Monday, April 27, 2009
Me at the Moment
Cheryl at the very wonderful Lizzy Frizzfrock blog tagged me for the “meme of the moment.” Cheryl has been a stalwart friend of Robert Frost’s Banjo, & for those who aren’t familiar with it, her blog is very much worth a look & a read.
Without further ado, here’s a snapshot in words of me at the moment.
1. What is your current obsession?
Just to make a qualification right off the bat, I do make a distinction between “obsessions,” which I have known in all their full-blown fury in my day, & activities I find absorbing. The former: you’re driving on unfamiliar roads in the evening, & you’re lost & all you can think about is reaching your destination, but you keep making wrong turns & risky manuevers & yet you never seem to get on the “right road;” the latter: an amble thru a meadow or a pleasant stroll thru a city neighborhood on a sunny day.
Having said all that, I’m putting a good bit of energy into my solo playing/singing at local senior centers & other venues—very few things give me more satisfaction than sitting down & playing the guitar & singing old songs for long stretches, so I manage to get lots of practice without it feeling much like a grind.
& Robert Frost’s Banjo is an absorbing pastime that brings lots of fun & lots of great communication with fantastic folks.
& finally: ghazals.
2.Which item of clothing do you wear often?
T shirts, always. I have an evolving collection—sadly, they do wear out (I always thought it would be cool to make a quilt out of old t shirts, but apparently never believed this so strongly that I decided to learn how to do so). Right now, in no particular order, my favorites are:
Frog playing a banjo (light grey)
Elderly Intrustments (dark green)
Ukulelia (light grey)
Banjar (light green)
Mr. Potato Head (yellow—an old standby that I don’t wear too much because it’s getting a bit worn)
Old-Time Music (olive)
Generally a very casual dresser—in addition to tee shirts, carpenter’s pants, jeans, etc. I do have a thing for sport coats, tho; & I do favor baseball caps. My current favorite is a black ball cap marked GCEA (the tuning of a ukulele).
Oh, yeah, I wear Hawaiian shirts, especially when performing in the summer….
3.What's for dinner?
We almost always have our big meal at midday (“dinner” in the original sense of the word)—one of the benefits of working at home. Today: Red Beans & Rice! I use the New Basics Cookbook recipe, & it’s always a hit. A green salad with blue cheese dressing really complements red beans & rice, & we'll be having that as well.
4.What are you listening to?
Eberle & I really don’t listen to a lot of recorded music—hardly ever in the house. The one place I do listen to music is in the car, & because I have at least one long drive per week, I get my quota of listening in at that time. My “setlist” from last week’s long ride was: Hank Williams: 40 Greateast Hits; Mary Z Cox: A Secret Life of Banjo & Son House: Delta Blues & Spirituals. A couple of other cds I’ve listened to recently have been Folkways: A Vision Revisited: The Original Performances of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly, & the Darkwood Consort: Tro og Håb Spiller. The latter is a cd I recommend very highly—it’s available at CDBaby here.
I just spend a lot more time playing music than listening to recorded stuff.
5.Say something to the one that tagged you.
Cheryl, the Lizzy Frizzfrock blog is always a pleasure to read. You’re a gifted photographer & writer, & your love of life really comes across on your blog. I always look forward to your posts, & I’m very happy you’re a good friend of Robert Frost’s Banjo. I also strongly believe you must have been a fantastic teacher, because you communicate so clearly & enthusiastically.
6.Favorite vacation spot?
Manzanita, Oregon, in Tillamook County on the beautiful Pacific Coast. Occidental, California, up in the redwoods & very near the Sonoma coast would be a close second. We try to get to Manzanita every autumn, & stay for a long weekend in a rental house. We’ve found a rental that’s right at the edge of the dunes, but also an easy walk to downtown—there’s a lovely small market there, & a pub that serves great fish & chips; & we get to watch the sunset behind the Pacific every evening. I love the ocean in general & the Pacific Ocean in particular.
7. What I'm reading right now?
Mina Loy: Lost Lunar Baedecker (poetry)
Ring Lardner: The Annotated Baseball Stories of Ring W. Lardner 1914-1919
I plan on writing both of these up for the Happy on the Shelf series here.
8. Four words to describe myself.
“Geez, I don’t know?”
This really is a guilty pleasure, too. I have counseling once a week, starting last summer. During the first few weeks & months of that therapy I was dealing with feelings of bereavement quite a lot, & when I was done with that session I would crave some kind of comfort food. What I hit upon was Amy’s frozen cheese pizzas, & most counseling days since this is what I’ve had for lunch. Yeah, I know—you don’t have to tell me. But they are “organic”….
10. First Spring thing?
Getting out for walks is certainly something I look forward to in the winter—because of my lung condition, it’s hard for me to do a lot outside in the cold winter air.
I also love this specific time of year—end of April, beginning of May—because most years the yellow headed blackbirds come thru. More often than not they move on after a few days (tho there’s a wetland a few miles from here where you usually can see them all summer). A couple of years they’ve stayed here all summer around the pond. They are such striking birds, & their call is like a very guttural version of a redwing blackbird’s trill.
11. What do you look forward to?
Gosh, lots I guess. In the near-term, I’m looking forward to getting a book of my poetry self-published—my goal is for this to happen next month thru lulu.com, but I’ve been a bit slow on this; still proof-reading. Looking forward (I hope) to writing more ghazals & to my upcoming music gigs (both those already scheduled & ones I hope to get in later in the season). I’m also hoping to do some recording this summer—Eberle & I were really burnt out after last year’s project (& the projects that had piled up, one after another, preceding that), but I think I’m close to ready.
That's all folks. I believe a lot of folks already have participated in this meme, so I’m going to cop out on naming 9 new “memers” (meemies?), & just say “consider yourself tagged”—have at it if you’d like.