Archive for April, 2000

built for comfort

April 30, 2000

Finally starting to unwind… it only took three or four days of extra sleep and fried seafood to do it. Here’s my take on the second day of the Fest:


Large frozen cafe au lait


Frozen water

Patina earrings for B with Germaine Bazzle’s scatting carrying over from the Jazz tent

E) Indian fry bead

Mrs. Wheat’s crawfish pie

B) Softshell crab po’boy

S) Crawfish tail po’boy

S) Shrimp remoulade

Banda Blanca of Honduras (with two booty dancers to keep all the men in the audience paying strict attention to the stage)

Louisiana Heritage tent (Viator family showing their violins)

Virgin Megatent (B buys the Viators’ last album, I buy a David Lindley record I’ve been looking for for ages – it has “Brother John” and “Rock it with I” on it)

Grandstand to cool off in the AC and look for one of Steve and Elizabeth’s friends working in the Brazilian pavilion

B) Spring rolls

S&E) Vermicelli

Carlos Maba & Pife Muderno of Brazil @ Fais Do Do stage

I passed Wardel Quezergue Orchestra (an Afro-Cuban style big band – very hot) @ the Congo Square stage on my way to get

Fried sweet potatoes (disappointing, soggy and greasy, so two strikes no against Jeanminette’s food stand) &

Crawfish Monica, large (great as always, but small would have been more than adequate – except B helped me finish it off)

Pife Muderno quotes Ravel’s Bolero on flutes in their encore number

Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings plays at least three Robert Johnson songs (Rocks in the Roadway? that’s not the title but something like that, Terraplane Blues which absolutely tears the place up, and 32/20 Blues) – he’s a big hit with the crowd, which has a tad too many drunken dust dancers and off-beat tambourinists for my liking, but a cupped hand at each ear does wonders. Bonnie Raitt comes out and does the “I’m not worthy” bow. Let’s see, what else, he plays “Down in Mississippi with Legends of the Blues” about touring with John Lee Hooker in 1982 (he has since produced JLH’s album(s?)) on 12-string National steel guitar. Encores with Willie Dixon’s “Built for Comfort, Not for Speed” a little more mellow.

We move to the rickety House of Blues grandstand and wait for Derek Trucks Band to come on. Only problem is a cigar smoker in front of us (and I cut my knuckle on the end of a metal pipe strut). Somewhere in her we bought two more bottles of water and 1 sweetened rosemint tea. Later I get to see an altercation between a drunken college-guy type and a feisty young woman who hits back and then taunts the fellow all down the strip)

Derek’s first tune is jazzy with a bass solo – can’t just call them a blues-rock outfit, then

Ain’t That Lovin’ You

then two, three, four tunes I don’t know? then

Afro Blue (cool, taken fast)

then a song, then band intros, then

Amazing Grace, with an extended guitar intro and then a reggae arrangement

then an encore I don’t recognize that trends into Love Light as we’re heading out of the place.

On the way out, we couldn’t resists catching the last few tunes of

Zawinul Syndicate in the jazz tent

something you got

April 29, 2000

Strange, my Mac says it’s 8:43, the clocks here in New Orleans say it’s 10:40, and this diaryland entry form says it’s 9:19:10? whassup widat?

Report from Jazz Fest:


Drove to Fest with convertible top up.

Large unsweetened rosemint tea


Soft-shell crab po’boy

B) Mrs. Wheat’s crawfish pie that turns out to be a meat pie by mistake

Bonerama trombone band

Wild Magnolias (“meet the boys on the battlefront/the Wild Magnolias gonna stomp some rump”)

Native American exhibits in th grandstand, Brazilian band playing a cha-cha (everyone dancing), decided against oysters on the half shell, sat in the a.c. for a while cooling off while Ernie Andrews was interviewed about growing up in Philadelphia with Charlie Mingus and Dexter Gordon but he wasn’t really talking into the mic, so we went to Economy Hall and heard the end of Dr. Jaz from New Zealand (playing “Saints” of course).

B) Lemonade (too sweet)

B) Crawfish pie (tart style, lots of crawfish but gummy dough)

No popcorn shrimp again!!

