Going Back to Our Roots - Screen Free Sabbath

Shabbat Shalom

Screen-Free Sabbath

Sunset Fridays to Sunset Saturdays

Starting Halloween

At the 602 Club

Adam is most concerned about not being able to listen to music.

Never fear.

Old Shakuhachi woman is home.

And Elaborate Bungle is available on cassette.


Incident at the Y

At some point back in ancient times a man laid on his back with his legs in the air, his hands wrapped around the bottoms of his feet.  And his wife frowned down at him and told him he looked like a "dead bug", thus the posture was named.

At some point in the American yoga revival of the 20th century, peace loving practitioners of the ancient pose thought dead bug was too violent of an image and so renamed the posture "happy baby".

And one morning during 5:30a.m. awakening yoga, in a small town in Wisconsin, an instructor inadvertently mixed the two names and unfortunately, the result was not "happy bug".


A Wonderful Story

Once, I wrote a wonderful story.  It rolled onto the paper, smooth and fine and set me in a good mood for days.  And then one thing happened and then another, and the story, written in one of a myriad of notebooks I was scribbling in at the time, got buried among other notebooks and papers and fliers and magazines.

Today, while trying to think of what to write, I remember that story and want to find it so I can post it, since today I must post something in order to feel good about myself, and it can't be a song, because my last post was a song, and it's too soon for another Le Flaneur, and even though I have 335 unique drafts on this blog, and am often hopeful to find some gem there, inevitably, when opening them, each makes me feel more deflated than the previous.

So if I find the wonderful story I already wrote, then I won't have to write something new today.

While looking for the wonderful story, I find lists half accomplished, pipe dream rantings, CDs still in plastic, forms that should have been filled out, unfinished letters, unsent postcards, magazines opened to articles half read, school photos still uncut, illegible notes to self, reminders to go to events that I forgot to attend, clipboards, coupons, announcements, starts to novels and screen plays and memoires, mislabeled file folders, failed drawings, scratch paper, titles of books I want to read and movies I want to see, and $2.43 in change.

I give up and begin to craft the excuse as to why I won't be able to post anything today. After all, I have a lot of other things to do and the weather is lovely and won't be for much longer and there's classes to prepare for and courses to sign up for and gifts to buy and mail, and so many thank you letters to write.  I go to get my coat and notice the stack of papers I cleared from my desk several months back and dumped in a corner, meaning to go through them later, which I never did.  There I find more miscellany and the notebook I recognize as the one that contains the wonderful story.

I cheer and make some coffee and sit in the sunlight streaming into the kitchen, ready for a good read. I open the notebook, so excited to have found it, finally, the wonderful story I wrote.  But all too soon my enthusiasm drains as I realize that the wonderful story I wrote isn't so wonderful after all, but just a sketch, an idea, scant and malnourished, not unlike so many of the drafts piling up, so hopefully conceived, so dejectedly abandoned.


Everything I Know About Envelopes (abridged)

One girl who is perfectly okay with writing about hearts and picture frames, is distressed by writing about envelopes.  As she writes, she grits her teeth and mumbles how she hates envelopes.  We run out of time so I don't get to ask her to read what she wrote about why she so hates envelopes.  Next class, I will have to remember to ask her to read her piece.  Hopefully she doesn't lose it or forget it at home. I'm curious about her troubles with envelopes.


A Grape Idea

It's a joke.  A blog about grapes.  Grape art.  Grape poems.  Grape music.  And he's kind of embarrassed that the teacher encourages him, because he was just being sarcastic when he said it was a grape idea.

But it is sort of thrilling to imagine until he decides it's stupid.  He thinks about it, but he never does anything about it.  He's afraid he'll run out of things to say about grapes.  He's afraid that people will think it's dumb.  Eventually, he stops thinking about it.  His life unfolds in a common way.

It is sort of thrilling to imagine.  After eating all the grapes off the vine, he likes the way the vine looks like a little tree so he takes a picture of it and that night starts a blog, "It's a Grape Idea". He vows to post something about grapes everyday for a year. His life unfolds in a most unique way.


Everything I Know About Hearts (almost)

Hearts are soft, though I’ve never felt a real one so that might not be true.  I’ve seen a heart beating in a chest cracked open at the sternum but only in a video.  Still, it was disturbing. 

A heart can be removed from one body and put into another, a very puzzling thing.  What do you think they transport a heart in when it’s not in a body?  I was surprised to learn on the same video, one my cousin made, that it’s an ordinary cooler, one that usually holds lunch meat and beer.

But mostly, though they beat every moment of our lives, we don’t much notice our hearts unless we are running fast and come to a sudden halt, or unless our hearts are troubled, or unless a child runs to us and hugs us and we are a little frightened at how fast her heart is beating, and we take the child’s hand and press it to her chest, and we both gasp, surprised and delighted. 

From hearts flow emotion.

When our hearts stop beating, our lives are over, though I have heard of some yogis who train themselves to stop breathing for long periods of time and maybe their hearts stop beating too, and then start again, though I don’t know for sure, and sometimes a person’s heart is shocked back into beating by electrical charges given by a defibrillator which we learned about in CPR class as well as the new rules for CPA, 2 breaths to 30 compressions which doesn’t bring a person back from the dead, but does keep oxygen circulating through the body until the ambulance arrives. 

The smaller the creature, the quicker the heart beats, the bigger the creature the slower.  I know that mammals have four chambered hearts and that they make a lub-dub sound and that if you pay very close attention you can hear your own heart beating but mostly people only hear their hearts if they listen through a stethoscope which doesn’t happen very often. 

