Sunday, December 31, 2006
A Reply to Corny
Here is Mme. Foster Jenkins styling her rendition of Mozart's "Queen of the Night."
Thursday, December 28, 2006
We'd hate to tell you we told you so
because that would be embarassing for you.
But...check this out:
Parrot's Oratory Stuns Scientists
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Sattelite Correspondant Gree C. Hair Weighs In
There are three things you should know about Ms. Bonaventura:
1. She is a high quality painter.
2. She is a high quality person.
3. Her hair is very gree c.
And now, the report:
Here is your requested end of the year scientific research:
And I'm afraid there are no surprises once again Television beats
The above visual aid was used in the scientific poll conducted by the
department of Scientific research. Although the Christmas tree made
significant gains on the favorite, Television maintains its lead as
partner of choice."
More science after the New Year, we'll begin our next study concluding
around passover where you Capt'n will be called on to ask the tough
questions. As the youngest member of the Team you ask:
Why not eat in front of the television everynight?
Friday, December 22, 2006
Cuddles the Cockroach
by Russell Lancaster
Drawings by Rachel Hurtubise
Part IICuddles could hear his sister Daisy call him.
“Cuddles, Cuddles, help me! Cuddles help me!”
Cuddles was very tired and hungry from playing all night. He had to go home and tell them what had happened to Daisy. Cuddles’ mother was very worried about Daisy and where she was.
Cuddles started down the road to find Daisy. He came to a river that he couldn’t cross. Cuddles saw a log floating down the river and jumped on it to get across the river, only to find out that the log was headed right toward a waterfall. Faster and faster the log was moving down the river. The log was getting closer and closer to the waterfall. All Cuddles could think about was how his sister was and that his mom was so worried about her.
The log was moving faster and faster down the river. About five feet from the waterfall, a rock in the river stopped the log. More logs were coming down the river and getting stopped by the rock. Finally, Cuddles could get across the river.
Then out from a log came Zipper the fly. Zipper almost knocked Cuddles over the log.
Cuddles said, “Wait. Who are you?”
“I am Zipper the fly. Zip, zip, zip, that’s who I am, Zipper the fly.”
Cuddles asked Zipper, “Have you seen my sister Daisy. A big crow has carried her away and I must find her.”
Zipper replied, “No, no, no, no I haven’t. But I will help you find her!”
.....to be continued.....
Thursday, December 21, 2006
A Boozer, a User, and a Loser
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
L'Incoronazione di Poppea
The Coronation of Poppea, Los Angeles Opera.
The Mrs. and I went to this the other night with Eileen Myles, Ron Athey, Suzanne Matheson, and her friend Margaret. I just have to say that it was a beautiful show.
<---Here's Mercury, coming down to tell us something about something.
I thought Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham kicked twice the butt of everyone as Poppea. She was super expressive & nuanced, and did some beautiful interpretations in my humble opinion. Frederica von Stade did a great job with Ottavia's final banishment aria. Hearts were broken. And after she got warmed up, Christine Brandes came out really strong as Drusilla. Ms. Brandes happened to have studied with the same teacher as Mrs. The Capt'n. The music world she is small. Countertenor David Daniels was also very expressive as Ottone. Kurt Streit seemed confident as Nero, but a little flavorless I thought, plus why did they cast a tenor and not a countertenor in that role? It was weird. Bass Reinhard Hagen was good as Seneca. He had a nice warm sound, not too much like a tuba.
The LA Opera site has clips to listen to. I'd suggest Pur ti miro, the incredibly beautiful final love duet. It's a killer, and there was not a dry eye in the house.
Here is a cute email that The Mrs. wrote and sent around to us before the show, to get us all excited and stuff, and which totally worked:
L'Incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea.) The most delicious 3 hours of banishments, suicides and reveling
in petty lust-driven victories, ending in the most erotic duet ever
written, second only to the Judas Cradle opener.
