2002 - DOC by fjzhxb

VIEWS: 850 PAGES: 468

									2002 DECEMBER 19. Breakfast today is canned grapefruit sections. Dinner last night was Trader Joe's fire roasted vegetable ravioli (I have not been paid a promotional fee by Trader Joe's) with Ragu Old World pasta sauce (I have not been paid a promotional fee by Ragu, and what's more, "sugar" backwards is "ragus," and what it is, too) to which I added various spices. Lunch was tomato sandwiches on Lite Italian bread. Today I will likely finish my piece for two marimbas, which sucks rocks. That is, the piece sucks rocks, not the finishing of it. Shun the passive voice! In the meantime, I videoed myself playing "jingle bells" in E major on my Jaymar toy piano (I have not been paid a promotional fee by Jay Eckardt and Marilyn Nonken) to e-mail to friends as my Holiday card. A select few (you know who you are) got an additional card of me playing it in C with my nose on a real piano. Also I made trips to BJs and Trader Joe's (neither of whom have paid a promotional fee) yesterday for staples. On Tuesday I brought the Corolla in to the Acton Toyota dealership (no promotional fee) for its routine 15,000 mile service, using a discount coupon from, of all places, CVS (no promotional fee). At which time I found out that Staples and Trader Joes are soon to be in my own neighborhood, and various other stores such as Lane Bryant (no promotional fee) are to follow. Beff's semester finishes today, and she is due home after dark tonight. Tomorrow night we take Big Mike out for Chinese buffet. Today's picture is our Christmas tree seen in the room with no lights on. Thus the only light sources are the streetlight, the full moon (no promotional fee) and the strings of lights on the tree. The box under the tree is the holiday gift package from my brother in Vermont, which is likely, predictably, to have coffee, maple syrup, pickled fiddleheads, and Country Cow Cocoa in it.

2003 FEBRUARY 10. Today's guest breakfast is me, last Saturday: orange juice, a grapefruit, 2 eggs over easy, and toast. And coffee. This morning's breakfast was only coffee, after a very early-morning run to Brandeis to pick up stuff. Last night's dinner was a can of A Taste of Thai hot and sour soup. A Taste of Thai has not paid a promotional fee for mention on this web page. Lunch was California rolls from Trader Joe's. This is the first News posting since I got back from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), which should delight the almost five regular readers of this page. My return was yesterday, a drive of 645.7 miles that took about ten and a half hours, including three stops. The first task upon my return was to feed cats; the second task was to take out the snowblower to widen the passable part of the driveway. I am like that. The third task was, of course, unpacking. There was no fourth task. The fifth task was to deal with a pile of e-mail. Cardinality and ordinality progress in very conventional ways in this household, which is the FIRST time I have said that. The 18 days I had at VCCA (shoulda been 21, but was cut short on either end by weather, etc.) were productive and very, very fun. It was a grandly fun group of people that got along very well. At the end of my second week, two of the writers produced a faux-Survivor film that utilized many of the Resident Fellows. I was involved as The Guy Who Lent Out His Camcorder and The Guy Who Did the Editing on his iMac. And later as The Guy With the DVD Burner On His Mac. I also took a lot of very pretty pictures there, from spectacular sunsets and sunrises to photos of the unique red dirt of that area. Stupidly, I forgot to pack the power cord of my computer when I went there. Getting another one from Apple proved fruitless, as they shipped to wrong cord, and to my home address. A week later, a bad apple at Apple used my credit card number to charge some stuff fraudulently, causing me some extra time to cancel my credit card and fill out an affidavit denying the bogus charges. So Big Mike very nicely FedExed

me the power cord from home, and all was well with Davy's world. While at VCCA, I wrote a 15-minute set of songs for voice and violin, on texts that Susan Narucki chose, and a pair of piano etudes. Obviously, I didn't feel like starting a piece for string orchestra yet. Etude #52 is a Jerry Lee Lewis style rock and roll etude on repeated chords, and when you have that premise you just have to go for it. Right now, it is time to be making scores of what I wrote when I was gone. The busy work just piles up. I am going to have chicken sandwiches for dinner on multi-grain bread that I got at Trader Joe's this morning. There is a new Trader Joe's nearby in Acton, flanked by a Pier One and a Staples, and I went there this morning after coffee. Which lets me tell you that a five-pack of DVD-Rs can currently be had for $14.99, with a $5 rebate coupon. Cost to you: $9.99. I was pleased to find out that I could use my card reader that I use to read pix from my Nikon Coolpix 4500 like an external floppy drive -- the memory card, 256 megabytes, looks like an external disc to the computer, so I could use the same card that the camera writes the pictures to to bring files to an e-mailing computer. What won't they think of next! I could use the disc to store PDF files of the pieces I wrote, for instance, though the camera was powerless to display them. Drip is an increasingly needy cat. Now she goes into the kitchen for handouts even when I am not there. I'm sure she's expecting to find some cat treats that just sort of fell off a truck. And now for some pictures I brought back from Virginia. The first two are the sunset from my first day there and the sunrise the following day. The third (remember what I said about cardinality and ordinality) is a picture of the tall silo in the barn studio complex reflecting the sunset light my last day there. The last is a closeup of the red dirt on my boot.

MAY 30. I returned from Yaddo two days early after having finished more than I expected, and having nothing else I wanted to write right away. So I returned with one more symphony, six more piano etudes, and one more tick bite. Work done at Yaddo is: Last 60 measures of the second movement of symphony. Adagio final movement of symphony Six piano etudes (see list of compositions) I took about 400 pictures of the place, including the lush wooded grounds as the leaves were coming on the trees -- excuse, me, were coming onTO the trees -- and the people there, the statues, and the late nineteenth century STUFF with which the mansion is filled. Most of the month of May was dreary, cold and rainy, and that meant that the ticks found Yaddo guests (three this week went to the hospital ER for tick bites, and I was the first of those three) scrumptious indeed. Bernardo, a playwright, got a bite on his arm and has to take antibiotics for three weeks; Reiner, a photographer, got a tick bite, and I got one on my chest near my left armpit. I was given two blue pills for it. The composers there while I was in residence included Andrew McKenna Lee, Anthony Gatto, Brian Bevelander, and Gabriel Gould. And I was very glad to see old friends I knew from earlier Yaddo residencies, including Gardner McFall, Greg Djanikian, Tamara Jenkins, Susan Crile, and Tom Piazza. Personal relationships became intense, as usual, and it was hard saying goodbye to just about anyone. As for me, I would be giving a big dance party in my studio tonight if I had not decided to leave two days early. Amy D's "Conversations at the Piano" in Chicago on the 22nd went splendidly. I did my usual schtick before the sets of pieces, there was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed audience for it, and Stacy, Joe and David Smooke came along for the ride, too. Amy played excellently on a less-than-perfect instrument, despite one of her former teachers being in the audience. We had Thai in Stacy and Joe's neighborhood afterwards. My only regret was that logistics made it impossible for me to catch the premiere of Mindy Wagner's piano

concerto with the Chicago Symphony. Well, my other regret was flying out of Albany Airport, which has about as much in it to do as River City. Meanwhile, there is much to be done here in Massachusetts and later in Maine. Beff followed through on my birthday present request by getting me a hammock -- where I will be lying as soon as this page is posted -- and the lawns had to be mowed before yet another dreary and rainy weekend kicks in. The propane tank on the grill needed refilling, as well, and Beff -- all by herself -- replaced the shower head in the bathroom. We needed a new shower head because the heat sensing thing on the old one no longer allowed full-length showers. An exterminator came yesterday to help rid us of mice. Not sure how we got them, but for a while Bly was into opening the cabinets under the sink, and now we know why -- to investigate the scratching sounds. Once we determined that the sounds were NOT being made by a violist, we sent for the exterminator. Many recording sessions coming up in the next three weeks, as well as two house closings, a move from one house to the other, and a move of a small truckload of stuff from Maynard to Bangor. Life is full, or at least full of STUFF. Which is why I'm glad I have a hammock now. I repeat that all able-boded who are willing and able are invited to Bangor on June 10 to carry stuff. Several more reviews of Amy's etude disc came out, including Classics Today and Gramophone. See reviews. And here are today's pictures, which include the new hammock (Beff put it together when I wasn't watching), a Yaddo guest "pointing" to a silly painting in the mansion, a statue in the public part of Yaddo, and a droplet on a flower on the Yaddo mansion's back veranda.

DECEMBER 3. Moments ago, Beff called and began the conversation in a dry voice: "You haven't updated your website." So now the secret is out. I do this NEWS thing weekly partly for my own ego, partly for the entertainment of you, dear reader, but mostly so that calls from Beff begin, "Hi, it's me." Which is actually inaccurate: even being on the Do Not Call list, all the charities with their hands out and EVERY company with whom we've done business feel free to call at all hours, and whenever I calculate that THIS call must be Beff, I always guess wrong. No panacea, this Do Not Call list. Note to exterminator who got rid of mouse last spring: try your best not to leave scripted messages about the dangers of ladybug infestations this time of year on my valuable answering machine tape. But, oh dear, I seem to have gone rather far afield. Usually what Beff says when she calls (radiated around the house from a tinny speaker) is "Oh, Davy ..... Davy ..... DAYYYY-VEEEEE. ..... Are you there?" If I'm gone, I get to hear that all later, followed by, "...... hmmph. I guess you're not there. Well anyway." Breakfast this morning was a big coffee from South Street Mahkit and a blueberry muffin. Lunch was a tossed salad and Buffalo wings at the brick oven pizza place in town. Dinner will be something using mesquite grilled chicken -- sandwiches, for instance. Last night's dinner was a large bowl of Trader Joe's miso soup and a bunch of pepponcinis and jalapeno-stuffed olives, as I was improvising before going into Brandeis for a concert. More on that later, if I remember. LARGE PURCHASES for the week included lunch for four at the Korean restaurant in town, MFA tickets, Norton Antivirus for Mac, and a bunch of stuff at Filene's Basement, as will be detailed below. Last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, I was waffling as to whether I would take a Logan Express bus in to meet Stacy and Joe at the airport, or drive in. News reports in the late afternoon spoke of amazing travel crushes going north and west from early in the day. But by 5:00, the Massport website reported smooth sailing into and through the airport, and I decided to drive -- thus spending $17 in parking and tolls instead of $44 in parking and bus tickets. The hour and a half drive I expected took 40 minutes, and the airport was virtually deserted -- leaving me plenty of time to walk from terminal to terminal and try to ignore the incredibly bad muzak coming from the speakers everywhere (oboe is the wrong instrument to play the melody in California Dreaming. I mean, really). Stacy and Joe took ATA, an airline which barely registers a blip on the Logan Airport website, and which, as it turns out, has its very own ONE gate at

Logan Aiport terminal B. It was easy to find them, and the drive home was a breeze. And we had beer. Thanksgiving went as planned, and over time the thrice chocolate cake was inhaled by our guests. We dispensed with the turkey leftovers by Saturday morning, thankfully (which means we threw them away). Stacy took a bunch of arty shots of the stove and the bushes in the backyard with the digital camera (some of which might show up below) while I was cooking. And hey, frozen Trader Joe's asparagus turns out to be pretty good. Friday we commuter railed into Boston to do Filene's basement, the MFA, and Legal Seafoods. Filene's was having a special scratch ticket promotion wherein you were given one when you entered the basement which would give you a random discount at the register if you purchased by noon. Beff and I chose a black dress shirt, a gray dress shirt, a hooded sweatshirt type of thing, and a new bathrobe for me, and our scratch ticket yielded a 25% discount. Meanwhile, Stacy bought socks. At the MFA we saw furniture, Egyptian and Asian art, and musical instruments. And at Legal Seafood I got the wood grilled tuna meal. Saturday we took a tourist type visit to the big graveyard in Concord, and then shopped a bit in West Concord, after which we dined on Korean, and I took them to the airport. The teaching week was short and barely head hurty at all -- last day of classes was yesterday, though I went in today to teach makeup lessons. In theory, we decided on Monday as bowling and pizza day, I played some Mozart as sonata form archetypes, and then made them listen to modern music -- mine. In orchestration we watched some Looney Tunes shorts to identify the orchestration. And in case any reader thought they sensed the sky falling, yes, Maxwell came to his lesson at his scheduled time for the SECOND week in a row! Yesterday I got in early to make a full-size copy of my Dream Symphony onto good paper in order finally to send it to Mario Davidovsky, whose 70th birthday it celebrates. If "celebrates" is the appropriate word here. After three good lessons, I drove to Staples on the corner of Routes 9 and 27 in Natick to get a large size binding for the symphony, and waited rather a long time, as a very nice guy was very meticulous about lining things up. And then I mailed the score to Mario from the Stow post office, after checking with the bowling alley that they would be open next Monday afternoon. (they will be: in fact, in a composition booklet that they seem to use for scheduling, they wrote in "Rakowski. 3:30. 8-10 students" in the middle of a sea of white space) And last night I went to the student chamber music concert, music by Poulenc, Schubert, Wolf, Schumann, and Debussy. Yes, every one of them dead, but some of them for longer than others (for instance, did you know that Schubert has been dead 1,225 dog years?). Incredibly, every performance was very good, some moreso than others. It's nice to find out that our undergraduates can actually play, and sing. I told someone that the Poulenc songs sounded like "Faure with a headache," and I had to explain what I meant by that. Whatever happened to self-congratulatory, witty repartee? They that make weather an inexact science are making the forecast for this weekend extremely inexact. The forecast has ranged from light rain to light wintry mix to Snow/Rain to Snow/Wind to (the current) Snow Showers for Saturday and Snow/Wind for Sunday. Problem is, that's the time of the Women Composers Festival at Brandeis, and I am obligated by duty to hear the graduate student concert on Saturday afternoon, and also the "gala" concert on Saturday evening, on which the composition contest winners' pieces are played -- and I know them both. In fact winner Ellen Harrison -- whom I know from the MacDowell Colony in 1995 -- plans to stay with us Saturday night. If there is a big storm, all bets are off. Plus, there is the issue -- rather soon in the season -- of Beff being able to drive back to Maine on Sunday. So the high temp went from upper 50s on Friday to 23 yesterday. I SO desperately want to teach in Florida until I remember there's no culture there and a Republican governor. Or in California, until I remember the government is broke, energy prices are skyrocketing, and a cartoon character who is also a Republican is governor. Or in Arizona until I remember that our house was built before it was a state. Bly continues to act strange, weird, and pathetic. How does a cat who craves no attention deal with being the center of it? Oh my goodness, I just wrote a poem. He comes in early now, and meows pathetically about who knows what. And he is so often in SCRATCH MY CHIN OOH I LOVE THAT AAGH GET AWAY FROM ME mode. But then again, that's always been normal for him. Beff's electric shovel arrived. We shall see if it is useful for her. I have my doubts.

Friday I take the Corolla in for the 30,000 mile service, and in the morning I see Seungah for a dissertation consultation. Then Beff gets home around lunch time. Meanwhile, I shall take the opportunity tomorrow to get the pizza ingredients. More and more, students seem to marvel that someone can make pizza from scratch -- ten years ago, I always made pizza for my undergraduate classes at Columbia, where the response was, "made from scratch? Cool!" instead of "made from scratch? You can still do that?" REALITY CHECK my theory students were, mostly, born the year I started doing crappy work for Educational Testing Service after graduate school, and also the year I wrote the first movement of SLANGE. Oy. Today's pictures begin with Stacy and Joe at breakfast on Saturday morning -- that is a flexitone that appears to be growing from Joe's head. Next, a stove picture and an asparagus picture, both taken by Stacy, on Thanksgiving day. Next, Bly sleeping on the couch as a prism shines on him, and a detail from a gravestone in Concord. Finally, a 360 degree pan of the Concord graveyard, flattened.

2004 FEBRUARY 5. I did not have breakfast this morning, not even coffee. Lunch was not until 3:35, a lovely tomato, pepperoncini and nonfat cheese sandwich on Milton's Healthy Multigrain Bread, with Hellman's Fat Free Mayonnaise. I had been looking forward all day to this sandwich, and I was right to do so. Dinner last night was Trader Joes miso soup and various snacky things (including THREE Smak sour pickles, leaving me with but one from my New Years Day stash from Kate and Lee); lunch was a small turkey sub from Cappy's down the hill from the music department. LARGE PURCHASES an HP laser printer at Staples for Beff's office, $200 (the Epson printer that came free with the iMac is no longer any good), and $200 worth of scores at Yesterday Music (Schumann, Ravel, Brahms, and Ligeti) -- this includes a nice 10 percent discount on one of the Ravel scores because there was a crease on the cover. Way to go, Yesterday Music. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Frank Sinatra singing "Love and Marriage." Easily the event of major size during the week was gearing up for the Dream Symphony performances. This incuded driving to Merrimack College in North Andover on Thursday for a rehearsal, training in for a Jordan Hall rehearsal on Friday afternoon, Driving to Merrimack College again on Saturday, and actually driving in and paying $17 (the "event" rate) to park next door to the Conservatory. Yes, my Dream Symphony is half an hour long and has lots of notes, and Susan Davenny Wyner did a fantastic job with it. As did the orchestra. Sunday in Jordan Hall was, at times, thrilling. I still haven't decided to like this piece yet -- too much slow stuff, a few things that should take off compositionally that don't seem to. Though I do think that most of the last movement is gorgeous, and was gorgeously played. For both events, Susan and I had to talk to a pre-concert audience -- about 30 in North Andover, and about 20 in Jordan Hall, and we both delighted at the circular logic we were able to bring forth concerning the music. At the Jordan Hall dress rehearsal, Beff noted "sure would be nice to hear a trumpet now, wouldn't it?" Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly, the big motive of the whole piece is an all-interval tetrachord. And MOST surprisingly, there were two Theory 2 students at the Merrimack concert. And less surprisingly, there were graduate students (Ken, Hillary, John, Maxwell, Jeremy) at the Jordan Hall concert who bit their lips and said they liked the piece (not necessarily both on the same day). And one of the second violinists of the group is someone with whom I used to work in the NEC library in our student days. Not to mention, Josh Gordon plays cello in the band, too. Before the Saturday night pre-concert talk, Beff and I did a leisurely dinner at Bertucci's, right next to the Merrimack College campus. We both had fish! For the dress rehearsal, I had been given directions to the college's campus, but no indication which of the 50 or so buildings was the Rogers Arts Center. Keeping in mind that it was 10 degrees with 30 mph winds, I frantically called the NESE office for directions to the building, which would have been more helpful if I could have heard them over the chattering of teeth. After

the Jordan Hall rehearsal, Beff went to P.F. Chang's restaurant near the Boston Common, sort of to relive our original experience of having discovered it, after going to a Beer Fest, at which time we were totally plastered. We remembered that they make you a spicy sauce at your table, which is an inducement to get you to order dumplings or other food that is spicy sauce friendly. This time, without the haze of beer samples, the sauce was less amazing, and it reminded me of the Sun Bird Kung Pao sauce you can buy in packets -- hey, we can make it at home! Nonetheless, the food itself was excellent. It was disappointing to discover that the restaurant is a chain, though. You can get all the same stuff in Seattle, for instance. Another event in the week was the Ceely BYE! concert, also in Jordan Hall (24 years since my graduation from NEC and nothing of mine is performed in that building -- until TWO performance three days apart ... grumble, grumble), on which Mac Peyton also performed my "Beezle Nose." An ice storm made driving treacherous enough that I opted to stay home instead of die, die, DIE on a slippery twisty road. I heard from both Yehudi Wyner and Lee Hyla that the concert was a tremendous success. Lee also said that he though the quote from the Carter Second Quartet in Beezle Nose was obvious. He got the Schoenberg Opus 19 quote, too. I know of few music students now that would get both of those quotes. Which means that we have been remiss in passing down the torch and the ritual giving out of buttstix. Memo me on that, and we'll have a meeting. Thankfully, we are at the end of the variations unit in Theory, and move on to writing a song next week. The best thing about next week, by the way, is that it is followed consecutively by a week of vacation. In class on Monday, I amused myself to no end, enough so that I still crack up thinking about it. Beginning by admitting you had to be there, I will tell the story. Of which I have yet to tire. As I was reading through one student's variations, I remarked that a certain passage reminded me of Bruce Hornsby. He said it was a barely competent banjo transcription. So I said, "then, it's Bela Fleck?" The student nodded. Another student said, "well, for banjo players, who is there besides Bela Fleck?" Then, in one of my patented surreal responses in which something comes out of my mouth before it has registered with the synapses in my brain, I said, "well, there's Popeye." Stunned silence. "Not Popeye the cartoon chracter. See, it's this other Popeye..." Having had to be there is what you are. The Stoeger check arrived, and I had it in my pocket all day Monday before depositing it. Nobody noticed that I was carrying a lot of money, and apparently I didn't look any different. The Brandeis web page announced it, and sent a press release to the local media. Today there is a note about it in the Boston Herald. So Yehudi delivered me CD-Rs of the Dream Symphony performances and, alas, they were all staticky. We don't know whether the CD-Rs were bad, Susan's duplicating machine is bad, or the driness of the air is a factor. So I went to Susan's house today, captured the originals onto my Powerbook G4 (thanks, Dinosaur Annex), made her a duplicate copy of all of both concerts, and went merrily on my way. The sound quality is quite good when there is no static, and listening to the adagio movement occasionally gives me the idea that I am, indeed, a composer. That is, unless you ask the Boston Herald critic, whose review is now on Reviews 3. As is almost always the case when I type these things, the Weather Bug icon is flashing at me, yet again. We have another Winter Weather Advisory for Friday and Saturday, this time for 3-5 inches of snow to be followed by sleet, ice, and rain. Another slopfest! It will be a nice day to be stuck inside, and so I will be. Tuesday night's storm was a big slopfest, too, though briefer. Early on Wednesday morning, I got up, the moon was out, and I was going to shovel the slop. Which turned out to be snow with sleet on top of it, with ice and rain on top of it all. And the shovel could penetrate none of it -- though the sound of me trying was louder than any orchestral tutti I've ever heard. So the front walk is an icy disaster right now, and I can't do anything to fix it -- anal as I am about having a bare walk and a bare driveway. Luckily we don't have the kind of mailman that threatens nondelivery when walks get slippery. The reason I had no breakfast and an extremely late lunch today is the extreme busy-ness of the morning portion of our program. I woke up early, but not as early as usual, and drove to Brandeis (I covet the parking spot). In my stupor, I forgot to take out the garbage (I usually leave it out overnight, but wind was forecast). I read the paper at Brandeis and took the 8:24 train to Porter Square, hopped on the Red Line, and

hoofed it to 125 High Street. There, I went to the 19th floor and made our Tax Year 2003 Roth IRA contributions (doesn't qualify as a large purchase, since we actually keep the money). From there I hoofed it to South Station, rode the Red Line to Andrew Square, and found, for the first time in my life, the Boston Deli and Market on Boston Street in South Boston -- a small, unassuming place cozied up next to a PolishAmerican Club (or something like that) that has a few generic market items, a cooler with some Coke, makes sandwiches, but importantly, HAS A BUTTLOAD OF SMAK PICKLES for sale. Lee Hyla gave me directions on how to get there (easy!), and I got five jars (picture below). After that, I took the Red Line to Porter, and hung out a little while at Yesterday Music in the Cambridge Music Center, where I picked up a score I had ordered, and needed to pass some time, so I bought some standards -- including the first book of Ligeti etudes. (I fully expect Gyorgy to go out and buy my first book now -- it's much cheaper, and considerably thicker). Picked up some exotic foods at White Hen Pantry in Porter Square. Got some miso soup at the Japanese supermarket near Porter Square (three varieties!). Had a conversation with Palle Yourgrau (Brandeis philosophy professor I know from the Consilience seminar) about music (he's getting into Prokofiev and Shostakovich -- one outta two ain't bad), and then went to Susan Davenny Wyner's house to get unstaticky recordings of the Dream Symphony. And drove back home, gave Beff her phone message, etc. The rest is history. Beff has secured us a summer rental on Moose Pond in Maine for two weeks at the end of June. After said rental, it is likely that we will stop being cat-free. Beff is now considering sliding sideways in her career to a job much like the one she has now, except that it's much, much closer, at the U of Rhode Island. They are interviewing her soon, possibly as soon as next week. Which is the only thing that would have gotten her down here next weekend -- she has to stay this weekend for various reasons, not the least of them a production of Much Ado About Nothing, for which she wrote incidental music. The only advantage to the job is at least five hours of driving per week chopped off her schedule. Disadvantage: higher cost of living. Advantage: closer to actual culture. Advantage: closer to actual husband. Today's pictures: the new Smak five-pak (one of the jars seems to be sliced-up pickles, presumably for a salatka (salad?)), of which I am very proud. Under that, the other stuff on the kitchen table, including a make-your-own-hot sauce kit that the beer night denizens gave us a week ago Friday and a bouquet given me by Bronika and Larissa Kushkuley at the Dream Symphony performance (Bronika is 16 and a full-time NEC student; when she was 13 I gave her two years of composition lessons). Then, an ice crust closeup from the front steps, and the unperfect can't-clear-it-off front walk. Click on the link below the pictures to hear the last four minutes of Dream Symphony.

SEPTEMBER 17. Breakfast today was Morningside Farms meatless tofu breakfast sausages, orange juice, decaf coffee, and Shaws hash brown potatoes. Dinner last night was lasagna, garlic bread, homemade chocolate ice cream (I ate too much of it) and a little Chianti at Big Mike's. Lunch was Buffalo wings, curly fries and salad at the Chicken Bone Saloon in Framingham, with Beff, as we watched CNN's Hurricane Ivan coverage without the benefit of sound. LARGE EXPENSES for the last week were new Michelin tires for the Corolla, $514 installed and balanced, repaired blower for the Camry plus an oil change, $97, HP inkjet printer plus cartridges for Beff to take to artist colonies, $189. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Red's White and Blue March" by Red Skelton. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE after "Persistent Memory" was performed by Orpheus in Carnegie Hall and I ran up on stage to acknowledge the thunderous applause, I walked to backstage, rather than to my seat, to see if I could get a curtain call. Orpheus would have none of that, and they got up and started walking off before the applause stopped. Thus, stranding me backstage while the next piece was set up. I tried to sneak back to my seat via the edge of the stage, but when the audience saw me, they applauded again. I felt sheepish and tried to ignore them -- which was rude. Apparently I should have gratefully acknowledged the applause. Boy, was my face red that day! TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE PAST WEEK 48.4 and 76.6. RECOMMENDATION/PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 4 (countless more

promised: it's Guggenheim and Rome Prize season, people). DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Big cans of tuna for cats at Trader Joes for 35 cents. MUSIC NEWLY TRANSFERRED TO MY IPOD is none. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Why do people turning left feel they have to veer right first, thus making it impossible for other drivers to get by? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS include homemade salad dressing, Polish Farms pickles, Buffalo wings, and sugar free popsicles. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK: none. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 40. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 19. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a festering piece of fecal matter, the Vice President -- but I repeat myself. Dear reader, I type to you on the second day of Rosh Hashana, which is a Brandeis holiday for students and faculty but not for staff. This affords me a well-timed four-day weekend, thankfully while Beff is actually in residence in Maynard. We recently realized that Beff has the potential to tie my colony-hopping record this year, but will probably not. She is going to Yaddo for October, the Copland House for November, to Ragdale in the spring, and also to a colony in Costa Rice in April. Those of you with pocket protectors have counted four residencies. The MacDowell Colony called her and offered her a monthlong residency spanning December to January, which she declined. If she had said yes, it would have matched my five from my second year at Columbia: VCCA (six weeks), MacDowell (seven weeks), Djerassi Foundation (six weeks), Yaddo (five weeks) and Bellagio (three and a half weeks). I think I win on the amount of time spent away from home. The difference was that in 1990-91 we actually lived together year round. Well, and owned only one car, and my salary was a lot lower, and I composed slavishly using motives. And we had yet to buy our first new car, or house. Uh oh, nostalgia ain't what it used to be. Being as I've got the four-day splidge (a new word I hope soon to enter the language), we are doing consecutive "non-Chair" days. Beff recently credited me with the non-Chair day concept, but it is wholly her own. The non-Chair day being a chance to be not responsible for everything, and to do fun things, and to go places where there are no people I've never heard of to make demands on my time and my department's budget. So yesterday -- a predicted nice day which turned rainy -- we hopped over to the Toyota dealership for 7:00 appointments for BOTH our cars and I got new Michelin tires (thus making it far less likely that I will squeal when taking corners, will spin out when I start up after paying a toll or that I will fail my December inspection). Beff, meanwhile, had to get an oil change and get the blower on her Camry fixed, as it would only blow at the highest setting. While waiting for our service, we hopped over to BAGELS PLUS just down Great Road in Acton, where I had the egg on bagel (bland) and Beff had a bagel with lox spread. Our cars were ready by 7:50, so we then hopped over to Staples -- next door -- to shop for a compact printer for Beff to take on her colony hop. We chose a small HP inkjet and also got extra cartridges. On the way home we stopped at Donelans to get wine for dinner at Big Mike's and to get other staples, including a new discovery: we got seven Snapple Green Tea With Limes. We were home and at work (or at least setting up Beff's printer to see if it worked) by 8:30. Luckily, today we were just about getting out of bed around then. Thank you Rosh Hashana. Last weekend Beff was in Vermont tending to her father, as it was sort of her turn in the cycle. She got back at dinner time on Sunday (we had chicken sandwiches). But I took advantage of THESE non-Chair days to see if I could write something simple, or at least short. So I started another piano etude, this one on a pedal B. Over Saturday and Sunday I cranked out 60 bars of music, about double my usual artist colony rate (I must have been desperate), and am thinking the piece will end up with around 85 to 95 bars. I plan on finishing it today (which, yesterday, was predicted as a washout and today is predicted as mostly fair) or tomorrow, depending on how non-Chair things stack up. Possible titles in the mix include On Time and B (please tell me you know of Heidegger), All That You Can B, B (My Little Baby), and Let It B. Dear reader, you may vote or provide yet a different title (after all, Rick Moody came up with Menage a Droit two weeks after I finished my right hand piece and I used it), but I may have already settled on a title by the time you vote. It is five days to Beff's birfday. It is next Wednesday, and she will be returning from New York on that day. The day before she goes to a reception for Copland House Fellae, of which she is a jolly good one. The next thing that happened with yesterday's non-Chair day was a return engagement to the Chicken Bone

saloon in Framingham, which we caught this time at the lunch rush, at which time it was packed. We got exactly what we got before -- wings, salad, fries, ice tea, a bloody Mary -- and like before watched CNN hurricane coverage without sound. Yes, we watched both Ivan and Charley in the same gastronomic context. We are, if nothing else, consistent. Several blues tunes played on the jukebox while we were there, and I made a controversial comment: Blues to me is what modern music must be like for most people. All the tunes sound the same to me. Then I made the logical leap to committed scotch drinkers: they know the nuances of single and double malts, whereas to me it's just firewater that makes me gag. So maybe Boston Musica Viva can use my new slogan for their next season brochure: MUSICA VIVA PRESENTS FIREWATER THAT WILL MAKE YOU GAG. IN ALL ITS EXCITING SINGLE- AND DOUBLEMALT GLORY. By the way, it's no secret that I consider Musica Viva's programming pretty appalling. And not just because they never do my music. Okay, because they never do my music.

The weather actually looks pretty nice this morning, so we are thinking of strapping the bikes on the back of the Camry and doing the part of the Minuteman path that was earlier closed off to us (because of a major road cutting it off and a tunnel not yet built). So if you hear me raving about the Paul Revere Capture Site, we managed to get there. Big Mike has a nice condo in Hudson, and we went there for dinner last night. His lasagna was exemplary, and of course laden with cholesterol, and was served with Italian sausage and garlic bread, and just a few spoonfuls filled me up. This did NOT keep me from having three helpings of his homemade chocolate ice cream. I was happy to have Lipitor to come home to. Admirably we listened to his stories of how he, and he alone, did some work on the floors in his place (I'm not a tile guy). We also marveled how the speed bumps at his condo complex are concave rather than convex, as if mirror images. Or weird performance art pieces. Tonight the being entertained continues, as we see Lee and Kate for dinner, and Kate will cook. We are bringing beer as our gift and my string of beerless days may be on the ropes. Unless I see the wisdom of a nice subtle red wine. We will be getting in quite late tonight, and what it is, too. Perhaps the highlight of the week was something of a Supplementale on Monday night. Beer night looks like it has disappeared into the ether, or at least the version we used to have where Jeff Nichols would say he was coming but fail to show up, where David Horne would drink far too much and hang his mouth on a glass at the end of the evening, where Josh Skaller would break ketchup bottles, and where Bernard Rands would steadfastly order Shiraz instead of beer. President Jeffy is ensconced in Queens, President Horne has been in England for three years now, and President Ken has full-time teaching at UMass Dartmouth (not an Ivy League competitor, mind you), which is so far away from Boston as to make the old regular meetings very inconvenient. Perhaps some new generation of frolicsome lads will take the gauntlet and continue the tradition of Noche Cerveze if not that actual thing. But our supplementale was right here in Maynard, wherein Hillary and Ken came out with food. They arrived seven thirtyish in Ken's new car, and apparently they came straight from the dealer (an oboist with his own gouging machine sold them their car). Ken brought a spicy oxtail sort of stew and also a spicy sort of salad, and we let the wine flow. Hillary was especially impressed by the cat tricks: tear a piece of newspaper and the cats come bounding into the room awaiting a toy; crinkle plastic in the pantry and they come bounding in expecting a treat; throw a crumple toy at Sunny and he defends it like a soccer goalie; and Camden watches TV from really close. Even with all the excitement and the lateness of the evening, I managed to do my Tuesday teaching without much incident. Well, how about that! We have secured a locksmith to look at, and possibly rebuild, the lock mechanism on our front door. It is very old and broken in a few pieces, and we have never been able to use the front door as our regular door - because it is a key stuck in the lock on the inside that is the only way to lock it right now. The door has been all but unopenable when it is humid, so we need it fixed, or something. Not to mention. We are broaching the subject of having a half bath put in downstairs where the pantry and refrigerator currently reside. Anyone with the name of a good contractor to do such a thing in this area, yield it now. We figure the mud room will also have to be reconfigured in some way, so we won't be able to use the back door while this rebuilding happens. Hence the concern of using the front door.

Whoa, it really IS lovely out right now. Bike ride time. This week the pictures are 400 pixels wide rather than 320, because you're worth it. There may be a sly reference to a four-day weekend there, but I doubt it. The first four pictures were taken this week, and the next four were taken by Corinne Pearlman when she and Martler were here last March around St. Patrick's Day. I didn't get them until months later. The first three are from our trip to the Chicken Bone Saloon yesterday, including a picture of our actual food. Then we see Camden, who is newly fascinated with the television whenever it is on. Next we find Martler and me looking at our Buffalo wings at the Village Pizzeria last March, not realizing that we would be in the shot. This is followed by Martler's lunch on St. Patrick's day, consisting of corned beef and cabbage and much, much beer. Then it's me with an icicle posing in the living room, and Martler posing with the bulk of his St. Patrick's Day lunch.

SEPTEMBER 24. Breakfast this morning was Morningside Farms veggie sausage patties with 2% melted cheese, orange juice and decaf coffee. Dinner was Rosemary chicken sandwiches, grilled tofu with Trader Joe's Sesame Orange marinade, and salad with the homemade Good Seasons salad dressing. Lunch yesterday was a large salad with sun-dried tomato salad dressing. Today's lunch is at the faculty club, on Scott. LARGE EXPENSES for the last week were round trip plane tickets to Chicago for December, $195.96 each on United. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Hyperblue, by me. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE Certain songs from the 70s bring back very specific and wistful memories: "Ricky Don't Lose That Number" is overnights spent with friends in our tent trailer; "Horse With No Name" is seventh grade music classes; "Saturday in the Park" is the piano lab in the band room; Chicago's "Harry Truman" is our pickup band massacring the tune in Spring Frolics (I played trombone); and "We need him crucified" from Jesus Christ Superstar is the cheap stereo cassette player in my bedroom and friends visiting. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE PAST WEEK 42.3 and 81.7. RECOMMENDATION/PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 3. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK More places to buy the Snapple Green Tea and Lime variety. MUSIC NEWLY TRANSFERRED TO MY IPOD is none. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: I watched a segment on a business channel recently in which an analyst mentioned that the automobile tire industry is practically putting itself out of business because it is making a product that is so good that the market for replacement tires is shrinking drastically; so why did my Toyota tires wear out after just 35,000 miles? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS include jalapeno-stuffed olives, grilled tofu, and Snapple green tea with lime. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK: none. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 47. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 2. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a bag of pine needles, fingernail shavings, cat hair not yet brushed off the couch, a piece of laminated paper. Just before this morning's update, I took my first QuickTime movies on my Nikon Coolpix. I tried to capture Sunset jumping up, soccer goalie-like, for a crumpled paper toy. The only semi-spectacular one I got has him jumping out of the frame, but it's good enough for me. Click on "Sunny Movie" above to see a brief video. Alast, it is also 1.3 megabytes and will take some time to load. Beff is, as I type this, on the road. Technically, her Camry is on the road and she is in it, but you get the idea; and before she left, she made sure to remind me of the things we did this week that I should be sure to include in this space. Her brother Bob is with her, too, and will be fed a strict diet, while in transit, of a book on tape. They are doing Dad Duty this weekend, the last in a while for Beff, since she's soon to begin her colony hop. Beff also went to a Tuesday evening reception in New York City (where the salsa is made) for Copland House fellae. And there she met several people that it was good to see, including two of my double-fivers from the Home of this site: Hayes and Daron. She stayed at Marilyn Nonken's apartment, thus giving us one more shared experience about which to talk (especially the sofa bed and the light in the alley). And there were plenty of other cool people there, like Sebastian Currier and Judy Sherman, and the whole Music from Copland House gang. Four of the eight fellae for this year were at the reception, two of which stayed at the MacDowell Colony (Chasalow and Festinger) rather than lose two days' work. People after my own heart.

Last week's update brought some lurkers -- I don't recall whether I count them within the almost eleven, or think of them as adjunct -- into my e-mail box. Dr. Uechi had brought the update to Josh Skaller's attention, speculating that I had accused him of "petty larceny" with a widemouth bottle of ketchup. In any case, it was good to hear from Josh, even though the pictures on his web page -- skaller.com, no leading "www." -haven't been updated in some time. You gotta love a guy who calls his firstborn Wolf instead of Hugo. Last sighting of Josh: November '02. Last sightin of Dr. Uechi: ohmigod I have no idea. 1995? Dr. Uechi, I still have the "Keep On Pumpkin" cutout doll you sent me in Rome. In fact, it hangs on the new bookshelf in the computer room. Don't believe me? Well, looky here. Dear Mummy

And this morning Sam e-mailed to note that there was no new update yet this week. Well, that and the usual sorts of things he writes about. I now have a small shampoo in the bathroom with the words "SAM'S SHAMPOO" magic markered on it. I figure this is left over from Sam & Laurie's last catsitting gig here, even while Poom was still alive. Either that or the mouse that we had in the house last year was named Sam and got REALLY brazen about his place in our lives. You'll note that the "days since last beer" shrank rather than grew this week. This is because of two events, which I will cover in reverse chronological order. Wednesday was Beff's birthday, and that was the day she took a bus back from New York and arrived in mid-afternoon to warm weather. We had decided in advance to go to a restaurant to celebrate, and she chose Quarterdeck, the seafood place. In a celebratory mood, we both got Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale on tap, and it shonuff was good. Nice counterpoint to my Buffalo tenders and clam roll. Beff got scallops wrapped in bacon and the Thai ginger tilapia. It was quite a good and filling meal, one of the waitresses mentioned that I got my usual (sorry, but when it comes to seafood I don't get that inventive, and the Cajun blackened meal just seemed too bulky at that point), and our waitress ostentatiously mouthed the words "DO YOU WANT CAKE?" to me, and I just as ostentatiously mouthed the word "WHAT?" Friday night we rode into Boston for dinner with Lee and Kate, and it was a stay-at-home affair. Instead of bringing wine -- since we didn't know what we would be eating -- we brought a six-pack of the Magic Hat hoppy beer, and Lee served me a bottle -- hence ending my run of beerless days. I'm afraid it was a jinx. When I stopped drinking beer, the Red Sox went on a tear; when I had another beer, the Red Sox went back to being a .500 team. I must remember in the future to use my powers for good. In any case, we had a great plate of appetizers -- I made sure to sit right where the plate was -- and pasta fagioli and melon slices wrapped in prosciutto. It was a lovely dinner -- I had seconds on the pasta fagioli, and we got some to bring home -- and it was entertaining to watch Lee watching the Red Sox and all the body English and monosyllabic words coming out with great force. Now the two of them are about to go to Rome for about three months, and I notice a green-eyed monster sitting just to my left as I type that. Saturday was Ivan's day to pass overhead, and finally something hit us with a lot of rain, nearly three inches. There was even enough to cause a little bit of water to seep onto the basement floor. So clearly I can not choose the wine in front of ME. (oops, Princess Bride references sometimes just pop out unannounced like that) That was the day I chose for my yearly eye exam. So while a river was forming outside D'Ambrosio clinic, I got to read about laser surgery, the doctor suggested I could get lens implants with a lifetime warranty, and since I knew this would be the year they dilated my pupils, I got Beff to come along for the ride (she passed on the opportunity to shop at DRESS BARN, in the same shopping center). Ooh, the pupil dilating stuff was cartoonishly fun -- as the dreary day looked bright and sunny and wet to me. And my contacts didn't quite fit until the dilation wore off, so I got to be blurry guy all day. I now have 24 new lenses, which are no longer called Optima FW by Bausch & Lomb, but something like a 38 special. Sunday was a nicer, though cooler day, and we took the cats into the back yard several times for their exercise. More separation of personality is evident out of doors: Camden likes to hide under the Adirondack chairs and occasionally climb a little bit up a tree. Sunset likes to jump high for the frisbee when we toss it, and climb the hyndrangea tree nearly to the tippy top. Camden likes to go under the back porch, Sunset likes the wooded area near the canoe. Meanwhile, they are still too naive about nature to be left outside unwatched.

