Saturday, May 31, 2008

Future costume star

Rachel (right) and her costume mentor Holly. We went to see Reefer Madness today... great show! Even better than the filmed version you can see on DVD. Holly says that when Rachel accepts her Oscar, she hopes that she will mention her teachers.

A landmark gone

A developer finally leveled the building where Mack Sennett did the Keystone Kops movies. (It's right next to my brother-in-law's condo.) Ironically, the housing market crashed and the developer decided it wasn't worth building anything. So, instead of a historic landmark, there's nothing. Not even the plaque saying what was there.


LA Country Museum of Art 5-30-08

Here are all the pictures from the museum in an album. Click on the picture to see them all.
Even though real estate is incredibly high in West Hollywood, there are still a surprising number of offbeat stores on Sunset, including this one that has the silhouette of a helicopter instead of a name. Inside, there are very unusual... pop collectibles? art toys?

Friday, May 30, 2008

is We went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and visited their new Broad building. Incredible collection of contemporary art. And in front is this forest of real restored streetlights by Chris Burden.
I overheard a guy talking to two of the docents. He was on a stopover between Switzerland and Tahiti. He came straight from the airport to LACMA to see the new building and its collection.
We went to see the latest Indiana Jones movie at the Vista Theatre. The manager, Victor Martinez, is famous for dressing up as characters from the movies. He's been doing it for twenty years. I went with Ben and Faye (right).
As for the movie, go if you're a fan of the series, but not otherwise.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

We arrived in Silver Lake as part of our trip to see Rachel's show Reefer Madness. We were dismayed to see that our favorite bakery was boarded up. We've been getting breakfast there for the last twenty years! It's been replaced by La Mill Coffee, a much more upscale place two doors down.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Unsung songwriter

For the first time in seven years, I saw Ann Currier, writer of offbeat songs. (She once wrote a set of fifty-one songs — one for each state, plus the District of Columbia.) Not only is she looking fit at 86, but she just got married to a man of 102!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cross-cultural understanding

To my Australian friends: don't worry— here in America, we totally get you.

Swett musical soiree Memorial Day

Last night's musical soiree at the Swetts was very fine. Unfortunately, I don't have any clips of songs I played on which included the amazing singer Beth Duncan. There was also another young singer named Holly who was quite good. The tennis pro/clarinetist Milun Doskovic didn't bring his clarinet because it was in the shop.
At the end, we all said, "See you New Year's Day!" which is when the next party will be.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

We saw this electric car in the Crepe Escape parking lot. The seats inside are like lawn chairs.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Our garden

The cat we planted this spring is coming in nicely.

Bare ruined choirs

An old friend sent this picture of a ruined piano. If you like this sort of thing, check out the World Association for Ruined Piano Studies (WARPS) website, a silly/serious enterprise out of Western Australia.
I was in West Sacramento and noticed for the first time that there is a branch there of my favorite hardware store, Hollywood Hardware.
Overheard from a conversation between two employees: "We've got oil too. But the Democrats won't let us drill it!"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Playing at merrill gardens

I played a job with saxophonist Ken Stout at the Merrill Gardens assisted living center. It was a National Elder Month event with the mayor of Vacaville giving awards to distinguished elders.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This drainage gutter is behind a church where I played a rehearsal tonight. It's like a lap pool. You could have boat races in it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I found this inside a piano at an old folks' home. It's the lyrics to "Witchcraft" with some of the words replaced by drawings.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A very happy Mother's Day

This is the Mother's Day card that Rachel sent and the envelope it came in.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I went to Sacramento City College to see Working, the musical based on the book by Studs Terkel. I've played some of the songs from the show, and have been interested in hearing the rest. Also, Orlana Klip (left, above), who I know from the Sacramento City College choir and the trip to Australia, was in it. I ran into people I knew in the audience and band as well. Peter, the fellow above, was in the audience — he also was in the choir for the Australia trip.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Peace Corps Dinner

Tonight was the monthly Peace Corps dinner and we went one of my favorite places: Vientiane. Last year we went to their old location in the seedy part of town where they rent motel rooms by the hour. Now they're in a bland new strip mall right by the freeway off-ramp. It should have taken me five minutes to get there, but because of a horrendous traffic jam (River Cats game?) it took me forty-five.

Oh well. By the time I started sipping my BeerLaos, I had forgotten all about it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Every two months I give blood. Usually I go to the Bloodsource branch in Elk Grove, where they have a brilliant phlebotomist named Lisa who can even find the vein in my left arm (most people can't). This time I decided to go to the downtown branch which is closer and as it turns out bigger and in a lovely neighborhood. I went in feeling that I was never going back to Elk Grove (and feeling a tiny pang of guilt). But I got punished for my infidelity: the young lady assigned to me couldn't get any blood at first and had to ask her supervisor to adjust the needle inside my vein. Ouch. Then at the end my blood stopped flowing fast enough and the supervisor had to adjust it again. More ouch. Finally she pulled the needle out, and so I never gave my full unit.
Lisa, I am so sorry. I will never betray you again.
In these folders are the arrangements for this year's Best of Broadway — over two hours of music for a five-piece band and singers. I have about an inch more to go... should be done by the end of the month.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I got a check for a cartoon from a textbook publisher in England. They paid me in pounds!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Better health through science

The instruction book for this mystery appliance is called Health and How to Get It.

I don't know nuthin' 'bout throwin' magnetic darts

Sambo images have become extremely collectible. I saw quite a few at the antique fair.

Mere chance or... pointless coincidence?

This piano is made by the Jaymar company...
Years ago, Jennifer and I used to joke about a shopping mall we would build called the Jen-Mar Buy-O-Sphere.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Storing up for the winter

This piano had mice living in it and one of them brought a pistachio inside.

Mancala, sungka

This game board is in a customer's house. I played this game during the year I lived in the Philippines and called it sungka. In most of the world it is known as mancala.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Pat comes to see the band

Pat happened to be staying at the same hotel where the Ron Davis Big Band is playing! What a coincidence. He may never see me play the piano again.

A sit-down lawn mower for Dad...

...and a Barbie Wrangler Jeep for the daughter. This guy works three jobs so he can buy all this stuff.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Pat comes to visit

Pat Murphy is in town to interview for a job at CSUS (assistant director of the marching band). He probably will take a different job offer (in Portland, closer to his hometown of Seattle), but we're really happy to see him!
In an astonishing coincidence, he is staying at the Red Lion, where the Ron Davis big band (with me on piano) will be playing tomorrow night.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

¡Watch a Mexican!

We went to see a talk and booksigning by Gustavo Arellano, creator of the column ¡Ask a Mexican! Here is he is posing with two of his fans. The bookstore was Time Tested Books. Twenty years ago, I worked on pianos in a room in the back.

Reefer Madness poster

Note Rachel's drawings: the face in the green cloud, and the green silhouette at right.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Last night I played at the Sheraton for the California Federation of Labor event honoring state legislators with a 100% pro-labor voting record. They loved us especially because we are all union members! (Except for Jeff, who at least used to be one.) They are going to give my card to other labor groups for their event. Go Local 12!