blue tape
Saturday August 23rd 2014, 10:57 pm
Filed under: himself,tired,Work Tags:

My hands are soft. A blister beneath my ring, a sliced thumb from a wayward putty knife, general hand-tired from two days of brushwork and rollers. Wax on, wax off, indeed, if done properly. An odd day of contemplation, on manual labor, on my own years of not only doing it but priding myself on the doing of it, on masculinity and how and why to model and teach the things that matter, on perfection and cutting corners and feeling obligated to do it, for the most part, as right as possible while still leaving space for an imperfect product. On those who disagreed. Discuss.

And now the ocean, not quite audible over the dishwasher and the traffic, but I can feel it, a block away, its enormity and its tides and its to and fro and rhythms. A walk on the beach, a windy evening chill, a slender thread of what if, but mostly a profound sense of here and now, born of exhaustion and knees less nimble and a back less accommodating than the lifetime ago when I did this every day.

twenty weeks
Thursday August 21st 2014, 9:25 pm
Filed under: himself,nextish Tags:

Counting up and now counting down, the halfway mark. Measured and scanned and poked a few times for a better angle, and all seems to be well. Halfway through the alienation of my labor, as well, running a tightrope with no net at a dead run, hoping they’ll learn something whether or not I fall. Tomorrow I get the place to myself, not for leisure but for accelerated nesting. Really just painting. I’ve no idea if I’ll hate it as much as I grew to, at times, or return to the calm of well executed brushwork. I bought a nice brush, regardless, and some nice paint. Pile everything out, clean, prep, paint. Rinse (not literally) repeat. Pile everything back in, figure out next steps. Condensing the space I occupy to a minimum – a 12 inch shelf over a 15 inch keyboard, a music stand of space between the two. Monitors and computer up on the shelf then, slightly over hear height for the one, standing-desk high for the other. Hoping to fit everything into an 18″ profile, bench under keyboard under shelf, behind a tasteful folding screen.

Yet at the same time I strive to minimize the physical space my hobby, perhaps an interest occupies, I’ve become increasingly aware of how thin my visual presence is. Because I’ve never occupied space that way, nor felt I needed to, really. A few postcards on the wall, a stereo, a pile or three of books and music and an ashtray was about all I needed to announce myself, to feel myself to be myself in a space. I’ll have the brushwork, I suppose, though I’m not looking forward to the ceiling and working around the fan. The larger conceptual anxiety, of self-erasure, of supplantation, is obvious enough, though I wonder how the reactions will manifest, how himself will rather change the changes.

Monday August 11th 2014, 11:48 pm
Filed under: Boozy,departure Tags:

It’s not your fault, he said.

I didn’t quite know. Thanks for that.

Tuesday August 05th 2014, 2:31 pm
Filed under: change,himself,memory,something new,summer Tags:

Packing, again. But not to move, not this time. To move things around. To make space. To echo the space himself is growing into. Books, of course. Not that there are so very many books in the little house, particularly mine. I have an office. Hell, come October I’ll have two. As I sweat and wrestle packing tape and dusty boxes, I’m reminded that books are a necessity, but space to live alongside them is a luxury. And each book or cluster, of course, an impossible series of memories. Too many memories, even in a few boxes, of too many mes over many many years. A boarding pass, casually sticking out of a volume of Proust, for a flight from San Francisco to New York, as I exited, stage left, to go back to England and try again, rather less casually.

Saturday August 02nd 2014, 9:31 pm
Filed under: Boozy,HelLA,holidays,jazz,nostalgia,summer Tags:

You would think the fact I’d been on on a small green rock in the middle of the fricking Atlantic where the locals wear, I shit you not, foul weather gear to go shopping in JULY when the rain and the wind pick up a bit, that I wouldn’t be quite as pleased to listen to the rain outside as I am. An odd summer (not of the ‘good summer/weird year; weird summer/good year’ debate) of West Coast humidity, plus drought, making the rain welcome, and the variation all the more soul filling as Donald Byrd sings “get in the groove” manfully as the Blue Note 75 radio station shuffles through its absurdities. (Ooh. Ornette Coleman. Those earings! Water tanks on the skyline!)

A few weeks of rustling and bustling follow the crazy of the work. If I could do that 20 weeks out of 50 I’d be a star, I suspect. Maybe I’ll aim for 15. Himself only a few weeks further along, 18 on Monday. Apparently we can be heard, which makes me want to curse a lot. And make the dogs bark, to habituate and make things easier upon arrival. As if anything can be made easier on arrival. Not so dramatic nesting plans, sanding and priming and painting the iconic piece of new arrival furniture, boxing books and moving bookcases and priming and painting a room somewhere in a shade of the welcoming palette. A shelf for speakers, the keyboard tucked under, a japanese screen to divide, or really suggest the division of, the room. 6 more weeks of teaching begin on Monday, then 2 weeks with the books in their native habitat, then an entire year, give or take. Plus the minor changes coming. None of which have been as frustrating as my attempt to buy a bike that’s neither a midlife crisis nor a dadbike. But the bitterness has faded on yesterday’s dire dirge, despite the meh of my attempt to re-embrace a taste for the popular at the Bowl last night.

Check Out Time, Ornette proclaims. At the Bowl last night, the incense burning tenor player was at his usual spot at the tunnel. “I’m a friend of [mumble], and I know he’d want me to say hi,” I said. He stopped, got up, came over to shake my hand, and said “I’m also a friend of Herbie’s. He’s a great man, Herbie, but he’s got time for us all. Any friend of Herbie is a friend of mine” Blink. Wifeblink. “Kirby!” I shouted, “the guy whose wedding you played a bunch of years ago. Kirby.” Pause. “Oh. Not Herbie. Herbie Hancock? Oh. Kirby? Kirby. Aaaah. Kirby. Any friend of Kirby’s is a friend of mine,” he offered charitably, no less warmth in the renewed handshake. It didn’t seem right to put money in the case, then.