My second week of teaching at NEC was a smashing success. I have been invited to a composition department party at Mac Peyton's in Cambridge on Sunday that I will likely skip. I was also invited by Mac to send him some music for possible performance at NEC either in October or May -- wide range there. Meanwhile, Brandeis teaching continues unabated. Chairmanship was not hard this week, but ominous tones were sounded for the months ahead. Yesterday I received a summons to jury duty in Framingham. Drat, I knew this would happen if I ever stayed in one place more than three years. What's more, the proposed duty happens to be while I am in Chicago for "Ten of a Kind", so I politely returned the response card with a postponement date of June 16. I don't know what I'm doing then, but it'll be after my birthday. The only alternative is to change our official residence to Maine, and that seems like a bit much just to get out of jury duty (like when B.D. signed up for combat duty in Vietnam in Doonesbury in the early '70s to get out of writing a term paper). And today I will be mailing the scores and parts of RULE OF THREE to Cambridge University in England, who commissioned it. I am particularly amused by the commissioning info that is required to be on the score: Commissioned by Kettle's Yard with grant-aid from the Fenton Arts Trust for the 2005 Sunday Coffee Concert Series. I wonder if they serve decaf, because given my piece they might need it. What does that mean? Durned if I know. The only other professional stuff to report is that the Marines asked for a color photo for their December program booklet, passed on the toy piano shot, so they're cutting out my head from one of the control room shots of Amy's 2003 recording session; and an e-mail from the librarian of the Marine band saying they'd gotten inquiries about the many-clarinet arrangmement of "Martian Counterpoint" and from whom can they get it. So there. Oh yes, and a percussionist in Queens wants to get a grant to pay a few composers, myself included, to write him a hand drum solo. The list of composers is a good one. I finished the pedal B etude and settled on the name KILLER B'S. The title just happened to come out (no one suggested it) while I was at the computer typing an e-mail and Beff came in the computer room and said, "So, pedal B's, huh?". I HAD already thought of "Where the B Sucks", which one of the almost eleven suggested, but it may send the wrong message. This same one of the almost eleven also suggested "In Cflat," which I thought was extremely clever. But which would have necessitated a lot of going back into Finale and respelling everything. And sad news this week. Susan Forrest Harding, a composer on whose dissertation committee I was at Columbia, died in August at the age of 47 of undisclosed causes. This was mentioned in the VCCA newsletter. Mortality is just that much more evident this week. The only pictures we have this week are cats. Two of Sunset with the toy piano, and two of Camden on the stairs. This is what I leave you with. OCTOBER 1. Breakfast this morning was absolutely nothin' (say it again!). Actually, breakfast this morning is decaf coffee with Hood Simply Smart 0% milk and Morningside Farms tofu sausage patties with Kraft 2% milk cheese. Dinner was Buffalo tenders and a Caesar salad topped with herb-rubbed salmon at the Seafood Restaurant, courtessy of Geoffy. Lunch was chicken teriyaki at the Korean restaurant in Maynard. LARGE EXPENSES for the last week include a Nikon Coolpix 3200 camera, bag, and 256 meg memory card, together with a 512meg memory card for my own camera, $320. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Abracadabra" by the Steve Miller Band. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE When we were very young -- say, 10 or 11 -- Jim Hoy and I used to tape ourselves doing bad rock improvisations in our basement on a toy percussion set (Jim would eventually move on to a real drumset) and a guitar poised somewhere between toy and real. Jim did the percussion, I did C and G chords (all I knew) on the guitar. Jim sang nonsense stuff that didn't have a tune (one of our standbys was "End of the World" in which I did a descant in the background repeating the phrase ad nauseum). My sister probably has those (reel to reel) tapes somewhere in her archive, and at this point the blackmail value would be rather high. (Jim currently lives in Portland, Maine working as a construction estimator and playing in a rock band that does original tunes roughly in the style of the Monkees) TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE PAST WEEK 41.9 and 77.9.

RECOMMENDATION/PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 4. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK The cats more or less exchange personalities when they go outdoors -- Sunny becoming the rambunctious one and Cammy becoming the more docile one. MUSIC NEWLY TRANSFERRED TO MY IPOD is none. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Why is "vegan" pronounced with a long "e" sound? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS include Altoid fruit sours and deli dill pickles. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK: none. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 54. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 1. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE this morning's Boston Globe, a brown shoelace, the grill cover, a melted-down crayon. Beff is on the road as I type again, and as before, I quickly qualify that by saying it's her Camry that is on the road while Beff is merely in the Camry -- "on the road" power is metaphorically transferred to Beff by the Camry by me, and what it is, too. She is making the incredible drive deep into the Confederacy -- her sax and tape/video piece is being done at a mini-festival in Richmond, Virginia tomorrow (Mario Davidovsky is a guest at this mini-festival), and the saxophonist is driving roughly the same distance, from Bowling Green, Ohio. After the performance, she drives as far as Burke, Virginia, where she stays at the Colburn homestead, and then on Sunday she drives almost as far as Yaddo, stopping short to stay with her sister in Cohoes. On Monday she starts her month-long residency at Yaddo. Leaving Davy with dish duty, doody duty, and lots of other alliterative things. The cats will be 16% older when she returns. Backing off for a moment on leaving chairmanship out of this portion of our program, it had just occurred to me that -- in addition to sleeping all the way through the night only twice now since the beginning of August (yes, it is stressful), I realize that I've also had no dreams I remember in that time period. Except twice. This morning I dreamed about my piece "Hyperblue," it raining, newspaper, and trying to put together a performance score that was soaked. This probably because it was a rare morning that I slept beyond 3 am, and Beff and I were under 376 pounds of covers. Yes, we made it to October without turning on the heat yet, and that meant a rather cold day in the house yesterday morning. Laundering the sheets and cover gave the excuse to enter winter mode on the bed, and it was boiling for a while. Perhaps the extra weight made it possible for me to remember a dream, or to dream at all. Now here's where we stick in the gratuitous metaphor about striving. So go ahead. As to chairmanship itself, this week it boiled down to: meetings. Since the weekend was mostly Beffless (she was in Vermont watching her dad and bro' duke it out), and concert-free, I took the opportunity to squeeze out etude #64 on arpeggiated thirds, "A Third in the Hand." Beff and I had several title-considering sessions, and "Revenge of the Thirds" was a strong candidate for a while. Rejected candidates included Third it Through the Grapevine, Seen and Not Third, Thirdy Gurdy, Theater of the Ab Third. Guess what? The lines go up, and they go down. They go at different speeds. And at the thickest point it's almost jazzy. Chalk up another success story. The dotted eighth is the beat, and it begins with the same pitch classes as You've Got Scale. 'cept higher. The entertainment event of the week was renting and watching the DVD of "The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," a Charlie Kaufman script (Being John Malkovich and Adaptation), and it was fabulous. I rate it as 873.6 times as good a movie as "Mystic River." In fact, I might bring up here that W is 1.348 times as good a president as Mystic River is a movie. In any case, all the overlapping weird stuff was great, and the movie itself was almost as claustrophobic as Being John Malkovich. Solid emotional core, etc., and nobody preening for Oscar nominations. Yesterday Beff finally became convinced that she would like to have a digital camera to record her colony hop, so we went to Staples to see what was inexpensive and small enough. After looking at HP and Olympia lower-end cameras (they looked fairly poopisch), we noticed Nikon Coolpix 3200s in the locked display case for only 200 bucks, and the 15 shooting modes and ability to take movies with sound convinced us. So while Beff did errands and did ironing, I figured out the basics of the camera and challenged her to take some shots for this very page. There will be two of them showing up below. So now she'll be able to send digital pix, if the computers at Yaddo don't continue to lock out the connection of USB drives, etc. And some of them may show up here, too. Brilliantly enough, the camera runs with two

AA batteries rather than with a $40 proprietary battery. And Beff has one of the multi-card readers on her trip so that she can transfer them to her computer. It reads SD cards,and what it is, too. The fourth hurricane of the season did a dump here after it was through dumping on Florida, and it was sad not to be able to watch the news coverage of it on a TV in the Chicken Bone Saloon. The issue was timing - meetings, after all. We had scheduled lunch with Ken and Hillary for yesterday at the Chicken Bone Saloon -- they were intrigued by last week's pictures in this space -- but Hillary begged off because her electronic music class called an extra meeting for the convenience of the instructor (and obviously not of the students). Meanwhile, they were planning on hearing Gusty's piece with the NY Phil last night, an event to which I cannot go for boring chairman reasons. There was some yardwork done this last week. Beff's brother Bob was with her when she returned from Vermont on Sunday, and we decided to remove the three hugely overgrown hostas from the back yard. Bob did the digging and I did the transporting. Gaping holes remain. Yesterday Beff and I transported the picnic table and chairs to their winter storage place in the basement. And also, all the air conditioners are out of their windows and in the attic now. The amount of brush and stuff left behind by nesting birds in the window of the guest room was fairly dramatic. Speaking of which. The Brandeis Women Composers festival finally happens this weekend -- the first try at one was snowed out last December. And it presents two of at least four mod music concerts this weekend (the others being Musica Viva and Dinosaur Annex). Since my limit per weekend is two concerts, I am doing the Brandeis events only. My friend Ellen Harrison was one of the winners in the composition competition, and my former student Martha Horst is the other winner (I was not on the selection panel), so they will both be in town. The gala concert is actually sold out, and despite that, there is a big mention in today's Globe about the festival. So there will be plenty of disappointed people at the door, I fear. But it will be nice to see Ellen for the first time in NINE YEARS -- oh goodness, we met at MacDowell in 1995. Ellen corresponds with a lag time of about a year, so it seems like a lot less time since then. Musica Viva having a concert this weekend means that Geoffy is amongst us, and he arrived last night. For whatever reason, he decided to take us out for seafood. At which point I revised the Exceptions list of my beer prohibition to read "no beer whatsoever except when we eat at the Quarterdeck." So each of us had two Sierra Nevada Celebration Ales. And the beer clock was set back to zero. Beff and Geoff (an internal rhyme!) got sole with capers, and I got salmon on a Caesar salad (alliteration is the big finish for that sentence). Both Beff and Geoff left early this morning -- Beff at 6, Geoff at 7:15. Here I bring up again that Geoff is the only guest that drinks the spring water and that washes his own dishes. A boon, I tell you, a boon. Through no effort of my own, five of the etudes on the "Martian Counterpoint" CD will be on the next program of WGBH's "Art of the States". This is something where you get free web streaming of lots of American music, and the programs themselves are aired on radio in 53 countries -- as if I'll ever see a dime in royalties out of it. The theme of the program is audible systems (?) and it is grouped with a piece by David Lang and another composer whose name I forget. This just means that looking for my name on Google (something I do more often than I admit) will now bring up a few more hits. Speaking of Martian Counterpoint. Extremely weird review of the CD on New Music Box, also quoted in Reviews on this site. There was actually an inquiry about the many-clarinetted version of "Martian Counterpoint," as performed by the Marines in July. Since the inquiry came in, I had to request the parts from the Marine guy (Sgt Ressler, short for Renssalaer, I guess), who got them to me in record time. Now they go to Peters. Though they came in a package with a return address of US Navy. Ah, vive la difference! During my few lulls in composing last weekend (the next one will be months, I suspect), I took the kitties out and tried to take movies, with my Coolpix, of Sunny jumping for things. In the first (click on "Jump movie" above), Sunny is in the sun and blends in until he jumps and you can see him in relief against the fence. In the second ("Ring Toss Movie"), he is in the shade, and I tried to throw a ring for him to jump at,

but instead it ended up turning into a ring toss that I won. As Alex Ross said about my Lexicon, wise and funny stuff. And my first NEC paycheck arrived. Hot diggity dog. This week's pictures begin with two from Beff's 3.2 megapixel Nikon Coolpix 3200. Alas, it was cloudy when we took the cats out. But you can see that Sunny likes the hammock. We move to various shots of the many shrooms that have popped up in the side yard since the big rain and cold. There is the backyard azalea bush, which you can see I had to trim so we could walk to our house from the driveway. And then we have shots of the fall foliage, which is just beginning.

OCTOBER 7. Breakfast this morning was Miilton's Healthy Multi-Grain toast with lowfat Shaw's peanut butter, decaf coffee, and orange juice. Last night's dinner was a large salad with Good Seasonings dressing. Lunch was the two-slice special at Cappy's Pizza down the hill from the music deparment, with hot sauce slathered on top. LARGE EXPENSES for the last week were none. Unless you count $9 for three bags of topsoil. Oh yeah; and new firelogs, campari tomatoes, Fuji CD-Rs, cat food at BJs, $79. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "You're Just Enough" by Tower of Power. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE My favorite late night snack when I was about 7 was a piece of white bread covered with mustard. My nickname for this culinary delight was "mustardbread," with the emphasis on the second syllable. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE PAST WEEK 31.3 and 69.6. RECOMMENDATION/PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 3. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Squirrels are not afraid of cats. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Why do 40% of Americans still think Saddam was responsible for 9/11? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS include hot sauce added to stuff where it doesn't otherwise belong. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK: none. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 60. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 7. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a piece of notebook paper, a stone stuck in your shoe, a vanity mirror, a gardening spade. As I type this at 7:15 on this Brandeis holiday morning (Sh'mini Atzeret), I note, without irony, that this is a Thursday update, which brings us into classic mode. It is a lovely and cold day, the leaves continue to turn toward red, yellow and orange, and a few of them pile up under the sickly maple in the northwest corner of the front yard. This all reminds me that I continue not to lock the front door with the key because it sticks if you do that -- and the locksmith we called to fix it (and who came to the house and tried to engage us in locksmith-nerd conversation for what seemed like hours but was only fifteen minutes) has yet to get back to us with any updates on the hardware we chose. Fascinating. The weather has turned to fall mode, cracking below freezing for the first time yesterday morning -- alas, our growing season is over. The athletic fields of Brandeis were white-frosted when I arrived at work yesterday, and they were kind of pretty. The weatherman gives us weather into the 70s for the next two days, however; and I have to waste some of that weather tomorrow afternoon in an impromptu short meeting with the President. Of Brandeis. Beff's humongously long drives got her to her respective destinations, and now she is safely ensconced at Yaddo -- in the East House composer live-in studio -- where she will be until the month name begins with "n". She apparently got pretty lost after missing a turn when looking for the Colburn homestead in Burke, Virginia, but she managed to find the place, eventually; Winnie of the vibrating haunch was pleased to see her. At last check, there was some debate as to where exactly she was supposed to do the sleeping of her, but it was apparently resolved. At Yaddo she is sharing time with three filmmakers at once -- two of whom I know from the MacDowell Colony -- and that brings me back to my first time at Yaddo when the Director was so, um, breathtakingly repressed and, um, less than clueful, that she prohibited televisions or film playback equipment from the Yaddo mansion. Because, you see (I suppose), the Trasks never had a TV. In any case -- I have never seen the East House composer studio, but I suppose I will soon. In fact, next weekend I plan on driving there for an overnight. And I suppose Beff's sister will work on getting us lodging of cheapness in the area. Meantime, Beff can't get the multi-card reader I lent her from

my own computer bag to read the SD card from her digital camera, so I am charged with bringing the original camera box so she can get the pix she's taken onto her own computer. Knowing me, I'll just buy her another card reader. Today. At Staples. After getting stuff from Trader Joe's. Who no longer has those cool grapefruit sours or the pepperoncini I like so much. It'll only be an overnight, because Beff will have to get back to work, AND the kitties will need to be fed. Speaking of which -- doing the garbage AND recycling AND changing the cat litter is a big job! Especially for someone who raised a nasty bump on his head by hitting his head on a door, on purpose, for comic effect while exiting a classroom at Brandeis. Speaking of which -- I heard Eric Chafe tell his class that midterms were next Friday. Midterms!?! Now I REALLY have to go to the bathroom. Almost all of my composition students this week, both at NEC and at Brandeis, had nearly no no music to show. The amount of stuff I had to come up with to fill the full hours for which I was being paid was considerable, AND made my head hurt -- and this was before hitting my head on a door. The lioness's share of my Saturday was taken up by being at Brandeis for the Women Composers Festival - a 4:00 concert of music by women graduate students (including former graduate students -- hi, Hillary), and a sold-out event featuring grownups. So at 4 we had double Yoko, Hillary, Grace, and Seungah, and at 8 the two competition winners and a bunch of older, seasoned composers. All in all, both concerts were very, very good. I saw our piano tuning team there twice, of course causing the chair in me to think, "okay, at $125 per tuning, that was..."). Martha Horst's piece was very fin de siecle Vienna, 'cept more wholetoney, and very beautiful, and Ellen Harrison's string quartet was lovely, and beautifully played by the Lyds. Before the concert started, I just happened to find myself seated in front of the Brandeis president and his wife -- and his wife runs the Womens Studies Research Center. So the chit-chat we had before magically turned into major points in her pre-concert speech. She even brought up that Martha had worked with me at "a west coast University that will remain nameless". I encountered Ellen just before the earlier concert, and it was the first time I've seen her in nine years -when we were at the MacDowell Colony together. We did Thai at the Treetop restaurant, I played her some music, and we looked at her son playing the violin on www.violinmasterclass.com. Then we went to the concert, which was hot. Well, the room was, anyway. The "23-voice Boston Secession Ensemble" that sang Amy Beach, Ruth Lomon, Pauline Oliveros and others turned out to have 25 singers in it (one of the pieces was dull enough that I counted). I was wondering how many of the singers were considered to have fractional voices, and by what amount. Maybe four of them sang the "sotto voce" parts? I could go on with this joke, but I won't. Yesterday turned into a mammoth teaching day because Tuesday I drove to Ken Ueno's teaching 'hood to give a colloquium -- easy money, not so easy driving -- thus having to move one student to a late time yesterday. Driving time from Brandeis to UMass Dartmouth (south and east of Providence) is an hour and ten minutes. The college has a hub and spoke design -- a central bunch of '80s industrial buildings with lots of concrete and parts of buildings seem to fly out like toaster handles -- with a ring road and a bunch of surrounding dormitories. Ken has to share an office with two other faculty, and he is one of only three fulltimers. An army of adjuncts does most of the theory and history teaching. I met the Chairman, whose name is different from the Stanford chairman by only one letter (Karol Berger minus the "o"); as the first outsider coming in to give any kind of talk there, I had some sort of special status, and dadburnit, I had to be polite, too. So I played some etudes on CD and on video, and played most of Ten of a Kind, and gave my usual spiel about band music, the military, non-coms vs. officers, etc., and it turned out that the Dean came to the talk, and he is a total clarinet nerd who once played in the Navy Band. He mentioned that in the military, the officers were the ones without much talent who were good at sucking up, but based on the evidence of the Ten of A Kind recording made an immediate exception for the Marines. As no officer he ever encountered in the Navy would be able to come close to Ten of a Kind. So it was a big clarinet nerd moment. And I sure came with the right piece for it. After the talk, Ken took me out to a local barbecue place. The Buffalo wings I had were excellent, and Ken

got the doughnut dessert -- a bag of six small doughnuts that come with a strawberry dipping sauce. Local customs baffle me sometimes. The cats yearn to go outdoors, and often want to go beyond the boundaries of the fence, which makes me nervous. Beff pulled a tick off of Camden, after all. They now know their names, and know the words "out", "treats" and "kitties", all of which are associated with specific actions (or gastronomic niceties). I have received notification that the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society is finally cranking up their publicity machine on the Stoeger Prize. They are taking out ads in the Boston Globe and NY Times, International Musicians something, and something else. Look in your Sunday Times on November 14, rip out the page with the ad, and send it to me. I am expecting almost eleven copies of it. CD BRAND ALERT: Based on much experience with many brands, I'd settled on TDK as the CD-R of choice. Me being as obsessive as I am, I burned TDK CD-Rs AND Fuji CD-Rs for my talk, just in case there were any problems. The TDKs did NOT play in their system (for the first time ever for me for that brand) and the Fujis did. I am switching to Fuji. Now I REALLY have to go to the bathroom. Today's pictures are of people at the Women Composers event, and of the cats in their outdoor frolic. I took some GREAT fog pictures on Saturday morning near the mill, and STUPIDLY deleted them from the card before I'd copied them to the hard disk. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. First is Ellen, then Martha (third from left) with Stanford friends, the sculpture in the Slosberg lobby, and Mary Ruth and Josh (of the quartet) with Ellen Harrison (Josh thinks hors d'ouevres are a prop). Then we have kitty shots, which are closer than they appear. "Jump movie" and "Ring Toss movie" hold on for another week (top). Oops. Too soon I spoke. I discovered the fog shots on the iMac. So, there are two fog shots at the bottom -the Mill and Mill Pond, and the Ben Smith Dam. Then, two pictures showing the striking but eneven way the leaves are turning. --------------------------------------------------------------------------

? (OCTOBER 15) OCTOBER 7. Breakfast this morning is Raisin Bran and orange juice. Dinner was a sesame noodle bowl from Trader Joes (cutely called Trader Ming's on the bowl). Lunch was a bowl of campari tomatoes with salad dressing and a bowl of kimuchee soup. LARGE EXPENSES for the last week include a Nikon Coolpix 3200 for myself with memory card and card reader, $315, and a whole mess of Amytudes 2 CDs from Bridge Records, $825. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "The Look of Love" as is evidenced on the Groovy 60s collection. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE June 1, 1975, my first public performance of my 7-minute piece o' crap band piece, with me conducting. The opening has an F sus 4 chord sustained in the trombones, etc., over lots of intricate percussion writing. I remember the actual percussionists in the band being quite confused and timid with their parts, but also Verne Colburn sitting in on the percussion section absolutely wailin' away on the claves. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE PAST WEEK 37.6 and 73.8. RECOMMENDATION/PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 2. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK For Camden, Bly's old hiding place under the porch. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Which is rounder -- an orange? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS include kim-chee purchased at Porter Exchange (all gone now). NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK: lots of crumpled up newspaper playtoys. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 68. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 15. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a squidge, a slurry, a three-corner hat, six pairs of Don El Verzo's tweezers. As I start typing this, it is a little less than 7:00 with clouds, mist, and occasional stray showers. The cats were allowed to sleep on the bed last night, and they have a tendency to get rambunctious at the worst times for me. And when they do that they purr so loudly that the bed vibrates. The cats now tend to inhale their breakfast can of Fancy Feast and wait around for me to make another crumple ball for them. They now feverishly wish to go out (and know the word "out") when I return from the salt mines, especially Camden.

They're not satisfied to stay in the yard, but now instead of hanging out in the stand of pine trees, they like the driveway and the space underneath the porch -- where Bly used to spend all his outside time. Camden often wants to come in pretty soon, because, I guess, he gets spooked easily by stray outdoor noises. They both now like to climb the fenceposts and sit on them -- for a limited period of time. Normally for play, they either chase each other maniacally through the yard or Camden plays by himself in the flowerbed and Sunset chases insects. He now jumps for stuff a little less than he used to, but given the right manic mood, he will indeed jump high. Hayes called last night and, among many other things, noted that I hadn't updated this space. Here's where I remind all almost eleven that I'm now doing that on Fridays. Yesterday I had to run a faculty meeting and that is a bit too time-consuming, especially when I have kitties to monitor, etc. On Saturday the weather was nice, and I took my blue K-Mart laceless shoes with me into Boston (they were on my feet). Big mistake. Those shoes are not made for walkin'. I ended up walking a lot on the sides of my feet, since blisters felt like they were about to form in sympathy. In any case. I went to the Boston Deli in South Boston to check on Smak pickles, and they had none, alas, and so this poor dog had none. Instead, I did get the last two jars of Polish Farms sour pickles (a worthy #2), and picked up a pile of powdered Polish soups -- some made by Knorr, some not. Check out the back of one of the packets, reproduced way below -- anyone out there know what this thing is that I bought for 79 cents? After leaving the Boston Market, I had some time to kill before I could get a train out of Porter Square, so I did Tower Records (yes, they have a Rakowski bin) and Newbury Comics (no Rakowski bin), and walked up Mass. Ave. to a gourmet pizza place and had some slices of rather good pizza for rather too much money. Then I checked out the cool paper store near Porter Square, went into Porter Exchange to the Japanese supermarket and got a bunch of kimuchee soup mixes and a large jar of kimchee, hung out at Pier One until the train was due, and took the train. On these train trips, I got to use my iPod battery backup for the first time, as the iPod had run out of juice, and it was ... well, dweeby of me. Saturday night was a Lydian Quartet concert, sold out, and it was quite an event. Mozart, Schumann and Ives. The Ives Second String Quartet reminded me of what Mark Twain said about Wagner -- nice moments but bad quarter-hours. There was a cute comedy moment in the middle movement where Judy Eissenberg stood up and played her part forcefully (the story Ives gave is of four men having a spirited argument and then climbing a mountain and experiencing serene beauty, etc.) and sat back down. On Sunday I made yet another trip to Brandeis in order to attend Rachel Liebermann's Performance Program junior recital, because people were needed to grade it. I enjoyed it, it was good music, and I remember virtually nothing about the Poulenc. Sunday afternoon was spent entertaining the cats, of course. An e-mail from Amy D let me know that the Etudes Volume 2 CD from Bridge was imminent and she asked if I'd gotten my copies yet. I immediately fired off an e-mail to Bridge asking for 100 of them, and they arrived on Tuesday. Sweet. I then spent plenty of time giving comp copies to people at Brandeis -even the President -- and mailing some out to friends. Since Amy is in Chicago for three weeks and won't have her CDs, I also arranged for a box to be sent to Ursula Oppens at Northwestern University. Now Ursula will get in on the act, and I will be famous in no time. Yes, no time, indeed. The funny thing (to me) about the whole thing is that Judy Sherman is not only the engineer, producer and editor, she also gets the photo credit for the cover. And Beff gets the photo credit for the picture of me that appears on the last page of the booklet (which you see when you open up the case). Better yet, when you take the CD out you see a picture of Amy's ring of scores -- all 24 of her big scores arranged in a ring on the floor of the American Academy. Cool. So I will be bringing a lot of those with me today ... ... as I drive to Saratoga Springs to see Beff at Yaddo. I'll be leaving a little earlier than I have to because of the predicted rain (here they expect a brief downpour with wind -- not enough to make the Weather Bug chirp, but there is a Special Weather Statement on the They That Make page), and I will be bringing her a bunch of stuff she needs -- including her original camera box, bass clarinet (almost forgot to do that), earmuffs, coat, paper, etc. And I will be bringing her guitar back, as she finished her mandolin and guitar piece. Her sister Ann wasn't able to get us a good rate anywhere closer than Glens Falls, so Beff got us a room at the local Super 8 for 90 bucks. Why I never! We also have a reservation at a nice restaurante in

Saratoga Springs, and the restaurant called here, Maynard, to confirm the reservation. Since we have cats to tend to, I will be out of Saratoga bright and early tomorrow morning, stop in Northampton on the way back for an early lunch with David Sanford (I'm paying), and then make my way home. And the cats will not have a gun in their pocket, they will be genuinely glad to see me -- as they strongly point toward where their food is kept. And crap. There was a holiday this week, so garbage collection is a day later. Today. Can't do it, can't do it. Due to space limitations at the Midwest Conference in December -- something the Marine Band guys had been trying to get details about since June -- Ten of a Kind will NOT be done on the December 16 concert. As a consolation, they have programmed SIBLING REVELRY on their back-to-back concerts the night before, where there IS enough space. So, a premiere a little sooner (by four months) than was thought. Woo hoo and all that. I had Captain Jason do my dirty work by e-mailing Gene at Peters to ask, innocently, if they would have a bunch of scores of that (as well as of TEN OF A KIND) available for sale at Midwest. Soon I will join the fray. Gene never responds when I do that, though. He does respond to strangers, though. So I had to quickly write program notes, which I did. I also sent a bio and wrote program notes for VIOLIN SONGS for the Chamber Music Society. As mentioned earlier, save your NY Times November 14 and send me the Stoeger announcement in it. Martler gets here late Monday night. Big woo hoo there. Another raker! Today's pictures are three of the cats, a nice dragonfly closeup (Sunny had been chasing it and I guess it was out of breath), foliage around the house, Martler's bedroom window with a cute reflection, and one of the soup packets I got on Saturday. OCTOBER 22. Breakfast this morning is Morningside farm meatless breakfast sausages and decaf coffee. Dinner was salmonburgers with salad with an Annie Chun's cilantro dressing. Pre-dinner was receptiontype junk food. Lunch was hot and sour soup from a package. LARGE EXPENSES include both 'Nard CDs from amazon, imports, $65, each trip to the gas pump, oil change at Jee-fee Loob $39. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Bread Sandwiches" from the 'Nard album. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE In Little League tryouts, I recall trying to impress the coaches with the strength of my arm exactly the wrong way: we had to field a grounder at shortstop and throw to first. To make my impression about my arm, I made sure to throw it over the head of the first baseman. SECOND POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: Bill Buckner. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE PAST WEEK 36.1 and 63.3. RECOMMENDATION/PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 1. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK It's really funny when you say "Jiffy Lube" with a foreign accent. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Whatever happened to compassionate conservatism? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS deli pickles (including the juice) and Altoid fruit candies. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK: nothing this week. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 5. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 1. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a Jiffy Lube rack, a piece of spittle, the memory card in either of my cameras, the Vice President's brain. Big event for the week was driving to Saratoga Springs and seeing Beff at Yaddo. Because of They That Make's prediction, I left rather earlier than I had planned, thus arriving at the Wilton Mall outside of Saratoga Springs by 12:30. Luckily, Beff had her cell phone on and I informed her of my nearness. In order to use up a bit of time before getting to Yaddo during the no-outsiders time, I had lunch at Ruby Tuesday's in the mall: it was Buffalo wings (pretty good), a salad bar (mediocre), and a Lime Rickey ice tea (which was bizarre and a lot different from what you would think). From there I arrived Yaddo-ward around 2, where I got special permission to enter Beff's studio during those hours so I could carry her bass clarinet, camcorder, and other stuff she wanted me to bring (in return, I brought the guitar back). Beff has the East House studio, an L-shaped live-in concoction in the basement of one of the buildings, and she played me her guitar and mandolin piece (the MIDI did all the bends and stuff, very cool -- who knew Finale could do that?) and her big band piece she wrote for the Edith Jones project. That indeed was very cool, and it swung (even in the MIDI). Since Edith Jones is actually the name of a dog, Beff called her piece "Winifred Goes

Outside." Winifred is the little dog the Colburns own that she encountered on her way to Yaddo. We checked in at the Super 8 motel near the Wilton Mall and across from Wal-Mart, and then walked around the downtown of Saratoga Springs, walking towards Skidmore College until we got tired of it. On the way back we encountered a fortress-type house on the Main Street, even with a guard. We couldn't tell if it was a church or a museum, but apparently it's an actual house. Hot damn. Then we played around in the big bookstore and went into the stationery and art supplies store that looks from the street like it's a hat store. It is called Soave Fair. We joined the colonists for pre-dinner wine drinks in West House, and I got to see the new Pink Room, which I had once had as a studio: it is no longer pink. We made puns on Elizabeth, the filmmaker's, "brats" project about interviewing children of various kinds of walks of life (army brats is the obvious linguistic model), coming down to Wisconsin sausagemakers' children: brat brats. After all of this intense levity, we ate at a very nice restaurant on Union Street -- not even downtown -- where Beff had made us a reservation. I recall having some rather rare encrusted tuna meal, and I forgot already what Beff had. Given the wine at drinks and the bloody Mary I ordered, I felt the need for an espresso after the meal, so that cut short my string of coffeeless days. It's now back down to five. Then we retired to bed in the Super 8. Next morning I filled up at a Mobil Station and took Beff on a roundabout drive that used to be one of my exercise bike rides. I also promised to show her the barn where Funny Cide (last year's Derby winner) was brought up, but I apparently forgot an important turn and went around 20 miles out of our way. No biggie, since Beff made it in plenty of time for breakfast, and I could get on the road for Northampton. Where I had a nice Thai lunch with David Sanford, who is doing well both personally and professionally. Then it was on to Maynard, where two desperate kitties wanted some canned food, and they wanted it now (which in context means then, but you get the notion). The next day, Sunday, was the beginning of this year's leaf raking odyssey. From the front yard and driveway I raked up 7 barrels of leaves and brought them to rest in my two hiding places. As of now, I and Martler have raked up 21 barrels of leaves and pine needles (at least 6 barrels are pine needles), with more to come. Beff comes back next Thursday, and her muscle is being counted on. Monday and Tuesday were a bit too wet for leafing, so Wednesday and Thursday were the next days for it. Alas, so many leaves are still on the trees that duplicate raking is in store. Hee hee. Also yesterday I brought in the hammock and the Adirondack chairs for the season. So this colder weather thing is getting pretty serious. Martler got here on Monday night, and in record time. He had said he wouldn't get through customs until 9:30, and thus that the Framingham Express bus he was able to get wouldn't get to Framingham until 10:15 or 10:45. But then he called at 8:37 and said he was just about to get on the bus, which was just about to leave. Wow. And I got there at 9:20 and Martler was already there. Later in this update, I'll let Martler tell you what's been a-goin' on. Basically, Maynard is his personal artist colony while he is here, but he also is being put in the service of raking and clearing leaves. Mostly I've been gone during the day, but when I am around and he is working, I usually curb the impulse to call out, "did you hear that, or are you rationalizing it?" And of course, Martler helped greatly with the string of no beer being broken, rather dramatically. As of today, I am off beer again. I had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday for several things. I had another blood test, and I wanted to find out why I have not been sleeping much later than 1 am most mornings since the beginning of August. He had a few possibilities, and right now we're working with "sublimating and internalizing chairman pressures" -- so I got a mild sedative. Option 2, should the sedative not work out, may be actual depression. Oh boy, my favorite. It runs in my family. For the record, I took a sedative last night and slept as late as 3 am. That may be better. Big, serious doings at Brandeis this week are, of course, exacerbating things, and I am within a hair's breadth of finally submitting my resignation as Chair. 21 years now since I got the 'Nard album on vinyl and Ross and I used to listen to it all the time because of the cool funky beats, and the way Ross would stick his butt out when dancing to "Chillin' Out." I spent mucho bucks to get it on CD, as it is available only as a Japanese import. I also got 'Nard's only other CD, which is mostly a real bust, being gobbled up by ridiculous '80s synth sounds. If I'd known that there was a picture of a break dancer on the cover, I would have known better.

Yesterday the UDRs (Undergraduate Department Reps) held a Meet the Majors party with lots of junk food, and plenty of students and faculty came. They also held a raffle in which my new CD was a prize, as was Lunch With Davy. Lianna Levine was the winner of Lunch With Davy, to take place at The Stein as soon as is convenient. I did mention that Lunch With Davy was not the same thing as Take a Class with Davy. The five etudes from the Martian Counterpoint album have made it in streaming form onto the artofthestates web page, and you can see for yourself by following the link under "A Little Bit of Davy on the Web" on thi Home of this site. The show itself is not up, but the repertoire for it is there and available. Sometimes it's fun listening to the streaming audio because at times it sounds like bad FM reception. Soozie called! We talked for quite a while about various things relating to songs, a recording she's making, and the Violin Songs that she's singing at CMSLC next month. We made sure she had the correct version of those songs. And she got the brilliant idea of getting me to include "The Gardener" in a larger set of settings of sex poems, using the same ensemble. She is currently in search of such sex poems, and I relish the opportunity. Especially as it would go onto this recording. And especially as it means writing some more for Soozie. She said she was sending a picture that I was not to include in this space, and I haven't because I haven't gotten it. The neighbor in the IUBR (Incredibly Ugly Blue Ranch) is digging a big rectangular hole in his back yard. To what end I do not know. Now it is time for the MARTLER portion of our blog. And here he is. I'm putting him in another color, because you're worth it. Vacation pix Kitty pix Martler here. As before, I'll keep this brief in view of my host's habitual prolixity. (Hey, look it up.) Davy has been a fine host of course. He cooks. We've had salmon burgers, chicken burgers/sandwiches (a nice distinction) and, er, burger burgers. All nearly fat-free and delicious. MY RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Trader Joe's peppered cashews, Altoids, burgers. And, in deference to the season, THINGS WHICH WOULD MAKE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE ONE YOU HAVE NOW: phosphorescence, an empty Altoids tin, a bed sore. So the deal is I'm on leave from teaching and here to write music, shamelessly using Davy (and, in her absence, Beff) as a DIY artist colony. Why Davy (and, in her absence, Beff) should have agreed to having a smoking and beer-drinking limey hang at their house for weeks on end is a mystery the key to which, I suspect, can only be found in the annals of exceptional friendship. D & B rock, for those not already aware of this truth. The week so far has been unexpectedly coloured (that's 'colored' to you) by the Red Sox playoffs against the Yankees, which Davy and I have watched since Tuesday. Well, how could I not take an interest after the pilot of my incoming plane started making update announcements as soon as we made landfall over Newfoundland? Now I have to try and resist watching the World Series, but man it's hard. Oh, and raking leaves. That's what else has been going on. Mostly by Davy, but a couple of barrels' worth by me. I gotta get a little more with the programme there. And on the beer front too - I have been leading our host astray. So when I see him delving in the fridge I'll just grab it from him and drink it myself. Oh, did I mention the kitties are every bit as cute as they appear. No? Well...

Today's pictures are a mere five. Two of the cats -- and I think one may be a repeat. And three of the two of us dealing with the leaves in the driveway on Wednesday. After this is posted, I shall shower, and -- alas -move on to the pine needles in the side yard and in the back yard. Also, I think Martler wants to do the tour of the Orchard House in Concord (the Alcott House) and of course at some point this weekend we will to the Chicken Bone Saloon.

NOVEMBER 6. Breakfast this morning was a meatless breakfast sausage patty with 2% milk cheese and decaf French roast coffee. Dinner was salmon burgers and salad with homemade dressing. Lunch was

Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee nonfat ravioli. LARGE EXPENSES this week were none. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Freak Out, by who knows whom. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE PAST WEEK: 26.3 and 69.3. RECOMMENDATION/PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 11 -- it's Guggenheim season, people! DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK was that I pack leaves into barrels tight, Beff eases them in. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: why do you think they call them "Deans"? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Martler's Altoid sours, chipotle stuffed olives, real lemonade. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK 0. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 7. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 1. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a garden rake, a barrel of pine cones, a dead fly, two pieces of stale toast. After I type this, but likely before I post it, we will be meeting Ken and Hillary at the Wing Bone saloon for wings and the usual stuff. Beff has said that she does NOT want the sexy fries (waffle fries), which she describes as a mere "ketchup delivery system," rather the curly fries, which give you more bang for the buck. We might also ask, finally, what "Roman" wings are. For the driving nerd in all of you, I'll let you know that I plan on a roundabout route, through downtown Natick rather than downtown Framingham, which has oodles of poopy construction. Things at work are horrid, and we are in crisis mode, morale is extremely low, and everyone is in a bad mood, expecially me. I get cc:'s of everyone's letter to the Dean exhorting he keep the composition program, which I store and will print for some eventual large package. We had a faculty meeting, for which I did the minutes at 8:30 this morning. As Beff noted, "I know of no other department where the Chair does the minutes." And both times there I typed "minuets" instead of "minutes." You can see what I'd MUCH rather be doing. So in my life and in my work I am bummed and depressed. Enough said about work. Yesterday Beff and I walked into town so I could renew a prescription, etc., and Beff was making movies of the wind -- which was whipping up ferociously yesterday. She made movies of trees blowing, and leaves blowing in whirlwinds, etc., and even made movies of our little dog friends -- including one mounting the other. If any of you almost eleven need such a movie, well, we won't give one up. Where the dogs are, though, Beff started making a movie of me -- ME! I'm a movie star! -- and my cap blew off. We have posted that movie for your viewing pleasure, above. And last night after the salmon burgers, we went to the Fine Arts cinema in Maynard to see The Incredibles. Which was a silly dumb movie that we both liked a lot. I started thinking that the soundtrack would be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and maybe beat out by some art movie soundtrack that is released only in L.A. next month. But then I got a hold of myself. Not literally, but you get the idea. Anyway, the movie come highly recommended, but alas there are no fake outtakes at the end. Of course, raking goes on and on. The big wind from yesterday did certainly help loosen some stuff for raking today, and we did nine barrels already this morning. Wow, faculty meeting minutes and nine barrels, all before lunch! If anyone is Mr. Incredible, it's me. There was also raking on other days this week, and the running total is now 93 barrels raked. The yard where the oak tree is the last bit to do, and we are waiting for those leaves to fall, too. Then I think we'll mostly hang up our rakes.