Remember, Poppea is one of the earliest operas ever
written. Monteverdi is using music to crack words and drama open and
spill affect singer-to-listener. The secunda prattica is the term used to
describe Monteverdi’s theory that the
text should be “the mistress of the harmony” -- which in a Poppean
context would mean that text seduces harmony into killing or banishing
those closest to it and after an incredibly hot but brief union, music
will kick words to death. which sounds about right actuallly. He
invented this concept as a reaction to the
prima prattica of his recent predecessors who believed that the words
of a song were
secondary to the music. As a result, the melodies twist and turn with
the words they carry, instead of getting squeezed into strict musical
forms like verse-chorus. The formal elements of the music are highly
symbolic. Monte uses what gets called "word painting" where the shapes and
directions and textures of the sounds emphasize and illustrate the
words they carry. Musical symbolisms also characterize the players in the
drama. Here is a little anal-ysis of Nero's character:
As was standard practice by Monteverdi and his contemporaries, the lead
male role was
sung by a castrati in the soprano part. Nero’s
conception of reality, the tessitura of his part is way up in the
clouds. Monteverdi demonstrates Nero’s weak will and dependence on
the input of others to move him into action is that he never sings an
aria alone and of his own
volition, but instead sings only dialogues with others. This aspect of
his part also demonstrates
his lack of regard for his personal relationships either with other
characters, such as his wife,
Octavia, or his court advisor, Seneca, or with the people whom he
governs whose opinion of him
he seems to have no concern for.
His inability to think for himself is further illustrated by his
musical relationship with
Poppea. Monteverdi helps to show her ability to manipulate Nero by
creating instances in which
she forces Nero to change to a different key. She vocally sets him up
so he is forced to cadence
on her chosen melodic goal.
and here is a lil synopsis:
In the Heavens
The rival goddesses Fortune and Virtue trade insults as they dispute
their supremacy over mortals. Cupid arrives to settle the matter.
Outside Poppea's palace at break of dawn
Although abandoned by Poppea, Otho has returned to former haunts to
give in to his lingering passion for her. Seeing the emperor's guard at
the entrance of her alace, he surmises that Nero himself must be
inside, asleep in Poppea's arms. Roused by the sound of his lament, the
soldiers complain about the discomforts of the night; cursing the
lovers, they comment on the scandals at court and the precarious state
of the empire under Nero.
Poppea and Nero appear, distraught at the thought of parting but
finally taking leave of each other in tones of tender endearment. Left
alone with her old nurse and confidante Arnalta, Poppea reveals her
desire to become empress, replacing Octavia, whom Nero wishes to
repudiate. Arnalta warns her not to rely too much on the word of
princes, who, she says, are motivated only by self-interest. When
Poppea maintains she will trust Cupid and Fortune, Arnalta declares she
must have taken leave of her senses.
The Imperial Apartments
The empress Octavia feels herself
despised, the victim of an outrageous fate and subject to the whims of
Nero. Her Nurse suggests she avenge herself by taking a lover.
Scandalized, Octavia is torn beween her own sense of innocence and
grief at her situation. When the philosopher Seneca enters, he advises
the empress to accept her lot and remain resolute and constant. She
sees in his counsel only the vanity of philosophy, and her Page,
thoroughly exasperated, derides Seneca's pretensions. Aware of Nero's
intentions regarding her, Octavia goes to offer prayers in the temple.
Alone, Seneca reflects on how the glories of this world soon pass
away. The goddess Pallas Athene appears to him, foretelling his death
but promising Mercury will warn him in advance; Seneca accepts his fate
unflinchingly. Nero enters to tell Seneca he wants to repudiate Octavia
and place Poppea on the imperial throne. Seneca tries to dissuade him
on moral and political grounds. Losing his patience, Nero says he will
simply do what he likes, right or wrong.
Together again, Poppea and Nero recall the pleasures of the
previous night. The emperor, enraptured with her beauty, promises to
make Poppea his empress. She in turn insinuates that Seneca has been
boasting about his power over the emperor. In a moment of anger Nero
gives orders condemning the philosopher to death, and then leaves.
