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Friday 11 April 2003

April 6,2003

We decided that we need nice clothes to wear on April 9th. So we went out to the mall in Portland and looked around for a while. Gap. Baby Gap. Gap kids. Large pictures of anorexic models. Over prices flimsy clothes sown in the third world. What is a young pinko transvestite to do? So we went to the Nordstroms Rack, which is a store that seels factory seconds originally destines for Nordstroms. I bought some trousers. Trousers are just like Men's pants except that they're made of wool and they're unhemmed. uh yeah. this is an exciting story. i bought some rayon trousers with no hems and a blue shirt after trying on all the shirts at two stores and none of them fit because apparently nobody who wants a button down shirt with collar is skinny with long arms. the end. Then we went to Powells and I bought Jarhead. Christi's dad had to rush back to Roseburg to be at an 8:00 AM meeting in southern Oregon.


April 7, 2003

We needed to do laundry before we left, but we overslept. Then the soap wasn't rinsing out of things, so we had to run the laundry twice. Then the dryer took forever. But that was ok, because Christi's mom ended up hemming my trousers twice. Finally, late in the afternoon, we loaded our car and drove to Coffee People.

And then we went to Seattle. Our hotel is acorss the street from Jack Straw, which is much more convient than the other-side-of-the-university location we had last time. The room is nice. They gave us two beds without asking our preference, though. We could switch for a cheaper room, but we're lazy. Remember, when you make an ASSUMPTION, you make an ASS out of U and MPTION.

Ellen Fullman invited us over for curry, so we had grabbed a jar of homemmade chutney from Christi's mom on the way out and gave it to Ellen. The chutney was good. One of her friends came over with computer problems. I gave him a bunch of probably useless advice. I like sounding like I know what I'm talking about, but, of course, I don't know what I'm talking about. I've never owned or trouble-shot a computer running anything microsoft past windoze 3.1. My advice on fixing windoze problems is less than useful.

Ellen is doing a video project called Bridging the Gap and it's about how arts funding has gone to heck. She was in a bike/car accident last year and lost a tooth. A new tooth will be made, but not yet, so she has a gap in her smile, which is not very noticable. But it's a front tooth, so , well, you know how you would feel about it if you had a front tooth missing. So she's getting folks that are artists or work at arts organizations to grin in photos and she's photoshopping out of their smiles the same tooth that she lost. She's going to fade from a "before" pitcture to an "after" picture. She showed us the video. It's very funny.

and she played us a bunch of songs on an album she hasn't released yet. She's singing on all of them. They're all kind of creepy, but in a good way. One of them has sounds that would work well in the incidental music of the doctor Who TV show. I didn't write this in any of my personal essays, but the Doctor Who music is a big influence of mine. It's the best music that you'll find on a TV show. I like the rest of the show too, because the plots are silly and the lighting is bad and the costumes are funny and it's so darn nerdy, but my appreciation of the music is real, un-ironic enjoyment. The only reason Christi would initially consent to watch Dr Who with me was because she liked the music. Anyway, so I compared some of Ellen's music to Dr. Who. I'm not sure if the compliment came across 100% clearly.

April 8, 2003

We tooled around Seattle some. We decided we needed haircuts, so we went to a barbershop reccomended by Ellen. It's in the Freemont district, which is kind of hip. We noticed that on the corner was a giant statue which evoked a strong resemblance to Lenin. We parked near a rocketship perched on a building. On the way, walking down the block to the barber shop, we came upon a thai restuarant and stopped for a really good lunch. Then, after lunch, two doors further, we passed a place offering vegan waffles and vegan bisquits and gravy! Too bad we just had lunch. We also bight biodiesel fuel nearby. My reference said to call the retailer first so I did and he said sure. So we showed up to the address and discovered that they were selling biodiesel out of the back of a van! So we filled up.

Later, we discovered that a coffee shop near our hotel has wireless networking, so I could check my email. Wesleyan wants to know whether or not I will attend by the 15th. I sent them email explaining that I would be back the 15th and could visit them after that. They said that the very latest I could get back to them would be the 17th. So I booked a flight from Tacoma to Hartford flying overnight, Sunday night. Arg.

We went to a copy place to print and copy programs. We asked for 16 copies and they gave us maybe ten times that many. Anybody want a program?

We got James from the airport and introduced him to Joan at Jack Straw and then went for dinner. It was late, so we didn't go to a movie or a concer or a protest or anything. Seattle is not at it's most exciting on tuesday nights anyway. This week is spring break.