Because, after all, Beff goes to the Copland House on Wednesday. And to Memphis on Thursday. And then back to Copland House. And then to Providence next week. And then to my Chamber Music Society perf on the 18th. I'm still trying to figure out my travel plans for that week, but maybe if I do an update next week I'll let you know. Martler went to NYC on Monday and we haven't heard his plans for returning yet. Well, other than that it will be by bus. But as to when, we do not know. We let him take us to the Blue Room Grill in Cambridge on Saturday as his sort of rent payment, and the food was very good indeed. And I had espresso, thus setting the clock on the real coffee countup back to 0. We also had (shudder) beer before dinner at the Cambridge Brewing Company next to the restaurant, and it was good brother, it was good brother, it was

god-dam good. We tried cleaning the window fan from the bathroom, but the dust was too internally caked to do much about it, and it was very hard to get open -- dadburn plastic construction -- so I went to K-Mart for a new one. They didn't have any, no surprise. Got one from Ace Hardware in Acton, and now it's in the window. It's MUCH louder than the last one. Oh dear, I'm afraid I might have to look at Tar-zhay for one on one of these drives back from work. I talked about TEN OF A KIND in Jessie Ann Owens's Symphony class yesterday, and apparently I did fine. We looked at structure, cyclical things, and I got to tell lots of stories about what makes the piece American. Mostly it was funny stories about a Massachusetts Yankee in Col. Foley's court, but you get the idea. Then New Music Box featured Yotam Haber, who had won a band composition prize for a piece he wrote for Cornell and showed me last spring when the players were having trouble. I made a lot of comments, and for that I got "mentoring" credit in the little feature article. Mentor spelled inside out is tnoerm. Luckily, there were no concerts for me to attend last week. Tonight it's grad composers, tomorrow the Brandeis Wellesley Orchestra, and Thursday the NEC Wind Ensemble -- I do dinner with Gusty, who has a piece on the concert, before the concert. And what it is, too. Pictures this time include how the cats loved the box the VCCA sent me; territory raked; territory yet to rake; both cats snapped this afternoon; and highlights from lunch with Hillary and Ken at the Chicken Bone Saloon, which just a little earlier in this update was still in the future. Funny how time flies.

NOVEMBER 12. Breakfast this morning was decaf coffee, orange juice and a b'eggel from South Street Market, down the street from the music department on the other side of the commuter rail tracks. Dinner was chicken satay and chicken teriyaki at a restaurant near NEC. Lunch was nothing (I forgot. So sue me). LARGE EXPENSES this week were dinner with ART, $64, parking near NEC, $17. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS I Love The Way You Move by Outkast. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: my junior year in high school singing in the chorus in the Christmas concert, we were singing "Fum, Fum, Fum." Halfway through my voice squeaked, and it struck me as highly amusing -- amusing enough that I sort of laughed while singing the rest of the tune, and it caught on in those near me. Afterwards the others who were also laughing during the performance asked what had been so funny. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE PAST WEEK: 17.8 and 64.4. RECOMMENDATION/PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 1. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK was how insidious the Rhapsody in Blue is -- I couldn't get it out of my head for three days, especially (one of) the (many) cadenza(s) with figuration around repeated notes. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: If today is the first day of the rest of your life, then what is tomorrow? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Altoid sours, pepperoncini, Buffalo wings. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK 0. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 13. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 1. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE the sound of one hand clapping, a tree falling in the forest, the two mountains created without a valley between, yo mama. I write from a winter wonderland. Early this morning as I got up and went to Brandeis, They That Make had promised rain for today mixing with and changing to snow overnight, dusting to an inch. Right now at 2:30 in the afternoon, there is certainly more than that, and the forecast is upped to 2-4 inches by the end of the storm. They That Make are as accurate on this one as I am at predicting precisely when the chords at the end of the first movement of Stravinsky's Symphony in C will come. Martler was raking leaves just yesterday -- having brought the season total to 99 barrels -- and I don't want to be shoveling in such close proximity (temporally) to raking. It's just not right, it's just not fair, etc. Nonetheless, I did go into Brandeis briefly this morning to pick up some financial statements (joy of joys), and on the way home went to visit Nancy Redgate, our dept. administrator who has been out sick for more than three weeks. She is in a facility in Sudbury, and was getting the royal treatment. It was good to see her,

I stayed an hour and a half, and she obviously likes company -- if you would like to visit, drop me a line and I'll tell you where to go. From her window I spied the light sleet becoming very light snow, becoming heavier snow. Which was not accumulating when I got home, but which has done so since then. Since getting home, I've been interviewed by the Brandeis Justice (student newspaper) about the proposed cuts in composition, arranged lunch tomorrow in Hudson with Geoffy, and dealt with the newest 50 (exactly) emails. As to the proposed cut in composition: things move forward. More work for me. Morale is low. Musicologists are in Seattle. On the other hand, Wednesday and Thursday nights I had, for the first time in more than a month and a half, full night's sleep. There is no rational basis for this fact other than accumulation of the need, or maybe somebody hit me very hard on the head with a hammer when I wasn't looking. To be fair, people with "Dean" in their title have been doing that to me FIGURATIVELY on a regular basis, but it doesn't happen to me LITERALLY that often. Also as I type, Martin is a-bed with a fever. I don't even know if "a-bed" is an actual expression, but it seems limeyish to me. Martin got back from New York on Wednesday, and I picked him up in Framingham at 5ish, after a pointful meeting -- where, because it was rush hour, we went across the way to eat at John Harvard's restaurant in Shopper's World. We shared buffalo wings, Martler got a cheddarburger, I got the Veronica Salmon with the garlic mash. You could probably tell which of us paid. Meanwhile, Martin has gone back to working on the dining room table, and I made SURE he raked yesterday in the last bastion of unraked leaves -- just in back of the garage. Yesterday I had nervous energy at 6:45 am, so I went out and did three barrels worth myself, and Martler did three barrels later in the day (we're now up to 99, as stated above). I had planned on finishing the job when I got back this morning -- there's maybe one or two barrels left to rake and then we're THROUGH, THROUGH, THROUGH! -- but they that make made that which was made into a joke. Am I making sense to you? On Saturday after this update, Beff and I drove to Framingham for another episode of the Wing Bone Saloon saga, sharing a table with Ken and Hillary. Unfortunately, Hillary loves it at Harvard (she doesn't know yet that it's inferior to Brandeis), and also unfortunately, Ken discovered the consummate joy of people that invite you to meetings. Ken, welcome to the junior tenure track position hell we know as "the junior tenure track position hell." Nonetheless, there were many wings, fries and Bloody Maries to go around, and we stopped at a Dairy Queen after our meal. Ken used the rest room there, and they looked very put out when he asked. Beff is in Memphis doing a clarinet master class as I type this. She has already started her residency at the Copland House, which was one day old when she had to drive to LaGuardia, circle the airport for 40 minutes to find the parking she prepaid online, couldn't locate, and ended up parking in the long term lot. Tonight she returns, to the rainy version of this storm. Yesterday after my Chair's meeting (these are always fun because the most mundane mere announcements become subjects of great controversy with this group), Beff called my office to look on the web and find out the contact number for the U Memphis music department. Turns out her plane was late, and she wanted them to know that. This was like the time that Stacy and Joe were driving to Minneapolis and called me to go online and find out where they would encounter IHOPs on their trip. But I digress, and horribly so. So speaking of Beff, we had our last day of fun before she left for Copland House on Tuesday afternoon, where we conspired to locate places to get movie footage for her next video and instruments project, about making a concordance of the wind. With our digital cameras, she got a little footage of the books in the Harvard (the town, not the University) public library, she got some footage of the view near Fruitlands, and then she had an idea: we put an unabridged Shakespeare volume on one of the window seats, opened the window, and I aimed her hair dryer at the book, thus turning the pages slowly. She got some rather good (and retro, frankly) shots, including a few where Cammy jumped into the picture. Cammy may be afraid of leaf blowers, but a hair dryer doesn't bother him at all. At night, I suppose we had salmon burgers or something.

On Sunday, I went into Brandeis for the seventh consecutive day (that string is now at twelve) for the orchestra concert, and it was really good. The orchestra is far, far better than the version that played the Beethoven 4 a number of years ago, and the number of ringers was fairly low -- one of them was a trombonist I went to college with, who I was surprised to see. (guilt did NOT set in for me to volunteer my trombone skills for this group) Adam Marks -- one of two undergraduates at Brandeis in the late 90s whose name is a complete sentence (Gordon Withers was the other one) was the soloist for Rhapsody in Blue, and he was very, very good. Neal Hampton did a great job cuing the orchestra, and I discovered and orchestrational nicety that I hadn't been aware of previously -- the little accented clarinet trills in the first big phrase are doubled in a harmon-muted trumpet. (too bad that was Grofe's idea and not Gershwin's) In all, I was impressed by the orchestra of the department I chair. From on high, I approve. Adam Marks is doing grad school in New York, premiered one of my etudes (#42, Madam I'm Adam) and plays Fists of Fury like nobody's bidness. I got the prototype of the ad for Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society thing that will be in the NY Times this weekend -- almost eleven of you, save it for me? -- and it's big, has a lot of information, and I am -- get this -- saluted. They must have heard that I wrote for a military band or something like that. It also has a list of all previous Stoeger Prize winners. Whoa, me and Kaija, down by the schoolyard. I dig it. I go there on Wednesday, meet with Soozie and Curt at Juilliard in the afternoon (I plan on taking a 2:00 train from Cortlandt Manor, or however you spell that -- near the Copland House), possibly meet a Brandeis funder, and then go back. Thursday, the day of the performance, who knows how I will spend the day? I did speak with and exchange e-mails with a very nice woman at the Brandeis House in NYC about meeting people important to the music department, but schedules haven't worked out yet. Plus, they can't exactly be invited to the Lincoln Center performance because it is SOLD OUT! This is why the weather here today is a cold day in hell -- a concert of Dusapin, Froom, and Rakowski managed to sell out. Or was a sellout. Or whatever. Last news to report is that I actually went into Boston for a band concert last night. The NEC wind ensemble was doing a new band piece called GALAXY DANCE by Gusty Thomas, and she invited me to dinner and the concert. I paid for dinner (she likes her sake incredibly hot), and liked her piece a lot. It's different from the other pieces of hers I know, but that's not why I like it. It didn't sound like a band piece, and that's only part of why I liked it. Whoa, there were some great low register tunes in the beginning and end. She got to use three double basses, though, and that will limit future performances. She was modest, predicting that no one would ever perform the piece again. We sat behind a very old woman who loved the piece and couldn't stop talking about it. And that's my week. Rather more than I thought I would be able to talk about. Today's pictures begin with two of the Winter Wonderland here at about 2:30. There is more now. Followed is the sunset from a few nights ago. Then there is an extreme closeup of a scratch on my hand I got from Cammy when we were bringing him in and he was spooked by the sound of a leaf blower in the next yard and he bit. We finish with two cat pictures from the "awwww...." category. NOVEMBER 20. Breakfast this morning is Morningside Farms vegetarian breakfast patties with nonfat cheese slices. Dinner was sauteed chicken with onions and garlic a la Martler. Lunch had been snacks on the road. LARGE EXPENSES this week were train tickets to New York, $17.50 round trip off peak, $22 peak, and dinner after the Double Exposure concert, $80. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Hyperblue, recording from the premiere. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: in a grad seminar at Princeton, we were doing the obligatory exercise of analyzing each other's pieces. I did a little piece by Jody Rockmaker that turned out to be ABABA form, which I prounounced by twiddling my finger on my lips. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE PAST WEEK: 16.0 and 61.3. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 0. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK the hiking area near the Copland House. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: What do we do with all the nitrogen in the air when we breathe it? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: SMAK pickles -- just opened the last jar. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK 0. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 1. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 1. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 3. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD

BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a piece of stained glass, yesterday's newspaper, a tree that fell in the forest, a cup of tepid coffee. It is Saturday as I type this. Last week's winter wonderland crested at four inches, which I shoveled; now it is gone. Yesterday's weather was back into the 60s, which the weather guy on TV called "springlike." Martler finished raking the yard behind the garage, carrying the season total to 101 barrels, and that's where the total will stay. Last year's total was 99-1/2, so this would be more. Even though I continue to hate my job, I continue to do it. As soon as I finish here, I'll be in my office working on a report. What fun! Then I will deal with the e-mail that accumulated while I was in New York. Speaking of which. I went to the Copland House and stayed with Beff there for two nights while doing the Chamber Music Society stuff and a few things for Brandeis. The house is a nicely designed place with a great working space for a composer (good thing, since one bought it), and plenty of leafy, hilly yard. When I arrived, people with leaf blowers told me to park elsewhere, which I did. And I learned the lay of the land, so to speak. I had a rehearsal in the City at 4 with Soozie and Curt, so I learned about the 1:17 train from Cortlandt, arriving about an hour later, and the stunning views of the Hudson on the trip. I talked a bit with my old buddy from Orpheus, Valerie, who now works for the Chamber Music Society, before the rehearsal, and we relived old times a bit. She happens to be a fun one. Our rehearsal was next door, at Juilliard, and I heard my Violin Songs for the very first time. At first the first two songs sounded generic to me, and the last three pretty good. With rehearsal, things got better, which is good because they were already fantastic. Soozie has about a million vocal shadings, which she used to good effect -- I've hardly ever heard so much variety even within single songs. I got the 6:03 train back from Grand Central, and Beff and I had a Freschetta frozen pizza (heated up) for dinner. Which we ate in Aaron Copland's house. At the dining room table donated by Lou Karchin. In Aaron Copland's house. For lunch that day, we had done a new Italian restaurant in Cortlandt near the A&P that had no sign on it -- nonetheless, the chicken I had was quite good, and we were the only customers for the entire time we were there. Meanwhile, after checking some e-mail (dial-up!) after dinner we retired to bed, to meet Thursday head-on by hiking a bit in the Washington Preserve or something like that. After which we got dressed up, had an Indian buffet lunch with Michael Boriskin, and took the 2:17 to New York. I had promised to meet a friend of Brandeis at Brandeis house, and I got pretty fretted and wired when I couldn't catch a cab outside of Grand Central for about 10 minutes. Finally we got a gypsy cab to Brandeis house, on time, where we were told we were going to the house of the friend of Brandeis -another cab ride! -- but we got a cab in one second. Understandably, I was wired as I tried to describe what the music department does, and I was excused to go to my 5:00 sound check. Got another cab, oh joy. The event itself was pretty spectacular. David Froom was there (we had only met once before, but exchange e-mails once in a while), and Curt played his solo violin sonata quite spectacularly. Soozie and Fred Sherry and Alex Fiterstein did a Dusapin piece. The concert ended with my violin songs, which in both performances came off marvelously -- in particular, the fourth song was just amazing. One person said that song was a "masterpiece." My head got really, really big. And for the first time, I liked all five songs. We sat at a table on the side with Judy Sherman and Hayes Biggs (one of these things is not like the other) and had a grand old time. Judy doesn't know I voted for her for the Classical Producer of the Year Grammy. Because, you see, I am a Grammy voter. The Double Exposure series always has Bruce Adolphe, their composer in residence, giving patter and introducing the composers and asking them questions, and he and I turned into a fairly effective comedy team (he complimented my tie, I said "enjoy the show," he talked about "21st Century playback" in Finale, etc.). After the first show, there was the official Stoeger Prize presentation, and the exec director Norma and co-artistic director Wu Han presented me with a giant replica of the Stoeger check I had already cashed last January. My one-sentence speech mentioned "big bucks" (tee hee), and then there was the talking to people in between shows, while also posing for several official photographs. Then in the second show, Soozie actually had to answer some questions from the audience, since she had chosen the poems. Nonetheless, the second performance was even better.

So I drove back yesterday, did some chores, and let the cats outside while the Maids came to clean. Cammy stayed hidden for quite some time, not coming back in until dusk. Meanwhile, Sunny was in a neighbor's yard investigating a local cat, but I retrieved him from an ignominious fate. Whatever that would mean. So I grilled some eggplant on the grill outside, and it was good, brother. Martler improvised a sauteed chicken stir fry recipe that he says he got from Jeff Perry (who used the phrase, "use a lot more garlic than you think" or some variation thereof). It was good. And, eventually, farty. There was not much to do on the weekend, since Martler was somewhat ill and there was snow everywhere. I didn't take any pictures. But I took plenty of them at the Copland House. This coming week will be Thanksgiving there with Hayes and Susan, and we got some of the food -- including the turkey (breast only, no legs, etc.) -- in advance. So I will be leaving on Wednesday morning for yet another stint there. Meanwhile, Martler goes back to England on Monday morning. It will be desolate here. But the leaves will still be all raked. And Generalissimo Franco will still be dead. I had walked from Times Square to the Chamber Music Society on Wednesday, stopping several times along the way to see if anyone had the Time Out NY issue with Danny's review of the second etude disc; most newsstands no longer had that issue, but one did. So I got it. Read it on Reviews, Page 3. The "masterpiece" comment at Double Exposure gave me a big head. Danny's review gave me a "bulging brain." So the two of them kind of work together. This week's pictures are all from the Copland house and nearby area. We have Thursday's sunrise, pictures of the house, a picture of the big picture window (see me in the reflection), a pillow that there is a picture of Copland posing with, a sign with a tree grown around it in the preserve, me on the phone in the preserve (talking to Brandeis House), and me on the porch holding my oversized check. The number of "will it fit through the ATM?" comments I got was legion. NOVEMBER 26. Lunch this afternoon was Morningside Farms meatless breakfast sausages with Shaws nonfat cheese slices. Breakfast was actual coffee, but not much of (I left some of it, after it had been processed by my body, in a rest area between Waterbury, CT and Hartford). Dinner was turkey white meat, summer squash that had been converted (by me) into an I Can't Believe It's Not Butter delivery system, garlic mash potatoes, Stove Top stuffing, Franco American canned turkey gravy, beer, wine, apple pie, and vanilla ice cream. LARGE EXPENSES this week were none. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Hyperblue, recording from the premiere (same as last week). POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: only once in my entire time in elementary school or high school did I have to stay after school for bad behaviour; after a film strip in fifth grade, for some reason I felt it was hilarious to throw my pencil repeatedly on the desk of the girl in front of me. I stayed after school and filled a page with "I will be a good boy in school." I think it worked. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE PAST WEEK: 26.1 and 64.8. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 1. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK more of the hiking area near the Copland House and a view to the Hudson through a clearing made for gas lines going through and over the mountains. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Does time pass in one continuous stream (analog), or an infinite number of infinitessimals (digital)? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: SMAK pickles -- the last ones I had are finito -- olives stuffed with exotic things, and of course, turkey. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK 0. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 0. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 1. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 1. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a plastic deli sandwich holder, the lead of a pencil, the pile of hair on the floor of the barber at the end of the day, a drop of hot oil. It was a long weekend with plenty of stuff to do -- on both Saturday and Sunday mornings I went in to Brandeis to work on some documents and to cajole those responsible for parts of one document to do their writing. On Saturday, Alison Carver came down to see Martler and I saw them before they went out to the Horseshoe Pub in Hudson. They then went on to the Orchard House in Concord, where Louisa May Alcott had grown up, and took the tour. At night, we went to the Neighborhood Pizzeria for the first time since it moved onto Main Street across from The Barber Who Talks Too Much So I Don't Go There Any More. We got buffalo wings and salad, and the wings were so peppery hot (meaning: really great) that Martler couldn't finish his.

And then on Sunday, Martler promised to take me out for seafood at the Quarterdeck Restaurant, so we walked there, and it was close. So instead we went to the Blue Tiger Grill in Maynard, but I may have gotten the name of that wrong -- Beff always corrects me when I bring it up. It used to be called Amory's, which was way easier to remember. I got the grilled salmon, and Martler got the half-rack of ribs and steak tips special. I don't remember what we talked about, except that there was too much food on Martler's plate to eat. There was plenty of football to watch, and we watched Miami not do too well. Monday and Tuesday were crammed with teaching, as I had moved all the Wednesday teaching to earlier in the week. On Monday morning, Martler and I left in the car at 5:55 am to get him to the airport, and he disembarked from the Corolla in front of Terminal B, Logan, at 6:40; I then arrived at Brandeis at about 7:05. Martler is probably back in limeyville now, unless he was making something up. After all, I left him off at a domestic terminal, not the internation one (which would be E). Then at 9 on Monday I saw my Wednesday at noon student (had nothing new), sat in on Jeff Roberts's PhD oral exam (he passed), and drove to NEC to see my two students there (they both had nothing new). On Tuesday, I had my two Tuesday students, followed by my Wednesday at 9 student (forgot to show up) and my Wednesday at 11 student (DID have music!), peeked in on Gil and commented on his G minor invention (which he had just written on his own because it interested him), and took to 2:06 train into North Station. From North Station, I took the Orange Line to Forest Hills and back. In between those trips, I met with Gil Rose at and near the BMOP offices -- in the same building as a Masonic Hall converted into a recording studio -- and we came up with a schedule and a strategy for the Davy orchestral CD. Piece for BMOP on the way. "Winged Contraption" for the "has some relationship to NEC" concert a year from January. Now I just have to find the right timing to resign as Chair. Fat chance, huh? It took a mere three hours to drive to the Copland House on Wednesday, and I got there while Beff was out shopping and the weekly maid service was in the house. And boy did I have to go to the bathroom. So the maid let me in, and I used the rest room, and encountered Beff returning with Thanksgiving food right afterwards. "Been here long?" she said. What a pickup line, I thought. It was quite mild outside on Wednesday; nonetheless, we drove south to whatever is just south of Cortlandt to use a post office and eat Japanese -- a Japanese restaurant was listed on the Copland House literature -- but the restaurant was gone. So we got some nice stuff at a gourmet store, and then drove into town for a second-rate Chinese buffet. When we got back, Beff did some video work and I read the paper. Then Hayes and Susan arrived around 3, and we came on home and spread ourselves out. At about 3:45, Hayes served us all beers. I figured if we started with beer this early we would run out quickly, so Susan and I drove down to a beer store and got some very good beer -- including a Blue Something winter ale that was very good. We also got Spanish Peaks ale, which is now made in Saratoga Springs -- so our bragging about eating in the Spanish Peaks brewery in Montana was deflated by the new circumstances. But they did have big smoking chairs for cigar smokers. That will always be true. Then we bopped over to the A&P in Cortlandt for Cool Whip and vanilla ice cream for the pies that Susan had brought. For dinner, I whipped up a bunch of soup from mixes purchased at the Porter Exchange in Cambridge -- all of them Thai hot and sour soups -- and salad. Cool. After dinner, we watched "Dead Again," much of it to the derision and scorn of all of us. On Thanksgiving Day (yesterday), Beff and I exceeded the waking up time of Hayes and Susan by about two hours, so we were already wired with caffeine as they emerged. Since it was quite mild out and there were peeks of sun, we went to the hiking area nearby and took a rather long hike -- photographic evidence below. On the road in the preserve were many piles of discarded things, including a big pile of mattresses and a whole office. Hmmph. At about 1 I put the incomplete turkey breast we had bought into the oven, basted it every fifteen minutes, and then worked on all the other accoutrements. Dinner was at about 4:15, and seemed to be pretty good, even if I did put too much I Can't Believe It's Not Butter in the squash. We were filled to the brim! Then we watched the movie of The Ice Storm to fill the time until The Apprentice (a show for which I don't care at all), and it was fun to see a movie with Tuesday Addams, the chick from Pieces of April, the head elf from The Santa Clause, Spiderman AND Frodo. Alas, Frodo is the one who dies in this movie. I thought it was a pretty good movie, though I know the author has reservations both

about it and about the original novel. Sigourney Weaver played against type the way Mary Tyler Moore did in Ordinary People. And the child actor to whom Christina Ricci said "I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours" (the part I'd seen surfing through cable about eight times) seemed familiar. One of these days I'll figure out where I saw him before. I went to bed before The Apprentice came on -- had to get home to feed the cats. I left this morning at 7:30, was in Hartford by the time Hayes and Susan woke up, arrived at home at 10:30, took the garbage to the street (probably not soon enough -- there were NO other garbage cans out nearby), changed the cat litter, mailed the bills to Beff, got more cat litter and cat food at Shaws, and came back to type this stuff out. I had left a big bowl of dry food for the cats in addition to their regular dry food, and it was ALL GONE when I got back. These cats can eat. They can poop, too. So the next big thing coming up not related to the job I hate, hate, HATE is Midwest Conference in about two and a half weeks. Whoa, five days in Chicago with nary a Chair thing to do. Woo hoo. Meanwhile, I have to try and find some old scores because of inquiries made at Peters. Don't hate me for being beautiful. Today's pics from the Copland House: the dining room, Beff at work, the Hirshfeld portrait, outdoors, the hiking picture, the town viewed through the clearing, and pans of the studio and dining room. DECEMBER 4.. Breakfast this morning is Trader Joe's French Roast decaf coffee, orange juice, and eventually Morningside Farms meatless sausage patties with nonfat cheese. Dinner was a Healthy Choice microwave meal of a lasagna and chicken patty or something like that, and salad. Lunch had been a big, big salad with Campari tomatoes and homemade salad dressing. LARGE EXPENSES this week were $89 for various sundries at BJ's, and I started to fill my shopping cart at amazon. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS The MIDI of "Scatter", one of the Three Encores I just entered into Finale. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: I used to be able to do a standing broad jump pretty far -- 8' 5-1/2" when I was in eighth grade, which they told me was the record. In ninth grade I could only do 6' 9" because of the slippery sneakers I had and my parents didn't buy me new ones too often. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE PAST WEEK: 23.2 and 56.5. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 13(!). DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK a place in the Prudential Center that sells CryBaby Tears (at outrageous prices). THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Are "atonal" and "amoral" parallel concepts? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: A few CryBaby Tears, deli pickles, stuffed olives. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK 1. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 8. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 4. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 2. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a coffee bean, a pair of tweezers, a pile of dog doo, a map showing the addresses of the stars. So since returning from the Copland House, life has been altogether boring. I went into Brandeis on Sunday mornings to do chairman stuff that was due December 1, and I finally finished the big document constituting our response to our Dean's proposal to phase out the graduate program in composition. While I'm on Brandeis stuff, I'll mention that I did a lot of it. And I led a faculty meeting on Thursday, which was mercifully short. I even went in yesterday morning for the simple purpose of delivering a two-days-late document to the registrar. I had planned on going in on Saturday, but Eric Chafe and his wife came over for lunch instead. We went to the Blue Tiger -- where I had been with Martler a week earlier -- and had lunchy things and beers. I think I got the Buffalo chicken wrap. We talked (or more precisely he talked) about his forthcoming LULU book, and we had much fun talking about days of Brandeis past. Of course I couldn't work after the lunch and beer, so I solved world hunger instead, and then lost the spreadsheet. The only fun Brandeis thing was talking about my "Dream Symphony" for the Music Since 1900 class taught by Eric Chafe. So I did. And one student said what I already know -- all three movements end slow. Meanwhile, the students I taught at NEC were fun-having. Mary had nothing new (she made, and ate, pies instead of writing), so we took a brisk walk down Gainsborough Street, Hemenway Street, and Boylston

Street and marched through the Pru, landing in a candy store that had CryBaby Tears by the box for $1.50. Highway robbery, but I got eight boxes anyway, in order to spend enough to use a credit card. Then we marched back along the Christian Science headquarters and finished the lesson on a sugar high. Nathan, meanwhile, alas had new music so we couldn't go on a march. And later in the week a check arrived from NEC, which happens every month, and every time I forget that it's coming. Fulfillment. The first thing Beff said yesterday when she called was "you haven't updated your website." So what I am doing right now (updating my website) will serve as the antidote to that problem. Believe it or not, I have blocked off the weekend for composing -- we'll see how far THAT gets. So during the cheap time last weekend I spoke with Stacy and Joe -- according to the phone, it was an hour and 17 minute conversation. Stacy sent me a sex poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay that I am considering using in my sex poems collection for Soozie. (for the uninitiated, Soozie asked for movements to be added to "The Gardener," which is a sex poem set for voice and five instruments) I also e-mailed Rick Moody about it, and he said he's game to write one. I will soon be asking others for advice. And if you, dear reader, know a good singable sex poem that contrasts with what I already have, let me know. The Chamber Music Society sent the CD of both performances of the Violin Songs, and they are spantacular. Soozie really makes me look good. And Curt already looks good ("Curt IS jazz!"). And I haven't yet decided which performance is better. Though the audience laughter in the second song is more evident in the first performance. Meanwhile, Peters had gotten some inquiries about various pieces that were obviously listed on this site, and they revealed that they were unable to find masters of Three Encores. Ironically so, since Judy and Jim just recorded them, and last night they even did one of the encores on their program in Princeton. They said they had pristine scores to offer, but they had images of the coil binding on them, as well as a few of their own markings. I sent that to Peters, but decided, on my own, to enter them into Finale. This took up Thursday night and most of yesterday, and I can announce -- finished! Purty copies of Vocal Ease, Scatter, and Vocal Angst now available both on paper and as PDFs. So that has been eating up my time, especially figuring out how to do all that damn over-the-barline beaming I must have thought was really cool in Scatter. Beside all that, it rained really hard here on Sunday and Wednesday. And I did two loads of laundry yesterday, including the blanket that Martler slept with. Today I must send the Encores to the publisher. Oh yes, and I got a big thing of dry cat food, two big things of canned cat food, some campari tomatoes, and various other sundries at BJ's on Tuesday on my way back from work. Yesterday I got various foodstuffs at VICTORY supermarket in Waltham at 10 in the morning after delivering my document -- and saw a student there. Who was dumbfounded that I was shopping there "on my way home." Which I was. By the way, I think I may have managed a good night's sleep last night. Though I was awake at 1, I must have slept later. And for the first time in months, I had dreams that I could remember -- which means I woke up during them. And as I learned in my big, big research paper on SLEEP that I did in 7th grade, dreams happen during the deepest part of sleep. There were even layers in the later dream -- in which I was sitting on stage in a performance of some sort of comedy of manners, and nodded off, in the dream, waking up, in the dream, to a scene where those assembled had to exit. There was also something about getting a moving truck up a curvy driveway, but that seems to be unrelated, somehow. Maybe that was the first dream. Beff asked for cat pictures -- "are they getting big?" she always asks. I had taken no new shots this week, so I followed them around the house and tried to get good shots. Below is the evidence. I also had a fire because a cat litter bag was emptied and various other stuff had to be burned.

DECEMBER 10. Breakfast this morning was big. I had a Better 'n' Eggs omelette with nonfat cheese, a bagel with nonfat cream cheese, and decaf Trader Joe's French Roast coffee. I still feel fat. Last night's dinner was a Healthy Choice Fire Roasted Chicken microwave meal (finally emptying out the freezer).

Lunch was Udon noodles. As much fun to say as it is to eat! LARGE EXPENSES this week were more things put into my cart at amazon (like Danny Felsenfeld's new book). I went to Staples twice with a $20 off when you spend $100 card and got nothing both times. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Trillium" from Violin Songs because I listened to it in the car this morning, and Soozie sings it so gorgioso. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: I took the Chicago song "Harry Truman" off the radio my senior year in high school and got together a band to play it in the Spring Frolics using the original instrumentation -- even had two clarinets and a Chicago-like brass section (including me on trombone). The fast chromatic licks for the clarinets were entirely too formidable for them, but I remember watching fork fingering going wild. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 4. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Sunset's heart murmur is no better, no worse. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Why is "hair" singular and "pants" plural? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Half-sour pickles from Victory Supermarket, a few CryBaby Tears. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK none. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 15. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 11. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 2. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE an all-nighter, refrigeration, growth, intransigence (I felt like doing abstract nouns today). I have returned from two early morning trips before typing this (10:19 am, but that could change). I went in very early to craft a memo to the Dean appointing a first year theory teacher for the spring and put it in campus mail; I then returned, breakfasted (if it can be thought of as a verb) and drove to Trader Joe's/Staples to get wood and vitamins. We're nearly out, even though I know Beff has a bunch with her at the Copland House. As the clock turns over onto 10:21, I mention that it was cool and drizzly this morning, followed by a steady rain, and, right now, just cloudy and a little breezy. It's a crapfest of a weather day, which suits me fine. Much, much got done this week, including reasons to keep taking my blood pressure pills (I take Lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide). Last night was a student forum with the Dean and Provost wherin students got to ask questions about the Dean's hatchet man proposals, and much emotion was shown, not to mention, lots of poorly formed questions. But there were certainly more questions (about thirty) than there were answers (approximately zero, but there may have been twice that). I walked up to the Forum with Eric Chafe and back down with him, all the while finding out new funny things about old, dead people. (I already know they smell and can't hold down food) Meanwhile, on Monday I put the finishing touches on the department's response to the Dean's proposals, made copies, and sent them out to the relevant faculty and administration. On Wednesday I met with the Chair of the committee that was formed to evaluate the proposals to explicate the composition program. And when I saw what I had done, I .. wait, that's something else. As I had predicted, I blocked out the weekend for composing, and that's just what I did. I tried to start one piece, but discarded the sketches, then started a sex poem setting -- a Millay sonnet that Stacy had sent me. By the end of Sunday (during which I watched parts of the laugher of a Patriots game on TV) I had done 55 bars of the setting, making it about halfway through the text of the poem. I have also worked on the piece in the evenings this week and during yesterday morning, and am close to finishing it. It will be finished today, clocking in at about four minutes. So, so far, the sex poem set is nine minutes. Two or three more will be added to it. In the meantime, Soozie sent me some more sex poems to consider, including one by Ida Thoenkkitupp. There is one poem I liked because it looks like a comedy thing, and I liked Ida's poem, too -- the moment I read it I heard its accompaniment. Soozie and I had three long phone conversations, the third of which was to call and acknowledge that she was Ida. As in, she wrote the poem, and Ida is the pen name. So we fantasized about an elaborate bio of a reclusive poet, with umlauts on the u's and slashes through the o's. But I spoiled the secret there, didn't I? I also put some materials together and sent them to Rick Moody, who is writing a sex poem for the set (we are both very excited, so to speak, about it). The package has some scores and Soozie singing stuff of mine, so he'd know the voice he was writing for. He previewed it by saying it wasn't "a theoretical treatise on Wittgenstein." All the better, my pretty, all the better.

I got an e-mail from Dyna Mike of the Marines with some typos in "Sibling Revelry," soon to get its premiere under his baton, so I have the idea that the Marines have probably rehearsed it. This Wednesday, in fact. He promised it would be "what was on the page" by the performance, but I know he's hoping for more -- like "what's all the rage" and "what tastes like sage" and "what's in the cage", too. Mmmm, doughnuts. So I go to Chicago on Tuesday, Beff goes to Chicago on Wednesday, and we both come back on Sunday -- meaning no regular update of this page, or at least a very late one. AAA limo has been secured to take me to the airport at 9, for those of you playing along at home. We are staying at the Hilton Towers in Chicago, will see plenty of Chip (Beff's colleague), and spend a day or two with the Stacies. Chairmanship and the Dean have weighed heavily enough that the trip doesn't make it into my consciousness yet -- an awkward way of explaining that I been bizzy. Rebecca writes that this readership is now up to almost twelve. But since number almost-twelve is my weekly student and he never brings anything up, I need further proof before changing the counter on page one. Rebecca also writes that she has contacted all the music alumni in the Brandeis database, and therefore has a feeling of accomplishment. "Sibling Revelry" will be recorded and video'ed for web streaming on the Midwest Clinic web page. Ask for it by name. Pretty soon my web presence will expand so much I will exude hugeness. And you all know how hard it is to exude. (I used to have an ude, but it broke, so it's an exude. Rim shot) Last Thursday night and all day Friday were spent entering the Three Encores for voice and piano into Finale, and I'm pleased to report that they are finished and proofread and ready to go. The midi of "Scatter" is hilarious, since it doesn't swing. And I realized that Scatter, from 1991, which is a quasi-atonal scat piece with a bitchin hard piano part, was probably my first "jazzy" piece. You mean I've got this jazzy reputation and I've only been doing it only 13 years? Get on out! Oh yeah. And I talked to some Brandeis alums on the weekend who were incensed about the plan, etc. And yesterday I had to bring Sunset into the vet for his twice-yearly electrocardiogram ($205). I had to leave him there at 7:45, he meowed loudly in the car once, and I picked him up at 1:45. He also meowed loudly once in the car on the way back. $220 later (also $15 for "hospitalization"), we found that he is no better, no worse, still has a teeny hole, no fluid discharge. Recommendation: bring him to Tufts for an operation or keep taking these pictures every six months. Financially, the equivalent of paying all at once or doing the installment plan. We chose the installment plan. I took no pictures this week, and it's too dreary a day for new ones, so I raided the archive. Bly and Drip, when they were alive; Beff a-makin' a face in Maine in 2003 wearing her Judy Sherman t-shirt; Dyna Mike last July soon after becoming a Lieutenant Colonel; and those pesky little dogs between here and downtown a-barkin' away again.