Fried turkey po’boy (so so)

Gatemouth Brown at the Ray Ban (Acura) stage, OK but not will mic’d and very hot – the usual fat/frat/cigar scene (though thankfully the cigar fad seems to have peaked last year), so we went back to Economy Hall and caught the end of

Lionel Ferbos and the Palm Court Jazz Band (hokay)

Small unsweetened mandarin orange tea

B) Small unsweetened rosemint tea

Dukes of Dixieland with hilarious loud self-gossipper and her confiterix, their shrill voices interlacing with the clarinet and trombone, all about how her boyfriend won’t divorce his invalid wife

Henry Butler on the Fox stage, we lounging in the shade. Not Snook Eaglin on guitar but someone pretty good playing a blues/rock fusion: Something You Got (which I know from James Booker but not sure who wrote it), then a tune with the line from Goodnight Irene ’bout “six months ain’t no sentence/one year ain’t no time/they got boy down there in Angola/doin’ one year to 99”

Why do old guys not lock the portolet doors so they say occupied? remoinds us of Steve two nights ago laughing about Grandpa Simpson saying “this elevator only goes to the basement and someone made an awful mess down there!” Henry Butler does Voodoo Man from his new record… then something I don’t recognize, then Tipitina.

We go to the Jazz Tent and get seats for Chick Corea and Gary Burton. I go looking for Steve and Elizabeth and don’t find them but do come back with a

Shrimp/oyster (half and half) po’boy instead (so so, nothing compared with the soft-shell crab). Corea plays

Love Castle (from the ’70s, plucking the strings in the piano at first)

Native Sense (? can’t read my handwriting, from their last duet record)

Monk’s Dream

Sophisticated Lady (Ellington)

No Mystery (originally for piano and marimba, also ’70s)

Budd Powell

audience gives them a standing O

encore: Armando’s Rhumba

impossible to top that, we decide to duck out early (after one more rosemint tea each – I have mine honey-sweetened this time) to the strains of the Allman brothers.

kind of suits you

April 24, 2000

sax drifting up through my loose wind-rattly window from down on the street. somehow brings me back to standing in harry kwan’s today, with loosely stitched together suitings pinned and flattened and tucked and readjusted. felt like i was going back in time. not that i have that many occasions to wear a suit, but i’ve wanted one custom-made for a long time.

key in lock

April 18, 2000

Key in lock, baby. Key in lock. Keystonery afoot. Cornerstonehengeosity. “A child could do it! A child could do it!” A little of this, a little of that. Snail trails have direction. Follow your nose. Body Language 201: Conversation. Stop trying to make sense when it falls off the log. “A delay makes its own gravy.” I can’t be the only one who digs getting lost. Familiar landmarks trigger autopilot. I know this one. It ain’t never gonna end. Hup one, hut two. Strike!

Shake it off like the remnants of a dream down the drain faster than hair let go from the scalp. Let the troll under the bridge have a go at it. He’s good at these word games. You’d know that if you ever had him to tea. (Without closing the blinds first.) Agamemnon knew what I’m talking about. Aga Khan. Elian: I lean, alien!

excuses, excuses

April 17, 2000

learning at a furious pace how to build and manage large-scale web sites and researching content-management systems so i can streamline the whole publishing aspect of the web and make it easier to wail. at first, the mere existence of the net and the *relative* ease of posting to the web (even via telnet and ftp) compared with other forms of publishing was enough to elicit reams and reams of words and phrases and sentences and paragraphs from me on a regular basis. but it didn’t stay easy enough or get easier fast enough, somehow, and now the slightest nuisance deters me from putting it out there.

meanwhile the backlog grows.

watch over the next few months as i systematically remove obstructions – methodological, systematic, and mental – and then no amount of complaining about how much work i have to do and how many demands i and everybody else are putting on me will stem the flow.


i just figured out i can afford a digital camera.

kill the narrator

April 11, 2000

Kill the narrator. He talks too much.

You talk too much. (You never shut up.)

Shut up “shuttin’ up.”

(Good for dialog)


maybe that;s why dead narrators

tell the best stories?