April 9th, 2003

Early in the morning, we retrieved the rest of our ensemble from the airport. We walked over to Jack Straw to stash the cello and head out for breakfast. We introduced the ensemble + Tiffany and Ed as our "entourage." Joan was excited that so many people came up from the bay area. We researsed all of our non-tape and normal tape pieces. Those were the ones that either were just the ensemble or only had a normal two track "tape" (actually a CD, but whatever). after we felt happy with those. We took a lunch break. My dad showed up just as we were leaving, so we piled him in to our six passenger rental car too. We went to Capitol Hill, the gay neightborhood, because James said he wanted to go where the cool people were. We ate at a Russian place that served perogies. Then we went to a coffee shop that Ellen took us to last time we came to town.

We went back to the hotel so the ensemble could nap. Christi and I went to JS to lay out the audience piece that Christi wrote. Then she re-editted The Greek of the River to You. Then we came back to change and then showed back up at JS at 5:00, when the sound engineer said he'd be done with the folks before us, he was going to throw them out at 5:00 whether they were done or not.

That didn't actually occur, but it was ok. I asked him to setup pieces that needed rehearsing first. So we tried to setup MyMom which uses a three track tape. The tape didn't work. He explained that tapes never work. Right. So I burned a copy of the protools session from Christi's computer, where thankfully, I had put a copy of it just in case. I put that on the studio computer and we got sound out to the right places and rehearsed that while he hung the projection screen for Aelita. Then I asked him to setup mics so we could practice Tones, while he set up the projector. At every possible phase, equipment failed to work as expected. He would look angrily at the gear and say, "Why aren't you working, you stupid, goddamn son of a bitch?" This is how engineers talk to their tools. I could tell he was an excellent engineer. However, as every single thing seemed to go wrong, it became kind of unnnerving. When at 7:20, we had not yet checked the CDs, and we were suppossed to start at 7:30, I started to become alarmed. Apparently, I looked alarmed.

We were actually, amazingly ready to go at 7:30. But Joan thought more people would show up, so we waited at least ten more minutes to start. More people did not show up. The Bay Area delegation outnumbered the locals.

All of the pieces went as planned, except for a minor snafu on Tones. I was still nervous as all heck at first, but got more confident as things worked right. When we played My Mom, my dad started crying, which I expected (I should have warned him, but I didn't...), but so did other people. I co-wrote something that made people cry....

I had been worried about the in-progressness of Aelita. It's still very rough. But we did it right after My Mom, so I guess they decided they liked us. People laughed at my jokes, even the lame ones. Of course, they mostly liked us already, since Christi or I knew practically everyone there. Maybe I was just un-nervous enough to try making lame jokes. Anyway, Aelita went perhaps more smoothly than I had ever seen it go. In a stroke of luck, James' drum pattern happened to match up with the on-screen hammering where the worker is forging a sicle. We hadn't wanted to close with aelita, becase it wasn't the strongest thing, but we probably should have anyway.

Then the audience got to ask questions. Trimpin asked why I called tape music "tape music" is it was really a CD. Ummm. I don't remember all the other questions an asnwers. Nobody offered feedback. And nothing got recorded cuz they can't record while using the speakers in the room. But at least 4 extra people have now heard our music, which is good. I hope they liked it.

Our whole entourage, which had grown by Christi's mom, Joan and Heather (who also works at JS) went wandering into the restaurant district to find a place that would make us all food at 9:45. We had a nice dinner. Good conversations. Christi's mom and Carolyn talked about how happy they were that Christi and I had put on nice clothes for the event, for example. The conversations I heard though, were more about arts and stuff. My dad paid for everybody's dinner. It was very nice of him.

We walked back to the hotel and I said goodbye to everyone who would be leaving early the next morning. Sleep.

April 10th

I promised that I would ride to the airport with everybody this morning, but it was the first night I actually slept since I got here and I sleeply broke my promise in the morning. Christi is letting me sleep so I won't be as completely exhausted when I get to Connecticut.

Lisa didn't leave this morning, though, so we went over to Pike's Market with her. Christi bought a jaw harp and baby clothes aglore for Owen. I wanted to get him a dress, but Christi said that his mother might not be happy about that. Then we went over to the Freemont district to have lunch at the veagn-frienly co-op that I had seen there earlier. It was great. We went to look at the Lenin look-alike statue to see who was made tolook like Lenin. Christi and I had been joking earlier with returning in the dead of night with a brass plaque falsely labelling the statue as of being a statue of Lenin. Anyway, we looked at the plaque and discovered that the subject of the statue was . . . Lenin! It had been salveged from Solvakia. Then we went to look at the rocket ship and found out it was salvaged from the cold war also. the plaque explained that Freemont was the center of the universe. It certainly is a self-consciously funky place. The plaque made the area sound very enamoured with itself. Still, statues of lenin and rockets ships are cool.

We took Lisa to the airport and then sort of hung around for the rest of the day. I'm not in my traveling rythm. Also, it's a real pain scheduling meetings with professors next week from here via Christi's laptop. We should meet back up with Tiffany and Ed tomorrow, I hope.

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