Of Sunday breakfast, Hackintosh Envy and Ian Svenonius

I wake on a Sunday and my small children brag about how many bowls of cereal they can eat in one sitting. Apple Jacks. We went to the regular grocery store for a change, instead of the socially responsible grocery store. My vehicle is out of commission and beggars can’t be choosers. Listening to Rasputina on Rhapsody and wishing I had more money. I have been coveting a $399 Dell Mini “Hackintosh” netbook that keeps popping up on eBay – like I’m not using enough operating systems as it is. I am a Geek of all trades, master of none, and a fickle one at that. Egg salad on rye toast with licorice tea for my breakfast. Reading “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.” Finally getting around to watching “Heroes” on Netflix. Maybe going to see Ian Svenonius‘s new band “Chain and the Gang” on Wednesday, if I can hitch a ride with someone or other. I love the crap out of Ian Svenonius. Saw his last band “Weird War” a couple years back at Solar Culture and no one would go with me, therefore none but I witnessed the amazingness that was a Weird War live show. One of the best Tucson live music experiences I’ve had of the last few years, I shite you not. I realize that all of this was very very boring, but I have to get back in the habit of writing before by brain dries up in my ripe Gen X old age. I can’t afford, like, basic transportation expenses, but somehow have stumbled into all of this technology on the cheap. I am spoiled by secondhand capitalism. Grateful, but spoiled and tethered to the house like one of the Lotophagi from the Odyssey. I need to get out and live a little before my skeleton completely fails on me and my taste atrophies from neglect.

Gratefulness: 7 things on a Sunday Morning

epona1)Listening to our local “pirate” radio station run by baby Anarchists:www.freeradiochukshon.org

2)Breakfast is hostess cupcakes and mexican dark coffee with cream on the porch with candles and incense and the Sunday paper. Dishes can wait…

3)We won, we won, we fucking won…I volunteered my time and $5 I couldn’t afford to a candidate that actually won! I kind of feel like a Timequake has occurred (apologies to K. Vonnegut) and the spiritual resurgence of Clinton era ideals actually makes me 19 again somehow. I feel like it’s finally safe to start my life over again and do things right this time.

4)Time is tight and money’s even tighter, but I am getting more resourceful by the minute. This morning, for instance, I have thrown a pot of beef stew in the oven for lunch,simultaneously lowering our heating bill and preventing wasteful takeout food spending. If it ever came down to it, I know how to make vinegar out of raw apple cider, for fuck’s sake, I got pioneer survival skills, I can certainly live without ordering pizza on a Friday night or two…

5)Spent this Friday night watching Jimmy Stewart movies with my 6 year old and eating white cheddar popcorn and leftover Halloween candy while my 11 year old wrote “littlest pet shop” screenplays in MS Notepad to be acted out with her sister later.

6)Got enough sleep for a change. I could have slept for years. I love it when the seasons change because in summer the daylight and the heat start seeping in early in the morning on weekends and you can never get back to sleep. The downside of our Arizona existence.

7)The depression I didn’t know I was in is slowly lifting. My mind is not blocked and I can write again. I feel like I can stand the company of other people again. My thoughts have time to drift again and it feels like the world will not suffer and drown for their drifting.

Days Of Thanks And Chaos…

About time I wrote something, I guess…
Friday limbo, was playing Nick Cave and Leadbelly and songs from an old lover. Day After Blues, wandering, newspaper brooding in the Dinosaur MacDonalds, bookstore lingering over hot chocoolate and idiot shoppers with my sweet little girls whov’e learned a Tom Waits song. Sarah sings it “remember the girl with the sun in her eyes and I’ll kiss you” then she blows a little kiss “and then I’ll be gone…” My punk rock little Maggie sings “and I’ll kiss you and then I’ll be sick!” and laughs riotously. Watched the movie “Seven” which I’d never managed to sit all the way through before and TOTALLY called the ending. Good movie, though. And then…

…Twas the Day After Thanksgiving and the liqour was flowing, the bonfires raging, the music pouring out of the living room and it was to be expected and it was good. The stragglers left long after the first morning’s light and Jesse referred to the sunrise as “God’s morning boner.”Sang “In the Pines” and “Willing” and “Oldest Story In The World” and “I Don’t Want To Me A Soldier” and “Designs On You” and several Forkan originals of old and new and much Stones and Zeppelin and who and the strangest guitar blues rock Iggy Pop style multiphasic eighties pop song medly. Made some promises to learn and sing and practice songs for future reference and so I will. And the the lord hath spake and apparently was happy to see us that morning. Happy birthday Mike, another year you’re still alive which is more than some of us can say…

“Good manners and bad breath will bet you nowhere…”
-Elvis Costello

Things learned whilst researching a song, part 1…

From “Welcome To Leadbelly Homepage:

Huddie William Ledbetter was born on January 29, 1885 on the Jeter Plantation near Mooringsport, Louisiana. He was the only child of his parents Wesley and Sally. Huddie and his parents moved to Leigh, Texas when he was five and it was there that he became interested in music, encouraged by his uncle Terrell who bought Huddie his first musical instrument, an accordion.

It was some years later when Huddie picked up the guitar but by the age of 21 he had left home to wander around Texas and Louisiana trying to make his living as a musician. Over the next ten years Huddie wandered throughout the southwest eking out an existence by playing guitar when he could and working as a laborer when he had to.