DECEMBER 22. Breakfast this morning was an egg and cheese bagel at the bagel place near Acton Toyota on Great Road (Route 2A). Dinner was chicken with mushrooms and asparagus with leftover Thanksgiving potatoes, and salad. Lunch was tomato sandwiches. Today's lunch was California rolls from Donelan's, on Great Road in Acton. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST 12 DAYS 2.7 and 45.7. LARGE EXPENSES this last 12 days include limo to the airport, $99; taxi to the Hilton from O'Hare, $45; various items from amazon, I forget how much; meals in Chicago, ranging from $15 for breakfast to $96 for dinner; Camry maintenance, $54; parking at the airport, $72. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Zipper Tango" from "Sibling Revelry" as performed by the Marines last week. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: The art teachers at the Elementary School when I was in 7th grade were Mr. Walentosky and Ms. Rinderknecht. They eventually married. I sure hope she didn't hyphenate her name. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 1. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, in the dead of winter. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: why is "Band in Boston" always the first pun on "band" that everyone thinks of? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Pepperoncinis, olives, Good Seasonings salad dressings. NUMBER OF

FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK none, but they have batted a few videocassettes around and come close to destroying some of their own toys. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 0. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 1. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: unknown, but probably 2 or 3 in 12 days. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE ability, triumph, inertia, confidence. I continue to dig those abstract nouns. I have returned from five days in Chicago, four of them spent with Beff, and some of it at taxpayer expense (the Marines paid for our hotel). A lot of stuff happened, so I will try to put it all in order. First, two weekends ago I finished the Millay sex song and started on Ida Thoenkkittupp's. That one I finished today, and it is very pretty. Last Monday I had to go to a Chairs' meeting, and it was every bit as eventful and interesting as advertised (the obnoxious quote that comes to mind was when Judy Bettina had to sing an awful, awful Dick Swift piece for voice and harp many years ago, I said to Jim, "all dressed up and nothing to sing"). Later in the day I had to do e-mail, etc., and get ready for Midwest. So I did. On Tuesday I took AAA Limo to the airport and got my flight on United, which was smooth and on time. A taxi got me to the Hilton Hotel, where I encountered the officer types from the Marines. They were going to play my piece SIBLING REVELRY the next day, and they were waiting for a military plane to arrive with most of the band. A rehearsal was scheduled that night for 10:30 -- hey, in the military you can make people do stuff at just about any time of day. I checked in, and the front desk had had no record of me being on the taxpayer tab, so Captain Barclay eventually fixed it (thus changing my mailing address on the hotel bill to Washington, DC). So I got into my room and arranged to meet Dyna Mike and Jason (no cool secret nickname yet) for dinner. Meanwhile, they found out that the plane they'd arranged to take to Chicago hadn't shown up. Tuesday night the three of us (see above) walked to the Berghoff, a German restaurant with nice beer, for dinner. They teetotalled, because a rehearsal was tentative -- at this point, very tentative -- for that evening. No-nickname and I got chicken schnitzel, which turned out to be a giant chicken parm without the cheese, and Dyna Mike got a sausage thing. I got an amber beer on draft. Shortly, Dyna Mike's cell phone rang, he listened for 30 seconds without saying a word, and flagged down the waiter -- "a pitcher of the amber, please". The plane, which had been coopted by admirals and the like (which is why it didn't show up) was ready to take the band to Chicago. Except for computer malfunction. No rehearsal. Beer flowed freely both at the restaurant and, later, back at the hotel, where we sat at a bar and had more, and observed how royally Marine Band types get treated in the band world. Okay, the band world. I was not quite as prepared as I should have been for the Midwest Clinic, which is a giant conference of, they told me, about 15,000 band directors from all over the country, of all levels. Who becomes band directors? Band geeks. Like I was. There were 15,000 band geeks in or around middle age everywhere the eye could see. There were lots of those moustaches that used to cover up acne but now just look dweeby. I had to look long and hard to find a suit that cost more than $60 (mine was $100 at an outlet in Worcester in 1998, but then again, I only wore mine once). And various military types were there from all the services. Beff and I had name tags and ribbons that said "PARTICIPANT" and the name tags said "Guest of US Marine Band" -- we got treated like royalty. We even got asked when we'd be touring the west coast. Downstairs in the hotel there were four large rooms filled with exhibitors selling everything from marching band choreography software to fund raising items (fresh fruits, wreaths, etc.) to touring facilitators to music distributors to instrument makers to college music programs to service bands. And more! We took plenty of trips through the exhibits, especially since Shattinger Music (St. Louis) was there with three scores of SIBLING REVELRY, a full set of parts for same, and two scores of TEN OF A KIND for sale. I returned often enough to know that all the Siblings sold, and one of the Tens sold. I calculate my royalties at a little less than thirty bucks for that. Beff was getting in Wednesday afternoon, and it was possible that she would make the first of the two Marine Band concerts, but it was also likely that she would not (she did not). The Band finally got a plane to get them to Chicago at noon, and all I got to hear of my piece was various brief portions in a sound check at 5:30 (the trombones were too loud in Zipper Tango -- otherwise, nothing for me to say). Meanwhile, I was wearing those slip-on blue winter boots that are a bit loose, and I slipped and fell on

some stairs going to the exhibits and twisted my ankle fairly seriously on Wednesday morning. I am still limping. In any case -- I went to both Marine Band concerts, which were held in the International Ballroom. The loudest sounds there were the air system, followed by whatever ensembles played there. There were 2500 to 3000 chairs set up, and the Marines played to Standing Room for both concerts -- which means this was the largest audience I've ever had for a piece, surpassing Persistent Memory at Carnegie and Ten of a Kind at the KKL in Lucerne. For both shows, I had to make opening remarks about my piece, and I did my best to charm and not appear too geeky (I partially failed). In the first show, the downbeat happened before I got to my seat. And hey, at the first show I met Donald Hunsberger (yes, a legend in the band world) who knew everything about Ten of a Kind and others, and signed a bunch of programs (people discovered I had scores of the piece being premiered so, even being band geeks, they put two and three together). The band, by the way, was fantastic. Beff made it to the 9:00 show, and we sat with Chip, her colleague, and Dean, a local band director in Maine. In my opening remarks I took a page out of Carson's book and complimented the audience for being better than the previous one. And after the show, I thanked the musicians, and the four of us did dinner in the hotel (pizza and beer) for too much money. For Thursday, Chip wanted me to meet all these people, so I did, and for the life of me I don't remember the names of any of them. Except maybe Dyna Mike's conducting teacher, Tony Maiello. The most amusing bit may have been meeting Jack Stamp on the floor (I know the name from browsing band sites). You could see him read our nametags, go through a Terminatorlike process of determining we weren't worth his while, and quickly extricating himself from the conversation. Chip even remarked, "did you see how quickly he determined we weren't worth his time?" I briefly brushed by Paul Whear, who was the composer of the first atonal music I ever played in band (Stonehenge Symphony, All New England 1974). Beff got some free reeds to try and bought some clarinet CDs. I got a combo metronome-tuner for the fun of it, and a free copy of the Vaughn Williams 6th -- and lots of free stuff from the Marine Band booth. Oh yeah, and I ordered a CD and DVD of the Marine Band performance. I already have a CD-R of the first concert, but it staticky. Those bastids! Meanwhile, Beff went to the Art Institute while I stayed in the room because walking was too uncomfortable. On Thursday we saw the Marines do the Gran Partita, which is a really, really big blow, and they just about made it through. The oboist, which I had not seen before, was really, really good, and I'm glad she's in my piece. And finally by Saturday morning we were ready to get out of there. Luckily Stacy and Joe had a car, and a house to stay at. So they picked us up, we did dim sum and shopping in Chinatown, walked around Millenium Park, went to a piano recital of Nothing But Dead Composers, did Japanese in Evanston, watched half of Galaxy Quest, and went to bed. Then on Sunday it was the plane for us, finding where Beff had parked the Camry in the economy lot, and driving home in advance of a little snowstorm that eventually dropped 2 or 3 inches here. And then it got cold. So I've listened to my CD quite a few times, and finished the third Sex Song. Rick Moody revised his poem by adding a chorus, and we are cooking with gas. Monday I went into Brandeis to do various Brandeis stuff. It took rather a long time to catch up to the e-mails that had accrued -- not to mention, the committee evaluating the Dean's strategic proposal asked if music might have a response by the end of the week -LAST week. Which, luckily, Eric Chasalow had pretty much done. And now I'm in Davy mode, if only for a short time. My hope is to start the Rick Moody poem shortly (maybe tomorrow) and have it finished by the first week of January, at which time I'll decide if I want to write another one for the set. So there. Today's pictures are all from Chicago, including: skyline from Grant Park, skyline from Michigan Ave, Beff at Carson's Ribs, a historic building near the Zoo, the Shattinger booth at Midwest, some stairs in the Hilton, bookend lions at the zoo, and giraffes.

DECEMBER 31. Breakfast this morning was toasted Italian bread with lowfat peanut butter on it, and Morningside Farms meatless sausage links, with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice from Trader Joe's, and

coffee sent us from Raj. Lunch today was little pizzas purchased at Trader Joe's. Last night's dinner was grilled chicken sandwiches, chicken having been marinated in Emeril's something, and salad with Annie Chun's Cilantro and Sesame dressing. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST 9 DAYS 7.2 and 59.0. LARGE EXPENSES this last 9 days include hotel in Burlington, $89 for two nights, and Calvados in New Hampshire, $32. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Kiss and Tell," a somewhat pointless '80s tune by who knows whom. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: when I was in sixth grade, I actually got to go to, and play in, the band for the (high school) District Music Festival. I played second trombone, and there exists a picture somewhere (probably at Jane's house) of me in this band, about a foot shorter than everyone else. I kept my second trombone parts, got a reel-to-reel recording of the concert, and continued to relive the festival by playing the tape and playing along on the trombone. I think after a while my parents asked me to do that only when they were not at home. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 0! DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK You can, and should, use a Borders gift card on amazon.com. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: why can't I grow a real beard? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: deli olives, deli pickles, lowfat peanut butter, sugar-free popsicles, leftover turkey (which now goes mostly to the cats). NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK lots of leftover turkey -- not destroyed so much as inhaled. DAYS SINCE MY LAST REAL COFFEE: 0. DAYS SINCE MY LAST BEER: 1. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: probably 9 of 12 days. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE chutzpah, individuality, misappropriation, transparency. I continue to dig those abstract nouns. The Midwest clinic is now fading into dim memory, and I have been composing feverishly (it's an expression) since the last update. Three days of the last nine were spent with the holiday traveling, as follows. First, on Friday morning I picked up Big Mike at his condo at 6:30 am. He had totalled his car on the way to a dental surgery (if it ain't one thing, it's anudda) on the day of the sloppy snowstorm, and he needed a ride to Alewife so he could catch a train to a ferry for his own holiday travel. I was back at home by 7:40, at which time I did my own packing for holiday traveling. We were to pick up Beff's brother Bob at 9:30 at South Acton on our way to Burlington, Vermont, for Christmas. Bob called at 8:50 to say he was running late, so we got him at 10:30 instead, and were on our way. For those playing along at home, that involved turning left outside the train station, taking an immediate right, getting onto 27 north near the Ace Hardware, taking it to 2 West just past the Quill and Pen, hanging onto 495 North to 93 North, taking that into New Hampshire, paying a 75 cent toll, and getting 89 North into Vermont. Soon after arriving in our home state, we went into White River Junction, looked for a nice restaurant Bob know about that happened to be closed for the holidays, and did a seventeenth rate Chinese buffet instead. The hot and sour soup had no taste, and notable available items in the buffet included pepperoni pizza slices (I had one), onion rings (I had two), and crinkle cut fried potatoes (I had three). I didn't have any of the green jell-o. We then got back on Route 5 South, immediately to 91 south for about 100 feet, to 89 North all the way into Burlington, at which point we took the exit for US Route 2 East (Williston Road), turned left, and made it to the Overlake condos, where Beff's dad lives. I'm not sure about that name. It had rained furiously the day before (also in Maynard, where it hit 59 -- see above), and then quick-cooled to the teens by the time we got there. The rain runoff had not had time to run off, so there was plenty of thin sheets of glare ice in the condo's driveway area. Every time we thought we wouldn't slip, we did. After the obligatory catching up with relatives (Ann, Dad, Matt), there was the ritual playing of hokey Christmas music recordings and guessing the artists (I was the only one to get Eartha Kitt), and getting albums onto Ann's computer to throw onto to her new MP3 player (which has enough built-in memory for about 2 hours of music -- we scoffed at that puniness -- and can read from SD memory cards as well), not to mention, distributing gifts under the Christmas tree. As usual, football was on TV, and we pretended to be interested. We also checked in at the Clarion Hotel on Williston Road, where we got the friends and family discount -- Ann works for a Clarion -- and at night we ate at the Windjammer, right across the road from the Clarion, and where Ann apparently worked for about eight years. The food there was, mostly, large. I had the chicken teriyaki, and against my best interests, ate all of it. For those of you almost eleven (almost twelve?) thinking about staying at the Burlington Clarion in the future, be advised that the bed was very uncomfortable, and there were not enough pillows (why THREE for two people? -- I see a future cosmic question). Nonetheless, I slept through the night both nights,

awakening both days with back pains and leg cramps. Oh yeah, and then on Christmas we went to the condo, opened presents (I got such useful things as a mini-sewing kit (which I traded with Beff for a set of micro-pliers), a shirt that reads "Life is too short to cook for you people", and gift cards at Barnes and Noble and Borders), and started cooking. Basketball was on and I pretended to be interested. And I had small portions at dinner -- I was full from the beer that was made available to us. And Jim was there for the day, too, leaving after dinner to drive back. On the day after Christmas, the Weather Channel in our hotel let us know that a Winter Storm Warning had been posted for the Boston area, and our part of the state was painted white in the "expected precipitation" forecast for the day. This was disconcerting, given that when we left on Friday the forecast was for partly cloudy with a chance of a flurry on Sunday. Oh, those they that make! So we had been assigned to pick up bagels for the morning, and we rushed through breakfast, at which time I assigned the driving to Beff "when the snow starts to pick up." Actually, there were snow squalls in both sets of mountains we drove through, and the driving was just fine -- just one white-out -- and Bob kept saying "it'll let up once we get over the mountains." Thus reminding me of me. And he was right. But once we got close to Massachusetts, the snow picked up, the traffic slowed on 93 just before the 495 intersection, and in Maynard, the car slid twice in advance of stoplights -- gfornafratz anti-lock brakes! It took a long time to unpack, but it kept snowing, and by Monday morning there were eight inches of snow on the ground. I was going to shovel, but the snow felt so heavy on the back sidewalk that I got out the trusty snowblower, and blew much snow into the backyard and a healthy portion of it directly into my face -- gfornafratz wind! One of these days I have to figure out how to change the oil on the snowblower. Once all the weather-related stuff was taken care of, it was back to the Sex Songs for me. I finished Ida Thoenkkittupp and bore down on the Rick Moody poem "How to Read." It's in a very fast tempo with some rock and roll gestures, and an actual chorus, and the number of bars I wrote per day is as follows: Monday, 35; Tuesday, 65; Wednesday, 35, Thursday, 50; today, so far, 16, which means I am at bar 201, five minutes into the piece, and about halfway through the poem. Big trouble in little China. It's a fun piece to write, but there is so much really, really impressive stuff in it that it's getting hard to top myself. I took a page out of Joss Whedon's book (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, musical episode) and stressed "come" in the line "the book was complete", and bowed to Soozie's request for a high C on the word "consummate." I also wrote an ossia going only as high as A (that was the first thing I did this morning) for "consummate". Beff was impressed, by the way, that I set the word "unexpurgated," which is what follows COMplete. So work is ongoing. And there is a chorus that happens three times, during which the vocal part is actually diatonic. Well, it only uses three notes, but you get the idea. And since I'm me there is occasional fragmentation and layering of the 3-note motive of the chorus. But now this is just too much information. I discovered on Monday that the Midwest Clinic web page now has streaming video of the greatest hits from the performances there, including the only Marine Band selection, yours truly's own "Sibling Revelry." Like I said, the performance is great, and the streaming video shows just how easy a time the band had of it, despite its Grade 6 designation. Click on the "Sibling Revelry" link at the top of this page, and click on the name of the piece -- you need Real Player to see and hear it, and it can be downloaded for free. Naturally, I e-mailed a bunch of people about the streaming video. The vast majority of responses has been no response, though I did get one "Windows XP doesn't know what to do with a .ram file" from someone without Real Player (one of the almost eleven). On tax day, I will be part of a large celebration of creativity at U Mass Dartmouth. Damned if I know right now what I'm supposed to do (and damned if I don't), but it's yet another thing going on in April. Geoff Burleson wrote from New Mexico that Zeccatella is among the etudes he's doing in Pittsburgh on February 2, which makes it a premiere; which is a shame, since I already told Augustus Arnone, who is doing it in a set in New York on April 20 that it would be a premiere. All right, they can both be premieres. Meanwhile, I've watched Sibling Revelry streaming several times. Beff will vouch for that. It's fun watching the video director trying to figure out what to shoot during my piece -- there's lots of shots of people turning pages, and lots of shots of people sitting there not playing. Hey, since I don't write so many tuttis for band, it's nice seeing what's going on -- for most people, nothing. There's one good shot of a glissando on the marimba in which the player simply moves off the screen. Cool.

The last two days have been full of problem solving: the one problem being how to fix the "toggle buttons" on Beff's good winter coat. No place in Maynard had any buttons that were the right shape (think miniature cat poopies, except not grody) and size, and the 5&10 in West Concord was no help. Yesterday while the furnace was getting its yearly maintenance, Beff tried K-Mart, to no avail, and then we drove all the way to Shopper's World to look in the AC Moore store, which had something like what she needed (she got all six in the store, $14.18 with tax), but which turned out to be a little big to go through the holes in the coat. We considered going to the hardware store for sandpaper to sand them down a bit, but then she tried something with the existing old buttons (she has three of four) and stronger shoelaces. It worked. Today we walked downtown and got a bolt at Aubuchon Hardware to substitute as the fourth button. And the button saga comes to a temporary end. So much effort. With Beff's help, I also cast my votes for the Grammies. This thing is largely done online, though the final ballot is a paper ballot. The available selections are slightly crappier than last year's selections, so I cast suitably crappier votes. Other mundane news includes the fact that we've gotten a ton of large coffee mugs this half-year -- four DOG theme mugs we had to get for our cabin in Maine, two handmade ones from Stacy, and two in the yearly package from Raj. The winner is -- Stacy's mugs, which are now our regular coffee mugs. We also made our year-end donations to new music groups, and made an online donation to Doctors Without Borders. I read with glee that finally the US has pledged more in aid to the tsunami victims than the cost of the inauguration.

Tomorrow is New Year's Day, which means Lee and Kate's party, and Lee making pierogis in a white bathrobe (actually, in the oven, but you can stop being literal now). We are bringing beer -- the 2004 Anchor Christmas ale, for instance. And we will listen to our iPods on the way. New music on mine, by the way: Brecker Bros. Back to Back (whole album), Nelly Tilt Ya Head Back (with Christina Aguilera),and Pink If God is a DJ. Both of the last two tunes have hooks -- as does "How to Read," by the way. But neither of those tunes quotes literally from "The Gardener," so I am unique in that regard, and what it is, too. Pictures this week are a year-end wrap-up. There are 12, representing the months of the year, and are presented sequentially. The only one that may need explaining is June, in which Rick Moody emcees an event in New York wearing a DAVY--THE NAME MEANS QUALITY t-shirt. Oh, those cats were so CUTE when we first got them....

2005 JANUARY 7. Breakfast this morning was coffee and orange juice. Dinner was chicken sandwiches and fried tofu for me, snacky chicken and fried tofu for Beff, with salad. Lunch today for me was a bit of cream of chicken soup (we apparently had a coupon) until the cats started licking it. Yesterday's lunch was leftover pesto pasta. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST WEEK 25.3 and 52.3. LARGE EXPENSES this last week include amazon.com orders of around 50 bucks, using up some Borders gift cards. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "It Was a Very Good Year." Who knows how the heck THAT got there? POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: All-New England my senior year in high school was in Glastonbury, Connecticut (I am still in contact with the family with whom I stayed), we rode down in Verne Colburn's boat of a car doing lots of bad Monty Python British accents, and were in line to register as a reporter from the Hartford Courant asked someone at the registration table, "what's the farthest away people have come for this?" Tim (whose last name I've forgotten) and I responded in unison, "hey, that's us!" So we were interviewed saying stupid things, made it into the Hartford Courant, and there was even a large picture of me playing in the trombone section in the paper -- that's on the Decoupage page of this website. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 1. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK We actually ran out of frozen chicken breasts. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: why can't academia be about teaching? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: jalapeno-stuffed olives, Tazo ice teas. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK none, but Beff's inhaler has been

knocked over many a morning by Camden. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 3 or 4. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE dance fever, the exchange rate, imperceptibility, disease. I continue to dig those abstract nouns. The Midwest Clinic is now a dim, dim memory save for the streaming video online (see the top of the page). I wrote feverishly, again, since the last update, producing much weird and wooly stuff, on the Rick Moody song "How to Read", and finished it on Monday. Wednesday, if editing and adding dynamics where I'd deliberately left them out to be decided later count. I send a PDF and MIDI of the sucker to Rick Moody, who called it cool and weird (it is both), and told Amy D that it was "antic and strange and wooly," which is also probably an apt description. I also sent it to Soozie, for whom, after all, it was written. She is in Florence (Italy, not Henderson) and said she'd read it when she was back in the States where there was a reliable phone connection. So I thus finished the Sex Songs just in time for school, and they clock in at 21 minutes. I then wrote to the estate of Edna St. Vincent Millay for permission for the Millay poem, which keeps me ahead of the curve. The order: Millay Sonnet, The Gardener, Streetsong, How to Read. How to Read is full of rock and roll gestures a la Moody's Blues, so there's no way it could be followed by anything. Or at least not by anything by me. I would hope it would be followed by thunderous applause, a standing ovation, and gobs of money floating into my hands. But I seem to have gotten off the beaten track again. Soozie has also been doing a Copland Recording grant with Albany Records for Sex Songs and just about all the other stuff I've written for her over the years (yes, I now have written enough for her to fill an album), but since she is in Florence (with David Rutherford -- a scholar and my BEST friend at the American Academy in Rome, if only because he stood guard while I urinated on the Coliseum, and he didn't mind doing cheeseburgers at Big Benny with me on Sunday mornings), she was unable to get the required materials to Albany. So I did that -- printed scores, bound some scores, send CDs as I was directed. Including a copy of Beff's CD to give an example of Chris Oldfather's playing. Ironic that I sent it to Albany, which is the label it is on. In any case, that was a bit time-consuming. I also went into Brandeis twice this week, thus restarting the living hell of the life of the Chairman. Will I make it through the next thirteen weeks? School starts Thursday, but that's only for non-Chairs. I will, by the way, be teaching orchestration in pro seminar. I also visited Nancy Redgate in the hospital on my way back this morning, and it was good to see her. She is as animated and opinionated as ever. I want her back in the office as soon as possible. Weather played a big part of the previous week, especially the increasing lack of competence of They That Make's ability to predict within the current weather patter. To wit, the flurries of tomorrow became the snow showers of tomorrow became the Winter Storm Watch of tomorrow, with 2-4, no make that 3-5, no make that 4-6 or more inches of snow expected in the afternoon tomorrow. We had a storm on Wednesday and Thursday that was in two pieces that began with three inches of mostly cloudy (we walked downtown in it, where I had Buffalo wings, yum yum yum yum yum), and finished with another 3 or 4 inches of snow (we walked downtown in it, where I got a prescription renewed and we were lucky to find some buns for chicken sandwiches), some sleet, freezing rain and plain old rain. Crusty ice this morning with pock marks on it, and I spent maybe half an hour with the snowblower just after it changed to rain clearing the driveway. Beth thankfully dealt with the plow schmutz at the end of the driveway, which took as long to clear (since it was so heavy) as it took me to do the whole driveway. Just before I finished, the snowblower ran out of gas, which made for a nice wet return to the garage. So for two days, thoughts were mostly of the weather. As they will be tomorrow, dadburn it. They That Make predict very warm (60 on Thursday) for the end of next week. Stay tuned to see how close they came. Tomorrow Beff will be leaving early, as she is driving all the way to New Brunswick (the one in Canada) for a performance. Tomorrow she gets as far as Bangor after having her clarinet looked at in Searsport (the storm is forecast to leave 1-2" there), and on Sunday, which is predicted clear, she goes to Canada. Monday (good day for driving) she comes all the way back in one shot. So after she leaves -- thanks to the storm, long after -- Maynard Door and Window arrives (10 am) to see if they can do anything to fix our front

door. Previously a locksmith declared the door too old for any parts to be found; this is our second opinion. If we can get it fixed, we can use the front door as a door, and eventually add a bathroom -- if that is what we want. Or even a small addition onto the house. NYNME told me newly of performances of TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME (an old sucker for Bcl and marimba) in Atlanta in April and New York in May. I can't make either one of them. Earlier I was told they were in February in LA and March in New York. Alas. Well, the Atlanta performance will be at Emory University, and you can make all the jokes you want. I'm already tired of the Emory board joke, even though I'm convinced I made it up on the spot. Amy D is back from Sri Lanka, where she was in the mountains when the tsunami hit. We are all very glad she and Shehan are safe and that they made it back. She inquired about a new piece for piano, two toy pianos and electronics. I said the only thing I could: "What?" This week we have a little icicle (in the shape of an upside-down peace sign) forming off pine needles in a gutter, and cats. For those of you who asked how big they are now. JANUARY 14. Breakfast this morning was Morningside Farms meatless breakfast sausages with Kraft 2% milk sharp cheddar cheese slices, orange juice, and coffee. Lunch was a smoked turkey sandwich, chips and a red delicious apple, with a can of pink lemonade. Dinner for me had been a clam roll, fries, s little fried calamari, and a bit of boneless Buffalo tenders, and beerage. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST WEEK 18.1 and 59.9. LARGE EXPENSES this last week include deposits into our Roth IRAs (number too large to print here). MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS The chorus of "How to Read," the last of the Sex Songs. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: I wrote a Pierrot piece for Alea II at Stanford, when Ross ran the group, and I came to town for the performance just as he had resigned from the position to go to Davis, and was trying to convince his colleagues to hire me. I was still untameable, though. Ross invited me to present my own music in his composition class, and invited his colleagues also to attend (they declined). I remember the look of horrifiedness on Ross's face when I was about to play my violin concerto, and simply tossed three large scores at the students sitting at desks. Incredibly, they offered me the job anyway. On my thirtieth birthday. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 1. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK The outgoing platform at the Lincoln train station is on the Donelan's side of the road. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: who was the first person to think the idea of a cuckoo clock was cool? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: pretty salty olives, deli pickles, sugar free popsicles, campari tomatoes. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK my ego. Not really, but it was fun to type. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 0. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE line dancing, depth, rolling deadlines, desire. Abstract nouns, all. They that make were both right and wrong about yesterday's high temperature. You may recall that 60 was predicted as yesterday's high as long as a week ago, and I had made some plans in my head (the best place for them) to enjoy the balmy afternoon temperatures, which as of Wednesday, were still predicted to be 60. But at 1 the temperature was still 37, and it was mondo foggy. So lemme splain. Early yesterday morning (6:41) I picked up Big Mike at his place to bring him in to teach his first day of the term (as it was the first day of the term). They that make had predicted it would be about 40 in the morning. But instead what was was 31 with a glaze of freezing rain on our sidewalk and driveway, and light freezing rain was still happening -- none of which was in the forecast. So I drove slowly to BM's place, and to work. We made it in less than record time, due to careful, likely elderly, drivers also going in, not to mention a big ol' cement mixer. But this is too much detail. I took Mike back after his class was over at noon, and I kept noting that a slice of pizza might be real nice. By now, by the way, it was mildly foggy and 37 degrees (not 60, in case you've been paying attention). And no pizza place reared its pretty, boring, or ugly head. BM then mentioned that there was a very greasy pizza place next to his complex, so we stopped there. I told him "your slice is on me," and ordered two plain slices. Then for whatever reason, BM ordered two pepperoni slices. He just didn't hear, I guess. So I paid for all four slices, and we each had one of each. When I got back home, I did some salad, but not the full lunch I had been expecting. And at 37 and

foggy, there was no outing to enjoy the weather. Meanwhile, Geoffy was on his way, and we had appointed to (this is complicated, so pay attention) meet Lee at the Lincoln train station at 6:10, drive to the deCordova museum (in Lincoln) to take a gander at the installation Kate's been putting up all week, go to our house for some munchies, and then go to a restaurant with them and Geoff. So Beff 'n' I waited at the Lincoln train station for a half hour while a train zoomed right by at 6:06. We called Geoffy's cell phone and found out that he had arrived. Then he called my cell phone and said someone called Kate had called our answering machine and said that Lee had been waiting at the train station a half hour, she was waiting outside in the deCordova parking lot, and would not be able to make another call after the current one. We zipped across to the other side of the street, where a SEPARATE platform served outgoing passengers, picked Lee, up and drove deCordovawards. About a half hour late. And then the fog got thicker and thicker as we approached the deCordova, until the visibility was no more than about five feet. We got on the road for the deCordova, and I was tailgated by an SUV that kept flicking its high beams to get me to speed up (I uttered some choice words heard only by those in our car). Luckily, the deCordova entrance was well marked, though the driveway was long; the museum itself was dark, the lone figure in the parking lot was Kate, and we picked her up. We couldn't see the installation (see "the museum itself was dark"). But we slowly drove back (see "visibility was no more than five feet"), once barely missing two deer that bound across the road in front of us (I would have been rear-ended if I had stopped short), and freaking out both of our back seat passengers. Well. Eventually the fog got less thick (it was still 37 degrees out) when we got back to Great Road, we made it to the Quarterdeck Seafood restaurant, where Geoffy had established a beachhead (he said five, and we had eight chairs ... ?), and Kate ordered a Glenlivet (pronounced Glen-liv-ay by the waitress, who wore a track suit). A full glass of Scotch the size of a Buick was served, so Kate was happy. See above for what I got, and Beff got some sort of fish with capers. By now we had all calmed down, the freshness and deliciousness of the fish was alluded to precisely 87 times, and we finished in plenty of time to get Lee and Kate to the 8:57 out of South Acton. When we got outside, some of the fog had lifted, and the temperature had zoomed up to 57 -- all in an hour and a half. At the South Acton station, plenty of fog was still rolling around (lifting and rolling, etc.) so we watched it. When the train arrived with the lights piercing the peasoupy fog still remaining down the tracks, it looked like a Bergman film. We said exactly that. And then they left. Back at home, I took a beer and made Geoffy watch Sibling Revelry streaming online -- since one of the etudes from which it sprung was written for him. At 10:30 I mentioned to Geoff (who was having Calvados) that I had had enough beer, was ready for bed, and if Jay Eckardt were here he would coax me into two more beers. Then I said, "another drink?", Geoff said yes, and I joined him. Then we all went to bed. Things at Brandeis were very intense this week, including an emergency meeting (you know why) to make a counterproposal (to you know what). In the morning I dashed off (there were periods, commas and question marks, too) a 3-page talking points memo to get things rolling. After an hour of treading water, things happened. And, alas, the perception was that my leadership was thick enough to cut with a knife. Crap. As one of the almost eleven suggested last term, I need more creative incompetence, less leadership. Oh well, maybe it's time to let some things fall apart. Meanwhile, here I mention that Geoffy cleans up after himself, and drinks the mineral water that we have for only him. There is a little bit of water in the basement -- as the temp shot up to 59.9 today, it poured, and the temp dropped again. We went into Cambridge today for separate reasons, and I sent Beff on an errand to make our 2004 Roth IRA contributions in downtown Boston. But the storm -- warm as it was -whipped her umbrella inside out several times, as she was near the ocean, and she got soaked through and through. She made a point of calling me where I was to let me know she got soaked through and through. But she did also accomplish the other goal, which was to get a copy of American Record Guide at Virgin Records, where we are BOTH reviewed this month. I get to be a leading light, and the reviewer imagined people squirming during the second movement of Ten of a Kind. Beff has a knack for atonal chord voicings. See Reviews 3 for the complete review. It was 57 degrees today at 9:30 am, and 37 at 1; we encountered mixed rain and sleet as we entered Maynard when we returned. But a great majority of the

snow on the ground disappeared, and I like it when that happens. Over the weekend I responded to another challenge by the estimable Rick Moody. Originally it was to be a minimalism/pulse etude ripping apart the regularity of classic minimalist gestures. Instead, I actually had fun writing it, used as a source a chord from HOW TO READ, and subtitled it "impatient minimalist etude on chord-building". It is #66 and I still have no title for it, though "Out of Minimalism (but we expect more tomorrow)" was a working title. Amy and Rick and Geoffy are on the case naming the piece (Music for One Player, Music for Two Hands, Mini Mouse), but nothing has suited me yet. There is an E pedal throughout, so both Geoff and I thought of "E-Machine," but that would just be silly. Willy. Dilly. Pilly. There were two sloppy snow/ice storms this last week, not including today's torrential rain. This weather pattern is a bummer. Plenty of back-breaking exercise, however. Meanwhile, Beff beat one of the storms when she drove to Moncton, New Brunswick (that's in Canada) on Saturday -- a group there played a few movements of various video/no video piece. The performance sounded good. Meanwhile, Beff also found out that "Winnifred Goes Outside" will be done next month in the Bangor Auditorium. Whoa. As to Wednesday's dreary storm, I actually took the train in. So there. I think Soozie and Don Berman did some songs of mine at the American Academy in Rome today. I could be wrong. This was not a week of picture taking, so I submit two larger than usual shots of cats reclining.

JANUARY 21. Breakfast this morning was a large hamburger bun (from BJs) toasted with lowfat peanut butter, orange juice, and coffee. Dinner was strifry chicken from a Trader Joe's Kung Pao stir fry packet with the Kung Pao sauce discarded and lemongrass sauce substituted. Lunch was the two slice special at Cappy's. Today's lunch was Sun Bird hot and sour sour (for both of us) with Mongolian fire oil and white pepper added. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST WEEK -1.8 and 38.9. LARGE EXPENSES this last week include an amazon.com gift certificate from the department to Jim Olesen in appreciation of his service as Chair -- believe me, I know "service" is not exactly the right word here. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS The very end of the bandstration of "Strident." POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: somewhere midst our old, old memorabilia is a small notebook of cute things I said before any of my memory kicks in (about 4). It is said that, when caught picking crabapples when told not to, I explained "I was only picking the leaves." This same notebook reminds me that my brother used to call me "Dready" (spelled "Dreddy" in the book), obviously not referring to any unfortunate hairstyle choices -- yet. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 2. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK iPods are not so inexpensive. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: other than the color, what's the difference between lemonade and pink lemonade? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: campari tomatoes, honey barbecue chips made with canola oil, sugar free popsicles. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK a bunch of rolled-up pieces of newspaper. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 2. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE suaveness, continuing education, shampoo envy, paint allergies. Them what make are waffling about a big snowstorm forecast to pass to our south about 24 hours from when this is posted -- do we get snow showers, 3 to 5 inches, 1 to 2 feet? The Weather Bug down in my system tray was chirping at me as I started typing (about 3:30 in the afternoon) to get me to find out that "heavy snow advisory" was in the works -- following quickly on the heels of a "heavy snow advisory." Gosh, these weather advisories are like the Republican talking points (footnote to the Daily Show and Jon Stewart): they must be true, because they're said a lot. The problem with a heavy snow advisory is that we are slated to go to the BMOP concert tomorrow night to hear the premiere of Eric Chasalow's Something about Sunspots piece, as well as Martino's Clarinet Concerto and pieces by Elliott Schwartz and Tom McKinley. By the way, this concert is called The Boston Connection (they have such a concert yearly), and the networking capabilities of Elliott Schwartz -- who lives 175 miles from Boston -- are once again in evidence. Either that, or metro Boston is growing at an

exponential rate (at the same time Massachusetts was the only state to lose population since the turn of the century). Now I've gotten really far off the beaten track. Anyway, if the snow starts too early, then we won't go to the concert. Ironically, it'll be a Tom McKinley thing back from undergrad days: "I'll catch the tape, man." I'm leaving out the part where part of his chicken salad sandwich gets spit out as he says it. The event of the week was likely our MLK Day brunch at our house, which attracted two childful couples and one childless one. Del and Laura (who was referred to be others as LK) came with Alexandra -- and some flowers -- and Sam and Laurie came with Georgia -- the daughter, not the state. Cammy would have none of it, and, once Alexandra got into kiddie kitty petting mode, neither would Sunny. So in the morning with those two couples, there were bagels and coffee to be had by all (including by me), as well as cherries and strawberries and various other fruits we made our contribution to the affair. Ken and Hillary made it around noon, so the activities were spread far and wide within the household. LK, who is a professional photographer, used our window seats downstairs to take nice pictures of Georgia, and meanwhile Alexandra was kept mostly quiet by a showing of one of our many Looney Tunes DVDs. She had to sit about a foot from the TV so it would be loud enough for her and so the adults could have conversations. Alexandra also got to play a vibraslap (the thrill leaves pretty fast) and have her own (light blue) blanket. After the kidful couples had to split, we took Ken and Hillary out to the Village Pizzeria for Buffalo wings, where I was the only one to have Buffalo wings. Hillary had a giant chicken Caesar salad that could have fed all of Liberia, and I forget what Beff and Ken had. I had spent much of the weekend doing a draft of the Music Department's response to the Dean's Looney Bin proposal, with much input -- much of it conflicting -- from two of my colleagues. I had to filter out some disrespectful tone suggested by one and some superfluous statistics suggested by another. And then it was sent Wednesday morning. Thursday was a faculty meeting, and the amazing collegiality from the previous meeting was less in immediate evidence. I hate being the Chair. On David Sanford's recommendation, Beff got a Danish film called FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS, which I thought was both pretty cool and pretty tiresome. The premise was better than the movie: a director was challenged to remake a movie of his from the 1960s in five different ways with limitations (obstructions) posed by another director (who Beff posited would be the kind of filmmaker whose films you'd talk about but not ever watch). The first remake, in Cuba with the limitation of no edit longer than 12 frames, was pretty cool. The remake as a cartoon was cool, too, and it was interesting to hear the phrase "MTV" in Danish -- it sounds the same. So when we weren't watching Obstructions, we were watching vast swaths of the fifth season of Buffy (the Glory year). Two nights ago I got ten hours of sleep. Heaven. On Tuesday I taught my first orchestration class, thus being in front of a classroom for the first time in seven months. It was, actually, thrilling. Reminding me, of course, that that's what I really like doing, not toning down the expletives I would otherwise hurl at the hand that feeds my department. It was pretty high octane most of the time (duh), and I actually spent some down time afterwards doing something else I haven't done in seven months -- thinking of more ways to present the material in a way that was both fun and valuable. For the first time in their lives, eight graduate students went home with unmarked CDs with excerpts of Looney Tunes cartoon music with the assignment to transcribe about 10 to 15 seconds of anything in the excerpts. I am both crafty and mean. What they don't know yet (because it's something I decided in that down time) is that they will get my now world-famous analysis of Nuages (well, famous in my world, anyway) with a new layer of orchestration layered into the argument. I already said a few things about Nuages in the class, actually. I will, by the way, try to be catching myself from doing what other teachers of orchestration have done (according to anecdotal evidence from others): no long stories about Lenny, and no standing there with a fake expression of wonderment on my face as an excerpt plays on the stereo and I point vaguely sideways and skywards while blurting out "clarinets!" or "masking in the cello pizz." as the music passes by. Several students said it was a good class. They were probably sucking up. I also scheduled my NEC students to exactly the same time and day of the week as last term. Cool. Calls to Mac Peyton and Mike Gandolfi were made to confirm the room. Mac was out. Mike sounded majorly stressed -- and I realized it was because a) he is Chair and b) he has a BSO performance coming up. Oh

lawdy. Tonight -- mere hours after this post -- we are going to the deCordova for the official reception for Kate's opening. The art has been on view for a week now (see last week's post about fog, seafood, Geoff, etc.), but the reception is tonight. Our small part in the whole affair (formerly the "audience") grew by leaps and bounds this morning as Kate called to request a ride from the Lincoln train station at 5:56 to the affair -which we can do now because we discovered where the outbound part of the train station actually is. So instead of verging on 60 and very foggy, it should be about 5 degrees and clear. The difference? 55. And our dinner plans changed from chicken sandwiches to Domino's delivery. I hope for pepperoni. Over the weekend I was notified of about 8 more upcoming performances of which I had been unaware, and made sure to post them on "Performances" here. Strangely, I had gotten the standard twice yearly "here are my performances this term" e-mail from Eric Chasalow, which listed something in New York by the "Sinfonietta Moderna," of which I had never heard. On Saturday -- two weeks later than Eric's e-mail -- I got an e-mail requesting bio and program notes for my Feb 13 performance of Sesso e Violenza (face it, a pretty huge piece) by the Sinfonietta Moderna at Merkin Hall (at this point I always remember being told that a "merkin" was a pubic wig in Yiddish, and I've never wanted to know what it was actually used for). And then Rick Moody asked if I knew a NYC area pianist with one of the more "athletic" etudes under his or her fingers to play free for a Yaddo benefit, and I gave him Adam Marks, who is playing Fists of Fury this term -- the day before Sinfonietta Moderna, as it turns out. And then other stuff. So there, smarty pants. I don't even know yet if I can make it to Sinfonietta Moderna -- all bets are on no. Crap. On Tuesday I got the usual yearly wacky e-mail from Danny K -- actually, I usually get the wacky e-mail as an invitation to a Labor Day bash in some generic location. I met him when he came to my "young composers write for Alea III" slopfest (I speak both of the performance and of the piece) in 1989, and he engraved my Louise Bogan songs for Peters (paid for by me) and some of Beff's songs as well. In 1995 I named a commercial font after him (Kastner Casual). On Tuesday I found out in this wacky e-mail that he was to be one of the contestants on the third season of The Apprentice. Last night I watched about the first half hour of the Apprentice, but it's not the kind of show that sucks me in -- Beff watched to the bitter end and gave me updates afterwards. Danny was the one with the guitar, and who thought of "just say cheese!" as a marketing slogan for a Burger King triple cheeseburger, to a sea of stonefaced Burger King executives. See, Beff explained it very well. Last time I actually saw Danny -- 1992 -- he was 27 years old and clean shaven. And meanwhile, arctic cold has gripped the area. I know that because that's exactly how all the TV weathercasters say it. This week's pictures include Sunny in his new bed, and five MLK day shots: Del's coffee (Stacy's mug), Alexandra and Georgia, Laurie Alexandra Georgia and LK, Sam, and Del.

