November 30, 2013

Book Purge

Yesterday was the day of reckoning for books. We have 6+ giant book cases and not all of those books are coming with us.

F*** your books

Comes a time when you realize that there are not enough hours in your future to read all of the books that you own now, much less the books that you keep buying. For this reason it makes sense to get rid of at least some of them. We had many of those conversations last night, as well as the one about how mrguy feels oppressed by seeing all of the books immediately when you walk in the door. I went to library school, so I think it's cozy.

The Lady Room will, therefore, be the book repository :)

It's kinda fun to go through all of the books. It feels less crazy to me when I touch them all. And then there are the annoying ones. Books that we've kept for weird reasons -- like the 15 year old resume guide that I had to be encouraged to let go of. The author was a friend of a friend who died young. Working on this as a team really helped.

Today I seal the concrete floor in the future cat room.

November 29, 2013

Merry Christmas From AFM / AFTRA

Many many years ago when mrsguy was a little baby, she and her bandmate were asked to sing on a track on their favorite musician's 3rd record. Oh glorious happiness! Proximity to the handsome singer and a few pieces of nigiri at the restaurant down the road were all it took to keep us singing.

He and his manager asked us to write up and sign a contract saying that the $50 or $75 they paid us was sufficient. To the contract, I added that they were entitled to have my firstborn child for that sum as well, so that whatever bogus contract they had us sign was obviously nul, and in jest.

Pages fly off the calendar. The album absolutely tanked and disappeared beneath the waves. Then, miraculously, the single we sang on began to chart. BIG. I remember the thrill of hearing the song on the radio for the first time, coming out of a convertible rolling past the restaurant where I was working. An old boyfriend heard my voice floating out of a rice paddy in China. The mamoo delights in hearing me at the grocery store or wherever. 20 years later, the song won't go away.

And yet, because I am a non-featured performer, I have seen no part of the action. I wasn't even paid scale to sing at the original session, to be quite honest. And I recall hearing myself on another of his singles while I was in the check-out line at Thrift Town, and at the same time wondering if I had enough cash for my purchase. 

For his next album the artist later gave us the choice of being paid for gigs *or* recording sessions, although I sang at both. Honestly, I would have done all of it for free, so I'm a little conflicted. I have this weird pleasure of having the experience of singing with my then-favorite performer and being part of this evergreen song and also having the occasional embarrassing and impertinent question come up about how much I was paid. Sometimes I feel bad for myself, and sometimes I feel bad for him, because he's a notorious skinflint. Years later one of his roadies asked me how much the artist had paid me and off the top of my head I said "In the mid two figures." He laughed really hard and so that became my stock answer when I am asked.

A few years ago AFM / AFTRA developed a fund for non-featured performers. I signed up as soon as I heard about it. The fund collects a teensy percentage off the top of digital plays for songs and sets it aside for people like me who performed on songs but were not the recording artist. Nothing much happened for a few years. Then one day, when the mamoo was visiting, I picked up the mail and found a check for the low THREE figures. We eat tonight! I think it's been two years since I last heard from AFM , but today I got another check. Mrguy comments that I am now firmly in the MID THREE FIGURES. 

Thank you, AFM / AFTRA!

November 27, 2013

What I Did Today Instead of Packing

I think I'm procrastinating.

My office move is Monday, so I *did* pack my office at the factory today. That took 4 hours.

The factory gave us the afternoon off, so I went to the the gold store and converted gold into cash. I really did. I took a bunch of weird old jewelry parts and (urp) old fillings (thanks Mom?) to the gold store and walked out with cash in hand. I guess they're used to fillings. The nice lady didn't bat an eye.

On the way home from the gold store I started realizing that I have to start eating everything that's in the freezer that is going to move next week. Got to get to work!

So, powered by some unseen force, I made cheesy macaroni with cauliflower. The grand mamoo always makes me pick up frozen microwave macaroni and cheese when we go shopping together. I just do it to make her happy, and I don't eat it. Until now when I have to, that is. Steamed some cauliflower, cooked up the macaroni and cheese and now they're all comingling in a Pyrex dish.

Then I made cornbread (from a box), cooked some frozen rolls, cut all of that up and toasted it in the oven and made stuffing with stuffing mix, cornbread and dissected rolls, and a bunch of other funny stuff that needs to leave my cupboards. The I made a batch of sauteed greens.

NOW I need to pack up the bedroom.

November 24, 2013

Parabolic Churches

About a year ago, on a beautiful February afternoon, mrguy and I visited an amazing-looking church with a parabolic design.

Witness the awesomeness that is East Bay Korean Christian Reformed Church:

Everything about it is slightly boomerangy. Here's the back parking lot:

and around the side is a curving stairway:

that leads to the entrance / reception area. I can imagine people congregating here in the morning glow after a Sunday service, looking at the mountains across the bay.

This got me to thinking about church architecture in general, and how crazy some of it can be. Sensing that this was not the only church whose architecture incorporated a parabola, I did a search and found some gorgeous stuff.

Chapel Lomas de Cuernavaca (by Felix Candela, who also was responsible for the "Candela Structures" at the 1964 World's Fair)*

Upon further examination I learned that the Germans have a name for parabolic churches. Parabel-Kirchen. Of course they do!

German examples include:

And don't get me started on hyperbolic parabaloids:


* mrguy reminds me that the "Candela Structures" were originally attributed to Felix Candela but were actually designed by Peter Schladermundt. Our friend Paul Lukas' excellent article about a family that turned one of the Candela Structures into a cabin is here.

November 10, 2013


We're moving, and I gotta get my thing in gear.

But first a stop at the ancestral Guy Family home, where the Guy Family Women had a powwow about family matters. Basically it involved spreadsheets, tuna sandwiches, faulty math skills, a little bickering, a few decisions and some champagne and macaroni and cheese when it was over. 

We concluded our session of Vortex of Power by doing the grand mammoo's evil bidding. She's a funny one. Then we watched Giant, which is a very long and terrible movie. Three hours and seventeen minutes of what feels like a shaggy dog story.

Today involved rest, and lots of it, followed by a trip to Goodwill to deposit the first items from our house purge and a few of Mom's, as well.

Of course I came home with something -- a 12" single of Morris Day's "Fishnet".

November 4, 2013

Best Exam Ever

Quite often lately I have stress dreams about taking a final in class that I didn't study for. In last night's version, it was a Hawaiian language and music class. The format was reminiscent of the music round in Pub Quiz.

Instructor plays an audio clip. Your job is to:

1) Identify the song
2) Transcribe the lyrics for the part of the song played
3) Describe the overall gist of the song as well as the kaona (hidden meanings)
3) Describe the type of song, and what he characteristics of that kind of song are

It was a butt-kicker. And the only song I recall is Makaha, by Ka'au Crater Boys. But I do recall describing some of the genres of song.

So funny.

I want to take that class!

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