Huddie Ledbetter was the world’s greatest cotton picker, railroad track liner, lover, and drinker as well as guitar player. This assertion came from no less an authority on the matter than Huddie himself. Since not everyone agreed with his opinion Huddie frequently found himself obliged to convince them. His convincing frequently landed him in jail.

In 1916 Huddie was in jail in Texas on assault charges when he escaped. He spent the next two years under the alias of Walter Boyd. But then after he killed a man in a fight he was convicted of murder and sentenced to thirty years of hard labor at Huntsville, Texas’ Shaw State Prison Farm. After seven years he was released after begging pardon from the governor with a song:

Please, Governor Neff, Be good ‘n’ kind
Have mercy on my great long time…
I don’t see to save my soul
If I don’t get a pardon, try me on a parole…
If I had you, Governor Neff, like you got me
I’d wake up in the mornin’ and I’d set you free

Pat Neff was convinced by the song and by Huddie’s assurances that he’d seen the error of his ways. Huddie left Huntsville a free man. But in 1930 he was arrested, tried, and convicted of attempted homicide.

It was in the Louisiana State Penitentiary in July 1933 that Huddie met folklorist John Lomax and his son Alan who were touring the south for the Library of Congress collecting unwritten ballads and folk songs using newly available recording technology. The Lomaxes had discovered that Southern prisons were among the best places to collect work songs, ballads, and spirituals but Leadbelly, as he now called himself, was a particular find.

Over the next few days the Lomaxes recorded hundreds of songs. When they returned in the summer of 1934 for more recordings Leadbelly told them of his pardon in Texas. As Allen Lomax tells it, “We agreed to make a record of his petition on the other side of one of his favorite ballads, ‘Goodnight Irene’. I took the record to Governor Allen on July 1. On August 1 Leadbelly got his pardon. On September 1 I was sitting in a hotel in Texas when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up and there was Leadbelly with his guitar, his knife, and a sugar bag packed with all his earthly belongings. He said, ‘Boss, you got me out of jail and now I’ve come to be your man'”

In 1935 Lomax took Leadbelly North where he became a sensation. Leadbelly remained Leadbelly. After hearing Cab Calloway sing in Harlem he announced that he could “beat that man singin’ every time”. His inclination toward violent resolution of conflicts, though mellowed, lead to threatening Lomax with a knife which effectively ended their friendship. Nevertheless by 1940 Leadbelly had become well known in the recording industry. Over the next 9 years Leadbelly’s fame and success continued to increase until he fell ill while on a European Tour. Tests revealed that he suffered from lateral sclerosis and he died on December 6, 1949.

(Adapted from the liner notes to “Leadbelly, Alabama Bound” by executive producer Billy Altman, on RCA Records.)

Lyrics Of The Day:

(The Cure,off Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me…)

“How Beautiful You Are”

You want to know why I hate you?

Well I’ll try and explain…

You remember that day in paris

When we wandered through the rain

And promised to each other

That we’d always think the same

And dreamed that dream

To be two souls as one

And stopped just as the sun set

And waited for the night

Outside a glittering building

Of glittering glass and burning light…

And in the road before us

Stood a weary greyish man

Who held a child upon his back

A small boy by the hand

The three of them were dressed in rags

And thinner than the air

And all six eyes stared fixedly on you

The father’s eyes said ’beautiful!

How beautiful you are!’

The boy’s eyes said

’how beautiful!

She shimmers like a star!’

The childs eyes uttered nothing

But a mute and utter joy

And filled my heart with shame for us

At the way we are

I turned to look at you

To read my thoughts upon your face

And gazed so deep into your eyes

So beautiful and strange

Until you spoke

And showed me understanding is a dream

’i hate these people staring

Make them go away from me!’

The fathers eyes said ’beautiful!

How beautiful you are!’

The boys eyes said

’how beautiful! she glitters like a star!’

The child’s eyes uttered joy

And stilled my heart with sadness

For the way we are

And this is why I hate you

And how I understand

That no-one ever knows or loves another

Or loves another

Lyrics of the Day

“The butcher the baker and the baseline maker say you can leave her I can take her you spend your whole life like a minute or two later one day it’s gonna and sooner than greater…oh, what would the loved ones say, what would the loved ones say?”

“If I Should Fall From Grace”

This is a documentary about Shane MacGowan about what a lyrical genius and an unrepentant drunk he is, and it’s just f’ing awesome, I must say. Cameo appearance/interview segments with the fabulous Mr. Nick Cave abound. There’s a bonus sing-along feature and an interesting little outtake of Shane peeing in the bushes. Klassy with a Kapital “K.”

Also rented “The Last Seduction” which was noirishly badass and I’d somehow never gotten around to seeing. And some Japanime because I’m a bit of a geek. No tentacles, though.

My latest read was exquisite in its fashion: “Idlewild” by Nick Sagan (son of Carl.)
Like “The Matrix” with shades of “The Breakfast Club.”

Other joys of late:

A “new” old Pernice brothers CD found at Barnes and Noble before my cash ran out for the week.

Latte from Caffe Nation, complete with an encounter with an old acquaintance that keeps popping up randomly every couple of years.

Peach pie and Beamish Stout at the Congress Street Grill (unofficial motto: exquisite diner cuisine cuisine served with a sneer)along with nibbles of Lizzie’s “gianormous” pancakes.

But number one on my list has been the joy of manning the front desk today, so I have leisure to read and websurf and post. It’s like a vacation on the job, except for those occasional pesky callers…