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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04

2002-12-01 ... 1:02 p.m.

For crying out loud, check out this title: Traumatic Wit(h)ness-Thing and Matrixial Co/in-habit(u)ating. Arrggh. More where that came from here.

NO...metal heads. NO...classic rockers.

Michelle? Can you handle this? Beyonce? Can you handle this? ("This" being not whatever the fuck Destiny's Child is threatening us with in that song but a collection of totally nasty wounds.) And please be aware that the only reason I am even referencing that horrible song is that it is stuck in my head because of downloading this mash-up (the one called "Booty"), which puts the bootyliciousness on top of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." The results are mixed but it is a little creepy how well that vocal track fits in with the slight secret samba of Nirvana's rhythm guitar.

(I fear that my thought processes are not very accessible today. Can you forgive and forget?)

Hmm. Interesting and controversial meditation on the disappearance of live music as a necessary component of the musical experience (I don't agree with the superbleak extreme side of this view, although I have no good philosophical reason for getting excited by live performance except for the visceral: "Wow, they're MAKING that sound.") Here's a good bit, though:

By composing the sounds before the notation or by eliminating notation entirely, composers find that their music changes radically. With the absence of notation, elements of musical style which are system driven begin to lose their appeal. If my computer can juggle retrograde inversions all day there is little personal motivation in my demonstrating this cleverness. More importantly, the use of this technology shifts the locus of significant activity from the composer's intentions (Boulez's technique) to the listener's perceptions.

The very, very little bit of composing I did in the context of music theory class showed me that it's insane to think you are going to compose notationally...maybe some people do, but I can't imagine it. Mozart was totally right, the hardest and most irritating bit of composing is actually writing stuff down. The availability of computer programs to help with the irritating bits is not just a technological timesaver but something that shapes the whole approach.


1. A Korean BBQ place that had a neon sign "OPEN," but instead of a normal "O" in "OPEN" they had used some strange glyph, that looked almost like the symbol for "female" without the part that dips below the crossline. I wondered, is that a Korean letter? And if so, how fantastic to just stick it into an English word, and it reminded me of when I was twelve years old and how I used to like to write in my diary in a pretentious fake "code," which was just Greek letters used to make English words. Samuel Pepys as a lonely suburban seventh-grade girl, snort.

2. A LED-readout sign in the window of a cell-phone store, the kind with words running left to right and stopping occasionally to flash or blink or have some other low-budget special effect. (Am I describing these signs properly? Do you have any idea what I'm talking about? They are like the things that tell you the nearly-always-inaccurate time and temperature on banks, only smaller.) As the taxi zoomed by the only words on this sign that I could see were "NOT YOU" blinking rapidly, and meditatively I thought: Oh. Not me. Isn't that just fucking emblematic of my entire life, and I got kind of misty and listless and blank-feeling. Until my brain sort of snapped back to attention and I started giggling like a psycho in the back of the cab, because what sort of incredible narrative laziness is it to rely on evocative signage as a shorthand for moments of real emotional intensity. That's real groan-inducing Bret Easton Ellis crap ("DISAPPEAR HERE" and "THIS IS NOT AN EXIT": god, dude, you did it in two different novels), and I resolved never to let my overtired brain go for a cheap shot like that again.

3. A really faded sign that said LOCKSMITH. The C looked like an O and the T looked a lot like an I and for about a nanosecond I thought that I had forgotten how to read because LOOKSMIIH meant absolutely nothing to me. Usually the opposite happens to us literate brain takes something that isn't a word and tries to see a word in it, so when I had this moment of misfiring neurons it was a little unsettling.

4. Café Bong, Vietnamese coffee shop at Clark and Bryn Mawr. Must remember to go back with my camera.

My taxi driver was silent for most of the ride, except for one brief cell phone call in muttered Urdu, and his humming along to what apparently was the All-Whitesnake Station on the radio. Then as we turned onto Devon he asked me, "Do you like this music? This rock and roll?" and he had such a hopeful lilt in his voice, like he wanted me to be his buddy in devotion to hair metal, so I just lied and said "Yes."

I had a hard time getting to sleep. My mind was full of Scrabble tiles (I lost every game, but I lost with flair and style) and signage. Now it's Sunday, a total placeholder in which I only update so that I don't dissolve entirely into a pile of inarticulate goo, and I have that vague Sunday unease, full of desire without object. I really hate this feeling, because it leads to the need to constantly quiz yourself like you are talking to an unsoothed infant: What do I need? A nap? Not sleepy. Food doesn't appeal. A secret forbidden cigarette does appeal, but that's probably just an illusion that would disappear as soon as I lit up. Desire without object usually leads to masturbation, and I'm certainly not knocking masturbation, but really, do I have to have such infantile needs? I am regressing instead of maturing, always chasing the dragon of contentment.

Oh that is not a good way to end. Note to self: Insert something funny here. Something really funny, something that will make you pee your pantaloons with joy.

---mimi smartypants firmly believes that beauty should be convulsive.


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