Wednesday, April 30, 2003

The two scariest uses of music in movies are "In Dreams" (Blue Velvet) and "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (Manhunter). We've always talked about how memorable these were and now in the Vanity Fair all-movies issue in a piece on Michael Mann somebody agrees. I think that at the time of release nobody saw Manhunter and few saw Blue Velvet.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

This must be the week for collection of bulky waste. We never have any. Neighbors put Noddy Bumppo's prize gas grill out at the curb. It didn't go to waste, though, since somebody managed to cram it in all its glory into the camper of a smallish pickup before the solid-waste guys came for it.

Monday, April 28, 2003

My high-school graduating class numbered 100 people, give or take a couple in either direction. Nine of them can't be located by the reunion committee. Of course, I can see right away that the names of two are misspelled, which may have something to do with the inability to locate them. Of the missing, two are female. One was very quiet and the other very flamboyant. Only one of the missing guys has an unusual name; otherwise, the others are common and include one Dutch name, one French name, and four Irish names. The last time that a reunion notice came, nobody on the committee had an e-mail address. This time all four do: one female and one male at, a female at, and a guy on RoadRunner. This was the kind of school that doesn't ask for graduates' accomplishments to go into the reunion program, but only for the number of children and grandchildren and "interesting places visited." I think the assumption is that, except for the missing nine, nobody left, ever, except for those who went into the military service and did or didn't return. And those otherwise not in the land of the living.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Mourning doves are to be seen in the yard every day, more often all the time. A new sighting was a white-winged dove. We've been hearing warblers for a week, but everytime we actually see one, it's always a myrtle warbler.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

One of our former, much-missed neighbors was at the South Austin farmers' market with her little girl. We like the current neighbor, but we sure do miss seeing those diapers flying in the wind every single day. Of course S. is much too grown up now for diapers, but that was a glorious sight!

Friday, April 25, 2003

Gift-givers have been specializing in wine lately. In lucky days gone by, I was always winning door-prizes of the high-dollar French stuff but don't know much about more ordinary wine. Armand Roux Verdillac White Bordeaux 2001, Appellation Bordeaux Controlee, a blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon, was more than satisfactory. Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 1995 was fine!

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Warning! this list is not in priority order: finding a copy of La Prensa, placing another order with SamPubCo, Latin Grammy awards on September 3, registration sticker, inspection, tail-light, giant pinwheels (just like these, only much cheaper, courtesy of Walgreens), entering more contests since luck has been so fine lately, saving empty cereal boxes for magazine and file holders to go on bookshelves, the Vermont-Puerto Rico nexus, restrictions on clotheslines, Luby's and the great cornbread and beans cooked with bacon, Red's Scoot Inn, oyster bake.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Club Desvelado viewed (can't say "enjoyed") The Toast of New York. This is based in part on the famous Erie Wars, with lots of old stage hams in the cast. K. didn't know about all this and hadn't heard of Daniel Drew or of Jim Fisk at all, let alone of his murder over the affections of Josie Mansfield at the Broadway Central Hotel. The plot is hokum and it's funny to see Cary Grant with curled locks.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Beware! beware! It's long been known that it's better to have nothing to do with Namezero. Now a person begins to wonder about Dotster. All over the world people were very unhappy about the unavailability of their domains.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Mostly Martha (Bella Martha) is a wonderful movie. Thank you K. and thank you Vulcan Video! Did this movie ever come to Austin? It has a great story, lots about institutional kitchen life, beautiful light, real snow, music by Maurice Chevalier and Louis Prima among others. I Spy is a waste of Eddie Murphy and a waste of Owen Wilson.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Uncle Sam was good to us today and so was the USPS. We heard a whip-poor-will for the first time in years.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Yesterday we received a carton of new checks destined for someone else, along with a monthly statement for a wrap-around accounted destined for yet someone else. It was reassuring to find a dedicated "where's my refund?" page at the IRS site. No need to worry yet, since the payment-processing date is sheduled to be this very day.

Friday, April 18, 2003

K. selected another movie for which I can't even recall seeing previews: Brian DiPalma's Snake Eyes. It must have been a low-budget comeback attempt, pretty much one location, Cage the only name star. It would have been too bad to miss it. We were up before the crack of dawn, determined to make good use of the day off and be back before "take the laundry off the clothesline" time on Good Friday. The closest Home Depot opens at 6 a.m. The crucial lawn-and-leaf bags were nabbed and so was a tough-to-find size of light bulb as an afterthought. Home Depot has two kinds of employees. One type never wants to meet the customer's eye. The other type is just as helpful as anyone could ever expect. It's easy to see where all the newcomers buy their "beautification elements." We did some groundwork at the Eco-Wise, which on its website offers sharpening for human-powered lawnmowers. Ours is old enough so that they wouldn't commit themselves without seeing it. We rented one that was sharp enough to cut paper.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

This past year and more has been like a long list of assignments, all of which must be completed and all of which are unpleasant. It would be wonderful to be able to stop thinking along those lines constantly. My mind is like a Day Runner and there's not even any compensation.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

While waiting for something slow to finish, I was inspired to enter "beebleberry" as a search term in Google. On a page of Little Lulu memories was found the following, right at the top, so I didn't feel so bad: "In a peculiar state of mind, I typed 'beebleberries' into Yahoo search, and came up with your website" Right under there, in a memory posted January 11, 2003, is an anecdote involving Austin, Doug Sahm, and Mr. McNabbem.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Google has a translation feature, discovered by accident. Here are translations for a list of telenovelas that we have watched: My small crossbeam, the usurper, Camila, Precious, Never I will forget to you, By your love, Madness of love, Abrazame very hard, Friends and rivals.