Otho, who has been observing the lovers, comes forward to plead
with Poppea. He only succeeds in iritating her and she says the has
only himself to blame for his situation; in any case she belongs wholly
to Nero. Watched by Arnalta, who feels a certain pity for him, Otho
decides to renounce Poppea and, fearing his life will be forfeit if she
becomes empress, resolves to instigate his own plot against her. When
Drusilla, a lady of the court and Otho's former lover, enters, he
proclaims his passion for her anew. While harboring some justified
doubt about this sudden change of heart, Drusilla is delighted to
regain his affections.
The garden of Seneca's villa outside
the peaceful solitude of his garden Seneca is informed by Mercury that
he must prepare to die. Seeing in the decree a justification of his
stoic philosophy, Seneca grets the news happily and thanks the gods. No
sooner has Mercury departed than Seneca receives from a hesitant
Liberto, captain of Nero's guard, the confimation of the death sentence
ordered by the emperor. Firm in his resolve, Seneca prepares to meet
his fate. As members of his household gather round, he consoles them
when they try to dissuade him from taking his life and orders a bath to
be prepared in which he will die.
Within the imperial palace a less sombre atmosphere
prevails. The Page and a Lady-in-waiting divert themselves with amorous
banter; Nero, having learned of Seneca's death, is almost delirious in
his desire for Poppea and sings a passionate duet in her praise with
the poet Lucan. Octavia orders Otho to kill Poppea or else suffer
the consequences. To avoid suspicion he is to disguise himself as a
woman. Otho leaves, deeply distressed but promising to obey. In the
meantime Drusilla rejoices in Otho's promises of love, while the Page
makes fun of the old Nurse for wishing to be young and happy again.
Otho enters and reveals to Drusilla what he has to do. He asks for her
help in supplying him with clothes as a disguise.
Poppea exults over the death of Seneca and
prays to Cupid to make her Nero's bride; to Arnalta she promises
continuing affection. Then, overcome with fatigue, she lies down to
rest and gradually falls asleep to a gentle lullaby sung by Arnalta; no
one is to be allowed to disturb her except Drusilla or some other close
friend. Cupid descends to protect Poppea, hiding near her. Still
plagued with doubt, Otho enters the garden disguised as Drusilla. Just
as he is about to kill Poppea, Cupid intervenes and prevents him.
Poppea wakes up at that very moment, and Otho, taken for Drusilla,
flees, chased by Arnalta and the servants. Cupid claims that as well as
defending Poppea he will see her crowned as empress that very day.
Blissfully unaware of the situation,
Drusilla hopes to learn shortly of her rival Poppea's death and to bask
in Otho's love. But Arnalta, accompanied by lictors, discovers and
captures her. Protesting her innocence, she is brought before Nero, who
interrogates her about the attempted murder. In order to protect Otho,
however, Drusilla confesses that she wanted to kill Poppea because of
former enmity between them. Nero sentences her to death, but Otho,
having heard everything, burst in and confesses his own guilt, saying
he was urged on to the crime by Octavia. Nero decides to spare Otho's
life, condemning him instead to exile and confiscating his titles and
wealth; Drusilla is to be allowed to accompany him. The couple depart
contented. Nero now decrees the repudiation and banishment of Octavia.
She is to be placed in a boat and left to drift at the mercy of the
winds. Nero swears to Poppea that today she will be his bride. The
prospect of becoming an empress's confidante cheers Arnalta enormously.
Repudiated by Nero, Octavia bids a sad farewell to her homeland, family
Nero invites Poppea to ascend the imperial
throne, and in the name of the people and Roman Senate she is crowned
by consuls and tribunes. Cupid, descending from the heavens with Venus,
the Graces and a chorus of Cupids, likewise crowns Poppea as goddess of
beauty on earth. The lovers reaffirm their passion in an ecstatic final
Monday, December 18, 2006
I was nervous going out there. I mean it's the 'Bu, a world-class, world-famous spot, often crowded with highly talented & famous surfers. What right does a kook like me have to be out there, getting in people's way, doing dumb shit and ruining people's waves, not on purpose but because I'm a spaz who can barely control her board. I told myself I'd just watch from the beach at first, or if I even went in the water, I'd hang out over to the side and watch from there, hoping to eventually pick up a sloppy second after all the famous surfers flew by on their famous, world-class waves. And then hope to not get yelled at or coldly vibed out for doing so.