JANUARY 30. Breakfast this morning was grapefruit, Morningside Farms meatless sausages with Kraft 2% cheddar-ish cheese, and coffee. Dinner last night was vegetable tempura and a clam roll (at the Quarterdeck Seafood restaurant). Lunch was a large salad with fat-free balsamic vinaigrette. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST NINE DAYS -7.6 and 36.9. LARGE EXPENSES this last week include a gift for Carolyn Davies in appreciation for all the extra work she's had to do since midOctober with Nancy Redgate's illness. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS The MIDI of "How to Read," since I just played it for Geoffy. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: my senior year of high school I got put into a little six-man group that learned how to sing a barbershop arrangement of "Yes Sir, That's My Baby." My part was the top part (there were two of us on it, two on the bass part, one each on the middle parts), which I memorized. But I never sang that part in performance. At the spring concert, the guy doing the baritone part was summarily thrown out of the chorus for missing rehearsals, so I had to sight-read that part in the concert (I was the only one looking at a score, as photographic evidence suggests). Then we were asked to sing it on some gonzo senior event in the gymnasium, and the guys doing the bass part didn't show up. So I made up a bass part for that performance. And sang it. Good thing the drinking age was 18 at the time, so the seniors didn't notice the creativity of my

ad hoc harmonies. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 1. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK flu symptoms don't necessarily come with a big fever; and Theraflu makes your tongue bumpy. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: why does global warming mean we get more snow here? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Remedy (hot water with honey and lemon), campari tomatoes, jalapeno-stuffed olives, Buffalo wing sauce. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK none. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: feels like about a hundred. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE contingent interdependencies, vertical sonorities, contrapuntal aggregate formations, interval vectores (I went to Princeton). My news that trumps the much snow of the week is my flu/virus/illness that kept me in bed pretty much from Thursday morning to this morning (Sunday). There wasn't much to miss at Brandeis (just a Chairs meeting), so it didn't make me a bad person to stay at home, particularly as it was hard to turn my head at any speed without wooziness. I had a fever of 99.9 on Friday afternoon, but it was back down to 97.1 on Saturday morning (the Circadian rhythm, I guess). Still, I spent much time on all three days in the comfort of my bed, though frankly I don't remember much about being asleep. On Friday Seungah HAD to come over so I could look at and approve her piano concerto as her dissertation piece, and I hadn't showered in two days and my hair was rat's nesty, so I wore my pink winter hat -- which is either a creampuffy gangsta rapper hat, or as Martin calls it, the "Mommy, will you buy me this?" hat. This will be but a small part of the stories that Seungah tells her grandchildren about getting the Brandeis doctorate. I hope she doesn't include the smell. Besides all of that, there was the story that still dominates Boston TV and newspapers (or more generically, the media), that was the snow showers of which I spoke here in the last update. A week of Arctic chill (we were "in its grip") followed by the fifth largest snowstorm in 110 years of weather records in Boston, followed by more Arctic chill, followed by another day of snow showers that accumulated seven inches here, followed by yet more Arctic chill. Thanks to all the snow, urban areas are a real mess, and even Maynard -- not too urban by any means -- is having big problems. Pathways from the street onto the sidewalk are bounded by five-foot high piles of snow. In past years after big snowstorms, within a week all the big piles got transported into the Assabet -- or wherever they take them. Not so this snow. So on Monday, everybody cancelled everything. I even got a free pass not to teach my NEC students for the first time this term. Plus, it doesn't have to be made up -- but I will offer to anyway. Tuesday Beff and I went into Brandeis on treacherous icy roads as far as Weston, and came back on roads that were still treacherous and icy. Wednesday everybody decided to follow through with classes and stuff despite the snowstorm. Big Mike said that getting to school took an hour and a half instead of a half hour for him, and I took the 7:58 am train into work, which turned into the 8:30 train, which ended up being free. All my students were late because of the storm. And my train going back was on time. Midst my noon student, Brandeis decided to close at 2. The snow kept coming down for another five hours, and everybody was talking about it again in the Boston media. Boston school superintendent got into hot water for calling classes into session on Wednesday, so he closed them again Thursday and Friday. And when my NEC students e-mailed about our meeting, I got to bore them, and terribly so, with my lame stories about the Blizzard of '78 -- which happened when I was a sophomore at NEC. How boring? I mentioned that Star Pizza had the only hot food, but no napkins, so we wiped our hands on the snow. Now that's boring. Meanwhile. I didn't go to the BMOP concert on Saturday, but it happened anyway. By the time it was over, we had had about eight inches here, so I was glad (in terms of still being alive) that we didn't go. They get to keep my fifty-six bucks anyway. When we got up on Saturday morning, much snow was there for the shoveling, and we did most of it by hand, in three forty-five minute shifts. The snowblower was used only in the last shift, as the snow was actually too high for it. It can handle about 15-18 inches on the ground, and I measured 21. Surprisingly, it was not my back that stiffened up later, but the front part of my legs. Huh. Nonetheless, I get to note that I was in Boston for four of its five biggest storms ever, which was true before this storm -- this one nudged out another one I was here for in the top five. Meanwhile, Boston's biggest snow ever, the President's Day Storm from February 2003, was not that big out here. Another storm

not even on Boston's radar was even bigger out here than the one we just had. And that one was our first year here, when Beff decreed, "oh, let's not get a snowblower. Let's just see what the first year is like." She was safely ensconced in Maine for that storm, by the way, while I fumed at home about my lack of snowblower and no lack of shoveling to do. Last word about the weather: for Boston, this was the snowiest January ever, and the snowiest month ever. Everywhere you go that people like to deal in superlatives, you will hear this mentioned. Thirteen straight days with the temps not exceeding freezing. Oh yeah, and after our shoveling, we were treated to a little butt-kicking by the Patriots on the Steelers. For that, we needed a TV. This afternoon is Brandeis's yearly Irving Fine concert, which in this case is a piano recital by Jerry Kuderna. I have met Jerry in California, and he seemed like a nice guy. He has been talking for exactly twelve years about playing etudes of mine, and for all I know, it finally happens this afternoon. He is doing Nocturnal. As well as plenty of other stuff by Americans (which is what I am). Tuesday, besides being a harrowing drive, was the Beff show in my orchestration class. She demonstrated the clarinets, answered many questions, and basically took away an hour and a half I would otherwise have had to fill with my talking. Thanks, Beff. Then the students showed their Looney Tunes transcriptions, which were surprisingly accurate. And I assigned clarinet choir arrangements. Monday, being a snow day, became tax day for us. Yes, dear almost eleven, we collected and categorized all of 2004's receipts, and wrote them down but did not add them up. I can report without fear of contradiction that we spent $111 for seafood when Soozie and Chris were in town (deductible!), gave about $3000 to charity, and the Triplets of Belleville soundtrack, which was 28 bucks, is deductible because I used it in class as an example of a piece that begins with augmented triads. Do I rock, or what? I got several e-mails from people this week mentioning the Atlantic Center thing coming up, and I guess it's because they (le Centre Atlantique) sent out an e-mail to some mailing list about it. It seems they don't send out big posters any more, like they used to, so this is the new way to get the word out. I spoke to Harold Meltzer, who said there were only two fellows that went there for Lew Spratlan's session -- at a time I was originally offered, by the way. Dyna Mike (Marine Mike) e-mailed, too, who finally had some time with the inauguration being over. He mentioned that he was taking "Sibling Revelry" off the April 10 MB concert (it disappeared from my Performances page, too) because he needed the "real estate." Oh, to go from Pulitzer finalist to "real estate" all within the same organization within a few years. Oh, the humanity! Well, at least that gives me an extra three days in April that I don't have to travel. And they were real nice to do it in the first place, though they're probably not aware of the elaborate excuse I gave to the publisher not to charge the band for the performance materials. But we will, of course, do our yearly get together on Lake Carmi in which we have too much beer before 11 am. This has now achieved the status of ritual. Geoff Burleson stayed here overnight for a Musica Viva rehearsal, and just went out this morning. I gave him the score of etude #66, the title part of which goes LESS IS to Rick Moody ...and he quipped "...as more is... to...William Faulkner"? Now that comparison questions are being removed from the SATs, maybe we can celebrate that here with one more question. Almost eleven, you may make up your own answers. Less Is:Rick Moody a) More is:William Faulkner b) One is:The Loneliest number c) Two is:Company, Three's a Crowd

d) Pennies:From Heaven e) Some Is:Some Ain't Now for the first time in an update, I actually said somebody "quipped" something. Is there something wrong with me? Beff was in Vermont attending to family biz on Friday, by the way. Just wanted to report that. She said there was MUCH LESS snow in Vermont. Huh. When she got back last night, I was well enough to want to go out for dinner, but certainly didn't feel like cooking. Tonight, by the way, it's pasta in a nice tomato sauce, etc. Amy D reported that she played a trio of etudes TWICE, including once at a noon concert at Palomar College. Schnozzage was one of them, and it's become obvious that whenever Schozzage is played by anyone, it becomes the story of the whole concert, especially in the media. From "Rakowski nose music" a few years ago to "Dissanayake uses her nose and hands to play" this time. There is a story online (I'm sure Amy wouldn't want me giving the almost eleven the URL, but if you Google "Schnozzage" it is currently the first hit), and of course the picture is of "Give me a pianist and make it lean" (the epigraph on the score). Which gives me TWO unique things on the internet. If you google "Schozzage" or "Martian Counterpoint" (in quotes), all the hits refer to me. "Sibling Revelry" on the other hand, gives hundreds of hits that are not me -- so Beff and I were less clever than we thought when we came up with that title. And I can't even prounounce it without scrupulous preparation! Uh, Sib... wing... wevelwy.... Just as a silly footnote, when I taught at Stanford and Sean invited himself over for beer, he referred to it as "dwunken wevelwy." Yesterday afternoon I e-mailed Amy D about www.infinitecat.com, a sort of conceptual piece wherein a computer picture of a cat looking at a picture of a cat on a computer is then layered with a cat looking at that picture, etc., ad infinitum, has reached almost 700. The sequence is pretty funny. So Amy sent me a picture of her cat Ranjith, and said he wanted to be on my web page. I sent back a picture of Sunny looking at the pic on the iMac, she got Reena looking at that pic, and I spent a LONG time getting Cammy to sit still and look at that picture (my portfolio has Cammy in at least five locations NOT looking at the picture). You will see the whole sequence below -- oh, the wonders of the internet. Meanwhile, there are also four pictures of the aftermath of the Blizzard of '05 out here -- before the extra seven inches got piled on on Wednesday.

FEBRUARY 4. Breakfast this morning was half a grapefruit, toast with lowfat peanut butter, orange juice, and coffee. Dinner last night was Thai Ginger grilled chicken with mushrooms and salad (marinade by Emeril). Lunch was tomato, pepperoncini, cheese, and olive sandwiches. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST FIVE DAYS 2.5 and 39.4. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are a new burr coffee grinder purchased on amazon, free shipping, $139; Boston Symphony tickets, $158. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Laura Nyro's "Marry Me Bill." POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: as graduate students, we (we roommates me, Beff and Martler) were invited to a party in an undergrad's dorm room. This was at Princeton, the only place we were all graduate students. It was Halloween, so we presumed we should come in some sort of costume. So I put on my old security guard uniform, down to the MSI badge (#2653) and winter coat. When we got there, undergraduates were wearing heavy lipstick and ballgowns (well, the women were, anyway), and we felt, um, at least a little underdressed. Especially me. We didn't stay long. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 4. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK the defunct TV series WONDERFALLS, just released on DVD. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: how many trees are killed by pointless forms? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: real lemonade, real limeade, cherry tomatoes, Cains hamberger dill crinkle-cut slices. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK none. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 3. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE the hypothetical other, riotous behavior, a Twix bar, seven barrels of half-sour pickles. I'm now mixing abstract and concrete nouns. Pour Davy.

This is a short week due to my getting back on schedule after having the flu (or a virus) last week. Thus I would hope there would be a lot fewer words below here before you get to the pictures than for last week's nine-day report. They That Make screwed up pretty bad with the overnight weather leading right up to this morning. As recently as 30 hours ago, Maynard was forecast to get no precipitation from an ocean storm ominously backing in to New England -- only coastal sections were to get rain and snow showers. For a while before that, a light wintry mix was forecast. As of yesterday afternoon, while it was raining in Maynard, the forecast switched to snow showers without accumulation to mixed precipitation with no accumulation, to an inch overnight. We woke up to three inches of heavy, heavy, heavy wet snow that was even more difficult to shovel than the aftermath of the blizzard. So you see, gentle almost eleven, I may still pay close attention to the They That Make channel, but I have learned to disregard much of what is said. And of course I won't patronize their advertisers. Or be patronizing to them. We did, however, snap out of the Arctic cold in whose grip we were. It has been above freezing every day since the last update, and temps up in the 40s are forecast for the weekend and Monday. This pleases me -despite that I may have to shovel off the flat roof just off the bedroom window. If anything momentous happened during the week, it was the discovery of the defunct series "Wonderfalls", just released on DVD, which Beff somehow had the good sense to buy. We have watched the first seven episodes of the existing thirteen, only four of which actually ever aired in America. It is a much better show than the critics' current darling "Arrested Development", especially if you're into talking animal figurines. Good old Fox aired "Married With Children" for nine seasons, and Wonderfalls only four weeks, not even consecutive weeks. Well, then. I'm hoping greatly that, unlike Freaks and Geeks, it doesn't jump the shark. Other momentous things that occurred included the resumption of my teaching duties at NEC, and the opportunity to walk around the heavily commercial neighborhood and stock up on CryBaby Tears -- more about those later. I also picked up tickets to the February 18 BSO concert on which Yehudi Wyner's new piano concerto is to be premiered (Chiave in Mano -- Keys in the Hand, must be a punchline to some pornographic Italian joke, knowing Yehudi), and had one of the quick lunches at Pizzeria Uno. For those looking for cuisine in that area, the chicken thumbs at Pizzeria Uno are to be steadfastly avoided. Oh, why couldn't that neighborhood have a Bertucci's instead? As to the teaching, it was like the old times we never had, but will soon. I checked out NEC's vacation schedule, and with the vacation days and the Monday snow day we had because of the blizzard, I'm making much more per hour of actual teaching than I did in the fall. And for that I am a) truly sorry b) very lucky c) fair of face. Dyna Mike has been my source for CryBaby Tears for the last four years (there's a candy store in the mall near him with those big clear plastic things and scoops and plastic bags that you pay for by the pound, and one of the plastic things has CryBaby Tears), but I have sort of lost my cravings for them. So this time I sent two boxes of CryBaby Tears that I bought in Boston back to him, one each to each of his kids (one is named Jack, and the one that isn't named Jack is named Claire. The one not named Claire is named Jack). So in a way I retaliated for the reclassication of SIBLING REVELRY as "real estate" by increasing his dental bills. While at the same time being cute. That part I just can't help. I was interviewed by the Brandeis Justice (student newspaper) after one of my colleagues was interviewed and said a few things that maybe he/she shouldn't have. I tiptoed mightily around the questions slung at me, yet I may still be quoted in the paper saying something I shouldn't have. It was my own fault for having a glass of wine with dinner, I guess. Maybe this is the creative incompetence I have been looking for all this time. Oh yes; according the The President's Own page, Mindy Wagner's piece 57/7 Dash in the new band arrangement filled part of the void left by the real estate departure -- it had been advertised in the glossy spring brochure along with my piece, but had never been put onto the web page. This pleases me to no end. Some while ago the two of us had planned to go to the gig together and do silly, giddy things as we did at the MacDowell Colony in '01 (i.e., have fun-fun), but now that's put off to another day. The nice arrangement of La Valse is also on that show, so now it's a pretty fabulous concert. And I helped.

I am trying to have firm resolve to go to the February 13 concert in NYC featuring SESSO E VIOLENZA - actually rather a major piece, now that I think of it -- but it's at 8 and I have an appointment at Brandeis -an EXTREMELY important one -- at 10:30 the next morning. So, weather will be a factor in whether or not I actually go. Alas, the night before there is a Brandeis composers concert, and I already know Eric Chasalow isn't going (if "I'm going to NYC on a train on Friday and returning the following Monday" is interpreted literally) to that concert. If I choose, for weather's sake, to go to NYC on Saturday, that leaves only Marty as the faculty rep at this concert, and that would look bad. Almost eleven, I'm pleased to share my not-so-complicated thought processes about this with you. Also on April 15 there will be some sort of Arts Buffet or Barbecue at Brandeis, and luckily I'm booked to be in that gonzo creativity thing at UMass Dartmouth that day, so I'm excused from service. But Shane from the Office of the Arts was talking about thematic things to call the buffet items. Context: we recently received permission to use the Bernstein name, as in, Bernstein taught at Brandeis a few years in the 1950s, and they were thinking of Bernstein-themed foods. Bernstein burgers? I suggested West Side Story-themed foods: sushi for the Sharks, and airline food for the Jets. From here it only got sillier. How could it not?

Groundhog Day came and went, and it was sunny. Bummer -- six more weeks of winter. Hence this three slopful inches from overnight. Beff still has to go out and do the plow schmutz in the driveway before we go out to Trader Joes, etc. and Staples for staples. We need more coffee beans, for instance, and we have to spend our Staples rewards certificate. But not until the driveway schmutz is dealt with. Meanwhile, the cheap Black & Decker coffee grinder clogged yet again this morning -- it does so more frequently than weekly now -- so we ordered an actual high quality burr grinder on amazon this morning. Because I am tired of yelling at inanimate objects, especially those that carry the Black and Decker logo. Later, Beff accepted a call from the Bangor Daily News, who is covering her premiere in Bangor this weekend -- WINNIFRED GOES OUTSIDE is to be done by the all-woman jazz band The Edith Jones Project. I will be left at home with all the Jets and Sharks I can eat. Danny K was fired on last night's The Apprentice. Now my Thursday nights are free again. Don't look up "Schozzage" on Google. "Schnozzage" is the correct word, and I love how it asks if I really meant "schnozzle." Mmm. sure could use some good limeade right about now. Amy D sent another picture of Ranjith, this time looking at this page in last week's manifestation. So I took a picture of Sunny looking at that. Amy's family in New Hampshire is apparently going to start playing the game, too. Martler thought the cats thing was funny, too, so I posed his Oxford brochure with Sunny in his little cat bed. I'm sure you will agree that it is knee-slapping hilarious. As to the pictures: Sunny and Martler; Sunny viewing Ranjith viewing my web page; one of the unsuccessful poses with Cammy from last week; generic cute kitty picture; the icicles dropped from the roof onto the other roof outside the computer room; the view out the front door this morning; Beff trying to get Cammy in from his hiding place (she is shaking a bag of kitty treats); and a shot of the Assabet River from December 23 that was still on the card in the camera.

FEBRUARY 11. Breakfast this morning was orange juice and coffee. Dinner was 95% lean hamburgers with nonfat cheese, pickles and tomatoes, and Polish fries. Lunch had been hot and sour soup and, later, at the Stein, a basket of signature fries (which came out looking more like Woodstock's signature -- the bird in Peanuts). TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST WEEK 21.0 and 53.1. LARGE EXPENSES this last week include a new front-load washer, $720 plus tax, and a new CD deck, $129 plus tax. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Various licks from "A Gliss is Just a Gliss" and comparable licks that might eventually fit into a left-hand etude. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: the one time during our relationship -- pre-marriage -- that Beff cooked for me in a substantial way was

Cornish game hens, for Thanksgiving, at Beff's apartment in Portland, Oregon -- this was the year she taught at Reed College and I taught at Stanford. Alas, I developed a stomach virus necessitating much time riding the porcelain pony soon after, and the temptation was to relate the cooking to the virus. There was no relationship between the two. But I sure do remember all those pony rides, which commenced every half hour on the hour and half hour. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 0. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK details about the distinctions between front-load and top-load washers, as researched on the internet by Beff. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: why is there no "th" in "Nor'easter"? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: campari tomatoes, jalapeno-stuffed olives. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK none. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 0. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a ham sandwich, two ham sandwiches, three ham sandwiches, four ham sandwiches. Davy's creativity in this regard is at a low ebb this morning. This is the week that made me really, really, really, really want to stop being the Chair. Enough details about Brandeis. I was asked for materials for one of my possible antidotes to this friggin place, and sent them out on Saturday. They That Make -- maybe I should start calling them Then What Make -- screwed up pretty badly on the Nor'easter that just passed through yesterday (and which is still having its way in eastern Maine). As usual, the forecast four days before the storm was for snow showers or mixed precip on Thursday, and two days before, lots of dire predictions and big, big letters on TV weather maps called for another big one. As of Wednesday morning all the news channels put our part of the state in a 12-18 inch snowfall or even a 15-18 inch snowfall band, and it was to be heavy, wet stuff that makes hands blister and grown men cry. On Wednesday morning in the South Street Market, the register guy was saying "they say a foot and a half to two feet -- that means a dustin'." Register guy did better than Them What Make. So when we got up yesterday morning, rather early, it was raining. The red-faced Them What Make TV people said "the rainsnow line is 60 miles north of where we thought it would be." Meaning the storm went farther north, and is still a bad storm in Bangor, with upwards of two feet (3-6 inches originally predicted). Here, it rained until 3:30 and changed to light snow, ending up with about two inches on a crusty surface. It was easy enough for me to shovel in my bathrobe (but not WITH my bathrobe). And I was even able to shovel a path from the back walk to the bulkhead. Reasons to follow. My teaching this week was full of joy and passion, as it always is. Well, at least my part of it was. Even the drive to NEC was fun, the Buffalow wings I had for lunch at a nearby bar was fun, and the lessons there were fun, too. I walked to the Pru to get more CryBaby Tears, which I awarded to Nathan and Mary (the NEC students), and even had a cellphone conversation with someone in California. During the other times, Beff noticed that more and more of our clothes were getting greenish-blackish spots on them from being washed, and that can never be good -- this has been happening since December, and we tried doing a few blank loads with bleach to make it stop, and it worked for a while. So Beff looked it up on the internet, and it seems that our old washer -- which came with the house when we bought it -- is probably leaking oil. And oil leak is mucho expensive to fix -- not to mention leaking oil means eventually maybe washer explode or overheat or something. So Beff then researched washers on the internet, and we settled on a front loader Whirlpool from Best Buy at 10% off -- we actually drove to BestBuy twice because we had gotten 10% off coupons in the mail, which are only valid the 11th to 14th, and we were told the coupons would be good -- we looked at them, and they would have been only 10% off regular price, which was the sale price anyway. So yesterday, at which time we were supposed to have a foot of snow on the ground, we drove in the rain to BestBuy to order a washer, and I got a new CD deck that specifically says it reads CD-Rs and CD-RWs, since the current one is both old and is unable to read some of the CD-Rs that people are sending me. Monday the washer is scheduled to be delivered, and Wednesday the CD player is scheduled. Oh joy. So this morning after shoveling most of the driveway and front walk in my bathrobe (not WITH my bathrobe), I shoveled a path from the back walk to the bulkhead leading into the basement -- so that the washer can be delivered Monday. I am proud enough of this new path to include a picture of it below. The cats seem to like it, too.

And after my teaching on Tuesday, Beff and I took separate cars to Home Depot to do something about blocking off the crawlspace under the porch where Cammy places himself when the cats go out -- getting him in on Sunday involved me actually crawling into that space and fetching him. So we got six concrete blocks -- I never knew such things were only a buck and a quarter -- and two pieces of plywood that are about the size of the apertures being blocked. We then installed them as best we could: plywood in front, blocks leaning against them. The cats now understand that they can't go there, and come back in more quickly. In the summer, they may be delighted when we unblock the holes. Upcoming things include Beff's drive to Maine today for her premiere of "Winifred Goes Outside" with the Edith Jones Project in Bangor; she will get to use her new EZ-Pass for the first time, as the Maine Turnpike has converted to that system. Beff is probably excited (and me moreso) that when she drives to Ragdale (north of Chicago), she'll get all the way through Ohio without once stopping at a tollbooth to hand over cash. Cool. Beff gets back tomorrow, with voluminous tales of the two feet of new snow in Bangor (she already confirmed that the concert, unlike most stuff in Bangor, was not cancelled). On Sunday I drive to NYC and back in the same day, in the middle of which I will hear a dress rehearsal of SESSO E VIOLENZA and then the actual performance. It's Merkin Hall, by the way, in case you are in New York on Sunday. Monday marks the date of the delivery of the washer (we also paid an extra $15 to haul the old one away). Tuesday is a possible day for the installation of a new lock assembly on the front door. Wednesday is when the CD player is due. Thursday is faculty meeting day. And Friday is the day we go into Boston to hear Yehudi's new piano concerto with the BSO, at 1:30. Life is complex. Last Friday Geoffy took us out for seafood, and on Saturday we ordered Domino's pizza to be delivered. Then on Sunday we went briefly to Ken and Hillary's in Cambridge for the pre-Super Bowl party, and we left just as the game was starting. The hors d'oeuvres were very good, as was the salsa. And the snow STILL not removed from many of the Cambridge side streets was nothing less than breathtaking. Which is why it was good that it got into the 50s on four straight days this week. Yes! The bad news, of course, is that Geoffy is now not coming to the area again until May. In the meantime, I got a suggestion that I should write a piano etude for the left-hand, and I've collected some licks in my brain (which sounds worse if you imagine that literally) to play with, which is what prompted the GLISS IS JUST A GLISS going through my brain (which sounds worse if you imagine that literally). I may try to start one today, I might not. In any case, I am trying to move bedtime and waking time later so that Sunday won't be a problem when I drive back starting around 10 from New York. Eww. And the new expensive burr coffee grinder arrived. It is nice and quiet, and we have settled on "just a little less than 6" as the correct number to dial for a full French press of coffee. So there, smarty pants. Today's pictures include two pics taken from the back porch early this morning, proving that we didn't get quite 15-18 inches of snow; Beff snapped me starting the path for the new washer, and I got her (and Cammy) on the porch after I finished the path; the next 3 prove how the cats liked the box the coffee grinder came in (Sunny likes to watch) and what the coffee grinder actually looks like (with pickles and tomatoes ready to become dinner), and finally my washer path (and Cammy). I rule. FEBRUARY 18 missing

FEBRUARY 25. Breakfast this morning was coffee, some strawberries, and echinacea tea. Dinner last night was a big square frozen pizza that had been cooked. Lunch was, I guess, some bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches in Jonathan Wolfsohn's office in Manhattan (I say "I guess" because it happened at 10 am). Breakfast YESTERDAY was nifty pastries at the Hungarian pastry shop on Amsterdam and 111th. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST WEEK 8.6 and 37.8. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are parking in NYC, $30, dinner at the Abbey Pub with Marilyn $98 including tip, a temperature and humidity gauge with remote station, $53 (we thought Marilyn's was cool), and the cost of having our taxes done (three figures, barely). MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Le Sacre du Printemps. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: We had a "way back" yard when I was growing up (the

way the plot got divided, there was a back yard, a whole mess of gardens with raspberries, blueberries, failed corn, etc., followed by another strip of yard ending at a big tree and a place where others had previously dumped stuff and buried it), and we kids used it for little football games and little wiffleball and baseball games -- it was just long enough so occasionally a kid could hit a "home run" if it went beyond the apple and pear trees. I was known as having a hard head (still am), and once while I was saying something, another kid threw me the ball, I didn't see it, and it hit me square in the forehead. I paused a moment and finished my sentence. We laughed so hard we drooled. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 1. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK The Gates are vast, and they help you find the most efficient ways to cut across Central Park. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Am I still cool? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Mongolian Fire Oil (can't find it), Amaro (can't find it), pears, jalapeno stuffed olives, Bubbies Pickles. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK none. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 0. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE the unbearable lightness of being, what the cat dragged in, that which was spewed, a full head of steam. As ye almost eleven know, I take one more pill now than I used to (four prescription, five vitamin/garlic/poopy pills). By tomorrow the full effect is supposed to kick in. I'll letcha know. The doctor -- beside saying he would have practically ordered me to resign the Chairmanship had I not already -- said people close to me would notice a difference, no one else would. So I've been keeping everyone at arm's length except Beff. And Valerie Guy, but that's for later. So far, not much difference except the vivid dreams one of the almost eleven reported in his/her experience with the same pill have happened on occasion. I dreamed music that was supposed to soothe lions in case you meet them while hiking in the woods -- the tune goes G up a major sixth to E and down a halfstep to E-flat while the chords go C major to E-flat7 in third inversion; then it sequences down by half step. I will use this progression, probably ironically, in a future piece. For the "Lions" movement (followed by the Tigers and Bears movements -hey, Columbia, Princeton and Brown!). But enough about me. Here's more about me. Brandeis is on vacation this week, so I had the time to finish the left hand etude (which I reported last week is called "Ain't Got No Right" -- gotta pat myself on the back for that one at every opportunity), and then did the busy work of entering it in my List of Comps on this site, and on the List I use for my CV on the computer. And then I sent copies to the usual suspects (I always get a thorough analysis from Geoffy, which is why I let him drink my water when he stays here). Corey Hamm, for whom it was written, says he will premiere it in Minnesota on May 6. I presume he'll take it on the road (sulla via) from there. In the meantime, Geoff reported that his premiere of Zeccatella in Pittsboigh went well, and he reported a distinguished crowd to witness his recital. I look forward to getting the recording, since my damn computer plays it the same way every time. Actually, that's not quite true -Finale 2004 on Windows, if I use one of the "human playback" settings chokes on the piece, and randomly distributes some of the notes in clusters of events on occasion. The excitement of live performance (assuming the players are not competent) is back! On Saturday Beff and I drove into Groton, which is one of our recreational things to do when it's sunny and we're a little stir crazy. Groton has a Main Street of all white clapboard houses (must be a town ordinance) and three (now four) places we like to frequent. There's a nice health food store that sells Bubbies Pickles -I got three jars -- where I also got some garlic pills. Sometimes we get some staples at Donelan's Market (not this time). We always get something unusual and exotic at the beer and wine store there. And we discovered a cafe restaurant where we got some lovely healthy sandwiches -- Beff got the Bagel with capers and other stuff, I think I got a chicken pesto roll-up (which dripped a lot, in a nice way). Predictably, this was the sort of place that plays the same sort of Gipsy Kings stuff on the stereo that similar such places tend to play. Which leads me to an incredibly boring sidebar. When I was the Djerassi Foundation in March 1991 was when the Gipsy Kings were first making it big (sort of on a parallel with pesto, Starbucks, and stoneground bread, all of which seem to have been made for each other). One of the writers there was infatuated with them (as it was not yet possible to go to a lot of Starbucks or get pesto or stoneground bread), and he played them at dinner time every night. Strangely, hearing Gipsy Kings at the stoneground places doesn't bring back those Djerassi dinners -- but it does occasionally make me dizzy from the number of times I feel it

necessary to roll my eyes. Sidebar over. We got Belgian style wheat beers in Groton, which were good. Then we drove home. I think we had more snow in the middle of the week, which was a pain -- the storm on Monday and Tuesday lingered such that I had to shovel two inches Monday and three inches Tuesday morning, all of that while Beff was in Maine doing admissions (her colleagues sent sage advice: "don't let the bastards get you down" -- I think "astar" actually was replaced with five asterisks in the way Beff said it). For the sake of completeness, we got three inches overnight, which is nearly all shoveled now (Beff is outside doing the bottom part of the driveway as I type this). Midweek was our big trip to New York. I, of course, did all the driving, and Beff did all the iPod programming (Alanis, Prince ...). The purpose of the trip was to see Jonathan, our accountant, in Manhattan on Thursday morning. But there were side benefits. I had already reserved Marilyn Nonken's couch for us for Wednesday night, and on Wednesday afternoon, Augustus Arnone came to be coached by Marilyn on his upcoming recital -- which includes a bunch of Davytudes. So we met for the first time, and I got to play composer guy (which is what I am in real life, anyway) while he played through Zipper Tango, Cell Division, and Eight Misbehavin'. Of course, I thought it was marvelous -- hey, I was hearing Cell Division for the first time, and I was like, how soon can we take this on the road? But to be composer guy, I had a few very basic things to say, but then I was able to sit back while Marilyn got real particular with piano playing technique kind of stuff that this trombone boy never thinks about. Which voice do you emphasize when playing slow octaves? How the heck should I know? How do you describe how grace notes should be played in a tango? Dunno. How do you de-emphasize a line that's emphasized in the writing anyway? Uh.... But it was all cool, and afterwards Beff and I and Marilyn went to the Abbey Pub, as is our want, for dinner. Then we walked back and slept on the couch. While Marilyn and I were getting on Augustus's case, Beff went to the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Before that, we had eaten Chinese at Pearl's on Amsterdam and 99th (good), and walked across Central Park at 96th, encountering a portion of the big Christo thing. I got to see them in two separate paths, as we walked all the way to Park Ave and I walked back a little farther north -- and in the right light they are impressive, but they also look like construction signs. The best thing about them was that they provided a visual clue as to which was going to be the most direct path to the other side of the park. Thursday morning we went first to M2M, a market on Broadway, to look for Mongolian Fire Oil -- I haven't been able to find it around here -- and we got two containers of something that looks similar. Hey, I like it in my stir fry and hot & sour soup, okay? Then we did the Hungarian Pastry shop -- it's a miracle it's still there -- and I retrieved messages and found that Jonathan's office wanted us to show up a half hour early. So we did -- his Manhattan office is on Seventh Ave and 29th -- he ordered out for us, and we bore down on the taxes. Good old Stoeger Prize puts a major wrench in the works, of course -- instead of giant refunds, the first run through the taxes had us owing Uncle Sam and Maine, getting a little back from Massachusetts. More massaging must be done with the numbers. He actually told us to call him back around midnight on Monday for an update. Vot a guy. After finishing our appointment, we took the subway up to 66th to -- get this -- look at our own composer bins at Tower Records (the fact that we took pictures that you can see below makes us even dweebier -"like Googling yourself", as someone put it). Beff was also looking for the new Adam Guettel on CD, which seems not yet to exist. Then we called up our friend Valerie Guy at the Chamber Music Society, she happened to be in her office, and we hung out for a while, having a great time. After that, we zipped up to 112th Street to get the car, and made the drive home. There was some urgency, as everyone in New York was talking about a six inch snowstorm on the way that would begin in the afternoon -- we made it! We spoke to Sooooozie from the car, but of course at the Connecticut line we got cut off by lack of service. When we got home there was the business of taking care of the cats -- as before, we'd left two kinds of dry food out and one bowl was empty while the other was not touched -- and getting sushi for the next day's lunch. Suddenly we brought up the cool humidity/temp thing that Marilyn had for her piano (she got it at Brookstone), so I hopped over to Radio Shack. All they had with the humidity thing was the deluxe model with a remote one for outside, so we set it up with a station by the Klavinova and the main station on the

piano downstairs. I resisted the urge to put a picture below. Our humidity is 34 percent downstairs, 31 percent upstairs. At the moment. Which reminds me. Today our piano gets its yearly tuning. Hopefully Steve Chrzan (the tuner) will be able to get the keys to stop sticking so I don't have to punch the piano any more. My knuckle actually still hurts, two weeks later. Hence the pills. And then we got home. Other things to report this week are writing the program notes for the Rivers School festival upcoming, finding out that someone in the midwest is writing about the Rakowski etudes for her thesis, and finding out from Marilyn that Brad Gowen -- who wrote about Trillage in Piano & Keyboard Magazine in 1996, prompting 120 copies to be sold -- digs my etudes but thought there were like eight of them. Must follow up. Yaddo put streaming audio of etude #41 on their site, see link above. Other stuff chugs along. This week's pictures begin with four of The Gates as Davy experienced them. Followed by our bins at Tower Records, the temp and precipitation of the last month as reported in The Globe today (the fifth biggest snowstorm of all time is already pushed out), and a cup that Beff got at the Cooper-Hewitt museum (you can probably not tell in the picture that it is a ceramic cup, but it is).

MARCH 4. Breakfast this morning was coffee, some blueberries, some blackberries, and a Hebrew National Pickle in a Pouch (Beff out of town, dontcha know). Dinner was a frozen pizza heated up. Lunch was a chicken pesto sammich from Shapiro with some leftover Fruit2O that was in the Chairman's Fridge. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST WEEK 6.6 and 37.9 (spring, where the hell are you?). LARGE EXPENSES this last week is the other half of the expense for two new storm windows and the new lock/knob combo on the front door. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Whatever that thing is called that Pee-Wee dances to in big shoes in Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Tequila? POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: Our eighth grade basketball coach, Mr. Pequignot ("Mr. P" to the kids) had a college roommate named John Rakowski, whom they called "Rake." Guess what his nickname for me was? When I got into high school he was hired at the high school and became my freshman basketball coach. Guess what my nickname was then? Guess how quickly I quit basketball and did drama instead? Incidentally, somebody from my own team stole my special $13 green sneakers from my locker. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 7(!). DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Lots of people like to use the term "black box." THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Am I still cool? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: jalapeno stuffed olives, sugar free popsicles (even in this cold weather), limeade. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK none. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 3. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE correctness, aptitude, discarded copies of Yertle the Turtle, a dead bug. As I type this -- Friday morning -- new storm windows have been installed in the window seat windows downstairs, a new lock/doorknob combo has been installed on the front door, and a new handle for the storm door in front is being installed and a piston being added. I am so special! Naturally, Cammy has been hiding under the sofa for about two and a half hours, and I have no idea where Sunny is. I sat in one of the window seats with the storm window and -- it felt suspiciously WARM. This is what happens where there is a screen AND glass between you and the outside, not just a screen. I think I'll start telling myself that "I am saving money in the long run." Beff, meanwhile, is in Lake Forest, Illinois in the CENTRAL TIME ZONE at Ragdale. And she was crazy enough to drive there from here, which, given the current weather pattern (trough over the Great Lakes and Northeast turning on the lake effect snow machine), was a day and a half ordeal. There will be a sidebar once I've started my story, so I'm a-warning you NOW. Beff left for Ragdale on Wednesday morning, and she had to be there by 4:30 Central Time yesterday. So she got up at 5, and I, miraculously, was still sleepy. So I stayed in-a-bed for another 35 minutes. SIDEBAR: and during those 35 minutes I had another vivid musical dream, albeit a fairly boring one. I

dreamed a showy piano introduction in minor utilizing most of the keyboard and going up and then down, followed by the beginning of what I think I understood was a Chopin mazurka in the relative major of the introduction. There was a full accompaniment, and a tune that alternated scale degree 5 and scale degree flat-6 a lot. And I when I awoke, I realized that the accompaniment figure was more habanera than it was mazurka. But they BOTH end with a. Meanwhile, I got up, Beff filled two travel mugs with coffee and carried a buttload of stuff to her car (it was 6 degrees out), and for once left before I did (I left for Brandeis at 6:15). Both Wednesday and Thursday were long days at Brandeis, and on Wednesday I got back at about 6:30 and listened to a message on the answering machine from Beff stamped at 5:27: "I'm in Erie, Pennsylvania and the lake effect snow has been incredible. They closed the interstate and I'm following some trucks who seem to know how to get around it. I'm leaving my cell phone on." So I called her. By the time I caught up with her, she had driven through Erie and gotten past the closed part of the interstate, and was back on her way. Later she called from WILLOUGHBY OHIO, a suburb just to the east of Cleveland. While she talked, I looked it up on Streets and Trips 2004, and just as I encountered "Travelodge" and "Bob Evans Restaurant" in the detail, she told me she was staying at the Travelodge and was walking to the Bob Evans restaurant for dinner. Ah, computers. She also asked me to ask the program how long the drive to Lake Forest from there was, and it answered 7 hours and 40 minutes. Yesterday in my office at 1:30 I got a call from Beff, and she was walking around downtown Lake Forest, if such a thing exists. Nonetheless. Them What Make did pretty well with the last Nor'easter. The newspapers, of course, covered the local winter weariness (the Globe showed a graphic of how much snow we've had this season in Boston -- 78 inches (8th highest ever, so far) and compared it to David Ortiz (76 inches). Cute), and I note that the temps have been about 10 degrees below normal for the last two weeks. I hate it when that happens. The Nor'easter passed through without much fanfare on Monday night, but did leave nearly a foot here (our forecast was for 8-12 inches), which caused me to cancel my Tuesday teaching -- as it took Beff 'n' me until 11 am to clear the sidewalks and driveway (including my FOURTH use of the snowblower this season). What's more, we got another inch during the day and another half inch Tuesday night (trough over the Great Lakes and Northeast, dontcha know). Beffnme took advantage of the snow day by walking to the Quarterdeck seafood restaurant, being waited on by the actual cook, and having a nice lunch with beers. I had the clam roll, and Beff didn't. Meanwhile, Them What Make say another storm's a-comin' this Monday night. Oh lawdy. One of the largest sources of stress shrunk considerably yesterday, as the Dean withdrew his proposals and sat there at a special faculty meeting to be scolded by the faculty. A computer science professor delivered a masterful speech, and everyone went home. Then there was Allen Anderson's colloquium back in the music department yesterday. I was late because of the faculty meeting, but did get to hear part of a sax quartet and all of a piano trio. Allen has changed! More propulsive and dynamic, and still that lovely sense of when to start a new tune. And part of his piano trio was (gasp) perpetual motion. I kept the CD, since it's cool. There were WHEAT BEERS at the reception. New York New Music Ensemble is rehearsing at Brandeis this weekend for tomorrow night's grad composers concert -- there will be an expensive reception because the Grad Student Association is paying for it to make a point about what would be lost under the Dean's proposals. It was nice to see old friends in a new but strange context -- Linda Quan, Chris Finckel, Jean Kopperud, Don Palma, Jayn Rosenfeld -- and I reminisced (briefly if nerdily) with Linda and Chris about when they were in the Atlantic Quartet, all of whom stayed at our place on Berrien Court in Princeton the night after they played a concert there. Insufferable we are, yes (that's me doing the prose style of the beginning of CITIZEN KANE, which Beff watched a few nights ago). Last night when I got home, the application packets from the Atlantic Center were a-waitin' for me on the back porch in a FedEx box. I presume the contents of same are confidential, but it turns out it'll be more work than I thought. There are more applications than there are available slots. So I have to pay attention, really look at the applications. And continue to wonder why I asked everybody to list their five favorite

pieces. Was I a-smokin' something? Ken Ueno sent an e-mail letting me know about Gizoogle, a website that makes webpages talk sort of like Snoop Dogg. For an example of the hilarious results, click on "Gizoogle this page" to the left. A large part of Sunday was spent compiling my Activities Report for 2004-5, something we tenured and tenure-track faculty have to do every year, as it's part of how they determine who gets merit raises and who doesn't. Mine came to 17 pages, some of it because I quote in full every review I've gotten everywhere, and every performance I know about in the report. And when I compile these things I realize -- geesh, I've got a buttload of dissertation advisees! And new pieces -- 7 etudes, Sex Songs, Sibling Revelry, Four Rivers and Rule of Three. Gawrsh. Since last March 1, that is. As I typed this, Sunny showed himself to sit in the sun here in the computer room. Now I know where he is. The window and door guys are now gone. The storm door has a piston and needs weather stripping. So there. Yes, Beff, they did measure the basement windows and the other storm windows upstairs. The pictures today are at last partly for Beff's benefit, as she's in that other time zone and stuff like that. So the new stuff just installed figures prominently below, but first, cats. There is Cammy at play under the bed, and hiding from workmen under the couch. We have both sides of the new door assembly, evidence of the FIRST TIME THE LEFT WINDOW SEAT WINDOW HAS BEEN OPENED IN FIVE YEARS, a detail of the new vinyl storm window, the early part of the door process, and the strange curvy icicles outside the bedroom window from early in the week.