“…then they kilt me.”


Just relaxing and being yourself

puts you at the head of the pack.


couple on BART overaccessorized,

semi shaved one-dangly-earring depending

boots and a good color scheme – brick red

but faded, glasses like mine, great

profile, leone-cowboy hairdresser

he, she the good yoko, asian master

of western taste, subtleties, nuance,

stars of their own movies but ultimately

not a story i care to tell (so what?)

visions of excess and restraint

April 6, 2000

something rare for me happened a few nights ago: i dreamed about jerry garcia. now, some deadheads have these kinds of dreams all the time (and especially dreams of being at shows), but not me. i’ve only had the “intimate show” dream once or twice and never a “talking to the celebrity just like a friend” visitation. he didn’t look great, plus even though we were sort of walking along talking, i had the famous front-on view, and i noticed his hairline receding even though the hair was more black than gray: kind of a hybrid of tommy-chong era jerry with touch of grey era jerry. don’t remember what we talked about but near the end i welled up with tears because, as i told him, “you’re going to die soon.” so what was my mind trying to tell me?

yesterday i had lunch with my friend jeff green, writer of the GreenSpeak column in the back of Computer Gaming World magazine. walking down market on the way back from the burrito place where we et, we both spotted r. crumb’s ascetic brother sitting in the lotus position, looking distressed (but maybe he always looks that way) and talking to someone standing, leaning over him. when we got past earshot i said to jeff, “do you know who that was?” and of course he did. i guess anyone who saw the documentary about crumb would. we joked about having seen a movie star. as my brother likes to quote a homeless man he met in new york once, “You in the city now.”

epiphanies on the cheap

April 4, 2000

sitting here still with a stiff neck that just won’t go away. got home and went to the backyard to chill. cat came by and we communed for a while. i finally let her sit on my lap some. kept thinking b was home but it was other car doors closing up and down the block. the garden is in an amazing state of fecundity at the moment. the banksia rose bush/canes are overflowing in orgasmic bliss. one amazing shot only a handful of micrometers wide: a tiny yellow rose blossom already died on the vine and dried in the recent heatwave, next to a candelabra of five to eight buds just about to push themselves out and bloom, probably tomorrow. life and death on the same branch of the same plant, where elsewise there are thick bushels of roses all budding in an communal extended family, and only children equally happy with their own patches of sun.

it’s cooled off today, finally, but i still quaffed a beer in short order. not to cool off but to dumb down. fares to new orleans just dropped, at least on delta, so it looks like we saved about four hundred bucks by waiting. now we got to make our reservations at the plantation/b&b in mississippi we’ve had our eye on for the few days between jazzfest weekends.

i'm melting

April 2, 2000

incredible heat and not enough time to do all the things that need to be done. got my fixer ticket signed by one of two oakland motorcycle cops busy rousting a somnolent bearded derilect folded up at the base of a lamppost near the big grand “theft” auto on park boulevard and 18th. now, i still need to bring (or mail) the damn thing into alameda county court in berkeley by the 4th, along with some unspecified fee. all because a bulb burned out before it’s time in the right rear bumper of mr. bean. actually, it just passed 24,000 miles and i’m due for my next “cronos care” visit.

working in the office all weekend getting some eMatter (think small eBook) packaged for mightywords. when deadlines approach, i become very inventive with the hardware and software failures i coax along as they blossom. the heat doesn’t help. i guess i’m frazzled, been working too hard, and i never do well when it’s unseasonably roasting. locked b in the backyard this morning and had to make an extra trip home to let her back in. still, being trapped in the garden she’s cultivated (an iris bloomed today) with fraidy the sleepy visitor cat and a small amount of shade wasn’t the worst exile possible. still, she can’t seem to resist tasks that require great exertion (in this case transplanting some oaks the squirrels have nursed for us – looks like a pine is coming up in one of the pots), even as she complains constantly about never getting enough exercise.

speaking of which, i need a regimen of some kind and i mean that in the sense that i need it, not that i someone told me it’s a good idea. my body is telling me this (i only learned to speak “body” in the last few years).