. The gas line for the new grill gets put in next Thursday.

I checked out two books on grief from the library last year around this time. I have to take them back today as they are due and I cannot renew them. I have never read them, but they look good. I skimmed the tables of contents. Maybe when I return them, I will check out new ones. There are other books on grief.

For record keeping or in case I want to go back and get them again, they are as follows

Grief and its Challenges by Neil Thompson. 2012 - BF 575 .G7 T49

The Truth About Grief - The Myth of Its Five Stages and the New Science of Loss
by Ruth Davis Konigsberg - 2011 - BF 575 .G7 K638

The second book seems interesting as it argues against the five stages of grief. I like the term "disbelief" better than "denial" because it's not like I denied that you are dead, Mom, but it's more like I struggled to believe it, and I did not want it to be true. Likewise, bargaining was more like negotiating, which I see as somewhat different but those words are probably close enough. And I think "acceptance" as magical goal is over-rated. I still have not "accepted" it. I still don't want it to be true, your death, you gone. But I know it is true, and I go on. Maybe one of the stages should be functioning, going on, survival. something like that.

On to other subjects.

After weeks of putting off a Meijer trip, one is imminent. Possibly tomorrow. The list is quite huge. I am not sure I can afford it all. I may suggest to Liesel that we go to the night market tonight. It's a Farmer's Market event!

I just noticed that my phone's ringer has been off since Tuesday night when I silenced it for the musical I was reviewing.

I am reading "Normal" by Warren Ellis. He's serializing this novella in weekly e-book installments for four weeks. It's about an asylum for burnt-out futurists. I also started The Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving. And there's the usual comic books. I was reading off my Kindle for a while but I tired of that. I much prefer actual paper bound books, so the Irving is a hard cover.

I have been working. I am a bit behind on the Whirlpool job, but I have been catching up on grading. I have more to do today and tomorrow, but I am in good shape to take a 20-mile morning ride tomorrow, which I have decided is a weekly thing.

A thunderstorm just passed through. I think the serious part is over. More rain, which means no watering the garden!

I want an ice cream cone. I bought a package of drumsticks with nuts.

I am cooking a pork loin in the crock pot and have to do the dishes, which I will do as I listen to more of The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross, which is my current audio book.

I need to do laundry.

Liesel needed light bulbs and her phone charger brought to her at work.

I know, exciting stuff, right? But such were our conversations. This is a pretty good facsimile minus some of the more personal stuff.

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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 382 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1607.21 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

my best friend Tom circa 1990?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #379 - Waking am/pm - Writerly Wednesday


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #379 - Waking am/pm - Writerly Wednesday

Hi Mom,

Liesel and I both had trouble waking up this morning, and we are not sure why. We dozed through repeated plays of her alarm, which is the song "Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby" by Cigarettes After Sex.

Still, sleepy and sluggish all day.

Works is the siren call I hear, so just the poem.

Okay, one comment, I like the ending. I feel endings are my strength. But much of the rest is not my best work, though I am amused by inventing the words "furz" and "furzle."

Writing used to be fun. I still have that fun from time to time.

waking am/pm

myopia worsens in the morning
when I explore rites of passage
in a half-dream:
alarm, stumbling, shower,
razor on my tough hide.
re-birth furzles like a red balloon.
performing morning aerobics in step
with the morning word:
furz: to fray at the edges.
sleep weds the daylight.
by the first gleam of pre-
noon hours, re-
birth lolls and gags
beside the yawning petals
of an old eiderdown.
the van delivering my renewal
broke down again, the white
package knotted with sugar string
lying on the seat, the meter
running, stranded in the maze
of a Brooklyn thoroughfare.
months
of the same excuse --
pleading a life malfunction;
an unaerobicizable glitch in bio-
rhythms causing life's traffic jams.
the gauze tucked under the bed
clings to my fraying edges
as I stumble to shower; filtering, bluely,
through breakfast with the coffee grounds.
the gauze holds -- stretching --
burnt toast stench cannot
unfasten its tensile fabric.
harnessed by gauze I drag the room away --
screaming taut -- my oxen plow --
until I step on the six train
and the door snaps the gauze free
plummeting me away from the quick-order-
counter of renewal
into the scrambled morning,
and the over-easy day.

-christopher tower
8702.17 / 8704.21

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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 381 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1607.20 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #378 - Orbital Operations 17Jul16


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #378 - Orbital Operations 17Jul16

Hi Mom,

Again, I am presenting someone else's content.

I have written of Warren Ellis so often that I have a separate category for posts with content relating to him. I have also reprinted from his newsletters, Twitter, blogs, and comics before.

But hang it all, this is a good newsletter.

Not only does he characterize the recent upheavals in Turkey and position them with everything else going on this year and how we need to take the derivative of the terminal velocity of world events simply to survive, but he packs a whole lot more in this edition, including music I plan to feature in next week's Musical Monday, some thoughts on a book he plans to read that I have never heard of and may wish to explore, and some nifty interviews that I want to read, and so for that reason alone, I reprint this here to save those links in a handy to find location.

