Working on it
1978 moves along, trying to draw since nothing else seemed possible. May have even started learning lithography.
1978 moves along, trying to draw since nothing else seemed possible. May have even started learning lithography.
despite the forecasts, it turned out that today was more beautiful than yesterday.
The sky, appearing at first a soft even grey, reveals itself to the deeper gaze as a complex gauze of endless and unregimented strands. In the reduced palette of the gray, the constant contradiction can be sought out. That constant contradiction of the purple and green, which hides in shadows in the gaudier flashes of open sun, is playing everywhere across the largest of spaces of sky available, and there to come from the hidden obvious, lighting and intensifying itself from inner tiny fires banked against the infinite cold. “Here, see my heart! I reward you oh lone seeker!” Proud imagining of reward, available in this arena to even the one giving a moment to try to work with the failing old eyes.
Oh, I had heeded the warnings and done what I could with the hey-making yesterday what with it being Spring and all, anticipating a day of no emergence as the ice revenged today. But, a couple of partly contrived, partly coincidental errands proved enough to convince me to go out to do walk just enough, anyway. The wind in my face immediately affected judgement, there was no way to rule more enthusiastically for advance or retreat (though the latter may have allowed a second thought of retrieving mittens and balaclava). In the lapse, a great furor arose in the court. If nothing else the issue of remaining sanguine, moving blood about enough to avoid immediate demise in any case, at last and post haste was recognized.
Once underway, and under the sky (see scene one), it seemed one might just as well go down a ravine after all. There was less traffic and blather of other humans to filter this eve, anyway.
When it was sunny, there was that struggle to concentrate on the voice of the water over the humans. Like, despite efforts who can filter a lawyer who shows up in the park apparently just to speak loudly and repetitively about client billing and tax returns while managing her children and dogs. (The children and dogs were cute, but thwarted in their goals, starved for attention and riddled with unheeded anxieties about each others’ mortality. “But, I just don’t want her to die!” “She’s fine.” “I don’t want to go back to the house, we just got here.” “Mommy forgot to make a phone call.” “Davey is staying” “He’s with Jeremy.” “Why can’t I stay with him?” “Because that’s not what we’re doing.” Stick with the plan, no matter what happens; unless you have to make a phone call.)
Turning toward the ravine seemed to signal for a shift toward moodier lighting and more dramatic effects. I got the best of the snow, in my face and skirling across the blacktop in wild crack-the-whip lines. Foot traffic was light on the descent, just a couple hardy souls in their big metal shells running their engines and leaving their lights on to spoil the skyline. But, oh, above, the fingers of the trees. More overall and above all than even yesterday, between the broader dark and slightly less dark grey. Above and calling for attention with their confusing but pointed gestures. So many hands, so many fingers. More and more as they pull the gaze. The fingers are dividing, multiplying, getting tinier and more to the point all the. I feel them in my fingers, the cold that has worked through the inadequacies of gloves heightening attention and identification. Pointy, prickly little sticks burn at the ends of my sleeves. But, surely I didn’t have that many fingers when I left the house? They must be bundles of fingers within each finger that mirror the trees. The veins themselves, each becoming its own pointy hot messenger.
Then… Suddenly… A decade or so later…
If the contradictions and trouble in my mind were going to keep me from doing anything, maybe I’d have to just do them.
Click any image to open gallery. Click ‘Zoom’ button in upper-right to actually see them.
awwww, go on
A brief chapter with some attempts to make lines, a reference to a local celebrity, and an invention.
This was the other song that Jean-Paul Boissard wrote out for me during the Columbus stop-over on his seeing America trip in the ’70s. My attempt at a singable English version did not get as far as with J’ai Mis le Feu, but I still retain a fair sense of the meaning. Maybe someday. The narrator is a young woman who has different identities in the different verses, all having to do with movie idol fueled fantasies. It starts out with her as Lili Boule de Gomme, (Lili Gumball, or Bubble-gum.) “I’m 13 but I look 20.” Then she is Brigitte Boule de Gomme (“I’m 20, but I don’t look it”), then Marylin Boule de Gomme (“I am dead, but I never age”).
Here is one of several videos of a Paul Boissard tribute concert at his home club in Picardy, about 10 years ago. Lili appears at about 16:45. Here it was sung by a young girl, which made it extra poignant. She didn’t really get older as the song went on, though. Then everyone starts singing along at the end. This brings tears to my eyes every time. I used to think I might be the only person in the world that knew this song. Everyone knows this song.
Regarder la vidéo «20 ans dans la lune 1» envoyée par François sur dailymotion.