But my very first time surfing in LA turned out to be eye of the tiger. I'd driven up the PCH and along the way both Sunset and Topanga looked good, but somewhat crowded. I couldn't believe I was going to Malibu, and I couldn't tell whether I was more excited or more nervous. The deal breaker was when I saw that there weren't that many people out. The board came right out of the van and the clothes came right off of the booty.
The people there looked like the surfers you see in the magazines, it was funny. Almost half were women, a very good sign. Some even smiled, nodded or said hi. So much for my assumptions. Most of them were hanging in the middle/inside areas, so I decided to paddle out past them to the outside to sit and wait and watch. Oh my god, the way the waves peeled off of the point! It was incredible. And there was room out there, too. Room for even me. Within a few minutes, something told me to just go, so I went. An hour and a half later, I'd had the longest waves I'd ever had.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Rosie, 1990-2006. Soul of a poet; soulful, extrordinary so-called dog; companion to Eileen Myles for 16 1/2 years; friend to many others. We already miss you, friend. RIP.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
We just love the Dutch here at Team Shredder
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Refugio State Beach
This doesn't look like much here but yesterday this place LIT UP in the big NW swell. A little surprising to me since this is a south facing break, but whatever, it was fun as all getout. Made the trip with B. Williams & we met up with her friend Gay Mike there. We'd intended to go to like Ventura, but it wasn't happening much, and Rincon looked crazy, and Mike talked B. Williams into it and B. Williams talked me into it. Not what I'd bargained for, driving 4 hours RT on my day off from commuting from San Diego, but well worth it. Got to discover a beautiful spot after a beautiful drive, got to surf with Mike who is great, plus it's always good to have the gay out on the waves. Mike's from up there and he said it normally doesn't really break at Refugio, but because of the particular conditions, which included a great offshore wind, it was rare chance at the spectacular. Cute B. Williams and her cute dog Wolfgang played on the beach, Mike rode the more knarly beach break on his tiny fish because homie has been surfing his whole life, and after falling several times for no reason, The Capt'n here picked up some big-ass right bombs outside at the point. Eye of the tiger.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Butts Were Kicked
Friday, December 08, 2006
A response to Zoe Strauss
It is correct in every way.
Now I must respond to her list of most of the places she's lived with a list of every place I've ever lived, in chronological order:
19th and Callowhill (I think)
13th and Spring Garden
20th and Spring Garden
19th annd Ludlow
1011 Spruce St.
46th and Mellville
48th and Baltimore
2nd and Jefferson
13th and Sansom
48th and Walton
14th and Minna
Lloyd and Divisidero
5th and Columbia
48th and I actually forget
25th and Shotwell
22nd and Valencia
University and Park
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Postcard From Limbo
Emotional Equivalent: Disembodied Jheri Curl
Waddled down hill to cafe for etherwaves. New housing unit does not yet transmit. Another shade of limbo, which would be not un-alright were it not for the high-energy choad barrista guy who was not singing but song styling along full blast with Boz Scaggs' "Lido." My soul would have died had it still been alive to hear it.
Boxes everywhere, the to do list grows longer and the done list is a lie I tell myself to retain the curl.
"It's all good," the barrista choad would probably say, and at this point I'd have to agree. Ungrounded, nervous, and exhausted still, yet happy somewhere up in here where "The Self" once lived.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Sea Monkey's in the Mood For Luv
Friday, December 01, 2006
Technically the show is over, but certain members of the Just Because Department of Team Shredder were fortunate enough to catch a peek when they were taken to Chinatown by our dear friend Brenna "Rage" Williams. Not only did we get our noodle on, but even better, B. Williams pointed us toward the beautiful installation by Alicia McCarthy, master of the delicate lines and shapes.