Monday, April 14, 2003

I am so very happy for Shoshana Johnson and her parents and two-year-old daughter. Being a cook shouldn't be that dangerous.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

We've enjoyed yet one more variety of Dutch iris: white on the bottom, lavender on top, with frilly edges. These were from a dollar bargain box at the market.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

The euphoniums at the concert had forward-facing bells and four top valves. Once again, we all talked about the difference between the baritone horn and the euphonium. Another site has a variety of pictures of both. Our school instruments belonged the "free and independent" school district and were from before World War I. It's obvious that we really did have baritone horns, and that the instrument that I was describing to the disbelief of the others is a so-called "marching baritone."

Friday, April 11, 2003

Even though the long-awaited Austin Symphonic Band Sousa concert was way up in south Waco, it was worth the trip, as they say. During one part of the program, as music identified with the various branches of the military service were played, veterans were asked to stand up and be recognized. The greatest number were Air Force and obviously of Korean "conflict" vintage; the only female that we could see in the entire house was a contemporary right in front of us who was Navy of Viet Nam vintage. Among the selections played were the following: Semper Fidelis March (John Philip Sousa), Semiramide Overture (Gioacchino Rossini, arr. Jim Mahaffey), Napoli (Herman Bellstedt), Serenade (Sigmund Romberg), Poor Wandering One (Gilbert and Sullivan, arr. Clifton Jones), Armed Forces Salute (arr. Bob Lowden), Light Cavalry Overture (Franz von Suppe), Easter Monday (Sousa), On the White House Lawn (Sousa), I've Made My Plans for the Summer (Sousa), Irish Tune from County Derry (Percy Grainger), Cousins (Herbert L. Clarke), Carnival of Venice (Herbert L. Clarke), The Stars and Stripes Forever (Sousa), Solid Men to the Front (Sousa), New Mexico March (Sousa), Lassus Trombone (Henry Fillmore), Washington Post March (Sousa), Fugue on Yankee Doodle (Sousa), With Pleasure (Sousa), and something called on the program "Drums Along the Potomac" that owed much to the movie Drumline, although, apart from the smart-alecs in the band who probably worked it up, we were probably the only ones there who knew it. It didn't take two bars for K. to recognize Lassus Trombone as the music most often used to accompany clown acts at the circus. "Cousins" was a wonderful show-off piece and very ably performed, one of the highlights of the evening. Before the music began, we caught a bite at T&S Seafood on the way, not causing any of the live creatures in tanks to be offered up for our delectation and enjoying the Hong Kong pop playing over the sound system. We admired the feng shui goldfish, some of the handsomest ever seen. It was a perfect evening for a track meet, and we watched some of the races before going in to hear the music.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

"She's been walked on and stepped on so many times, and I hate to admit it, but that last footprint's mine--she was cryin' when I met her, she cries harder each day--who can blame her"--"Life Turned Her That Way." We just heard this on KVET the other morning, by Ricky Van Shelton. It was Charley Pride singing it the first time we heard it, and still the best. It's out there somewhere by Ernest Tubb also. According to the KVET announcer this was the B side for May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose (Little Jimmy Dickens); written Harlan Howard. In searching for more information about this song, a page was found for Robert Christgau. When our near-lifetime Village Voice subscription ran out, it was too costly to continue, especially now that postage rates are so high.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Plagued by stripped attachments and the reasons therefor, I thought I'd never find the solution, but, dummy that I am, at last I did. While I was trying to come up with the relevant variable, which after trailing down dead ends turned out to be subscribing to digest messages, I just had to go look for information on Harlow's attachment theory. I'll never forget the picture of the chicken-wire and terrycloth maternal stand-in with the baby clinging to it. Now there's a book on Harlow and his experiments and their influence: Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Not until seeing an appreciation today by Nat Hentoff did I realize that Ruby Braff is gone. The Hentoff piece, in the WSJ, remarks on the obtuseness of the NYT obituary, which we must have missed. Of the ones found on line, this was the best obituary. We once lived within hearing distance of a radio station with a late-evening d.j. who played a lot of his stuff.

Monday, April 07, 2003

We finally reviewed some sheet music that once belonged to a family member who played movie-house piano for the silents. What has some our way is mostly of World War I vintage, with lots of lyrics about the Huns. Many are hits, such as "How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree)?" (there must be thousands of copies of this sheet music, with its comic cover, by one Barbelle, surviving). There is imagery of Red Cross nurses, cast as angels: "There's an Angel Missing in Heaven (She'll Be Found Somewhere Over There)" and another great one of "When the Boys Come Home" (lyrics by Lincoln's war secretary, John Hay, and music by Oley Speaks). My favorite is "Let's Keep The Glow In Old Glory And The Free In Freedom Too" (published by McKinley Music, 1918, Chicago), with a full-color cover that's wonderful. Frank Henri Klickmann, its composer, came up with some humdinger song titles.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Our first poppies include Flanders poppies.

Saturday, April 05, 2003

I wonder whether these are the first among many emissaries from New Mexico to be.

Friday, April 04, 2003

There'll be no more new movies from Leslie Cheung. It was surprising to learn that he was so old. Favorite movies are Temptress Moon and Phantom Lover, but there are too many to name.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Work outdoors early and late in the day helps. We're enjoying the last of the Dutch irises, the white ones, so that now all colors are here at once, though the earliest ones, the two kinds of purple, are beginning to fade.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

For weeks now, at all hours on all days, we're plagued by canvassers for Collegeworks franchise painting outfit. These kids do not take no for an answer! The website does not reveal how much money they've put into their territory, but they certainly seem desperate. It does have a page of parent FAQs, one of which is "This seems too good to be true. What does NSG gain from this?"

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Squirrel mortality has been high lately, but the turkey vulture is on the job. We've never seen them at such close range before.