I know you care less about Warren Ellis than I, Mom, and my readers may care even less than you (well, some of them), but I still think this is interesting stuff. I love getting my weekly dose of Warren every Sunday, so I can read it as I unwind from the week and realize that other people have weeks that are much more insane (and cause paralyzing medical events as Warren suffered last year).

So, here t'is.

If you are foolish enough to consider subscribing to this chicanery and folderol, click below



ORBITAL OPERATIONS
TRT World broadcasting through Facebook Live. Erdogan making statements via an iPhone running FaceTime held up to a tv camera. Periscope feeds from people riding tanks through Ankara.

Hello from out here on the Thames Delta, where the sun is out and the world is on fire and life is really very interesting. I joked to Xeni last night about how this is all nothing but "compression of the context" ("Glittering, wired eyes"/"catches fire"), which she responded to with an image of Dave Bowman going through the Stargate. But, gags on Twitter aside, this year is not slowing down. And things may not slow down for a good long time to come. Digitally-mediated awareness of (a majority of) world events all at once and the critical stretches of a great many sociopolitical cycles coinciding create a sense of heightened velocity and a ballistic surge into the End Times.


NORMAL Part Two drops next week on digital services. It was a great pleasure to see people discovering it auto-loaded on their Kindles last week.

No spoilers. If you're following the weekly serialisation, you've already been exposed to one of my weirder cliffhangers (and possibly one of my favourite dialogue lines of the book).
Here's a bit of part two:

“All communication is dangerous,” said Clough, plummeting into the empty chair beside Adam and knocking free his personal cloud of fossilized sweat.  “Just fucking looking at someone constitutes communication.  Especially if you want to shag them.”

“Hello, Mr. Clough.”

“Just Clough.  It’s a good bloody name, Clough.  Honest name.  Not like names these days.  There are probably kids in this room called Wheat.  Or Skylar.  Or Skyler.  Because it turns out they made a name up and never decided how to fucking spell it."

Yeah, that's not giving anything away either, is it?

·         Interview with me at Nerdist about James Bond.
·         Interview with me at WIRED about NORMAL.
·         I'm told that this map of alien invaders has TREES in it somewhere.
·         Interview by Robin Sloan with me at TOR about NORMAL.

The tor.com link is important because someone different will be interviewing me every week, following each release of a part of NORMAL. This week, novelist Robin Sloan - which was kind of a privilege, because Robin is a proper writer. Next week, writer and journalist Laurie Penny - probably the last time I get to speak to her without paying money for her to pretend to remember me.

++
No book recommendations this week.  I have a large queue, a few acquaintances have sent me their manuscripts, I'm relaxing my brain with Mary Beard's smooth and charismatic Roman history SPQR, and I am extremely tempted to sink into a book that will probably take several months to read.

A zibaldone is a form of commonplace book. (Zibaldone.)  The Zibaldone, the Zibaldone di pensieri of Giacomo Leopardi, is a vast works, several thousand pages long and written across two decades by the poet and philosopher Leopardi. The translation was a massive undertaking. A radical thinker by the standards of the early 1800s, with a frightening mastery of languages and an entire library in his head, he was dead at 38 but had filled a huge notebook with aphorisms, speculations, ideas, arguments and interrogations. I've wanted to read it for many years, but I know that I'm likely to vanish into it until the end of the year.

I've long been fascinated by the zibaldone, and by its literary near-cousin in Japan, the zuihitsu. I had them, among other things, in mind when I began morning.computer, though I never really lived up to it.  I keep telling myself that I'll one day I'll have time to write in it in like I did in the days when I travelled a lot. Funnily enough, Leopardi only wrote in his at home -- mind you, the notebook probably got difficult to transport after a while...

++
I believe there's a big announcement in the queue for sometime next week, presumably just ahead of San Diego Comic-Con.  Which, as usual, I'm not at. I avoid it whenever possible, and only attend when I'm contractually forced to, which hasn't happened for many years, thank god.  I did my first in 1997, to launch TRANSMETROPOLITAN - colossal waste of time.

TRANSMET's been on my mind a little bit lately, through no fault of my own. Lots of people tweeting TRANSMET bits back at me, all year, and asking if I secretly wrote 2016. Just tonight, I found this bit in a Paris Review interview of Jay McInerney:

"There are things you can do in your twenties that you can't do later. There is a music of the spheres that you only hear in your twenties."

I know that feeling. It's deeply strange to get TRANSMET quoted back at me, for many reasons, but chiefly because it feels like it was written by someone else.

++
If you're going to San Diego, buy hand sanitiser, gallons of it, and some one-a-day multivitamin bombs, and lots of water. Don't eat sugar. Carry loperamide and ibuprofen. User antiperspirant deodorant and pack more underwear than you think you'll need. Avoid skin in all forms. Denounce the sun. Wear shades to prevent eye contact. Respect the fursona. Store your fluids. Go home. Sit in the corner of the room. Think about what you've done.

++
Musics:
Sea-Spiral Spirit by Hawthonn, if you fancy a bit of psychogeographic ambient meditation.  (Disclaimer: I really like their work, and wrote a foreword for one of their related released, Angelystor.)