MARCH 11. Breakfast this morning was coffee (Beff still out of town, dontcha know). Dinner was crackers with lowfat peanut butter and a tomato. Lunch was Chunky Chicken soup. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST WEEK 6.3 and 50.5 -- wacky, huh?). LARGE EXPENSES this last week are none. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Prince's "Willing and Able" from the Diamonds and Pearls album. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: Beff and I took a train trip to Princeton -- before we were going out -- to celebrate (and revel in?) our job offers (Stanford and Reed College). On the way down I commented on the antimacassar on the seat in front of me and mused as to why they bothered. Beff said, "it lets the people be able to not clean them." I wrote that down in my calendar. We stayed with Martler, as I recall, and during this time he and I "invented" the nonsense joke genre. Examples: What do dogs have that cats don't? Credit cards. What's the difference between a pizza with the works and the Queen of England? Pepperoni on the Queen costs extra. We made ourselve sick with laughter until we realized that nobody else would think the jokes were funny. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 1. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Everybody else has winter fatigue, too. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Why does Cammy sniff Sunny's butt so much? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: limeade, Bartlett pears. NUMBER OF FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK none. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 0. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a bug's life, a shark tale, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty. Stupid, stupid weather continues to be everyone's obsession here. We have a winter storm warning for tonight and tomorrow (again), and a freak windy storm passed through here on Tuesday night. During the day it got up to 50 and I drove home in the rain. Then the rain changed to snow and the wind kicked up to, occasionally, over 60 mph. I actually got up twice -- once to see if shovels had blown away downstairs and once to see if the window in the attic was still in place (hey, I'm obsessive sometimes). So of course I knew I would have to shovel before leaving my place at 6:30 am, so the alarm was set for 5:15. Dreading getting up and doing something hard kept me awake. And when I woke up, the new snow piled up very unevenly, anywhere from a foot to an inch. After an hour of shoveling, in two shifts, I made it to work and did my teaching (dadburn Brandeis didn't cancel anything), and stayed there until (shudder) 4. I still feel burning in my lungs (vestiges of childhood asthma), and hey, we'll do it all over again tomorrow. So you see, we are

all bummed about the weather. Dadburned upper level low over Quebec. Oh yes, there was thunder on Tuesday night, and near-record low barometric pressure. Wouldn't that bum you out, too? Getting home while it was still raining on Tuesday, I noted that water was seeping in to one of the new storm windows. Window guys have to come back and do a little sealing. Meanwhile, though, it has been nearly surreal using the front door as a normal door to get the mail and the newspaper. I mean, really. No, really. Since those paragraphs were typed, I went into Brandeis for Seungah's dissertation defense, which was successful. John McDonald, from Tufts, had some nice questions and led the session quite well, and afterwards we went to the Tree Top restaurant, which was pretty cheap considering. So, Doctor Oh, sounding a lot like Doctorow, is now one of our products. This was the only dissertation I've advised that said anything about Circadian rhythms -- so we also talked about Arcadian rhythms in Maine, Cicadian rhythms every 19 years, etc. When I got back The Maids had just pulled into the driveway, so I went to the Sit 'n' Bull for 45 minutes while they cleaned, and watched parts of some godawful yet strangely seductive soap operas. I took a picture of my Buffalo wings with my cell phone camera and sent it to Corinne. She probably will think it's spam. On Saturday night was an excellent grad composers concert, probably the best such concert I ever went to - and I've been doing this since 1989, after all. The New York New Music Ensemble were the main event, and every single piece had value and merit, and some even showed signs of a compositional voice. Gasp! It was the rare occasion when I didn't have to avoid any composer whose piece I hated, since I liked them all. And here's something odd -- I spent most of Saturday and Sunday writing music. I don't foresee that happening again for some time. It has been snowing for about an hour as I type this, and there is accumulation only on some of the pine branches so far. That should change by tomorrow. I am supposed to be at Brandeis from 9 to 4 tomorrow for yet another one of those gonzo retreat things where everyone shares their feelings and then someone with a clipboard writes it all down and e-mails us. Think of Saturday as the day of much self-expression by banal platitude. With any luck the roads won't be conducive to this event, though, and I can stay at home and fall asleep, finally. Nonetheless. Googling myself paid off again, and allowed me to add two performances to the performances page. Dear almost eleven, can YOU find what is new? Meanwhile, Earthlink got itself in a little hot water with a lot of customers, it would seem, when I was billed for this DSL/Home Networking service at the usual rate, but the amount was more than twice the usual. In the detail, the "USF recovery fee" -- described on the Earthlink page as state and local taxes on internet use, and which said the Massachusetts amount never exceeds 97 cents -- was billed at $73.56. It is usually 67 cents. A call to Earthlink provided no relief on Sunday except "we have a team looking at it, could you please call back Thursday." So I did, and the "on hold" message was "Earthlink customers billed excessively for USF recovery fee, we know about it, and you will receive refunds." And it DID happen. But boy, I hate having to be the squeaky wheel. I would love to see what programming algorithm led to this revoltin' situation. Meanwhile. The kitties are still freaked about The Maids having swept through, and even Sunny was cowering under the couch. He has just entered the computer room as I type this, and there is no sun for him to sit in (see "it's been snowing for about an hour"). So he's just doing generic cat things -- a generic purr, a generic silent meow, a generic pawing at me to pay attention. We listened to and analyzed "Nuages" in orchestration this week, and there were some pretty good insights -- in fact, some of them helped with the larger point of "is F or F# the stable harmonizing tone for B?" Other stuff about orchestration was pretty good -- we decided that the orchestration alone made the recapitulation just before the B section not a concluding sort of recap, just a reference. We talk funny at Brandeis (because of all the stuff we put in our mouths, I guess). Meanwhile, the other teaching was as it

was. While Beff has been gone I have gone to no great lengths to make complex meals for myself, as I do when we are both here. This means that I finally used up all the microwave meals that have been taking up space in the freezer, due to our having had coupons for them, are gone, and there is luxuriant space in the freezer for future stuff. Like popsicles. Turkey medallions seems to have been a favorite microwave choice back whenever we got these things. On the serious side -- the Rivers School symposium is upcoming, and I will be going to plenty of those events. I had to deal with W-9 and other such stuff for the "daylong celebration of creativity" at UMass Dartmouth on April 15, and even come up with an abstract for my talk -- I had no idea how to relate it to "creativity" without showing the unbearable pretentiousness of being, so I winged it. I think I said something generic about it being both musical and visual. It doesn't really matter. I doubt I'll get a question from the audience asking why my 45-minute spiel wasn't closer to the abstract. Meanwhile, I was also two panels this week. Nuff said. I am leaving Claire Colburn's Winnie and Lion Drawings on the page for this weekend. It has been very dreary weatherwise -- 15 degrees below normal except for that brief period where the temps went way up -so I have nary a new photo to display. But display I will anyways. We have Sunny outside this morning, Cammy inside yesterday, the backyard covered with pine droppings afer the big wind, and our display of a ruby slippers doorstop in the living room -- we are probably the only straight people who own this particular doorstop.

MARCH 25. Breakfast this morning was toasted English muffins with lowfat peanut butter, green tea with peach, orange juice, and coffee. Last night's dinner was chicken sandwiches, chicken marinated in Emeril's rosemary and gaaahlic, and salad. Lunch was Trader Joe's gazpacho with pepper and hot sauce added. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST WEEK 21.7 and 52.7. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are the other half of the work done on the door and the new storm windows, $333.50. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "More Than Words," an early '90s acoustic guitar tune by "Xtreme" which we heard recently in the Boston Bean House in Maynard. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: One day when we were at Tanglewood (1982), Ross, Nami, Martler and I decided to drive up to the last concert of the Johnson Composers Conference (now in Wellesley) to hear stuff and generally suck up. We started by going to St. Albans, met my grandmother (who was still alive at the time), and ate at Warner's Snack Bar (where I had worked for a summer six years earlier). We ate outside at picnic tables, where seagulls tended to lurk, waiting for handouts. At our urging, Ross picked off a piece of his roll and tossed it towards the gulls, and that motion coincided with the landing of a big blob of bird poop right on his arm. Laughter ensued. Ross cleaned himself off in what passed for facilities. At the concert, Mygatt and Winslow were played, and the last piece EVER played at the Johnson version of this concert with the Musical Joke -- in the curtain call, Don Palma carried out a violin and Linda Quan carried out a double bass -- great sight gag. On the drive back on 91 south, Nami was driving. Ross looked at the speedometer reading 75 and said, "Come on Nami, step on it!" RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 0. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK I like olive antipasto. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: What is the significance that the root of "analysis" is "anal"? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: olive antipasto, olives, dill relish, Tazo teas (on special at Shaws). BIRDS HEARD OR SEEN THIS WEEK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE pileated woodpecker (heard), Canadian geese in flight (heard), chimney swifts (seen and heard, WAAAY up there). FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS WEEK 1 (the glass part of a picture frame holding a piece of art by Tama Hochbaum). FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 7. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE an Italian word, a dictionary, an icicle, four pairs of gloves. I had been told by one of the almost eleven that vivid dreams came with fluoxetine hydrochloride, but I hadn't been sleeping deeply enough to get to that point for a while. On Thursday morning, though, I played timpani and an electric guitar (I think) in a mondo improvised performance inside what seemed like the

gymnasium of my high school. I must say, the electric guitar chords were perky. The sound of the electric guitar was a little bit like that in a Crowded House song whose name I forget. This morning our awakening was facilitated by the sound of something falling in the house, and I thought the cats might have knocked a little piece of decoration over again, but it was actually a frame containing a picture that Tama Hochbaum did for us years ago that we keep on a wicker table by the window in the dining room. The frame shattered, I swept a bit, and Beff put it back together without the glass in it. So the cats can continue to knock it over with impunity. There was a long, long stretch of sunny, just barely springlike weather for us to enjoy in the earlier part of the week, and for all the week before, and enjoy it we did last weekend. As predicted in this space, we took Saturday morning to drive to Groton, via Route 2A with a short stop at Strawberries (I think Beff got ideas for things to buy on amazon for less money -- but she did get the Thomas Crown Affair DVD, a "silly movie, but fun"). I got more Bubbies Pickles at the health food store in Groton, we got some coffee beans at Donelans, some hip wheat beer at the beer store, and had another healthy sandwich at the coffee shop thingie. Beff is now collecting video for a new project for Sooozie, and the text she intends to use has references to coffee, mist, and fish -- so we planned our route for her to get video of that kind of stuff. She got a shot of the outside of that coffee shop AND the outside and inside of the Boston Bean House in Maynard (where we returned for more shots on Monday), and when we returned to Maynard, she filmed the fish on display at the fish market portion of the Quarterdeck. We have a lovely movie of a pan of some fish in crushed ice with a voice-over said to the people who work there: "Just filmin' the fish." Upon our return, we noticed that the sun had heated up the porch so that it was human-habitable, so we opened it up, cleaned it (well, BEFF cleaned it), and spent some quality time sittin' and relaxin'. The cats also enjoyed it immensely, and it was the initiation of spring fever for both of us. Napping on the futon was strangely satisfying despite the traffic sounds. Then I made chicken sandwiches, and all was well. Boy, that Emerils marinade is good stuff. On Sunday we both had pancakes for breakfast -- my first in a while -- and repaired out to the porch yet again to recapture our spring fever, at which time I started taking pictures. Being documentary guy, I do that. Shortly, in order to make the porch even more hospitable, I moved the Adirondack chairs -- which we store on the porch in the winter -- out into the back yard. This is more of a chore than it sounds like because of the awkward angles I have to carry the chairs at to get them through the narrow door that doesn't open all the way. Not to mention, the yard was only about 15% bare, so there was the carrying them through the snow thing goin' on, too. I insisted that Beff document the first Adirondack chair-sitting of the season, which, dear almost eleven, you will find below. Once the chairs were cleared out of the porch, that left just the hammock net and the bigass Stoeger Prize check, and the cats went wild. Later in the day, it clouded up and Them What Make said we'd get rain, or 3-4 inches of snow. And we got neither. The porch is also being used to store a few things that we eventually have to take to Maynard firstSaturday-of-the-month trash day. There's the TV that gives us green pictures for the first 20 minutes it ison, plus a monitor for the Windows computer that simply stopped working late last fall. We were also planning on getting rid of the old piano bench -- one of the legs collapsed in one of Ken Ueno's particularly fat moments during a late night limoncello and I'd managed to cobble it back together, but then Sara at Brandeis asked me what I could do with an extra piano bench and I said "make it mine" -- but that would have been $10 worth of Maynard trash stickers, which is way too much. So I disassembled the sucker, threw away a bunch of screws and hinges, and we burned it. The particle board part of it burned very hot, in case you were playing along at home, but the rest burned fairly slowly. The metal bracing brackets for the legs were the only part left, um, standing. So, cool. Or, hot. I took a picture of the bench burning, but did not include it in this space. Monday was a vacation day for NEC, so I didn't have to get up. So we didn't. We did more beezness, and, as intimated above, went to the Bean House (which is really a fancy coffee shop) and CVS, and Beff got more video. I enjoyed watching the videos on her laptop. And then we discovered the movie section of www.infinitecat.com and laughed and laughed and laughed at the one called "Cat Hypnotism." And I showed it to everyone at Brandeis, whose days were therefore made.

While Beff was in Maine -- she left Monday afternoon, got back Wednesday night -- my teaching at Brandeis was exemplary, as was my interviewing of prospective students (I resisted the urge to snarl, pull out phlegm from my eyes and yell "Why Brandeis, mo'fo?"). On Wednesday night I went to the Rivers School to hear four groups/individuals run through the pieces of mine being done on their Contemporary Music for the Young symposium next weekend. I rediscovered "Firecat," which the players like more than I do, and have heard the string quartet version of "Elegy" now for the first time in 23 years. The group doing the commissioned piece was very, very good, and my piece even has cool stuff in it. The clarinetist -- who has a nice sound -- said I had written "quite a piece," which is always a fun expression because it can mean nearly anything (usually used in my corner of the biz to be polite to a composer whose piece you hated). I met, for the first time, Ethel Farny, who coaches that group and who has been in e-mail contact with me for six months. I only bring this up because both of her names have five letters. On Monday I witnessed the first crocuses of the season in the back yard. They had just popped out, despite the fact that there was still much snow around them, and hadn't opened yet. On Tuesday it was sunny and they were in full bloom -- spring fever! I took pictures, as I do every year. This time I even have them contextualized against a virtual sea of snow viewed in the near distance. So Thursday morning was YASS! Yet Another Snowstorm. About 3 or 4 inches of very slushy and heavy snow overnight, and everybody is sick of it, of course. I had told Shawna at Brandeis that when I put out the Adirondack chairs that means one more snowstorm and we're done, so this was it -- or so I told myself. I took the yearly shot of snow on the chairs (one is on Beff's webpage from about 4 years ago) after doing the big shovel -- complicated by the fact that the garbage and recycling were also in the driveway. Because it was garbage and recycling day. The walk was sufficiently shoveled that there wasn't any drool or snot on our mail. The snow had high enough water content that a large portion of the yards that were bare on Wednesday are bare again, just wetter and muddier. Also on the weekend we shopped for a frame for one of Claire Colburn's pictures -- we scanned it and blew up just the Winnie drawing and printed it blow up. Currently, it is resting on the computer table in the dining room, which hasn't held a computer since we got the cats, except for a day or so at a time. We are looking for a more suitable place for Claire's picture, especially given that it has a glass frame. The frame was purchased at the camera shop that shares a door with the Bank of America, and is always deserted. We must have made their day. With the spring 2006 leave approved, I am now in the process of planning a colony hop, and Beff and I decided we'd like to try to do VCCA together over Christmas 2005-6 (we last did that in 1996-7 while I was writing Attitude Problem and Martler and she was learning how to do full-resolution computer tape pieces), and we discovered that the application is due earlier than we thought. Wow, my first applications in more than two years. I hope I remember how. I will also be trying Yaddo and MacDowell and possibly Ragdale and possibly even Bogliasco. So much stuff, so little time! And while I'm gone I guess Beff will be taking care of the cats in the Maine house -- which will be weird and surreal for them. Anyone who wants to housesit in Maynard ca. Dec. 23 - Jan. 16, make yourself known. I also got an official invitation for the Yaddo benefit on May 3 which Rick Moody had set up for us. Me 'n' Beff will go as ourselves, and this benefit has a musical theme. In fact, the invitation says that excerpts from the "Yaddo jukebox" will include me, Paul Moravec, Stewart Wallace, and Carolyn Yarnell. Which is cool, because I haven't met half those people and wish to do so. The MC will be Peter Schickele, and it will be weird being introduced by PDQ Bach, in order to introduce Adam Marks playing a piano with his fists. Everyone else will look so refined compared to me, and that will be sweet irony. I only said that because I've never typed that phrase before in my life. I hope I don't get all dweeby and tell Schickele that I've been listening to PDQ Bach since 1974. And today is Good Friday. Gut Freitag. Bonne vendredi. Buon venerdi. Even Brandeis gets the day off. But Passover isn't for another month yet. Funny that. Four more weeks of classes and we are done. So we plan on being really cool people today. Which means it's just another day.

Today's pictures include Claire's drawing in a frame, Cammy doing a funny expression while wanting to come inside, Beff and Sunny experiencing spring fever on the porch, the ritual first sitting in the Adirondack chair, crocuses on Wednesday, crocuses on Thursday, and this year's ritual shot of Adirondack chairs covered in snow.

APRIL FOOLS DAY. Breakfast this morning was coffee and orange juice. Dinner was soup for Beff and a Trader Joe's pizza for me. Lunch had been tomato sandwiches for both of us. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST WEEK 22.3 and 60.4. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are half of the quote for two new storm windows and two new basement windows fully installed, $512. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "I Love the Night Life" -- thanks to something Beff said as we were airportward. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: I've written in several places about the premiere of my first piece ever, for my high school band, where I mention that all of the third clarinetists were drunk (June 1, 1975) -- some of whom had never played the piece and were sightreading. I don't exactly come out sparkling in this story, either, since I had perfectly good conducting patterns, yet still felt the need to mouth, very prominently, "ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR" every once in a while as I gave cues. There was a bunch of skittery percussion at the beginning with very hard rhythms, and of course none of the percussionists was close to what I wrote -- except Verne Colburn, who sat in and played the woodblock part con fuoco. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 0. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Hammocking is fun. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Where is the outrage? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Bartlett pears, blackberries, tomatoes, hamburger dill pickles. BIRDS HEARD OR SEEN THIS WEEK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE robin (heard, briefly), song sparrow (heard briefly by the river), Downy woodpecker (heard). FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS WEEK 0. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 4. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE lactation, direct-to-video, hummingbird feces, a can of spray paint. As this is being typed, Beff is in the air -- not that she's got such great hang time. She's on her way to San Jose, Costa Rica (do you know the way?) where she will be until the 30th. Her plane was scheduled to leave at 7:30, stop in Miami an hour and a half, and continue right on. So that meant getting her to the airport by 5:30 (American, Terminal B), leaving here by 4:45 to do so, and waking up at 4:00 in order to have enough time to shower, get dressed, and have some decent neckwards gear. It's amazing how alert and active the cats are no matter what time we get up, and they certainly helped keep our attention on our task. I carried Beff's suitcase with a month's worth of STUFF down the stairs and probably nearly collapsed them. I presume she's paying extra for overweight -- what with a hard drive in there and vitamins and books and stuff. So we did leave at 4:45, the roads were a little wet from some overnight sprinkles, and we got there almost exactly at 5:30, where lots of other people had had the same idea. I will, of course, miss her much, and will have to get used to waiting by the answering machine as the caller ID says "out of area" and waiting to see if there's a message, and if it's her leaving it. On the many flip sides (we live in a multidimensional universe, dontcha know), we had a nice weekend. There has been enough sun to open the porch at a reasonable time, and naps or reading on the porch has been very therapeutic. I have also done therapeutic weeding and gardening in the way back yard, mostly cutting vines and pathetic pieces of forsythia as a way of keeping that area from getting too overgrown, and of course I have marveled at the comeback abilities of the crocuses after the midweek snow of ten days ago. There are more crocuses than ever. And since the weather was so fine, fine, fine on the weekend, we nearly finished the springification of the yard and storage shed. We put up the hammock and I oiled the joints where there was a bit of rust -- the ropes of the hammock were getting a bit green, so Beff sprayed Fantastik on it, too. We took out the picnic table, which looks like wood but is really some sort of resilient plastic or vinyl, along with the four chairs. I also filled in the hole above which it usually sits with expensive topsoil. Yes, I even got fingernail-dirty on the weekend. So we also took out our regular bikes, I oiled the chains, and I put the wheelbarrow back into its usual onthe-side position by the former and abandoned garden plot by the pines. This involved actually lifting the wheelbarrow up very high and tossing it over the fence. I was a very strong boy to do that. In order to get the bike chains completely lubricated, I had to, of course, ride them in circles in the driveway in every

possible gear, and I left some deep ruts in the mud that are still evident in the back yard. Beff tried to smooth them out with her shoes, which led to an episode of spraying her shoes with the hose. And the rhubarb has just started to emerge, as well -- pictorial evidence below. Some of the hardier grasses are greening up, but maybe about 5% of the back and 50% of the side yards are still snow-covered. Bummer. Nonetheless. We have resumed our 2-mile circular walks that go over the Assabet bridge near the boat landing, and the trail between the bridge and the dumping area is still icy or muddy. More hosing of boots. The big weather event of the week was a large and long-lasting rainstorm on Monday and Tuesday that combined with snowmelt to make much, much flooding in the area -- the Weather Bug on this computer was going full time as Flood Watches and Warnings kept being confirmed, including our own Assabet, in flood stage from Tuesday to Thursday this week. The pics below, from our Thursday jaunt, show a little of that. What's more, another superstorm of 2-4 inches of rain is predicted beginning tomorrow, so there will be yet more. With this next storm, possibly some of my drive to work will be under a little water, as it was in 2001. We did get some water in the basement, and it would have been sucked out by the sump pump except that the furnace maintenance guys in December seemed to unplug it in order to use their own stuff. It was very satisfying to plug the sucker (literally) in, and hear that giant sucking sound. Okay, that little sucking sound. At Brandeis this week, there were two important meetings with which I was involved. One was a disaster, one was a resounding success. The new music curriculum is tentatively in place, and we have two new courses for next spring. Faculty are beginning to submit their yearly Activities Reports, and so far mine is the longest (I do my best). And the countdown to nonchairmanship has reached three months exactly -three quarters of the way there! The Dean has already started to poll the faculty on who should be the next victim. Beff and I also put together our VCCA applications so that we can both go there during her Christmas vacation (at which time I start being on leave). Anyone out there who wants a nice place for Dec 23- Jan 16 and doesn't mind shoveling and using a snowblower (if appropriate) are invited to make him/herself known. I also applied, for the first time, to the Liguria Center in Bogliasco, which is in Italy. Weird application -composers don't send scores, just a recording, and no more than 20 minutes of music. The application also instructs the applicant on what to put on a resume -- which leads me to believe they don't get that many quality applications. By mid-summer, I will do Yaddo and MacDowell applications. The cool thing about the prospect of me being away (instead of Beff) and Beff being back at work is that the kitties will become bi-statal. As in, Beff will take them to Bangor during times when I am gone. So the list of things we have two of will expand to litter boxes and cat feeding contraptions. I got the details of the Atlantic Center Residency and I will be leaving on a Monday instead of on a Sunday. Beff will join me after a week, and the housesitters are Justin and then Hillary and Ken. I have to do two outreach events with the other Master Artists (which is where I show everyone how long my arms are), and they haven't factored Amy D into the mix yet. It was cute to find out that I was going to get my own rental car, but would be driven to the agency by the office, would put it on my own credit card, and be reimbursed. When things get complicated, they get complicated. The DSL went out last night at about 5:30 says Beff -- as in, that's when the incessant Weather Bug chirping stopped, due to the lack of a network connection. It is still out, and doing e-mail (and this) via dialup is excruciatingly slow. I think they make the DSL go buggers every once in a while just to make you appreciate how much better it is than dial-up. And I don't even know what "go buggers" means. I would like to report that I taught swimmingly this week, and orchestration was a real hoot. I spent and hour and a half with harp writing and basic percussion writing. I had passed out Sam Solomon's book on writing for percussion, which made it into Max's hands, and every time I made a point about stick hardness or how the marimba sounds in the low register, Max was ready with a quote from the book that either confirmed or contradicted me. I made sure to put Max on a list. I was kind of tired for my Wednesday teaching (sorry, Charlotte, that my voice was so creaky and I yawned every five seconds), but I rallied by

the end of the day. April is the cruellest month. Lots of performances (see the page), but I'm only going to a few of them -including the ones at the Rivers School tonight and Sunday afternoon (seeing as they have a reception in my honor...). I'm still looking forward to my Daylong Celebration of Creativity thing, though it will mean this space will be updated a day late (get over it), and I still need to think of something to say. I think in about four weeks I will be pressing the flesh, in NYC, of more Brandeis donors. So I'm back on the Rembrandt teeth-whitening stuff. And the cats love to go outside -- for about five minutes at a time. There were several times on the weekend and in the late afternoons when Beff and I did the Adirondack chairs when they would be more adventurous -- but they will have to work up to the outdoor thing, I guess. They can't go under the porch any more, thanks to our trip to Home Depot in February (pics below). And of course while Beff is gone there will be little cleaning of the house and little effort put into Davycuisine. I think I'm well-stocked with microwave meals and canned soups. Today's pictures (uploaded at excruciatingly slow speeds) are: Sunny enjoying the hammock closeup and contextually, the blocking off under the porch, the embryonic rhubarb close up, Beff filming some water, a flooded out dock on the Assabet, the Ben Smith Dam with lots of water, and a slightly flooded yard on the Assabet, where the water is usually 2 or 3 feet lower.

APRIL 8. Breakfast this morning was coffee, pineapple-orange juice and Boca meatless breakfast sausages. Dinner was 95% lean hamburgers and salad. Lunch was gazpacho. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST WEEK 33.1 and (woo hoo!) 72.9. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are two trips to BJs for staples, $163 and $93. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "I'd Like to Know Where You Got the Notion". POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: When teaching first year composition at Columbia, there were readings of solo flute pieces I'd assigned (dangling modifier, but who cares?). One student had written "con fuoco" on his score, and I took it as a learning opportunity: I wrote "con fuoco" on the board, and one student asked what that meant. Without thinking (obviously), I said, "it's the power company for Fire Island." I then proceeded to break my arm patting myself on the back. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 1. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK When the snow slides off the slate roof, very occasionally it brings a slate tile with it. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Where were all these bugs during the winter? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Hamburger dill pickles, sugar free popsicles, olives, grapes. BIRDS HEARD OR SEEN THIS WEEK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE common yellowthroat (heard), Downy woodpecker (heard and seen), mockingbird (heard on Brandeis campuse), house wren (heard). FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS WEEK 0. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 7. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a piece of snot, a moral compass, a pair of tweezers, six pairs of boxer shorts. This update gets typed in rather early. The cats were rambunctious this morning, and at about 5:30 my vertigo -- long nascent and threatening -- came back when I laid on my left side. The room spun for a while, and I had two dry heaves. Then I calmed down. So now until this stupid thing goes away, Alka Seltzer Plus is on my list of things I will be taking. Currently, I seem to dizzify when I look up or look down while bending over. What fun. Beff is still in Costa Rica, where she will be until the 30th. She has called 3 times and e-mailed 3 times, and I was there to pick up one of the calls. She describes great heat, loud insects at night, occasional very gusty winds, and a steep hill to go into town, which gives great exercise, I would guess. And she is making excellent progress on a voice and video piece for Soozie. I just hope that "Just Filmin' The Fish" from the fish market makes it into the final cut. The inhabitants of the colony are now negotiating where the colony field trip will be -- possibly to a volcano, possibly to some national forest type thing. In any case, there will tend to be much wind, warmth, and steepness with which to contend.

The baseball season is back under way, and news of the Red Sox dominates the airwaves, even more than the death of the Pope. The Sox were underwhelming against the Yankees, but the Yankees closer blew two saves, so there were big articles about that. If that don't beat all. The weekend was completely taken up by the Rivers Music School Symposium on Contemporary Music for the Young. A bigass rainstorm was forecast to send downpours here all weekend, but that forecast made Them What Make look bad -- it rained Saturday morning, and then it pretty much stopped. And by the way, at 8 am on Saturday, I took our dead TV and a dead computer monitor to the first-Saturday-of-the-month opportunity at the Maynard Recycling Center. Cost to me: $20. Newly available space on the porch: priceless. But I digressed horribly, yet again. The Rivers Seminar involved no fewer than 10 events from Friday night to Sunday evening, and I went to 7 of them as the distinguished commissioned composer. In fact, at the beginning of each event (probably including the 3 I missed) I was singled out and introduced, as if it were an invitation to ask me for autographs. Friday night was the "faculty concert" which included performances by faculty of 5- to 10-minute pieces followed by a 45-minute jazz set that seemed much longer, since everyone presumed it would end after 20. "My" contribution, which kicked off the symposium, was choreography by Anne Edgerton (faculty) with two professional dancers of the first two movements of "Dances in the Dark" played in recording of the October, 2000 performance by New York New Music Ensemble. It was good choreography -- Anne obviously noticed that there was a "bass clarinet" character and a "piccolo" character in the second movement -- and it's always nice seeing professionals slither. My contribution was a slight six minutes, and all the other pieces were short, too. Until the jazz set, which I have to admit was very well done -- kudos especially to the bass player and drummer -- who looked like Anthony Gatto when the groove really got going. I skipped the first two events of Saturday -- a composer workshop with composers who are not me, and a "new sounds" concert -- but caught the next two concerts, bridged by a reception. Kurt Coble did some violin pyrotechnics, and a lot seemed familiar about him -- when he reminded me that I interviewed him for Columbia way back when. We went through all the old times we might have had, and then there was the brie at the reception. I skipped the 6:00 jazz concert that night in order to come back home and worry about the roof, etc. (more on that later). Perhaps the highlight of that day was hearing a Lowell Liebermann piece about a rhinoceros fervently performed by a kid whose legs were at least a foot short of being able to reach the pedals. It'll be a few years before this kid can do my pedaling etude. Sunday's events were a "literary reference" concert, a reception in honor of ME, and a final gala concert on which I had four pieces, including the one that Rivers commissioned. And true to form, I kept being introduced at the start of each program. Marti Epstein had one "American etude" on almost every concert, and each one was invidividual and well-placed for the kids that played them. Why can't I write simple pieces like that? The second movement of my flute and piano piece "Firecat" was on the "literary" concert - as the word firecat came from a Wallace Stevens poem -- and the players did quite a good job with a piece that bored the heck out of me (mine). Then there was the reception in honor of me, but hardly anyone had anything to ask me. Which suited me. The strawberries were very good. As were the chocolate chip cookies. And really hard pieces of mine were on the finale -- my old Elegy for string quartet, taken out of mothballs for its first performance in 23 years, Corrente (etude 10), E-Machines, and the new piece. All of them went surprisingly well, even the Elegy, which is a bear (the Atlantic Quartet had said, tongue-in-cheek, when they played it in 1982 that they'd have to take out tendinitis insurance to play my piece), especially when it steals the Adagio for Strings thing of getting really, really high at the climax. Corrente and E-Machines went well (E-Machines was occasionally mind-bogglingly fast), and then there was "Four Rivers" for flute, clarinet, horn and marimba. Now every composer to whom I have said what ensemble I was writing for has done an immediate "Mr Yuck" about the combination, but I was determined to make it work. So listening to the 11 minutes of my piece I kept mentally kicking myself for choices that didn't seem to work. But I had the good sense to end with a perpetual motion scherzo kind of thing with chords that kept building up

around repeated notes in the marimba, and for some reason people seemed to think I had discovered great colors in the ensemble. It was actually a good performance -- and I noted a place in the last movement where I had written a gap in the perpetual motion in the marimba in order to facilitate a page turn (I'm practical that way) and noted that the marimbist didn't have to turn a page. But he did get a different set of sticks. When he came back in, he had the chord that was being sustained by the other instruments, so maybe that's the color thing that people were talking about. Afterwards, there were autographs to sign, little CDs and DVDs to give to the faculty I'd met at Rivers, and a party with dinner and beer. It was a nice thing to have, and after a whole weekend of reception food, the pork and chicken and vegetarian stuff was a welcome gastronomic relief. The Director David Tierney gave a nice little speech, people made their retorts, and I think I agreed to do a blurb about the Seminar for their newsletter or something. Spring springs nicely here -- the last piece of the puzzle happened Monday when I brought the lawnmower out of the basement, added oil, and made sure it started -- the very slight smell of gasoline mixed with old grass brought back summer memories -- and put it into the storage shed. Sure signs of spring abound -from the crocuses going by to the daffodils being ready to emerge and violets coming up, the lawn getting greener, the proliferation of bird songs in the morning, the emergence of the rhubarb, and especially the tedium of me writing about it all in this space. It was mild here Tuesday through Thursday, with gradually warming temps until yesterday's 73 degrees. I did some quality hammock time, did a lot of cutting of vines and the like in various spots in our yard, did some raking of ailunthus detritus (say that five times fast), and facilitated the melting of the LAST bit of snow which was by the front porch. As of Tuesday, all the snow was finally gone. While surveying all that we own, I encountered a large slate roof tile on the ground in the side yard on the west side of the house. It's big -- about a foot by a foot and a half -- and was a little broken in one corner. I looked up onto the roof to find a space where a tile once was but now wasn't. So I asked the people at Maynard door and window if they knew someone who did slate roofs (the last time we called someone about it, four places never returned the call, and the fifth that did scheduled a visit but didn't show up), and they gave me a number. Got the guy right away -- who was driving and pulled over in order to take my info. He's to show up later today to look at it. Meanwhile, there was a half-sized tile on the south-facing roof that had fallen off before we bought the house -- it's been on the edge of the roof over the mud room all this time -- and I ventured out yesterday morning to retrieve it. Heavy! The Marine Band sent the final version of Sibling Revelry as it will be made available to Midwest Clinic types who bought the concert -- it seems to be all the 6:45 performance except for the very end of Moody's Blues, where there is a pretty obvious splice where the crotales are hit. Meanwhile, in orchestration I first talked about various things regarding notation, then talked about the wind band. They all have to write for it this week. I played them the beginning of Schwantner's "Mountains Rising Nowhere" thing that made his reputation, and what makes it a successful band piece is that it doesn't actually use the band at all -- it's all piano stuff and wine glass chords and the band singing notes. How precious. There wasn't much of a lesson in how to score for winds from that piece.... As this is being typed, I am doing laundry for the third time since Beff went Costa Ricawards. I hope she will be proud of me. Soon roof guy comes. Tomorrow my picture is being taken for an upcoming story on me for Signal to Noise magazine, which is being written by Christian Carey. I am considering the options of what would make the coolest shot without being pretentious. On the big slabs by the Ben Smith Dam? By the parking garage structure at the mill? At the opening to the old railroad tracks nearby? At the old ice house area where there's a granite slab with a quote from Thoreau about River Towns? By the nice view in Harvard or by the town green there? It will be a black and white photo, and the guy coming out to do it is really into fonts and so he knows me that way. Wow. The local rivers are no longer flooding, but the stupid Weather Bug thing still chirps at me all day because rivers 80 miles away are flooding. I wish it would just shut up. I made a few trips to BJs, mostly to get more cat food and cat litter, but also got bigass jars of hamburger

dill pickles, campari tomatoes, DVD-Rs, DVD storage packs, and such other things as I deemed necessary. BJ's is a fun place to shop because there is so much of everything. Hey, I now even have extra Worcestershire sauce because it came free with my 2-pack of hot sauce. Next Friday, the Daylong Celebration of Creativity. This update will be a day late. Deal with it. Today's pictures begin with my gratuitous yearly picture of myself holding a beer on the hammock. This be followed by a picture of the large tile that fell from the roof this winter, on permanent display. Note canoe in background. These are followed by tedious closeups of signs of spring: the veiny crocuses, a nascent rhododendron, a nascent rhubarb, a nascent bumch of daffodils, nascent violets, and a terribly cute picture of Sunny asleep in the computer room.

