Hawthorne

Sometimes when I’m having a hard time coming up with something to write about
I put on a piece of music guaranteed to stimulate a brain wave or two.
I’m currently listening to Charles Ives and his Concord Symphony,
specifically ‘Hawthorne’, the second movement of the piece.
Ives isn’t for the average listener, believe me.
It’s some strange and beautiful stuff.
When I first listened to this particular piece years ago,
I wondered how one man could physically play it.
About three minutes into ‘Hawthorne’ you hear these pentatonic (all black notes) clusters,
an impossibility for the right hand alone given what the left hand is doing at that point.
Trust me.
It’s impossible.
Or so I thought.
I would find out years later that the performance notes for the Concord
require a piece of wood that must be cut to a certain size and
must weigh approximately 8oz or some crazy ass shit like that.
The board is gently ‘layed’ across the black notes on the piano giving the massive ‘cluster’ effect that I heard (and loved)
Nope Ives is not for the faint of heart simply because of the harmonic complexity of his music.
One minute he can sound like Chick Corea while the next he’s Scott Joplin on an acid trip.
I would recommend that everyone listen to Ives but I fear you’d call me insane.
If you want to experience something insanely creative by a lowly insurance salesman from Danbury, Connecticut,
go for it.

Ives is incredible and one of a kind.
I heard someone play something by Ives many years ago and it was something of a religious experience.
Truth.
Check it out.
Be sure and stop back for Weird Wednesday!

~m

For those of you that choose to listen:

Hawthorne Part 1
Hawthorne Part 2

These are performed by Marc-Andre Hamelin,
an amazing pianist and great interpreter of Ives.

MeMe

Saw this MEME at Moe’s and decided to throw my hat in the ring.
A few things about me;

1. Were you named after anyone? My father’s father: Michael
2. When was the last time you cried? Early December
3. What is your favourite lunch meat? Capicola (spicy ham)
4. Do you have kids? 3 girls that I am crazy in love with.
5. If you were another person would you be friends with you? Absolutely. I’m a great friend.
6. Do you use sarcasm a lot? All depends on who you ask.
7. Do you still have your tonsils? Yup, a few other body parts, too
8. Would you bungee jump? Nope. My lower back is already a whacky freeway of devastated nerves.
9. What is your favourite cereal? When I eat it, oatmeal. Not the microwave crap, the real deal
10. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Not always
11. Do you think you are strong?  Physically? Not so much, mentally? I’m a giant.
12. What is your favourite ice cream? Frozen Pudding (just like my twin sister Moe)
13. What is the first thing you notice about people? Their voice . . . then the eyes
14. Red or pink? Red
15. What is the least favourite thing about yourself? My teeth. They look fine but they really suck.
16. Who do you miss the most? My mom and dad. Mom died in 2005 and my dad hasn’t spoken a word in years. Alzheimers robs a family of everything.
17. What colour shoes are you wearing? Tan Eddie Bauer slippers
18. What was the last thing you ate? A cheeseburger
19. What are you listening to right now? Hannah talking.
20. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Royal purple
21. Favourite smells? A fine cigar, Obsession (women’s cologne), pine, lavender, fresh basil and puppies
22. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? Pamela
23. Favourite sports to watch? Football and college basketball
24. Hair colour? what colour? I’m bald.
25. Eye colour? chocolate brown
26. Do you wear contacts? Used to. Not now.
27. Favourite food? Anything hot and spicy, anything that swims, mushrooms, prosciutto and good provolone
28. Scary movies or happy endings? Scary movies with really sad endings
29. Last movie you watched? The Dark Knight
30. What colour shirt are you wearing? a grey long sleeve t-shirt
31. Summer or winter? Absolutely Summer
32. Hugs or kisses? Both in total excess
33. Favourite desserts? Chocolate Mousse
34. I’m most likely to..
.   puff a cigar before I go to bed
35. I’m least likely to...   win the lottery tomorrow
36.What book are you reading now? The hour I first believed (Wally Lamb) / Problogger
37. What is on your mouse pad? Staples
38. What did you watch on television last night? No TV
39.Favourite sounds? My Taylor guitar (that I hardly ever play), a Steinway piano, my wife and daughters laughing, my new 8GB Nano, the purr of my 3 cats
40. Rolling Stones or The Beatles? Beatles. Great songs that will live forever.
41. What is the furtherest you’ve been from home? Honduras
42. Do you have a special talent?   Juggling. I suck but I can juggle. And I can play a song in two different keys at the same time. Yeah, freaky in a ‘Victor Borge’ kind of way
43. Where were you born? Worcester, Massachusetts

Feel free to ‘steal’ this one.
An obvious cheat post but what the hell.

Bailout, Joker-style

700 big ones?
What the hell is going on here?
Nevermind.
Maybe I REALLY don’t want to know.
So much crap I will never understand
Maybe the j0KER does . . .
I can’t even wrap my head around a number like a billion.
But 700?

My Hannah

Tomorrow I will be spending a good portion of the day with my daughter(s) Hannah (and Jenna).
It’s Hannah’s 15th birthday and I’m fortunate enough to have the day off.
We’re going to see Batman in the early afternoon and having lunch at Moe’s afterwards.
Moe’s is one of her favorite places.
Awesome burrito’s, fajitas and quesadilla’s.
I won’t even mention the warm queso and chips . . .
Please leave a wish or two for my budding sophomore, okay?
Can’t wait to see Batman.
Oh, yeah, and she loves the Jonas Brothers, hence the picture.
I declined on posting a video. {you’re welcome}
Later folks . . .
Happy Birthday, Hannah!

ps. Lynn?
Call us.
Cake tomorrow night and you’re invited!

J0ker

Slice to 0pen, staple to close
the mar00n red smear of a greasepaint smile, a calling card in cumulonimbus,
pregnant with dark water

Black crack, skies 0pen
0pen eyes close
an inc0mprehensible and maniacal palette of colour; in whites, greens, blacks and reds
a primary psych0tic mind in full fundamental whack
as the world begins to hem0rrhage innuend0

No way 0ut, dead end streets
rain falls like shattering glass
n0thing makes sense in this n0nsensical w0rld
c0nfusing time with the present, time with the past

Tomorr0w draws its shades, a sullen and squalid twist
his brain cells turning to a darkened shade of 0chre
Slice to 0pen, staple to cl0se
to the NetherWorld goes the J0ker . . .