And here’s a recording of Paul
(lyrics:) Je m’appelle Lili boule de gomme J’ai treize ans mais j’en parais vingt D’ailleurs l’âge ça ne compte pas Au fond des salles de cinéma Je m’appelle Lili boule de gomme J’aime les hommes qui ont des gros bras Des moustaches comme mon papa Et qui m’emmènent au cinéma Quand arrive l’entracte Et qu’ils me payent un esquimau Mes rastacouères rougissent de trac Et je leur dis ces tendres mots Je m’appelle Brigitte boule de gomme J’ai vingt ans mais je les parais pas Du talent comme on n’en fait pas Et je veux faire du cinéma Je m’appelle Brigitte boule de gomme Et je danse souvent les pieds nus Dans la chambre pleine d’inconnus Que je rencontre au cinéma Je suis le monstre de ma voisine Quand je chante avec mes héros Et que je joue la fin du film En leur disant ces tendres mots Je m’appelle Marylin boule de gomme Et je me tourne dans les draps D’une nuit qui ne finit pas A la sortie du cinéma Je m’appelle Marylin boule de gomme Je suis morte mais je ne vieillis pas Dans le film quand je dis aux soldats Je vous en prie n’y allez pas Ils vous tueront tous là-bas Restez encore auprès de moi.
I searched and searched for tips on turning my longtime ballpoint habit (mostly fueled by sitting at a desk at work and school, and ease of carrying on a bus) legit with an archival ink. Turns out there are some common brands that use inks that conform to certain industry standards, and there are lots of mailing list and blog posts about these issues. But, actually finding the right implements cheap in my locality took a lot of hours (as always.) But, for now I’ve got my answers, even if it did require ordering stuff from China and Japan and Germany, and the most expensive pen has already had the pocket clip break so thanks, Tombow. But, the Tombow refills are more for writing, as they are a smooth flowing liquid ink.
If you want to get that pencil like feel and value range you need an old school funky ballpoint, none of this gel and liquid and glide what-not. Well, Schneider’s got it, and the Schneider Pulse (not the Pulse Pro, which has some kinda smooth glide ink) ended up being the compromise weapon of choice. I got one at a reasonable price, and then a handful more shipped from way out for a very reasonable price. And some extra refills. Now, actually getting my broken hand and mind to usethem up is a whole other issue. Most of these drawings were done after being up all night and then finally having a craving to do what I should have been doing all along after the sun starts coming up and I’ve turned the lights out.
I keep remembering, hours after I should have gone to bed, that reviving my lapsed focus on drawing, starting in reverse order of problems with getting the broken hand back in action, was supposed to be some sort of priority. I mean like, when the sun is coming up.
But, why should it be a priority, anyway? The world is overrun with people wandering around with sketchbooks now, and blogging about their practice and their techniques. Back when I was really in it no one else could be seen doing it in these parts (unless you were in the vicinity of the art school), and no one cared that I was.(Isn’t she cute, though? Less than an inch square in real life.)
I have been using the old Pentalic Mark X, which when new seemed like a sad replacement for my favorite reasonably priced sketching fountain, the Pelikan 120. Although I have purchased a couple more 120’s off of ebay, at not so reasonable prices these days, I still do not have one working the way it used to. The Mark X just keeps flowing along, with no maintenance in the 35-40 years since it was new.
Of course, when I think or speak of politics, as I infrequently do (although the frequency, Kenneth, is increasing with the pressure) it is from the point of view of someone who is actually living in and concerned with the activities of a Nation. In other words, I assume the viewpoint of that
fictional character I play on the streets in that dreadful daily “reality show.” For, as you may well know, in one of my inner chambers I see no place for myself within this society. And, I still have a definite leaning toward Anarchy as my preferred form of government if I were to join a Nation. I understand that it is a largely impractical leap from the current state of affairs, but I see it as an evolutionary movement and ultimate goal of mankind. One day, if there is one, I imagine us living in a society where all the diverse practical matters which go into the functioning of such a conglomerate might be overseen, directed and carried out by people who are at least knowledgeable about the particular subject and, in a real utopian dream, interested in it. Rather than what we have now, no matter which form of organization went into convening the government (or industry): control of everything by people who are primarily interested in control. People who have learned mostly (and in some cases it is all they know or care about) how to work the system in order to feed their inner need for power. I guess there must have been some need for these skills somewhere in the past in order for that craving for power to be so built in to our makeup, just as there was once that great need for fat and sugar and such a scarcity and difficulty in obtaining them that led to those substances triggering such a massive pleasure response in our brains. But, we need to get some viewpoint aside from our self-gratification (I suggest prying only a small percentage of our attention away, let’s not go overboard) in order to face the facts that we are not living in the world of 35,000 years ago for which our bodies and brains have evolved. Desserts can be had at the grocery in dangerous quantities for very little expenditure of calories; and the people in power are more and more unsightly pimples on the fair face of our civilization. We can logically apply moderation to those cravings.