APRIL 16. Breakfast this morning is coffee and pineapple-orange juice. Dinner was a chicken cutlet and macaroni and cheese microwave concoction. Lunch, in New Bedford, was a roast beef sammich, apple, potato chips, and ice tea. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THE LAST WEEK 26.3 and 70.5. LARGE EXPENSES this last week a down payment on a third of the cost of roof work: $3500. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "I Don't Want a Pickle -- I Just Wanna Ride My Motor-Sickle". POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: Jon Lang and I were expert belchers-on-demand in high school, and normally we used this talent to gross people out (can you think of a better use?). But our talent, collectively, was finally put to good use when the music department put on a production of "Oliver." Sam Newton, who played Mr. Bumble, has a scene where he has to belch and a woman utters the groaner, "Are you going to sit there all day snoring?" Sam couldn't belch on demand, so Jon and I stood in the wings, Sam acted out a belch, and the two of us let it rip. Worked every time. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 3. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Downtown New Bedford. Pretty buildings. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: How did we get the word "daffodil"? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Hamburger dill pickles, sugar free popsicles, and a new kind of weirdo sammich: jalapeno peppers in a folded-over slice of fat-free cheese. BIRDS HEARD OR SEEN THIS WEEK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE Phoebe (heard, lots). Also, peepers have been around for several weeks. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS WEEK 0. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 8. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE Ms. Potato Head, the notion that I'd like to know where you got, seven bags of peat moss, a slinky. The vertigo of which I wrote last week precisely here was, thankfully, short-lived -- only about a day or so. That echinacea stuff apparently helps, since that was the first episode in about 21 months. Currently, the cold that went around here may be making its way into me, but I have been successful so far at keeping it away. The last week of school is upon us, and that brings with it many things. The "Leonard Bernstein Festival of Creative Arts" is going on on campus this weekend, and I have to introduce two of the acts tomorrow. And I have to do my favorite chairman task of the year, salary recommendations that will be overruled anyway. At the end of the week the second-year grad students start their general exams. And only one more day of orchestration. A week from Wednesday I am having lunch with the President of Brandeis, and I don't know why. This is a Saturday update instead of a Friday one because of the "Symposium on Creativity" in which I was a participant happened yesterday, in an old building in downtown New Bedford owned by the UMass Dartmouth campus. I got up plenty early, as it IS an hour and a half drive and I expected rush hour traffic to suck. Nonetheless, I got there early enough to have my own breakfast as well as the one that was provided. I explored a little bit of downtown New Bedford, which has lots of nice art deco buildings and facades and a mish mash of different businesses, and many empty storefronts. My jaunts were brief, as it was 30 degrees and I just had my suit on. There were also a lot of old mills that looked very stylish, if empty. And a whaling museum, which was not open at the time I was walking around. While walking around, I got some hot sauce and teeth-brushing thingies at Brooks drugs. And then it was to the symposium. Where one of the first things I did was to brush my teeth with one of those thingies -- a thing you wrap on your finger

and rub your teeth with, and it was minty fresh. Which means that I, too, was minty fresh. Both words of which have five letters. Oh, why can't someone out there be named Minty Fresh? Any volunteers, almost eleven? Since I had CDs and DVDs -- and since other presenters were projecting Power Point presentations from their own computers -- there was a long early morning span of getting the technology to work. And I'm glad to say I figured out the projector for them, which was crucial -- after all, Amy Dissanayake was going to be on that white wall, much larger than life. The Dean who popped into my colloquium at UMass Dartmouth back in October was the emcee, and said effusive things about each presenter -- he's also the kind of guy that grabs your shoulder before he begins talking to you. So the event started with a new alumni award, and the winner gave a sterling presentation about how design can change the world (you had to be there). My part in this was to press PLAY on the DVD player to play a performance of John Lennon's "Imagine" sung by someone else. He was followed by a biologist who detailed the mechanics of the brain and their relation to creativity. Unsurprisingly from a doctor, eating right, exercising, and meditating were his recommendations for the best creativity. And then I got my own effusive introduction, used my buzzwords (metaphor, association and intuition), and played stuff, much to the surprise and amazement of them what were in attendance. Actually, I think I forgot to say anything about intuition. Then we were directed to a building two blocks away to view art by students and to get free bag lunches. Timmy Melbinger, who teaches at Dartmouth, came to my part of the show, as did current student Jon "Jon" Yoken, with his mother, and we all ambled to this free lunch building. The art was VERY impressive, and it's clear that at least for artistic stuff this University must be a prime destination. As to the food, I wouldn't make it a destination. I then ambled back to catch the first part of the afternoon events -boy, I amble a lot, don't I? Here UMassD faculty in art talked about what they are doing -- students doing virtual reality simulations (they all looked like video games because they use a video game building program to make them), a graduate doing site-specific art in North Carolina, making slides available digitally (how often have I heard that quandary?), students proposing projects to comment on or revitalize the New Bedford area. By this time, I'd had enough, and skipped about before the last two presentation, paid ten bucks at a parking garage, and made the drive home -- and what a dull one it was as well. And during that drive I found out that the music department is now most definitely without an academic administrator, as Nancy Redgate died in her sleep yesterday morning. We knew for a while that it was coming, but it still came as a bit of a shock. The last time I saw her was with Beff during February vacation, and she wasn't with it very much, was very tired, and her usual cranky self. We will most certainly miss her, a lot. Them what make tell us that a blocking high has been over Hudson Bay keeping precipitation away from us -- except for some snow showers that backed in Monday night, not at all surprising anyone -- and that we spent most of the week on the cold side of it. So it has gotten below freezing most nights this week and only into the 40s and 50s during the day, a pattern we are told will change this week. Today, 62. Tomorrow, 70. Every day next week over 70, and upper 70s on Wednesday. Big woo hoo there, pardner. Spring continues to spring, and I project about a week and a half to two weeks will be my first abbreviated lawn mowing -- the grass in the apple tree part of the yard is taking hold. Lots of yellow right in front of the Adirondack chairs, but the comeback is coming there, too. The grape-y nuisancy things are starting to sprout in the way back, and I am uprooting them when I can, and the nettle-grass (that stings if you touch it) is coming up, too. Forsythias at Brandeis are in bloom, but ours are a ways away from blooming. Spring sprang enough by Sunday for me to find out how out of shape the winter made me -- I had my first bike ride, the shortest possible one (4 miles), and I was durn winded when it was over. Legs are fine, though. I presume more are to follow, and longer ones. I also FINALLY took the last snow shovel and stored it in the garage. It is 8 am Saturday morning as I type this, and I hear a lawnmower, but do not know exactly where it is. Cool. So on Friday, the roof guy came, as predicted. My Medieval specialist friends (we all have them) will be impressed to know that his company is called the Twelfth Century Slate Roofing Company, and that he

specializes in slate roofs (which must have been invented in the 1100s, or I didn't get the joke). He was recommended by the Maynard Door and Window people (who have our four new windows and are ready to put them in, too), showed up at 9 after doing a full traversal of the house. He pointed to some botched repairs done by previous owners (tarring chimneys instead of surrounding them with metal), and gave us two quotes: to replace the two fallen tiles and slather up the attic dormer that leaks a bit, a grand. To do a really good job and replace the flaked slate with copper and do the chimneys proper, $10,555. At first I said just do the patches, but I talked about it with Beff, and we decided to go for the whole magilla. Replacing the whole roof would be $80,000, which is kind of out of the question. The guy did say that the house was really sturdily built and was a gem, and that you couldn't get anything like it for a million bucks nowadays (built new, I presume he meant). But there is the issue of the 95-year old roof. And we have PENNSYLVANIA slate, he says, the only kind that flakes with age (we have plenty of them in the back yard). So meanwhile, I look outside and see green. Ahh. A composerly lesson in the value of delaying the real recapitulation. Meals this week include dinner TONIGHT with the Chafes and lunch Thursday with Anny Jones, who won lunch with me at a raffle at a music department party. Everything else is just a light. I didn't have much time to enjoy my house and yark this week, as teaching and events piled up -- including Yoko Nakatani's dissertation defense (good to see Kathy Alexander, who was the outside reader, again) and a colloquium by Peter Child. There were also the Open Houses for students accepted to Brandeis who haven't made up their minds, so I did several of those events. And got to hear, "well I'm really interested in music but I don't know if I want to MAJOR in it..." the usual thousand or so times. My fame continues to spread far and wide, or near and thin -- I don't remember which one exactly. On the online Sequenza21, my etudes are listed as one of the 111 most influential pieces since 1970. I don't know what that means, or even if I should show up for the ceremony (on which I could stand -- rim shot) if there is one, but I suppose I shouldn't want to be part of a list that would have me as part of a list. Gotta work on the delivery of that joke. The DVD and CD of the Marine band stuff from the Midwest Conference arrived Monday night, just in time for me to waste time in orchestration playing them. The students were impressed as I named performers as they flashed by (Cynthia ... Barbara, oh she played the crap out of that bass clarinet stuff in Ten of a Kind ... Lisa ... Gail, Betsy, Elizabeth -- she's new -- Barbara again ... Jay ... the hornist is actually named Amy Horn ... oh what's his name?). And in the second performance of Moody's Blues, you actually see the vibraslap played -- in this case by being hit against the timpanist's right leg. We watched quite a bit of the Schwantner percussion concerto -- in order to get a feel for the percussion instruments discussed in class -- and the class was all over the music: "What 70s TV theme is this?" "Uh oh, Captain Kirk is in real trouble now!" "The desert was ... parched." The student appreciated the row of tuned almglockens in the front battery which was there just to recapitulate the already-forgotten ostinato of the first movement, and I got to reminisce about being in the mountains of Switzerland and hearing all those almglocks hung on distant cows a-tollin'. For dessert we watched a bunch of Boulez conducting the Rite of Spring. And Rick B. kept piping in with "...and just when you thought he'd run out of great ideas..." That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it. Today's pictures start with a couple of closeup flora shots from the garden immediately behind the grill. Next we see the current state (as of Tuesday) of the rhubarb coming up, Cammy's tail poking out as he hides out under the grill, the current state of our canoe and the back yard, and the west-facing roof with missing tile circled ever so artistically.

APRIL 22. Breakfast this morning coffee, orange juice, coffee again, and a red danish. Dinner last night was a tuna burger and a salmon burger. Lunch was salmon on a bed of rice with vegetables at the Quarterdeck restaurant, and an appetizer of steamers. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK

26.6 and (woo hoo!) 86.5. LARGE EXPENSES this last week were none. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS The band version of Strident. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: Here is a story that actually appeared in the regular text of this page, now reduced to nostalgia. In Theory 2 -- a mere 15 months ago -- when Variations was the topic, I was playing one student's them and remarked that it sounded a bit like a jazz tune, and he said it was transcribed from a banjo recording. I said, "Bela Fleck?" He said yes -- "what other banjo player is there beside Bela Fleck?" Without missing a beat, I said, "Well, there's always Popeye." Mass look of confusion from the students. "Oh, not THAT Popeye -- I mean this other Popeye. You know, the banjo playing Popeye." RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 6. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK the little sprinkler attachment for the hose, long forgotten in the garage. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Why is the chemical symbol for Potassium "K"? (I actually know the answer) RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Hamburger dill pickles, sugar free popsicles, olives in various configuration. BIRDS HEARD OR SEEN THIS WEEK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE Whatever one goes "churr" a lot. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS WEEK 0. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 5 (of 6). INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE the feeling of pointlessness, a kewpie doll, tweezers, next year's calendar. Yesterday a student e-mailed to ask the difference between an overlap and an elision. Whatever I answered he said I was wrong. So I stopped answering. So now there's an overlap/elision happening here: the last day of classes elided/overlapped with the first day of work on our roof. First, I feel very fortunate to have found a contractor who starts the work within a week of the contract for the work being signed and the down payment being made. I found out about it as I retrieved messages from my cell phone on the drive home from work this morning -- and, lo and behold, there was a truck in the driveway, some large copper sheets next to it, and two large ladders against the house. Amazing. Maybe the more amazing thing was the old tiles they ripped out in order to cover with copper -- one zoomed right down and landed at an angle, stuck in the ground. I took a picture, dontcha know. And of course the cats are more than a bit spooked by the sound of hammering coming from the highest reaches of their living space. I believe Cammy will spend the next three weeks under the couch, including the times when there are no such sounds coming from up there. Sunny files nervously into the computer room for a reassuring petting, then exits again, looking very worried. And that's the truth. Beff continues her Costa Rican sojourn, and is beginning her last full week there -- it will be good to have her back here, 10:15 pm next Saturday night, flight from Dallas, Terminal B. Near as I can tell, a field trip to the Caribbean coast was cancelled due to wind and a field trip to the equidistant Pacific coast substituted. I'm sure I'll get the full story and pictures -- some of which may show up in this space, naturally. I turned the heat in the house off on Monday morning, and so far it is still off -- though it's getting a bit nippy inside today, having gone down to freezing overnight. It was July here on Wednesday, making it up to 87 with a dewpoint of 41 -- very, very dry heat, Arizona-like, they tell me -- and there was an extremely elevated fire danger warning for the whole area. It was odd being in the middle of summer with still-bare trees everywhere and grass not yet ready to mow. Shonuff spent a little time on the hammock, though. After my five hours of teaching, that is. We have much rain and cold predicted for the weekend, so I presume I'll have to relent and turn back on the heat. It had gotten so dry that I actually took a sprinkler to the lawn -- what with so much yellow in what are usually the greenest places. The sprinkler attachment was grody from 3 years unused in the garage, so I ungrodied it. On Saturday, as predicted in this very space, the Chafes came over, we had some expensive beer while sitting in the Adirondack chairs, and then went to the Quarterdeck. For the first time I had neither the Cajun combo nor the clam roll, and instead I had a grilled salmon with a wine sauce. It was exquisite, even moreso than the beer was. Eric got the cajun combo and I forget what Pat got. When all was said and done, we were fatandhappy. On Sunday I had to make my several appearances to introduce the acts at the Leonard Bernstein Festival of Creative Arts, and it turned out to be a gloriously sunny day, warm and stuff. In between my service, I

ambled up to in front of the Shapiro Student Center and partook of the competing Braunstein Festival -where there were free hamburgers if you stood in line a long time, inflatable carnival type things (a bouncy one and an obstacle course), a kissing booth, and a sex olympics (or so they said). I just dug the sunny and warm weather and the black t-shirt I was wearing. I had to announce the Early Music Ensemble and the organist Jason Cloen (see page 1) and had cue cards with my introduction already written. The EME card contained the howler "Sephardic polyphony" and Jason's wanted me to call him "organic," but I had my way with both introductions. And Sarah Mead shonuff made sure I said the right stuff. EME was very impressive, as everyone sang and played one, two, or three instruments. Ah, the recorder. Meanwhile, the Red Sox vaulted into first place by shutting out the Orioles twice. I must say that I taught unimpeachably this week (because I did), and was grateful that Jeff Roberts took up a large portion of my orchestration class with his dissertation topic. I was also grateful to get home and start what I hope will finally be a near-daily bike ride regimen. Six miles Tuesday and Nine miles Wednesday -alas, only three miles yesterday as it got cold again. I'm shooting for ten today with the West Acton ride -later when it warms up a bit more. I went into work this morning expecting to take all day to write a report. It was finished at 9:30. Good thing, too, because it meant I could get back here and experience the pounding of my roof and share it with the cats. Yesterday afternoon I pruned a whole buttload of the cedars out in the "L" part of the yard, near the apple tree, and I'm not sure why. Except for the feeling of accomplishment. There I noticed that the grass is getting somewhat long out there -- I may MOW a bit later today, too, woo hoo. Boy, this was a boring update. More of the same next week, I am sure. Next Thursday I drive to New York and meet with a Brandeis alum interested in making a donation. I love doing that. Meanwhile, the May 3 Yaddo event sent me more e-mails, and we will be staying with Hayes and Susan when in New York. Three snaps for that. Tomorrow the Corolla goes in for its 45,000 mile service, which they tell me will take two hours. So, walking around in the cold and rain will be my lot for the morning. Wish me luck. Today's pictures are the forsythias on the side of the house and by the garage -- pathetic, huh? Then we have extreme closeups of the hostas coming back and the embryonic flowers on the red rhododendron, and Cammy looking out the window. This is followed by the current ladder situation, the copper plates ready to install, and the slate tile that lodged in the yard.

APRIL 29. Breakfast this morning coffee and a blueberry scone, eaten in the driver's seat of a blue Toyota Corolla (mine). Dinner was vegetable tempura, miso soup, chicken teriyaki, and vanilla ice cream. Lunch was shredded chicken with garlic sauce and hot and sour soup. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 36.1 and 71.4. LARGE EXPENSES this last week were the rest of the cost of fixing the roof, $7,285; parking in New York, $30. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS the tune by Graham Station on The History of Funk Volume 3. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: It was October, 1988 when Beff and I went post-Platonic. That was in Woodside, in my cabin in the redwoods the year I taught at Stanford. Later that week, we went to dinner with Ross (Bauer) and his woman-of-the-year (also known as Beth) in San Francisco before a concert where Ross had a piece. After the usual chitchat about the concert and rehearsals, Beff and I dropped the bombshell about our new post-Platonic relationship. Ross spent the rest of dinner utterly silent, staring at his napkin. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 4. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK copper showing through a knothole. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: Why does popcorn pop? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Sun tea mixed with lemonade, various fruits, salmon. BIRDS HEARD OR SEEN THIS WEEK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE the cormorant over the Assabet River. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS WEEK 0. FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP THE LAST WEEK: 7. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE incapacitation, technique, five blades of grass, a toke. The best news of the week is that Beff gets back tomorrow night; alas, showers and thunderstorms are forecast, so I'm fully prepared to spend some serious carpet time in Logan Airport. Well, actually, I'm not.

But I will if I have to. Thankfully for me and for Beff, I sprang for an extra house cleaning today by The Maids, and it smells like the antiseptic version of Lemon Pledge. Yesterday I drove to New York City for Augustus Arnone's piano recital at Merkin Hall, meeting with Brandeis alumna Ann Tanenbaum as part of the trip. Thinking I may be solicited to go out for a beer, I called Marilyn Nonken to ask to stay on her couch, and she answered in the affirmative. So there was plenty of aerobic walking in New York between events, and I spent quite a bit of time in Tower Records waiting to meet Marilyn for dinner -- which was at Dan's Japanese just up the street, as you may have gathered from the first paragraph. I also had the aluminum can of Kirin Ichiban, and it satisfied. Augustus's recital had a surprisingly good turnout -- thankfully not the usual collection of musicians you see at mod music concerts. He called the concert "20th Century Studies," and then blatantly played pieces of mine from 2003 (Etudes Book VI). Probably not realizing that they were written in the 21st century, no matter whose counting system you use. For once, my pieces started a concert, and I simply had fun. "Cell Division" actually made me a little dizzy at times -- all that treble, all those competing arpeggios, UP and down and UP and down -- and the tango was suitably sultry. After a good performance of the Carter Piano Sonata, Marilyn and I discussed it, and neither of us likes any of Carter's piano music. Whereas I think I like a lot more other Carter pieces than she does. The second half was the first book of Debussy etudes -Debussy's attempt at cocktail piano music, I guess -- and a big piece by Roberto Sierra. After the concert, one woman told me she was a painter and "Cell Division" just made her want to go to her studio and paint. I'm sure I speak for at least one composer when I say that composer(s) don't usually know what to do with that sort of remark, except perhaps to smile (perchance to dream), nod, and say, "Cool" or "Thank you." Then, in an extreme bout of esprit d'escalier, I(we) realize that these etudes are conceived somewhat visually anyway, and saying they give someone else visual ideas is the highest form of compliment. Still, I(we) say, "Cool" or "Thank you." Before the etude set -- like 4 seconds before it -- a woman in front of us turned off her cell phone, not realizing that that sound was going to be upcoming thematic material. Augustus smiled, thinking it was done on purpose. And Don Hagar showed up, whom I haven't seen in some while (I once got a parking ticket when I drove into Boston to give him a free lesson), and we promised an exchange of CDs. Ah, the composer life. After the concert, Marilyn and I got a six of Saranac Black and Tan and demolished it while watching a DVD of the Marine Band. The first thing she said after the clarinets stopped playing and the camera lingered was, "Oh look -- I recognize that -- that's the 'counting face'." Earlier in the week there were just things that had to get done. On Friday the roofers installed copper at the joints of the two dormers, and they were immediately put to the test -- we had an obnoxious, windy, driving rainstorm on Saturday. The attic stayed bone-dry, and the place that has leaked these last five years was also as dry as can be -- which gives us one more pail to use as we see fit. Or fee sit. On Tuesday they came back to do more work, including copperizing the bathroom outtake chimney and lining the sides of the chimneys with lead, and today they are finishing the job, copperizing all the corners on the roof. Doug Raboin claims the fixes will last 60-80 years (would one of the almost eleven volunteer to return here in 2065 to see if I deserve my money back?). I got the walkthrough of all the work accomplished, and got to see some of the old rotted wood that was replaced underneath the new copper. The coolest thing, until the copper oxidizes, will be how bright and shiny the edges appear from the road -- especially when it is sunny. Cool. Thank you. Otherwise, I taught at NEC unimpeachably, and have but one more meeting and I'm done for the year, baby. I had the chicken caesar wrap this time, and will probably end my sentence with Buffalo wings -hey, maybe I can persuade Beff to come along for the ride. (which I doubt, since she will want to be obsessive and clean) Other things to do next week include the Yaddo benefit on Tuesday (anOTHer drive to New York) and writing up the academic administrator's job description for the sake of a search. Oh yeah, and a meeting to vote on the awards we give out at graduation. Meanwhile, I had my brief meeting with the Dean on Wednesday, and then lunch with the President. Since it was vacation week, the only real restaurant open on campus was the Stein, which became crowded and noisy. The President said the point of the lunch was to make sure I wasn't still wanting to leave Brandeis. I

changed the subject. And we talked about pleasant, if mundane, things. He asked to be served four Buffalo wings, but he didn't want the Buffalo sauce (so what he wanted was chicken tenders). I had the chicken rosemary, which was nice, and poured some of "The President's Own" Buffalo wing sauce on my bed of rice. After lunch was Shawna's performance review. And when I saw what I had done, I put it in a campus envelope and went home. I also had to sign a form for Seungah, who is surprisingly back in this area, and she asked to be added to the long, long, long list of "if you hear of a job can you tell me about it?" people. I actually recommended her for one in Illinois. I also got three more resumes from strangers asking for teaching for next year -- it's up to almost twenty. This morning I left at 6 am, and got home to Maynard about 9:35 -- construction in Worcester slowed me down a bit. I had to make some small talk with the roofers (I used a 6-point font) and write a check for the remaining work on the roof. I see now (2:50 pm) that they have finished and gone. Cool. Thank you. The Maids came at about 11:45, so I had to clear out of the house, at which point I made more small talk with the roofers ("it only takes 45 minutes for the whole house with five cleaners?"), and drove to the Sit 'n' Bull for a beer. But I changed my mind, and drove straight to Quick Cuts on the corner of Routes 27 and 119 in Acton, and got a haircut, stopped at Donelans and got grapes, blackberries, beer, pickles, and gourmet tomatoes (some dwarf, some yellow/orange ones), and when I got back, the Maids were gone. Meanwhile, I did laundry, including the sheets. And then remembered it was Friday. Here I am, almost eleven! Geoffy was here for three nights, and we shared two meals -- Tuesday at the Quarterdeck and Wednesday night I made chicken sandwiches. Wednesday was another wind-driven rain event, so Geoff suggested I get some summer beers for dinner -- I got the mandarin hefeweizen and Sea Dog strawberry wheat. Which we consumed with abandon as I put the iPod on the speakers and played through Volumes 2, 3, and 4 of The History of Funk. All the while talking about how great, or emotional, or technically advanced the tracks were. Did I mention the beer? Geoff also kindly brought me some programs from his gigs that included ME. And the cats got used to him pretty quickly (I told him to shake a treat bag and say the word T-R-E-AT-S as a shortcut to that -- later he experimented with using the word at different speeds, pitch levels, and consonant emphases). But of course the cats continued to be spooked by the roofers. Much time spend in hiding, mostly under the couch, but sometimes under the bed in the master bedroom. And I now have a few more percussion instruments in my retinue -- a little bell tree, a ratchet with a crank, and four finger cymbals (which might as well be called "the little cymbals with the big sound"). Musician's Friend online is a great resource for cheap percussion stuff, though unexplainably, it doesn't know what "almglocken" are. Cool. Thank you. Pictures today include the strange surprise I witnessed when I entered the computer room on Tuesday, that chimney installed, a surreptitious shot of the roofers at work, a shot of where the cats spent the day, the bell tree, a sign encountered on a hike over Summer Hill, the now voluminous rhubarb, and the very beginnings of blossoms on the apple tree.

Missing 5/6/05

MAY Friday the 13th. Breakfast this morning was Morningside Farms meatless sausage patties and coffee. Dinner was lemongrass chicken, Vietnamese hot and sour soup, and various Vietnamese appetizers. Lunch was a grilled salmon sandwich. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 34.0 and 79.5. LARGE EXPENSES this last eight days include parking in NYC, $22 including tip. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Amy playing "No Stranger to Our Planet." POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: Driving back from Boston into New York with Arun -- who had accompanied us to Boston to hear the premiere of Milton Babbitt's Transfigured Notes -- we approached

the George Washington Bridge, and instead of singing the William Schuman piece about it (it's hard to do polychords with just three people), we started repeating the phrase "George Washington Bridge, Washington Bridge, Where is the Fridge?" sung to the tune of the Beatles's "Buffalo Bill." With each repeat being in a new, random key. Now every time Beff and I approach it in the car we launch into the same tune. We are, if anything, predictable in this regard. RECOMMENDATION/ PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK 6. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK how to get to FDR Drive. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDRY: What does Thalia mean? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Pickles, hot and sour soup, real limeade. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS WEEK 1 -- well not destroyed, but discombobulated -- the remote for the computer room air conditioner. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a glass beaker filled with mucous, a pebble with the New Testament lovingly carved into it, anybody's bald spot, half a dozen of the other. It will be June before there is another update to this page, so deal with it. On Monday I fly out to the Atlantic Center, Amy D flies out at roughly the same time from NYC, and we land 6 minutes apart. Beff gets there on Saturday, and I get to drive to the airport to pick her up. Fascinating. So I'm just back from New York, again, and boy are my arms tired. It was a picturesque and sunny ride in, and I used my usual route -- which seems more complicated when you explain it than when you drive it (Great Road west to 495 south to 290 west to 90 west to 84 west to Hartford, catch 15 briefly to 91 south to the Wilbur Cross Parkway which becomes the Merritt Parkway which becomes the Hutchinson Parkway, exit left for Cross County Parkway, take to Saw Mill Parkway south which becomes Henry Hudson Parkway, exit at 95th Street and find parking), and I found parking a half-block from the show -- that is, in a garage. "Take Jazz Chords, Make Strange" was played by the Momenta Quartet with Jean Kopperud on a League-ISCM concert in the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater of Symphony Space (say that fourteen thousand times fast), and I took the opportunity to hang with some New Yorkers when not in thrall to the dress rehearsal or to the performance. So first I had lunch (see above) at a Charley O's bar, grill and bar (that's what the sign actually says), and the $13 salmon sandwich was exquisite, if rather overpriced. Then after walking around a bit, I saw Daron for about an hour and I had a Sam Adams draft while he had tea and Cheese Nips. It was very, very nice to relax with him, as I haven't had that chance in a number of years now, and we talked about, among other things, New Years Eve 1997 -- where we collectively made pizza for the VCCA types. Daron claims he was plastered on that occasion, but my photographic evidence would seem to indicate otherwise. Okay, so then there was my dress rehearsal, and the players were all very, very good. I didn't have to say much, though I did catch myself saying "could that movement be more ... rustic?" By the end of the dress rehearsal, the performance was hair-raising (except for the top of my head, where that isn't exactly possible), and most of that made it into the performance. After my dress rehearsal, I met Alvin Singleton -- who's been in Brooklyn recently -- for dinner at a fantastic and cheap! Vietnamese restaurant that I'd never heard of -- the Saigon Grill, corner of 90th and Amsterdam. No, not the Saigon Bar and Grill and Bar, just the Saigon Grill (must be old-style preCommunist cuisine. Isn't Saigon called Ho Chi Minh City now?). I got a nice hot and sour soup and a lemongrass kind of grilled chicken thing that was very big, and only $8.95 -- Alvin got "C1" -- chicken basil -- which looked so good that the person at the next table asked what it was and ran to the waiter to change his order. Seeing as Alvin had roof work done more recently than I have, I paid. And at this performance thing, I determined that I must have a face that easily contorts into what appears to others to be confusion or desperation. When I saw Lisa Moore for the first time in years, just as I was forming the words "Hey Lisa, how's it going" in my mouth, she said, "Lisa Moore." So instead, I said "I know." This also happened with Margaret Brouwer and Shi-Hui Chen -- Margaret was at the Double Exposure event in November, and I have no memory of her being there. Huh. It then started to occur to me that there's a lot of stuff that happened between November and early March that I simply don't remember. Must be those silly defense mechanisms. But anyway, there were six pieces on the concert and I was last -crap, no more leaving at intermission to make my long drive home. Every piece had something nice about it, and I guess I liked Shu-Hui's piece best among those that were not by me (yes, almost eleven, I liked

mine better, but on the other hand I do know it a lot better). By the way, in order not to embarrass myself again, I said "Hi Eleanor" to Eleanor Corey as she approached when she was still about ten feet away. So yesterday afternoon a 50-foot high retaining wall collapsed onto the Henry Hudson Parkway, burying some parked cars, and closing the entire roadway -- about two hours after I passed by, so it's not my fault, I SWEAR. But that meant that to drive back I had to figure out an alternate route. I remembered the phrase "Bruckner Expressway" from when Beff and I moved out of New York to Spencer back in 1990, so I started asking people how to get to the Bruckner -- in 1990 in a rental truck, we went uptown to 125th and drove crosstown to the east for what seemed like forever, missed the ramp, turned around (no small feat) and got on it there. And there were as many different answers to how to get there as there were people I asked. Crap. So I took a conflation of Mario's advice and someone elses: 96th across town to FDR Drive north, and start following signs that say "to New England." Which I did, until I got tired of bigass trucks being 80 percent of the traffic, and I exited for the Wilbur Cross Parkway when I could (in Bridgeport, I believe). On the radio (which I blared to stay awake) they kept talking about the collapse on the Hudson Parkway, a fire on a bridge the stopped NJ Transit and Amtrak trains from going between NYC and Newark, and an execution in Connecticut that was mere hours -- no, minutes! -- away. I got home around 2 and next thing I knew Cammy was nuzzling me with that loud purr, it was light, and it was 6:30. Crap. Up I got. Our quest to consume as many consumables from the fridge as possible before Florida was foiled by a concert at NEC on Tuesday night. Shen Wen was playing three etudes (12, 17, 50) on a "Composers Concert" at NEC. Scott Wheeler also had a very nice piece on this concert, as did other people I didn't know. So Beff and I drove in and parked and ate Japanese at Symphony Sushi (lots of eating out this week, alas). The first half was quite long, and there were pieces whose program notes began with "Alas" and "Perhaps". So we left at intermission -- which was actually rather late in the evening. So Beff and I started drawing up rules for things not to do with program notes, and "Don't begin with "Alas" or "Perhaps". Another note tried pretentiously to explain a piece's idea of continuity, which essentially boiled down to "this is what music is." So now here are three simple rules: don't begin with "Alas"; don't begin with "Perhaps"; and don't begin by defining music. Any other helpful suggestions from readers out there may be collected into an actual page on this website. And that's a big oh wow. We had Carolyn Davies over for beer and seafood (yet another restaurant visit), and it was the most substantial conversation of the week. Not that the bar is set really high here. This morning Carolyn mentioned something about last week's post here, and I had presumed she'd stay away after asking what the audience for it was. I hope she's not hooked. Because "almost eleven" is a lot funnier than "almost twelve." Plus, it rhymes with "seven" and "heaven." Them what make have been telling us it's not too hot here, so Florida and the 80s -- well, that seems cool. Or warm, actually. Thank you. As reported here before, Wednesday was to be 80, and then it was revised by them what make downward to 66, then to 72. The actual high temperature: 80. The weekend was the icky rain we've all come to know and laugh about, and during the quite warm bit, Beff finally got on the bicycle train (to mix metaphors) -- we did the short ride on Tuesday, and Boon Lake on Wednesday. Yep, Max was out waiting for a bone. We saw another nice house on Boon Lake, this one with plenty of indoor space, on the market, and looked it up. I predicted three quarters of a mil (I often speak colloquially), and was actually a little low. Wow, 2200 square feet and 160 feet of lake frontage. Priced for people who can only afford it if they work so much they're never home to enjoy it. But am I bitter? Lick me and find out. Beff is in Vermont, or driving back from Vermont as I type this. She is NOT going to the Atlantic Center at the same time as me because she has to make an appearance at Maine All-State. So she's coming Saturday night, and I'll have to drive to the Orlando Airport to pick up her. Then fun things will begin to happen. Meanwhile, our Thankyou rewards cards came, and it's three credit-card sized Staples gift cards for $100, $100 and $50, each of which has imprinted on it "Use Like Cash." Ciao, ragazzo. And besides all of that. I now have to mow all the lawns, even though it's scruffy in front (kind of like me in person). For you see, we will soon have housesitters and we don't want to make them do our yard work for us. By the way, we bought two baby rosemary plants and planted them a few days ago where the hosta

used to be next to the garage. Time will tell (insert whatever you wish here). Ken and Hillary come for pizza dinner on Sunday evening, as they are the OTHER housesitters. What fun we will have in a one-horse open sleigh. Oh! Fluoxetine hydrochloride dosage is now halved. I asked the doc to ramp it down before we go cold turkey, since I got pretty good advice on what happens when you try to go cold turkey on such things (a hand with an extended thumb pointing and gesturing downwards was part of the demonstration). Meanwhile, all the other pills are still on the docket. My drivers license expires on my birthday, which is June 13. I got something from the Mass DMV with a form in it saying "don't mail the form. Take it to an RMV office", which for me means the half hour drive to the tedious part of Framingham (it is splitting hairs to say one part is more tedious than another, but what are you gonna do?), getting a number and waiting a long time while numbers not in sequence are called out. I got my number, and saw someone surrendering his license, having a picture taken, being given a temporary license and being told the new one would arrive in a week. So I thought about trying to board a plane for Florida with a temporary license without a picture that might expire while I was there, and decided to give it up -- at which point the magic phrase "OR YOU CAN RENEW YOUR LICENSE ONLINE" leaped out at me from the literature the RMV had already sent me. Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid. So I bought big Berkshire Beers (say that five times fast) and brought some to the Acting Chair and some to She What Runs Everything And What It Is Too. And I don't mean Elaine Wong. I hardly ever do. And there we have it. Many new pictures taken on the new Sony Cybershot T-1, as it fits in my shirt pocket and all that. Beff even used it to make some movies for her current video project -- including the soup aisle at Shaws. No panning in that one, just sort of a shaky still picture, as it were. Plus, Beff got myriad movies of some oranges I got for her at Trader Joe's. First, in the bag, with Cammy being curious and sniffing them, then with me rolling oranges along the dining room table -- again, with Cammy going after them. I think if the camera captured our laughing we'd have enough for a laugh track for a half hour sitcom. We then realized that Beff's camera could also take full-resolution -- if compressed -- movies. So, people will be used, dogs and cats sleeping together, etc. When Beff said she wanted a movie of soup, I asked if she needed me to roll soup cans, too. Oh yeah -- Sharon Bielik's recital at Brandeis Saturday night. Even though she did Reger, she was fantastic. A full recital and only three clams that I counted, and they were all in the Bach. They also did the Brahms F minor, which is better on clarinet. Trust me. Lots of pictures this week, since I'll be away from this space for some time. The T-1 has a fantastic closeup mode in which you can get really, really close to something and the focus is nearly instantaneous (on the Coolpix 4500 often it takes 5 seconds for the focus, which is then on a distant object instead of a close one), and I took myriad shots. So we see closeups of apple blossoms and a dandelion seed thingie to start. Then we see the two cats together, first in the attic, and then in the pantry window. We then have our people pictures: Mike Gandolfi in Jordan Hall, Hayes in the Thalia Theater, Alvin in the Saigon Grill, and a picture of me taken by Daronius. Then we see yet another shot of the copper highlighting the roof (this time from the back yard) and a picture of the stage at the Thalia Theater -- you can tell it's used a lot for movie screenings. Finally, extreme closeups of some geegaws from the kitchen window: a Pez dispenser and a teeny little plastic cat that you are supposed to shoot out of a little plastic gun (which big Mike gave me).

JUNE 6. Breakfast this morning was coffee and Morningside Farms meatless breakfast patties. Dinner was chicken and vegetable stir fry. Lunch was Lean Pocket pepperoni pizza. Breakfast yesterday was nonexistent. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST THREE WEEKS 41.6 and 90.5 (Maynard) and about 71 and 95 (New Smyrna Beach, Florida) LARGE EXPENSES this last three weeks include three rides to and from Logan Airport, $299, and the rest of the cost of two new basement windows and two new second floor storm windows, $512. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Crowded House's "Always Take the Weather With You." POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: "Lonnie"

was a worker in the office of the Stanford music department, and he left mid-year for a better job in San Francisco. On his last day there was a party, and testimonials were given. As I shook his hand to bid him well, he made some sort of sarcastic and vaguely insulting comment, to which I replied, smiling, "You have no dick." The laughter in the office rang on for nearly 15 minutes, it seemed. No one got that I was channeling Bill Murray from Ghostbusters. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK: St. Augustine. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: How many puns can you REALLY make on "manatee"? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Bubbies Pickles, hot sauce, Tobasco hot olives, ice tea mixed with lemonade. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST THREE WEEKS at least one - a double-sided frame holding pictures of Beff and Martler at the Corn Palace and of Alvin, me and David Keberle. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a dead spider, two dead spiders, three dead spiders, four dead spiders. Four dead spiders make a bunch (and so do many more). Okay, so I (we) took the weather with me (us). Three weeks in Florida in the upper 80s and low 90s while there was a stalled storm here keeping it damp, windy, and in the 40s. Boys and girls, can you say "schadenfreude"? Yesterday we got back to Massachusetts to be greeted by 90 degree weather while I saw 75 as the temperature in Florida where we just left. Hence the Crowded House, above. But perhaps I am getting a little ahead of myself. Okay. So. Okay. I was in Florida for three weeks and I got paid too much money. Okay. So. Okay. There I got to be called a Master Artist, along with the writer Jessica Hagedorn and the visual artist Jane Hammond. And in a very loosely structured environment I was some sort of mentor (spelled L-I-K-E-A-GO-D) to eight composers, all of them rather good, and quite different from one another. So far, so good. Amy D came along for the ride for the first week, and I actually imposed a structure: let's all write a beginning of a piano piece (homework! I immediately got a reputation as a badass), we'll then talk about them all after Amy plays them ... AND ... a different composer has to write what comes next. Hey, it was the Walk A Mile In Someone Else's Shoes Thing, and as far as I know that never works. Except this time. It was such a collegial bunch of composers, despite their aesthetic differences, that it worked, and there was plenty to say about everything. If anything, this was a group that liked to talk. After Amy left (she got bronchitis, scheduled and then cancelled a recital of tangos, and had to go to NYC for recording sessions), it became less structured (which made me a goodass), and everyone presented their work for the benefit and scrutiny of the others. This was, too, collegial, with only a few ill-tempered outbursts -- never for ill-tempered reasons. Meanwhile, I did at least one hour-long private meeting with each composer each week (I said not to call them "lessons" since several of the composers were now out in the real world having actual careers -- one composer suggested "play dates," which became the norm, at least in my head) in the remaining time. I calculated that between group and private meetings I met with them 54 hours while there, which is probably not a record, but it IS a multiple of 3. It was only after I got there that I realized I was expected to be doing my own work, too. Jessica spoke in the first week of having a "breakthrough" in her new novel (at which time my sketches were still in the computer bag, folded in half -- which made them six inches). So this work thing presented a slight problem. There were more composers there than available working pianos, and I had to yield my piano to Amy for practicing while she was there. But given the obscene amount I was being paid (there were several actual obscenities on the check -- I lied, just the amount itself was an obscenity), I didn't feel at all guilty about not doing my own work. Cool. Thank you. But once I figured out that my piano trio was, in a way, about my cats, then the drama was pretty easy to figure out -the chords, not as easy. (the rhythm of purring is easy, the chords not so much so, especially when in counterpoint to the petting of the cats, which has its own speed and harmony) So let me backtrack a little. Actually, you don't have a choice, since I technically backtracked long before you read this. So there, smarty pants. BEFORE I went off to Florida to take on the mantle of "Master Artist," our Thank You Rewards from Citibank arrived -- two $100 Staples gift cards and a $50 gift card. I believe this information was in the May 13 update. That weekend I looked at the Staples circular online, and the color laser printer about which we'd been drooling was $200 off that week, and the Laser Jet (black and white) 1012 was half price. So with our gift cards we went out and got ONE OF EACH -- meaning the

1012 laser printer was a hunnert bucks, and the color printer, once the gift cards were applied, was fitty bucks. Amazement and shock. Awe, too. Both are still in boxes, unopened. But soon they will be in use, Oscar, soon. The color LaserJet will be for home, and the 1012 a traveling (artist colony) printer. And then there became an acting Chair. Yes, Doctor Keiler filled in for me while I was gone, though it didn't seem as if there was a lot for him to do after commencement. Commencement! I missed the department degree meeting where Honors are awarded and voted on! So I don't even know who graduated with honors, etc. And the commencement itself was on the first of, I guess, six consecutive cold and rainy days in this area (I was in Florida with a box of schedenfreude for all of my friends), at which people froze almost literally. I might mention here that where I was it was 89, not too humid yet, with a forecast of scattered lizards. I brought way too many socks and long pants, as stretch shorts and flip flops were my preferred wardrobe milieu. And I hardly every get a chance to use that many vowels in a row. Neither did Cardinal Richilieu. But anyway: I gladly renounced, for a short time, the Chairman cloak in favor of the Master Artist one. The second one requires a nonrefundable deposit, which was okay because of all the lizards. But of course I am not making sense. On Monday the 16th (Milton Babbitt's 89th birthday, as if you cared) we got up early so I could catch a limo to the airport for a noonish flight -- but at 7:30 Maynard Door and Window called to ask if it was okay for our long-ordered storm windows and basement windows to be installed that day. Which was cool, because the owner came over to instruct his workers, and I got to be all pompous-ass and reveal that I was about to go to Florida for three weeks to "work." And the black town car pulled up while the windows were being pulled out of the truck. And there I went. I took Delta Song flight 2018 to Orlando, and Delta Song flight 2018 back -- since it's a cut rate airline, they apparently save money by doubling up on flight numbers. I went on the 16th, Beff on the 21st, at which time I picked her up using the morceau de merde Ford Focus that the Atlantic Center rented for me (as I was, after all, a Master Artist). Delta Song gives you 24 channels of TV on monitors on the seat back in front of you, as well as pay per view movies (including Beach Blanket Bingo -- you'd PAY to see that???), pay games, and a trivia game that kept score of everyone in the plane playing. The old lady sitting next to me did quite well, but the one game I played all the way through I was the winner, and had the highest score for the whole trip. And just because I knew such useless facts as Coco Chanel's first name. Amy and David Smooke (old friend, also a composer Associate) and I hooked up at the American baggage claim in the airport and we figured out which one was Jessica Hagedorn -- the writer master artist -- and got in a van driven by Jim Frost. I had a three-year history of e-mailing and talking on the phone to Jim, and based on his job and his voice I pegged him for a Wally Cox type. Wrong, kimosabe. He looks more like the crew chief than Underdog. And he flung all of our heavy suitcases way high over the back seat of the van. Insert "heavy lifting" pun of your choice here. On the first night all the Associates and Master Artists got together in the Commons for dinner, introductions were made, I found all the composers I had accepted except for Del and Aaron, we set a schedule, and introductions were made. That night and the next afternoon everyone and his grandma presented something of their work (I played DVD movies of Amy playing Martler and Fists o' Fury), and it was a wide swath of aesthetics represented indeed. I'm sure I liked just about everything, though remembering 21 names was a bit much for me that night. To make matters more complicated, the Associates started giving code names to each other, only a few of which stuck in my newly pea-sized brain: Fabio for Felipe and Stu for Aaron, among the composers. With Amy around the first week, I actually assigned homework (the whispering about that was vast and I almost slipped on it once) -- write a piano miniature beginning. After Amy played through the beginnings and we talked about what was there, I made them trade beginnings and assigned continuations which were played the following Monday. The one started by Jenny and finished by Fabio ended up being the most talked about, as its composers were from different ends of the aesthetic see-saw (here I insert the obvious upcoming pun about how they balanced). Meanwhile, the composers were working on other things, too, and needed pianos. Of which there weren't enough. So with a lot of harassment, Nick Conroy managed to spread some pianos out over several buildings and people seemed to get LOTS of work done. Amy, meanwhile, needed a piano, too, for her tango recording coming up, so she had my cottage when I wasn't

teaching in it. And teach I did, seeing two of the Associates four times each, and the others on average three times each. I was charged to do outreach twice -- once with Jessica at a gallery in New Smyrna Beach (the locals give "Smyrna" three syllables, confirmed by the prosody in a jingle we heard on TV: "Suh Mirn Ah.") and once with Jane at a private home with a lot of valuable art in it on a lake in Orlando. Otherwise the only times we got out -- did I mention a lot of teaching? -- were a beach party at the home of Ines, a foray through the Merrit Island Preserve, a dinner at a famed seafood restaurant near the beach, and an afternoon trip to St. Augustine (founded 1565, they say). The Master Artist cottages were connected to the other buildings of the Center by a long and occasionally slippery boardwalk, across which many lizards scurried as humans approached. (the lizards were mating, so occasionally you'd see one stuck there bobbing his head as if pumping his body, and his neck ballooning way out, and being red. Not for a minute did I ever wish I could do that). Some were chameleon like, with bits of blue or red, and some were uglyass, like frogs. I made it an obsession a few times to get pictures of some, and apparently I was one of the few who succeeded in that task. On weekends we had to fend for ourselves for meals, so the two Sundays included big composer parties at my cottage -- Fabio made salmon (he didn't treat the "l" as silent) in the first one, and James made spaghetti in the second one. Jessica's Associates also were at her cottage both of those times, so the parties intermingled. And I learned more names. So at the end there was the usual presentation of work for each other and for an invited general public they called Inside Out -- as if the patrons were going to get to see my stomach and pancreas but not my belly button or kneecaps -- and several composers had work to present: James's Night Music was played by Stu and Beff, Stu (Aaron Einbond) played a couple of piano "microtures," and Suzanne played the Jenny-Fabio piece. Various writers read parts of screenplays, plays and novels. I played a tape of a Violin Song. And then we got to go to the visual artist studios to see what people had been working on. At the end of it all, Jessica held the farewell party at her cottage, and Beff and I exited casually about three and three quarter hours before we were slated to awaken. Much wine was had, especially as everyone brought their last surviving alochol from the residencies. And we looked at the closets in the music and writer cottages, which had been signed by most of the Master Artists who had passed through. All in all, it was a very fun gig, I was still paid obscenely after giving Amy a quarter of my "honorarium," the weather was really humid (which I like) and occasionally rainy (which I don't like), the very different composers seemed to have bonded rather nicely, and I got to use the bathroom whenever I wanted. All in all a big success. We set the alarm for 3:16 on Sunday morning, and left with Smooke at 4:15 for the airport. We were ready in plenty of time, and I remarked that we could have slept all the way to 3:20. The flight was eventless, we got back here around quarter to noon, and the lawns were very, very unmowed. After unpacking, I went out and did all the lawns except the back yard -- that's an hour and twenty minutes -- and couldn't help noticing that it was about 90 degrees outside (ironically, it was 75 in New Smyrna Beach at the time, according to Earthlink) and sunny, sunny, sunny! All the windows were opened for air (especially the new two storm windows), Beff cleaned the whole house, and the cats were slow to emerge from the attic. Since their emergence, the cats have been very needy, following us everywhere and occasionally issuing long and plaintive meows. Both of us have been heard to utter "What?" a lot in response. Ken and Hillary left a family of five's worth of leftovers in the fridge, and I can't wait for them to take it back with them -- they are coming over tonight for seafood, so they better not leave empty-handed. I believe they left a large bowl of fava beans, which I have been snacking on liberally. Already, Chair stuff has intruded, but I try to keep a straight face about it. I know who the next Chair is going to be, but nearly no one else in the department does. I drove in to Brandeis for Chair stuff, and there was very little of it. I spoke to the Fred C. Hecht Professor of Economics briefly, and came back. Now it's blogging time, as we say in New Suhmyrna Beach. This coming weekend is a multifaceted one: a concert of me in Princeton Friday night, Take Jazz Chords

Make Strange at the Chelsea (NYC) Art Museum on Saturday and then at the Dia:Beacon on Sunday. Meanwhile, Beff has a performance in Manhattan on Sunday. And we drive back to Massachusetts on Monday, which also happens to be my birthday (I am 329 dog years old that day, though I don't feel a day over 328). And next Thursday I begin jury duty. Joy of all joys. I'm sure that this week's readership will be almost nineteen -- regular readers plus the eight ACA Associates, so I'll list their names here because it might actually give them a thrill: Suzanne Sorkin (working on a piano trio, soon to move to Philadelphia), Jenny Olivia Johnson (writing a Pierrot plus percussion piece, is at NYU), Aaron Einbond (writing a two percussion piece and piano microtures, enrolled at UC Berkeley), David Smooke (in Chicago finally finishing his U Chicago dissertation), Felipe Lara (writing an orchestra piece, hails from Brazil and enters NYU in the fall), Del Case (teaching at Eastern Nazarene College and BC), James Wiznerowicz (writing clarinet and piano piece, starts on the tenure track at VCU in the fall), and John Aylward (writing a piece for Wellesley, is enrolled at Brandeis). The "here's you" thing I do with John became quite popular amongst the composers -- as did A Certain Quietness and a few other things. Eventually we became quite the wacky bunch. Today's picture collection is legion, as it represents highlights of three weeks. We being with ACA flora: a passion flower closeup, and red lichen that was on some of the trees. Next, Amy in the van in the trip from the airport, and Amy with David Smooke doing Kilroy. Then the composer cohort except Del at the first group meal, and me with Jessica during the intermingled party which followed. Then, a lizard shot, and shot of the "road tattoo" done by one of the Associates, Steed, in a road just outside the ACA. Next, a circular we encountered on Sunset Drive, Fabio pouring Ines the "girly" Brazilian drink that would eventually make him barfmachen, the seafood from the seafood dinner, the six of us eating the seafood (shown: Aaron, James, Beff (hidden), Felipe, and David Smooke), a bunch of people sitting outdoors at the seafood restaurant, two pics from St. Augustine, and a picture of the beach. Yowza.