I have a grandpa and an aunt who died of heart attacks, each from different sides of the family, and probably more relatives who died of the same going long back.  My dad would also be dead of a heart attack except my mom called the ambulance right away and the doctors inserted a stint through his groin all the way up into an artery in his heart that was clogged and 12 years later his heart wasn’t working properly again, so they repeated the procedure and now he is doing fine.

I know that when we memorize we call it learning by heart, though mostly we learn to memorize with our minds.

I once read something interesting about how the symbol for heart came about even though it doesn’t look much like a real heart.  But now I have forgotten what that story is. 

I know that when we love, we feel a fluttering in our hearts, and when we drink a lot of coffee, we feel a drumming in our hearts, and when we're really frightened, we feel a burning in our hearts, and that there is a good reason for the expression broken hearted, because we ache in our hearts when we lose a great love, and this ache drives us to write sad songs and long poems that have no end. 

Hearts on cards are red.  The king of hearts has a sword through his head.  Candy hearts come in pastel colors and only taste good when you are sad.


Johnnie B. vowed not to talk about The 602 Club today.

Johnnie B. was waiting in line at Jacob's where S. was talking to D. about a dream she'd had about The 602, so when D. turned to Johnnie B., he had to say something about The 602 too even though he vowed he wouldn't.


There Goes Frank

Frank is my neighbor, across and down the block.  He plays organ at the same church where Ellen sings in the choir.  Every few months Frank accompanies a silent movie presented by the Packerland Theater Organ Society at the Houdini History Museum.  It's always such a treat and a complete mystery why more people aren't there.  Every few days when I'm sitting on the porch playing banjo, I see Frank making his slow way to or from Jacob's.

Next show:
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Monday, October 27th, 6:30pm


Everything I Know About Picture Frames (a tangent)

I am looking for a picture frame in the woods.  It seems like a picture frame wouldn't be difficult to spot, nailed to a tree, because it would be such a contrast to the bark and leaves.  Yet I haven't found the framed poem a student said she nailed to a tree along this path.  This is not the same class that wrote everything they know about picture frames.  In that class one girl said she knows that picture frames hold memories.

I prefer to tack things to the wall because though it is nice to have a thing framed, I am most likely not to get around to framing the objects I'd like to have framed. I have stacks of things that I mean to frame, funny old postcards and parts of maps and children's drawings and many photographs.  But if I really want to look at it, I better just tack it to the wall.  I ordered a print from a website I appreciate, some sort of map of creativity.  It was more than I've ever spent on a poster so I want to frame it.  I want to wait until I get a frame before I open it, but I don't know what size frame to get unless I open it.  So it sits in the corner unopened.

Last year for my husband's birthday, I framed some old family photographs and hung them in the stairwell.  Everyone was unhappy with my efforts for different reasons, so I ran out of steam for the project even though great chunks of the family are not yet represented which is not the thing that bothers my husband, but is the thing that bothers me.

Those not yet represented, please forgive me and frame a few family photographs and bring them to Thanksgiving to add to the family photo wall.  Thank you.  


Strange Porch Blues - Odd

Odd wore shirts that were too small and pants that were too big.  When he talked, people didn't know how to respond, unable to understand what it was he was saying.  Odd snorted when he cried and chortled when he was mad and answered the phone asking, "Who's there?"

Odd rode a giant tricycle that he rigged to steer with his knees so he could keep his hands free for playing banjo, the thing he loved most passionately.  He devoted his life to loving one woman who never loved him back.


The Road to Ubuweb

I heard on the radio, an interview with a writer about his book, Uncreative Writing.
Kenneth Goldsmith on To The Best of Our Knowledge

It was very interesting.  So I ordered the book.
Uncreative Writing

And referred to it on this blog.
Isn't It Time I Posted Something to My Blog?

And proposed to teach a class by the same name.
Renaissance High School

In uncreative writing class, to begin a discussion of juxtaposition, I showed this video of Kenneth Goldsmith reading at the White House.  I thought the students would be really into it but all they noticed was his paisley suit and how he was always moving his legs around when he read.
Brooklyn Bridge Triptych

As a way to further our discussion of movement and sound composition in a different class, I showed this video of Mark Applebaum performing Aphasia. One girl said that if that was her dad, she would be really embarrassed.  Another student wanted to know what year this was made since the guy's clothes are so out of style.
Mark Applebaum's Aphasia

When I came home from class I tried to find the video of a different performance art piece that the students might like better, one Mark Applebaum refers to in the TED talk where I first learned about him.
The Mad Scientist of Music

I never did find a link to the performance art piece, but rather got distracted by a sidebar link in which Mr. Goldsmith cuts off a rambling introduction to try to convince the audience to let him talk about ubuweb instead of uncreative writing because ubuweb is so much bigger and more interesting. He is unsuccessful.
Kenneth Goldsmith in Zagreb

So, I search ubuweb and find this video.
Kenneth Goldsmith's "A Brief History of Ubuweb"

Which leads to my first random listen on ubuweb:
Anna Akhmatova


Wisdom of Wombats Gathering at the 602 Club

Saturday, October 4, 7pm

Bring a friend and dessert or a drink and a song. 
Catch up with fellow artists and discuss ideas for future A Wisdom of Wombats projects. 

The Wisdom of Wombats is 
a collective of Fox Valley artists of various ilk 
mutually supporting and enabling cross-genre exploration.

The 602 Club
602 North Lawe Street

Painting by future wombat: Danny Ceballos
on display @ The 602 Club



I. Introduction

Section 2

Section 3
Delta T
Delta T
Delta T

Section 3.3

Section 4

Section 5
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