So, this impractical Anarchist has always had a hard time with politicians of any stripe, and thus in the people involved with organizing whether it be the Revolution or the Rotary. The alternative was to try to envision a suitable way for a cultured 20th century ape to live with less dependence on a hopelessly mucked up system. I did come up with a good plan, but having been unable to put it into action I live essentially chastened and, as mentioned earlier, in a world which I do not truly believe in. So, I have a certain amount of sentiment (an ugly ingredient in any stew) in common with the current wave of “anti-government” Hoo Ha. However, I daresay few if any of the people involved in this new ‘movement’ have given much, if any, thought to how they would function without the support of the government they supposedly are through with. They have (even) less of I plan than I did, and for the most part even fewer of the skills of self-sufficiency. (Astonishing, since I had virtually none, and to this day only some.) They are merely sopping up the thoughts trickling down on them from the wealthy and powerful beings controlling all channels of education and communication. Thus we end up with the odd spectacle of the downtrodden salt of the earth spouting a viewpoint that is really coming out of a billionaire’s mouth. For, I can truly imagine that many billionaire’s might say to themselves, “government services? Who needs them. I can buy better for myself.” All they really need is to keep enough police on the payroll to keep the rabble out of their neighborhoods.
this was tonight’s FaceBook status, which will give you a good idea of why I should just keep to myself. This is not really written, it’s ejaculated. If were to come back and re-write, maybe I would put in something about how beautiful the stone and the grain and complexity and the beauty of the drawing upon it and the magic of it’s transmogrification and transmission were to me. though, if the images couldn’t do that, though, what use are mere words.
How many copies of the same records does a person need? When it comes to those mysterious and timelessly great Paramount blues records of the late ’20’s, as many as it takes. Back when we started listening to them, there would be only one source available and it would be barely audible. But, there’s no doubt that the very challenge of hearing through all those pops, crackles and hisses made us hear all the more for the effort. And the enshrouding noise enhanced the romance and air of mystery. But despite all that, there remained the nagging questions about just what notes were being played on those distant guitars; and the enduring fantasy: what if I could be there and really hear Charley Patton play and sing?
The earliest re-releases of the 78’s generally involved turning the treble down to reduce the scratchiness. Sometimes way too far down. They pre-digital Yazoo releases sometimes did different eq’s on each side of the stereo groove, sometimes to good effect. That label had the best releases, and to my ear still does a lot of the time. They get access to the best originals, and use good turntables and stylii (current transfer masters have many custom stylii of different diameters to touch different parts of the groove wall so they can find the sweet spot on different records), getting the best out of the mechanical processes before going digital.
Some of the biggest disappointments have been releases from the Columbia Roots & Blues series, which was so exciting because they actually have the original metal master parts in their vaults. But, in spite of working from these pristine sources, they seemed to feel the need to over-process, with the decisions left too much to the software, until every last trace of noise is gone but with much of the feel of the music along with it. The sound is thin and, to me, often annoying.
Well, here’s yet another guy jumping into the digital remastering pool, and with yet another approach and to different effect. Andrew Rose at Pristine Audio is working over a number of the greats.
He is doing what he calls ‘digital heavy lifting’, working over individual phrases and moments in detail. Patching broken waveforms, working detailed multiple eq’s to try to make the guitar sound like what he thinks the guitar would have sounded like in person. In other words, remaking the record rather than trying to present it as is in best condition. These opposed approaches have advocates who will argue the issue in great detail at endless length. I’ll listen to both and wonder.
These records feature selections, rather than the ‘complete in chronological order’ programs that some labels attempt. He doesn’t have access to those ‘best copies available’ original discs, and has to content himself to working from other peoples’ transcriptions from varying sources. That, unfortunately, means that all that hard work is on top of a flawed foundation. Like all other versions before it, this can not be thought of as the ultimate. I’ll just have to keep buying every new remastering that comes along, I guess.
As soon as I started my hunt I understood that the Philippines was the location and’d heard amazing things about the email order brides. Nevertheless, as I began my search, I realized that there were lots of reasons for Filipinos to work at the U. S., but these were still a lot of to produce any substantive difference.
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There was a peaceful moment
just a little agony over facing the inevitable struggle with eggs or cereal
I even pulled up the shade on the back window for a rare look
and the bare fingers of the spindly trees posed against a long lit cloud for a two-tone fashion
subtle greys bottom and brashly contrasting summery top.
Then, there was a scratching at the back door
Did the porch cardinal suddenly decide to present demands?
No, scratching to the left and right there are never so many birds (would that, as we were just)
No. It was the wind again.
The director called strike this set
the cat started yowling again
or the cat was the director, I confuse
That cloud was rolled out stage left tout suite
Hold onto your hats
Welcome to the ’80s.