improvisation in the key of life

Friday, June 30, 2006

Monthly Drawing

This is the monthly drawing:

i wonder what it would look like enlarged and printed on blueprint paper
then colored back in with clay?


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Weekly Drawing

Every week, I am drawing a picture or portrait of a friend and sending it out.
The first drawing is of Violet's friend, Elleke

We got this picture of her in the mail as part of a thankyou card
for her birthday party attendees, so i drew this

and framed it and gave it to them.

weekly drawing, get it?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


So I made a little movie with Violet Jane. This all started when I told her the story
of the caterpillar and how it "poof" turns into a butterfly. she really digs the poof.
so i caught it with the iBot and iMovie and this is my first youtube video share.
uhh very super simple to do, and look code to cut and paste.

there was a little caterpillar
and it crawled up up up
and it went inside a cocoon
and then one day
it's a butterfly!

did you know caterpillars liquify inside the cocoon? jenn found out when she took
v to the steinhardt aquarium in golden gate park the other day.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Story of How We Met

I was playing in a band with Aaron Blanding. I liked playing
with him because the arrangements were loose and it sounded
a bit like Tom Waits. He also usually had steady gigs in San Francisco.

On this particular weekend, he had scheduled a gig during the
day on UC Berkeley's campus (the "boar" something or other?)
and later that night, with the full band at the Lost and Found
Saloon in North Beach.

It's a thrilling way to spend a weekend, playing enjoyable music
on stage in front of people.

This was the night I met The One.

ok, i'm going to have to just tell this story as it happened
and as i remember it, because i'm taking too much time trying
to weave the thread.

shannon was aaron's exgirlfriend and jenn's best friend from highschool.
shannon came to the Cal show and we talked for a while and she
was really quite spectacular. She said that she was having a 'girls night out'
that evening and would try to stop by The Show at the Lost and Found
with her friends.

Lost and Found

That night, we were the second of two bands to play and the Girls Night
pack came during our set. I saw the group and one long haired big eyed
girl stood out like a red balloon over a black and white background.

After our performance, I came down with Aaron to greet Shannon and her friends
as we made the introductions around the table, I couldn't see or hear or think
anything about anything, except this woman before me.

I said a few words and soon Shannon's group left.

A few weeks later we were again playing a show in SF, this time at
the Brainwash

I asked Aaron if his exgirlfriend Shannon was going to the show,
he said "Yes, but not that whole group of girls. Maybe just her friend

I got there early and so did Shannon and Jenn. I was wearing Tony the Tiger
fuzzy bath slippers and a Santa Claus red jacket. We three talked for
some time before the show and I felt like the connection between the
three of us was unusual and electric.

Jenn was sitting on a chair painted like Andy Warhol's soup can
and during the show i couldn't take my eyes away from her eyes,
again glowing against the background like eyes that do that.

after the show a small group of us went to Pigalle in Hayes Valley.
there we continued the 'before show' electric connection.
after Pigalle closed, we all walked to Jenn's apartment. There
we had merlot and cigarettes and talked about things.

i didn't want to leave, but Aaron drove me and by 4am he was
getting antsy to get home. This was only after Jenn invited us to
her 28th birthday party, we offered to 'play' the party as a duo.

A few days later I suggested to Aaron that we write a set of songs
about Jenn and sing & play them for her birthday (wouldn't that be
nice?). He preferred to sing his own songs, so i got an idea.

i started to write 28 poems, one for each of Jenn's years.
For 3 weeks I wrote each poem and tried to channel her life
through my hand. I asked Shannon for a picture of Jenn and I
enlarged it and drew a portrait as an illustration to the the 23rd
poem which went something like:
"If they asked me, I couldn't write a book
about the way you walk and whisper, but I could paint..." (23 syllables)

the idea being that i didn't 'really' know her, but in drawing the
portrait and channelling the experience of what led to her image
in that photo (which turned out to be an old passport photo) I
was getting to know her.

Each poem was in the meter of the year, so poem 1 is single
syllable, "Blink" etc. and poem 4 is in four syllables "In-dul-genc-es,
be-yond the mean"

My sense with this book of poetry for a woman that i was buzzing
with electricity for, was that whether it resulted in a true and deep
connection. the feelings that i was feeling were real, and deep.
i didn't want those feelings to escape into unrecorded time, so i wrote
them down, and presented the book to her (sort of) at the party.

I was certain that people at the party, all people i didn't know
except for Aaron and Shannon, would question the meaning of
a book of original poems and a portrait for someone i hardly knew.
so i addressed that in the 4th poem "Indulgences beyond the mean"
I figured they would ask me to read something from the book, and
I would then read number 4 and it would predict their request
and also explain my answer to their unasked question:

Indulgences Beyond the Mean

Say it outloud
we want to hear
go on, say it
(she taunted him)

flushing - silence
and his eyes closed
(presently he
began to speak)

I wrote this book
(he said, in tones
measured and clear)

to celebrate
the beauty of
you and of life
(at this he stopped
picked up his things
and poured a drink)

So often (he
called as he poured)

The things that give
us the most joy
are left untouched