Showing posts from September, 2020

Day 198, September 30, 2020

And the Walls Come a Tumbling Down  Today's soundtrack: Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald-Duets in Hannover 1975 There's something pleasing  about this disorder. Things fall down, walls, smoke stacks, buildings, monuments, and yes, sometimes stacks of wood, particularly if they are not placed on appropriately level footing. One might even say that entropy is inevitable, it is the nature of things, the resolution of order to disorder, or perhaps it is the disorder that is itself a form of order, the base nature of how things land when the mortar fails, or in a stormy night when there is the loud whump of a half cord of wood tipping over all at once in a pleasing coordinated collapse that gets the dog barking and makes all the humans stare out into the rain trying to imagine what it could be. It is interesting that there are some sounds that are easily identifiable. I am familiar with the sudden and surprisingly brief collision of an automobile with an object. It is something that hap

Day 197, Sept. 29, 2020

The Zen of Stacking Today's soundtrack: Jaco Pastorius - Trilogue, Berlin 1976 Today I was in a meeting, a caucus of BIPOC faculty and staff from across the state. It was obvious, but eye opening, how rare any of us get to experience this in higher education. To be sure there are as wide a range of voices and opinions in a group of BIPOC faculty and staff as there are in any group of faculty and staff, but to not be in the minority and need to consciously and unconsciously navigate what is said and unsaid from that perspective, was refreshing and freeing, even if this was just a preliminary first meeting. One of the facilitators talked about how her daughter was just starting to navigate the politics of identity and the anger and frustration that comes with that, even at a young tender age. For many of us, that has been a life-long process, something that started precognition and continued through all the stages of development, through the construction of identity, gender, sexual

Day 196, Sept. 28, 2020

Strange Fascinations Today's soundtrack: David Bowie, Live in Berlin, 2002 When I was in high school I had one of those all in one plastic stereo units with a dual cassette deck, radio tuner, turntable, and chipboard speakers. The whole thing weighed maybe 10 pounds, but I didn't know any better except that I knew the temperamental tonearm caused me to scratch a generation of records... but that may have also been my temperamental teenage angst and physical awkwardness.  There were a couple of records and cassettes I used to listen to on continual repeat. Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars  accompanied me through countless nights of insomnia, countless dreams of reinventing myself, as if my true self was just waiting to be revealed.  It is amazing that my parents tolerated my late night music marathons. I don't recall being particularly attentive to how loud or quiet I was playing the stereo, and

Day 192, September 24, 2020

The Perfect Slice Today's soundtrack: Stevie Ray Vaughn at The American Caravan with Lonnie Mack, 1986 and Robert Cray Live in Concert 2008 When I was a little Papa Gino's was our pizza place of choice. We didn't really have the knowledge that pizza could be better, it was what we knew. My father would take us to the one on Route 9 in Framingham, and we'd sit in the franchise's signature awninged building and while away the time as we waited for the pizza to come out of the oven. I don't remember my mother ever eating pizza, it seemed like something my father indulged in with us. He has an appreciation for such things, and even now expresses a longing fondness for Friendly's upon occasion. My dad found the Jolly Boat! We always had some some variation of the supreme, a marvelous testament to excess with two or three different meats, and a gentle nod to the vegetables with green peppers, maybe some mushrooms and onions. The whole thing was a greasy extravagan