"You Loved Me, You Killed Me" by Odina is a gorgeous, pensive and atmospheric piece of fragile folk-inflected pop like you thought they didn't make any more.

The 42 Negative Confessions of Wingéd Ma'at by Wingéd Ma'at isn't easy to describe - at times it plays like cyborg hallucinated devotional Vangelis, at others like circuit-bent funeral kosmische heard through an 80s arcade game. I thought it was lovely.

++
This was going to be longer, but it's been an unexpectedly fraught week, and I'm writing full pelt right now to try and get something wrapped by Monday morning, because by Monday afternoon I'm going to be prepping for the final four-hour recording session for PROJECT KRONSTADT, hopefully taking six hours off on Tuesday before going into a serious marathon to get the script for PROJECT SANTA CRUZ done.  It's SANTA CRUZ we're expecting the announcement on, so we live in hope that next week I'll finally be able to tell you what that is.  I have a feeling that a bunch of things will be announced in a row, after very long waits, and it's going to look like I was doing everything at once, when in fact it's simply the work of a few years all being revealed.  I've been on KRONSTADT for several years, in fact, and reaching the finishing line -- well, one of the finishing lines - is a strange thing.

Oh, and that BOND interview link above?  It's my first public statement that the current serial, EIDOLON, will be my final BOND book.  At least for the moment.  Someone else will take over the JAMES BOND 007 series after Jason and I finish EIDOLON.  In that regard, I should note that VARGR is now available as a collected edition, and it looks lovely.

So I will see you next week with several things and some thinking. Until then, remember - your internet has an off button, and so does your news.  It's okay to turn the volume down, and even to turn it off. There's no shame in self care and pausing to take a breath before you re-immerse yourself in the world and its velocity.

- W


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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 380 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1607.19 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #377 - Musical Monday for 1607.18

David Sylvian from "Ghosts" video - TV - 3/18/82
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #377 - Musical Monday for 1607.18

Hi Mom,

Here we are on another Musical Monday, and I am once again sharing music.

Today's word is celebrate.

Celebrate life, celebrate love, celebrate health, celebrate centeredness, celebrate being.

I had a great weekend, and I am slow to get back in the swing of work.

I have a new attitude because I did something I do not normally do: took the weekend off from work. With the exception of working from about 10-3 on Saturday, I did no more work the rest of the weekend and spent lots of time with my lovely wife, Liesel.

Really, my time off started Friday when I took a 20 mile ride on my bike along the Kal Haven trail.

I am resolved to take a longish bike ride every Friday this summer to gird myself against when I get super busy again, needing to remind myself that I must always make time to exercise.

And making time is what this weekend was all about.



Liesel and I started our weekend by going to the Farmer's Market Saturday morning BEFORE I teach my classes. I never want to do things like that as anxiety usually compels me to work. But, knowing that the trip to the market was important to Liesel, and trying to dedicate myself to working less, I skipped out and went with her and was not too nagging about getting back home in time to teach. Not to say I missed my classes but rather that I was not a ball of stress and complaint about returning.

I worked until 3 p.m. then took the dog for a walk. Then Liesel and I went out to dinner and tried to see Ivan's show at Louie's, but this was a failure as are old and Liesel is prone to stomach aches.



AND, Liesel and I are watching the Showtime program Penny Dreadful on Netflix. We watched one episode, and then Liesel was asleep before Ivan and the Cantaloupes would have finished their set.



More on Penny Dreadful in a future post.

On Sunday, I spent most of the morning in the kitchen with Liesel, helping her cook, and working on my laptop rather than being holed up in my office.

We BOTH walked the dog, and then watched more Penny Dreadful and our new Sunday night addiction called The Night Of, which is currently running on HBO.


It was a great weekend, but now, back to work.

sigh.

The bulk of this week's Musical Monday features my playlist of songs for dancing around and singing when I finally had the house to myself and was alone -- even the dog was gone as her dislikes loud music -- last week. It was a celebration. Not all the songs are "happy" but then I am not unhappy when singing lines like "there's not enough room in the world for my pain." It's really not as bad as it sounds.

But first, two electronica musical selections from two of my favorite electronic artists.

And then on to the playlist, which features several live videos. It's awesome.

Happy Monday.

Celebrate.


Pye Corner Audio - Zones - by the Head Technician




MOTION SICKNESS OF TIME TRAVEL - Affinity



PLAYLIST FROM WEDNESDAY JULY 13 - DANCING, SINGING, & CELEBRATING



"Ghosts" - Japan




"Ghost" - Indigo Girls

Very cool alternate version.

The Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones perform "Ghost" by the Indigo Girls in their Spring 2011 Jam, L.O.V.E. Arranged by Eric Hart '03. Christina Buckley '11 solos, with Sandy Uwimana '14 on harmony.





David Bowie - "Wild is the Wind" - live



The Housemartins - "Flag Day"



"The Whole Point of No Return" - Style Council - live 1984




Paul Weller - "Brand New Start" - Later Live - BBC2 - Friday 5th October 2001




Talking Heads - Live in Rome 1980 - 11  - "The Great Curve"




Peter Gabriel - "I Have the Touch"





+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

- Days ago = 379 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1607.18 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.