JUNE 20. Breakfast this morning was Shaw's toaster waffles with real maple syrup, orange juice, and coffee. Dinner was grilled swordfish puttanesca with corn and salad. Lunch was Chunky Chicken soup and blackberries. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 48.7 and 91.8. LARGE EXPENSES this last are none. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Fiona Apple's "Red, Red, Red." POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: When I was in sixth grade, it was decided that I would play in the second trombone section at the District Music Festival -- a high school festival in the BFA gym that year. I kept my parts and got a reel-to-reel of the entire concert, and used to entertain myself by playing the tape and playing along on the second trombone part. Which, now that I think of it, gives me an added sense of my parents' tolerance for such things. That tolerance reached the breaking point in high school when I wrote a pretentious piano piece that had a right-hand ostinato in parallel fifths and when I was practicing it, my mother finally asked me to stop. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Why did Ainsley have to leave West Wing for CSI Miami? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Smuttynose hefeweizen, Porino's antipasto salad (comes in a jar), homemade no-cook gazpacho. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are none, but Cammy knocks Beff's glasses -- in their case -- onto the floor at least once each morning. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE the length of your lips, two of that other thing, a can of lawnmower oil, cheese from Amsterdam. My special day (boithday, compleanno, anniversaire -- I am SO-O-O multilingual) last Monday ended with Ken and Hillary arriving with a bag o' spices and a bag o' ribs. While Ken made a speecy spicy barbecue sauce, from scratch -- even using honey -- we had a conversation about...well, I forget. Ken stuck two racks of ribs on the upper racks of the grill, Hillary shucked and foiled some corn on the cob, and the grill got started. Soon we lighted and took an OFF thingamabob out to the picnic table, where the OFF thingamabob failed to deter even one mosquito from our area, brought out the corn, and ate it right then and there. Meanwhile, grease fires ranged rampant on the grill, as the ribs dripped grease pretty liberally, and Ken and I spent plenty of time blowing them out -- my lower brass training came quite a bit in handy there. And Ken seemed to be able to blow pretty well, too, even though he was a guitarist, not a wind player. He blew in short bursts, and I tended to actually get a note when I tried to blow. In any case -- we had to keep going back to the grill to blow, blow, BLOW and eventually the ribs got a bit charred, and cooked much faster

than was the original forecast. So we served the ribs and Bubbies pickles in the dining room, and they were magnificent. It was the LARGE jar of Bubbies pickles, and they disappeared in what seemed to be a heartbeat. Ken kept mumbling that the ribs were burnt (at least I think that's what he was saying), but I thought they were great. Later the combo of the ribs and the pickles gave me a nice long ride on the porcelain pony. And they even brought a 329th birthday present -- cheap plastic flamingoes, which we immediately installed on the front lawn midst the hostas. They have to moved when the lawn is mowed (to use the passive voice cheaply, but effectively), but that rings true for the hammock, Adirondack chairs and picnic table, too, and they carry a similar value. Well, maybe a sentimental value. I made sure to put a picture of them, below. On Tuesday I had to go into Brandeis for real Chair stuff. Well, I lie. I didn't go in because I am Chair, but because I am on the committee to hire a new academic administrator for the department. Which I am on because I am Chair -- two degrees of separation. The weather had been hot and sticky and generally unbearable for almost a week (going from the air conditioned bedroom to the bathroom at night through the hall introduced a big jolt that was bound to resuscitate), but a back door cold from came through on Tuesday while we were doing the interviews. There was, indeed, about a 35-degree temperature swing from when we started the interviews (noonish) to when we finished (4ish). Lower 90s to upper 50s, for those playing along at home. The interviews came down to two favorites and some haggling in the future, but there are yet two more to interview this week. Oh joy. My favorite. After the interviews, Carolyn and I rather dramatically imbibed some beer I gave her long ago (BF -- Before Florida), and I came home and made dinner. Which was, I think, just a frozen pizza I stuck in the oven. The weather has been stuck in early spring mode since that backdoor cold front. This global warming thing sucks big ones. Them What Make, however, have routinely been off by about ten degrees each day in their high temperature predictions. Tough weather pattern and all that. Wednesday's high was about 51(!), just a day after Tuesday's 92. How 'bout that! Way too hot for a bike ride, and then way too cold for one. Them what make had predicted 78 for yesterday, and it didn't make it past 63. For those of you playing the Home Version of our game -- as of today, ten days left of the Heaven on Earth I like to call My Chairmanship. Next week I will give the numbers in hours -- perhaps, if I am feeling whimsical, in dog-hours. Incidentally, there was a time in this space when I mentioned that a job in Santa Barbara may possibly offer an escape from my Heaven on Earth -- it was someone named Clarence Barlow that they hired. In the meantime, I got a day-late-and-a-dollar-short e-mail from at least one administrator thanking me for my Heaven on Earth. Rather than press the point, I responded "Thank you." I forgot to say "Cool" first. But then again, I don't follow protocol with administration types. The pollen count has been high. So sayeth the Them What Make page in a scrolling banner every day for the last several weeks. Usually, that place is reserved for Special Weather Statements, like it may get cold tonight or somebody saw a person standing next to a river get wet. But in this case, and in this area, it's been somewhat like a scrolling banner stating that most people expect it to get dark tonight. When we returned from Florida (that's in the southern United States in the Eastern Time Zone), I drew a Kilroy on the trunk of Beff's car -- in the pollen which had accumulated in rather a thick blanket. In fact, the pollen is everywhere -- on our bike rides through the Assabet train path, all the former puddles have yellow outlines where water used to be, and every single leaf of every single tree in the area has yellow spots. Not from malaria, but from clumped pollen (malaria would just be silly). I am accustomed to thick pollen at this time of year, but this year is especially thick. In fact, on Tuesday morning before I went into Brandeis, the wind was blowing and it looked like a sand storm in the stand of pine trees. Thankfully, I think the pollen is no longer being manufactured anew in those volumes. Instead, the horseflies are now active on the Assabet path. We took our first giant step into being old this week. Beff had been to the eye doctor for a new prescription because her eyes don't match -- one being nearsighted and one being farsighted (there is a joke there, but I'm too tired to go and find it) -- and her new glasses were delivered this week. She looks positively bookish wearing them (what really does "bookish" mean, anyway?), which she does to only to read in bed

and, occasionally, to drive. Meanwhile -- we are saving up our grocery shopping in $25 increments because Shaw's is doing another one of those "spend $400 before June 30 and save 30 percent on a shopping trip in July" promotional things (again), and whenever I have to go to get items for dinner, we naturally pad in order to get another "$25" stamp on our envelope. So the padding items are normally things for which Beff has clipped coupons. On Thursday while Beff was collecting coupons for me, she actually had me come downstairs to read the expiration date for a coupon because "I can't read it without my glasses." That I can do so without reading glasses, yet, just means I must be some sort of freak.

But even though we're old, we still dig Fiona Apple. About 20 million people, as far as I can tell, have downloaded tracks from her upcoming, or is it?, album, and a friend sent us what he or she had managed to find on the internet. Which makes us the twenty million first to have it. When the album comes out, we will certainly buy it -- it's some of the finest, freshest pop music I've heard in quite a while (not that I'm setting the bar ("I've heard in a while") very high), and it certainly tends toward compound meters a lot. Lemme tell ya, when I dislike music, I really hate it, and when I like music, I like it a lot. So pardon my effusiveness. Or bite me -- your choice. It was too hot for bike rides, then too cold, then on Saturday it was just right. So we did the Boon Lake ride, which includes me carrying dog bones for Max and other various and sundry dogs we encounter. This time I brought the Sony camera and took a little movie of the two of us doing the Assabet rail bed part of the ride, with Beff in front. Click on "Biking movie" at the top of this page to see that (it's a QuickTime movie). It's not really all that interesting. I will work on getting a good movie of Sunny jumping, soccer goalie style, to make up for that. Most of the weekend was spent painting -- well, actually just a few hours both days. We scraped -- actually BEFF scraped -- and I painted a bunch of windowsills and trim around the house, including the columns on the front and back porches, and a bunch of the trim on the side porch, which REALLY needs a lot of attention. Beff also repainted the top edges of two drawers in the kitchen where the cats like to scratch while waiting to be fed. Both of us got plenty of latex paint on various parts of our hands and clothes (including my baseball cap), and apparently I got some on my lower lip and two of my front teeth. Sorry, I didn't take a picture. I guess I thought the Crest whitening strips would be just too slow. Rim shot. Okay, no rim shot. But hey -- there was mondo civic duty this week, as I had jury duty on Thursday. I had to drive to Framingham, go through a security screening TWICE, wait around reading a book for three and a half hours (after watching a seventeen minute video on being a juror in Massachusetts -- Margaret Marshall, who spoke at Brandeis commencement, even though she is from South Africa, speaks with an accent that makes you think South Boston a lot more than it makes you think South Africa -- learn your R's, Margaret), and then being summoned with about 20 other prospective jurors into Courtroom 2. We were introduced to the plaintiff, counsel and witnesses, the clerk drew seven names randomly, and mine was one of them. The "PhD" on my juror information card didn't disqualify me (dammit), but one juror from the original seven was challenged. And then there was a 3-hour trial (4 hours when lunch was included) with an assistant DA as the litigator -- who, given the case the Commonwealth presented, could have passed for an intern. The lawyer for the defendant could have passed for the guy who lulls you into buying too much insurance. And the chief witness for the Commonwealth was a former music major from Clark. As the jokes about that flew in the jury room, I kept my mouth shut (mostly). Suddenly, with none of the glamour of LA Law, the trial was over, and the judge appointed me jury foreman. Wow, Chairman and Foreman at the same time. Where was my hard hat? Intense discussions in the jury room -- slightly larger than a room needed to hold a seminar table for exactly six people -- revealed that none of us thought the Commonwealth had proved its case. So I got to be the one who responded "Not Guilty" to the clerk on both counts (see "I was Foreman"), witnessed an emotional outburst by the plaintiff who didn't understand that the jury was just doing the facts, ma'am, and I was home in time to make dinner. Ten days to Chair Emeritus status, even though that rank doesn't officially exist. The new Chair is to be Mary Ruth Ray, and I meet her this afternoon to give her the lowdown on being Chair. She insisted on the 3-year term, even though the Fred C. Hecht Professor of Economics only asked for one, so we are good to

go. Eleven months from now, she will be advising the Dean of her recommendation for my new salary. Meanwhile -- soon I will be collecting paperwork to start the search for Yehudi's replacement. Believe me when I say -- we have no idea who is going to get this job. One of my colleagues (a second violinist type, we shall say for the sake of the example) asked if it was conceivable we might hire Osvaldo Golijov. To which I responded why would he leave a situation with tenure where he doesn't have to teach for a position without tenure where he actually has to teach -- and indeed has to be prepared to do all the sexy new courses that brings the department into the present that nearly all my colleagues are too fat, lazy, old, or some combination of two or three of those, to do? And why are my sentences so long? Fluoxetine hydrochloride dosage is goin' DOWN! I'm down to 10 mg every other day, to cease in the fourth or fifth day of my Chairmanship Emeritus status. I will have about two months' worth left over, for anyone who wants them. Thanks to double-five Jimmy Ricci, I have two new gmail accounts. I originally wanted them in order to receive e-mail attachments larger than 10 megabytes. I have been burned in the past by Earthlink's limitations. Each gmail account (ziodavino at and uncledavy at gmail) has a 2 gigabyte mailbox, and my email program looks there automatically. But now I see Earthlink has upgraded my mailbox to 100 megabytes. So I can get the big ones in any of those locations. I did not report on my semi-yearly physical exam a week and a half ago. You should know that I didn't gain weight in Florida even though I should have, that all vital signs are normal, and that the blood tests show normal levels for everything. The prostate exam -- okay, the part where the doctor goes gerbil fishing -was characteristically embarrassing AND painful. So when I told some of my administrative colleagues that the notion that "the academy does not appreciate that which it is that I do"was not pulled "out of my ass" (yes, I said that) -- the doctor couldn't do that, either. Um, uh, rim shot. Uh, all he got was the glove that he was already wearing. After eleven months -- okay, ten and a half -- the Marines finally got it together to send me a rehearsal tape (from last July 21) of the many-clarinetted arrangement of "Martian Counterpoint" that I did for them (it was originally the fourth movement of "Ten of a Kind"). There were caveats from Jason, its conductor, about it being a rehearsal, tempi, players, etc., but it is hot, hot, HOT. Not only have I written the hardest band piece ever, I also have written the hardest 22-clarinet piece ever. I rule. And Signal to Noise magazine's summer issue is about to come out. Indeed, it may already be out, I just haven't seen it in stores yet (see Barnes and Noble, Tower Records, or Newbury Comics to find it). For you see, there is a feature article about me written by Christian Carey in it. And I now have seen the opening graphic for it online -- you, dear almost eleven (twelve?) may, too, by clicking on "S to N" above and to the left of this text. Hard to believe that all 76 pictures of me taken for this came out so bad that just half of me is showing on this one. I know what is in the text of the article already, so there won't be any surprise there. Guess what -- somebody else thinks I have a sense of humor. Finally. All of today's pictures were taken on Saturday -- now that I think of it, the only stretch longer than ten minutes when the sun was out this week -- with the Sony T-1 camera (as was the Biking movie). We have the new flamingi from Ken and Hillary followed by an EXTREME closeup of a carpenter ant on the canoe (note all the pollen, and very old mold, in the cracks -- the stick in the picture is actually a pine needle). Next we have Cammy preaching to the choir, and looking on the inside while Beff paints (feeling left out, obviously). Then we have Sunny in the dining room window, and both cats chilling out on the back porch. Next two more extreme closeups -- caked pollen on a leaf, and a really, really tiny flower hidden in the grass. Then is the causeway on Boon Lake, from our bike ride, and Beff about to coast down that causeway. Finally, we have a garbage/trash receptacle from Maynard (apparently they don't mean exactly the same thing, hence the slashed terminology for those them what may be confused) and a closeup of Beff's thumb after painting the drawers in the kitchen.

JUNE 27, mid afternoon. Lunch was two lowfat Hebrew National hot dogs. Breakfast this morning was fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee, and a bagel with lowfat cream cheese. Dinner/lunch yesterday was

corn on the cob with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray, and a few lean burgers off of the grill. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 50.4 and 96.8. LARGE EXPENSES this last week include a duplexing copy machine, $300 after rebate; lots of Inko's ice tea and some spices from an Asian foods online seller, $167; a citrus juicer and some silverware at Crate and Barrel, $42; four new place settings, $129; books and CDs at amazon, $72. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine". (I am trying to determine if the second chord over flat-2 is a French sixth or simply the Neapolitan with a flatted fifth) POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: My third year in graduate school, Joe Dubiel taught the composition pro-seminar, and to be different he tried to do something that never, ever works: have students analyze each others' music. I remember John Gibson writing a chord on the board for someone's piece and saying he thought the whole piece was based on that chord. I did something similar with a piece by Jody Rockmaker, and graphed the piece in an A-BA-B-A form. Then I said, "and that makes it..." and I twiddled my lips with my finger to say ababa.... Years later, Jody remembered this moment, but for some reason I didn't. On a separate occasion, Beff came home after a grad seminar looking pooped and frustrated, saying "I can't get any empathy for my point of view." I said, "I know exactly how you feel." THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Why didn't I know about Inko's tea before this? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Grant's Mandarin Hefeweizen, Porino's olive antipasto, hamburger dill pickles, Bubbie's pickles, Inko's White Tea. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are none, but Cammy obligingly knocked my glasses off of the nightstand this morning. SOME BIRDS NOTED THIS WEEK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE: mockingbirds, veerys, Downy woodpeckers, Carolina wrens. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a pooper scooper, that which the pooper scooper scoops, a fire hydrant painted green (or orange), the plastic wrap on an individually wrapped slice of cheese. HEAT WAVE! Actually, last week's temperatures overstated the low temperature for the week, which had been 45.7 degrees last Monday morning, a full two degrees lower than what I reported. I apologize if any lives were ruined because of it. But today is the third straight day where in Maynard the temps are above 90 degrees. The forecast for today is 82, and it is 90 as I type this: yesterday's forecast was 86, and it reached 97 (almost). Saturday (94) was predicted to be by far the hotter of the two weekend days. Them what make had their usual level of accuracy. So because of the extreme temperatures in the afternoon, Beff and I have been taking our bike rides in the morning, and I'm pleased to report that yesterday we embarked on our longest programmed ride: the one that goes by the Minuteman Airport and through West Acton -- and has two pretty considerable hills. Beff doesn't like hills. I like them in moderation. I am hoping soon to do the nature preserve ride again, our second longest one, and with the biggest hill of all the programmed rides. If there is a call for it, I will reprint the list of programmed rides and how long they are -- yesterday's ride was about 14 miles. Last Monday night, Dewek came over and took us to Korean in exchange for a meeting about the piece he is about to write for BMOP. I'm pretty good at reducing compositional problems to the simplest description, so after the long description of the quintet embedded within the orchestra as a soloist, banding of sound around a cantus firmus, and heterophony in the orchestra, I said, "you mean you want it to suck." Actually, I didn't say that. I said something more like something this ambitious will be great if it works, and still it won't be appreciated by the culture at large. I am doing everything I can to precipitate that existential crisis. Nonetheless, it seems to be a strikingly original idea, and in exchange for saying that I got the chicken ginger dinner. I also didn't bring up that Derek never compensated me for covering for his Walnut Hill classes in December, 2002 -- now I guess we're finally even. There was a slow warmup through the week. And I went into the office twice (including this morning) to help arrange the academic administrator's office, along with Shawna, Carolyn, and Big Mike. Beer was had by all. Index cards dating to the early 60s and general exams dating to 1975 were among the many things we discovered still taking up space. We filled 4 barrels with trash last week and 2 this morning, and sort of gave up on what else to discard: that will be up to the new Academic Administrator. Oh yes, and I went in on Thursday as well to do interviews for the academic administrator job. And also on the oh yes front, I went in yet a separate time to give Mary Ruth her first lesson in what to expect as Chair. I did my duty to defend our low-enrollment courses for the fall, did my usual lefty railing how calling a class with an enrollment of less than 8 "low enrollment" violates the educational mission and turns Brandeis more into a

corporation, but it seems there was a subtext to that statement. Hmm, I wonder what it could have been. And now, dear almost TWELVE (welcome, Carolyn), I am pleased to report that I become, officially, Chairman Emeritus (actually, unofficially, since there is no such title) in 560 dog-hours from the time this page is posted. And remember that a dog-hour passes in less than nine minutes (this must be why they like bones so much). I had been to Barnes and Noble in Shoppers World a few times to check if they had the summer issue of Signal to Noise -- as there is a substantial article about me written by Christian Carey in it. On Friday Beff and I decided to take a little trip to Harvard Square, incidentally looking for the magazine in Newbury Comics and Tower Records, and, as it turned out, the Coop. I purchased multiple copies in Newbury Comics and the Coop (as I have to give some out to various administrative and media people at Brandeis), and Beff and I did the other stores and shops in the area, as well. At Crate & Barrel I saw a citrus juicer that I knew I had to have (the stainless steel exterior must be what did it), along with an olive fork and some porcelain spoons for hot and sour soup. Meanwhile, it occurred to me that I liked the three-tine forks we have, and we probably needed some more. So we looked in the store and didn't find anything to our liking. Then Beff got a red dress at a nice place near Crate and Barrel, and we walked slowly up Mass. Ave. towards Porter Square (we had driven to Alewife and parked). Meanwhile, Beff took some movies of urban/traffic in Harvard Square and on Mass. Ave. to use in her next video project. I thought they looked nice. Up Mass. Ave. we stopped in the Vintage store and didn't find anything to buy. Then we stopped in Porter Exchange, I got a few powdered soups and some dim sum at the Japanese grocery store, and saw Yoko (Nakatani!) there. She is moving to Attleboro for the summer. And Beff and I ate at a Japanese restaurant in the little restaurant cluster, where I ordered ice tea on a whim. We got "Inko's" white tea, and both thought it was marvelous. So marvelous that when we got back, I ordered about 80 of them online -after which I discovered that Shaw's sells them, too (so I got all 8 that they had). Anyway, we made it back. Beff found flatware that we both liked online, and we ordered it. On Wednesday we drove into Northampton to see David Sanford at the Northampton Brewery -- we do this at least once a year. Because we like him, and we like hearing stories about marching bands and the Pittsburgh Collective, etc. We always like to do the shops in Northampton (because it is such a small shopping area), and I even happened to see Fred Lerdahl and Louise Litterick in one of them, from a distance. They are a very domestic couple. And I bought a chef's hat. Because I will be a celebrity chef, once again (Chair Emeritus, dontcha know) at the September 20 School of the Arts barbecue. Then there was the beer and (of course) some wings at the brewery, ice cream at Harrell's, as usual, and back we went, on the northern route (Route 2). Saturday I got another one of those insatiable cravings for wings, so I called Big Mike to see if he wanted to do lunch -- as I kind of have to take him out to a meal for doing our cats on short notice every once in a while. I got Sweaty Betty wheat beer (dunno who makes it), and Beff got Old Speckled Hen, and Big Mike got a tuna melt (what he always gets) and a triple chocolate cake (he must have known I was paying). By the way, we always do lunch at the Horseshoe Pub in Hudson. In case you were playing along at home. Yesterday (HOTTEST DAY IN TWO YEARS! PROTECT YOUR SKIN! PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN! FOR GODS SAKE DON'T PANIC!) Sam and Laurie came over for what was to be a bagel brunch with us and them and Ken and Hillary. I had thought it was to be Monday, and so did Ken and Hillary, so it was just the four of us. We didn't start until 2, so I got stuff for an outdoor barbecue, and that's what we had, dagnabbit. That, and beer. And Inko's Tea. Today, back into Brandeis. Took some Signal to Noises to Brandeis. Did some more cleaning out. Looked at how much paperwork I'll have to do for the junior search coming up. And when we tired, I went home. Big Mike actually brought a microwave meal with him. And I brought the bagels that Sam and Laurie had brought but we didn't eat because we were doing a cookout. And this morning it occurred to me that we needed to finish dealing with our technology needs before I go on half salary (that starts Friday -- a perk of being on unpaid leave in the spring). So I looked on the Staples page for a copyer that could do double-sided copying, AND which had auto-feed. And there was one at

$200 off. So we ran for it. Tomorrow it is supposed to arrive, or I'll be a matey with which you can swab the deck. Tomorrow Beff takes the Camry in to have the brakes checked. I had driven the Camry to Northampton, and was dissatisfied with the way the car shimmied and the car made noise when I braked at high speed. Wednesday, weather permitting, Carolyn comes over for a very early morning canoe ride on the Assabet. And Friday we drive to Burlington, Vermont, taking the scenic route -- Route 100, which I try to do every year, and which we never got a chance to do last year. We get back Monday, the 4th (I hope nobody else with a car has the same idea). There is also a feature in Signal to Noise about a funky improv group called "Erroneous Funk". Which wouldn't have interested me so much except that the woman in the group, Renee Coulombe, studied composition with me at Columbia in 1989-90. She is now a brunette instead of a blonde, has had her doctorate only two fewer years than I have, and teaches in Riverside. I put a link to her web page on Home of this page. Meanwhile, I also added a link to Rick Carrick's page. And I opened my eighth allotted Earthlink account and got 10 megs more of web space to put a few more tunes up there. You have to hunt around for a link to that page, which is not on this page. I have made and compressed two cat movies: Sunny jumping after stuff, and Cammy batting at some dripping water in the bathtub. And I made a movie of the bike ride downhill on the Boon Lake causeway (twice I tried to give a sense of the view). Click on the links to the left to see those movies. Meanwhile, a mere eight pictures this week. A picture of the Signal to Noise article (buy it yourself, don't ask for a free copy) and this morning's fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh out of the new appliance. Next, Beff and David Sanford, and something I don't even know how to describe, in Cambridge. Then Sam with beer and Laurie with hammock and Georgia. Then there's me in new chef's hat, with spatula, and a better picture of the lawn flamingi that Ken and Hillary gave us -- the Sony camera made them too light, and the Coolpix 4500 gave color that was truer. Also, it was sunnier.

JULY 5. Breakfast this morning was Morningside Farms meatless breakfast patties with nonfat cheese, orange juice, and coffee. Dinner last night was salad and mozzarella balls that were marinated in oil and basil. Lunch was, for me, the Zesty Chicken sandwich at Applebee's in Keene, New Hampshire. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 52.5 and 90.3. LARGE EXPENSES this last week include stuff at amazon for Beff, amount unknown, and some songs purchased from iTunes, $7.92. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Valerie" by Steve Winwood. In fact, it's been going through my head a lot since I happened by it on MTV2, and I'm going to use the chorus in my soon-to-belegendary "teach-in" next month -- it emphasizes scale degree 6 in the verse, returns to it in the chorus, then eases to scale degree 7 as an ornamentation of scale degree 6, and wails, finally, on the tonic three times at agogic accents: and each time, the harmonization is vi, meaning non-completion. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: when she was in high school and getting an allowance, my sister routinely sent me to Lester's to pick up candy for her. My fee was always a nickel, and at the time, a nickel bought a candy bar or a popsicle, or five tootsie rolls. My quandary was what to do with my nickel. I was enough of a regular there that eventually they let me buy cigarettes for my mother (always Pall Malls). Who quit in 1967, by the way. The other quandary was whether to stay on the streets (Lakeview Ave. and Messenger Street) or take the shortcuts through peoples's yards. This quandary no longer happened after the time I was bitten by a dog while I was doing the shortcut. The dog's owner blamed me. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Is there a post-chairmanship depression? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Bubbies pickles, hamburger dill pickles, sugar free popsicles, olive antipasto. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are none. SOME BIRDS NOTED THIS WEEK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE: pileated woodpeckers, blue jays(!). INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a popsicle stick, next year's fashion, a headless body in a topless bar, some snot. CHAIR AND CHAIR ALIKE. The Oh Happy Day news of the week (of the whole year, and, perhaps, decade) is that as I type this, I am not the Chair of the Music Department. For the next couple of months I play a purely advisory role, letting Mary Ruth in on all the minutiae of Chairmanship that my predecessor

failed to clue me in on. There's still stuff I haven't told her -- like the inspired mess that is our graduate composition seminar structure and the disagreements between the Dean and the composition faculty on how they should work (don't get me staaahted...). But you see, I am already thinking too deeply of this stuff, and that is devoutly not to be wished. There is actually one Chair duty left to me, and that is a meeting of the four creative arts chairs (theater, music, fine arts, creative writing) tomorrow to discuss new titles for non-tenure track faculty, and I agreed to participate, since this meeting was supposed to happen in May. As Fred Flinstone was known to say, Ugh. Chairmanship Emeritus status for me also means that from here on I will refer to the Dean by name (which is Adam). You may have noted that on "Home" of this page, where I come from we "don't bear grudges". DE-PILL-A-TORY I'm going for the Gannett Newspaper all-caps pun headlines at the start of each paragraph, just as an experiment. Almost twelve, I am sure you are nearly as bored with the device as I am. Nonetheless, I shall press forward. Today, I took a fluoxetine hydrochloride, and that will be the last one. The box has been retired. Meanwhile, on Saturday night a CNN report said that doctors have been warned that antidepressants -- rather in opposition to what they are for -- can cause or augment suicidal tendencies. I am here to report, without giving specific examples, that the people warning the doctors are correct. Fluoxetine hydrochloride, get thee away from me. I would make a little cross with my index fingers (I am quite fluent with dramatic but pointless physical gestures), but it would mean I couldn't type. CLOSE TO YOU That one's a New England expression, I am told: when it's humid, the locals say it's "close". And it's close now, even down in the Glenn. Our wild and wacky weather has continued, with a nice and comfortable dry spell coming just in time for our trip to Vermont. Of which we shall hear soon. Meanwhile, it may be close, but it's been almost bone-dry in terms of precipitation -- despite the drizzle in which we departed on Friday. The level of the Assabet is going down, and little brown spots appear on the back lawns. Coolness is forecast for later in the week -- as soon as tomorrow. ROWING VS. WADING In the last throes of my Chairmanship, I excused Carolyn from work on Wednesday morning so that she could come out here and all three of us indulge ourselves in rural sports. Beff walked the Assabet rail trail, parallel to the Assabet River, while Carolyn and I canoed it. And the night before, to prepare, Beff and I hauled the canoe into the back yard, got all real medieval with Formula 409 on its ass, and scrubbed it heartily with scrubber sponges -- so it looked much nicer. Beff's side got a little cleaner than my side, something she was only too eager to point out. I did not remind her that it was not a competition, because I wanted her to experience the joy of winning something pointless. Next week: she finishes a beer before I do. CATS'LL REPORT And the cats have been quite needy since we returned, last night, from Vermont. As Martler will recall, Cammy likes to follow you until you seem to linger a moment, then plop himself down on the floor. He has been doing that in many, many locations today, as has Sunny. Meanwhile, Beff thought their parallel naps near the porch last week was worth a photo. You will see it below. Justin and Melissa, who housesat over the weekend, seem to have gotten along with them just fine (they also ate all the sweet potato potato chips -- in case you ever needed to see an actual sentence with the word "potato" twice consecutively). Beff also cracked open a new Trader Joe's cat scratcher for them and seeded it with catnip - Sunny, in particular, went crazy for it. PULLED BY THE ROUTES Our drive to Vermont took us up Route 100, which is a very scenic stretch going through the spine of the Green Mountains -- if, indeed, mountain ranges can be said to have backbones. I like to try to drive the stretch between Route 9 in the south up to Waterbury in the north at least once a year, and last year we didn't get around to it (I was too busy waking up early with panic attacks about what it was going to be like to be Chair). So it was quite a welcome drive; it progressed from drizzly to hazy sun during the drive, and we stopped at the bigass country store, as we always do (free rest rooms). You can still buy slot hockey games there ($105) and Rock 'em Sock 'em robots. If I had bought either, I'd REALLY be having that midlife crisis. We stopped around 1:30 in Waterbury for lunch, and the brew pub we seemed to remember was not yet open: so we proceeded a few doors down to WATERBURY WINGS. Which had just what you would think they would have. I got hot (which were a LEETUL hot for me, but I made it), and Beff didn't get wings at all. We also tried beers by Shedd Mountain and Otter Creek on tap, which were just dandy. Vermont's a good place to find beers -- almost as good a place for that as it is to

find New Yorkers. SALLY FOURTH And then was the arrival at Beff's dad's camp on Lake Champlain in the north of Burlington. Up there, summer-only homes are called "camps" (not because of the kind of drama they prefer), and it is just a few hops (no skips -- too many sharp rocks) from the camp down to the actual lake, where there is a beach shared by many of the locals. Twice during the weekend (Saturday and Sunday), Beff and Ann (la soeur de Beff) and Jack (le fils d'Ann) spent substantial time on the beach and in the water. Beff got more color than I did (she brought an extra tint button), but we got equally wet (you don't want to know how we measured -- or why). Meantime, we got to participate in the local area's yearly Fourth rituals, including a 4th of July parade (which was on the morning of the 2nd) and a tennis tournament (of which Jack won the kid's division). A nice weather front came through Friday night producing much wind but no precipitation at a pot luck at a local house, after which the temps actually got into the 40s at night. Beff and I had to deal with a "camp" type bed. At first we did not use any covers, but when it started to cool down, Beff said, "would you like some sheet?" I was transported back to the drug dealers from Argentina during my undergraduate years. Actually, it so amused me that I was actually lacking a comeback. BIKE'LL ROW THE BOAT Ann has stored her high school-era bicycle at the camp, and their brother Matt has left one of his there, so it was possible to take long bike rides on the nearby rail trail, paved and converted from a railway that once connected Burlington to the north and to the island. On Saturday and Sunday we got even more sun by taking the bikes out first to the left (Saturday) and then to the right (Sunday). On Saturday we went toward the causeway of the section that crossed the bay to the islands, but didn't make it all the way owing to bugs and a guy with a kid ahead of us on a very narrow stretch. All that time, I took pix and movies -- so many that the 512meg card filled up: later I also filled a 256 meg card. My urgent need to document knows no bounds. Since I had Ann's old bike, it had the old style seat apparently made of granite. After an hour and a half on it on Saturday, I had a butt-ache. And I made no secret of it. So before we stepped off on Sunday, Beff asked me, "How's your butt?" This time I had a generic comebacker: "If I had a nickel for every time somebody asked me THAT...." FIRE IN THE SKY A true highlight of the weekend was the actual Fourth of July fireworks in downtown Burlington, and we actually managed to get an excellent viewing point. I had never had such an unobstructed view of fireworks before, and these went on and on and on and on.... Like the chamber music of Dvorak, there were a lot of short volleys that fizzled, several volleys that promised the climax and didn't deliver, and FINALLY -- when some people were actually starting to leave -- was the climax. I took lots of pictures and even some movies -- hence filling up the 256 meg card. We drove back during the day on Monday after the kid's division of the tennis tournament was over, ate at Applebee's in Keene, and, well, there you have it. I checked my phone messages while driving through Randolph, Vermont, and there was a message from David Russell wondering how to get a part for Hyperblue. I made several calls saying essentially that it's hand copied and only the publisher has those. And then he left a message saying all was well. Awww. COPYING A PLEA The copy machine made by Sharp and purchased at Staples about which I reported last week was defective. After we got back, I had to make some copies of a score so I could send it back to Michael Lipsey. And every copy was very light on the top fourth or third or so. Surprisingly, on the fourth of July, someone was at Sharp technical support, and after a bunch of experiments that only he knew about (press copy/tint/copy/tint, enter 13, press copy, for instance) he determined it was just a faulty printer. So I called Staples to see if they had any more for an exchange, and they directed me to the Natick store. Where I went this morning to make the exchange, and YES! the new one works fine. Or at least it seems to. While in that area, I got more cat litter, cheese, mocha drinks, and stuff at BJs, some CryBaby tears from a vending machine at Best Buy, and the new Get Fuzzy and Fox Trot collections. Anyway, I am pleased to report that both Sharp and Staples passed the test with flying colors (what would "frying" colors be? brown and white?). THE SHAW'S SHOP REDEMPTION Persistence and lots of purchase of impulse items or items intended for far in the future paid off today. Over the month of June we spent $500 at Shaws, in various increments of $25, and were entitled to 20 percent off one shopping trip between the 1st and 10th of July. So we got

$220 in groceries -- including all the Original flavor Inko's ice tea they had -- and got $44 off. I shudder to think what our hourly wage for all that shopping thus works out to. THE GRILL OF A LIFETIME We finally opened the portable Sunbeam grill that Ann got us as a present in order to assemble it and bring it to the Adirondacks next week (where we will be wid' Hayes and Susan, proud owners of a new Red Pearl Corolla), and after doing a bunch of assembling, realized four very major pieces were missing. I called the tech support number and reported same, and they sent out the missing pieces -- I hope they are the right noes -- which arrived while we were away. After this is posted, we try to see if we can finish the assembly. I am skeptical, since last year I got a Sunbeam air conditioner whose temperature knob was broken when I opened it, and the replacement knob sent was the wrong size. Actually -- Sunbeam has not had a good track record here. WATERSHIP DOWNLOAD After lingering on MTV2 while it played the old video for Steve Winwood's "Valerie" from the 80s, I kind of realized that the chorus had a structure I could use to teach; and I looked for the song at Strawberries in Acton, which had no Steve Winwood CDs at all -- and this dude doesn't appear on any of the 80s compilations, either. So I actually created an iTunes account and downloaded it. Yes, I entered the downloading era with not only a splash but a belly-flop. iTunes is enabling the next stage of my midlife crisis, since I then went back to it and downloaded more stuff -- after which I listened to it on the hammock. Other tunes downloaded include Our House, Owner of a Lonely Heart, You're Still The One, a Bruce Hornsby tune, and Sinister Minister by Bela Fleck. After the two of us happened by the new Gwen Stefani video for Hollaback Girl, Beff couldn't get the tune out of her head ("tune" here is kind of relative) - we even heard it on the radio as we traversed the most rural portion of Vermont. Upon our return, I downloaded it -- alas the version I got is sanitized. But I intend to use it in class in the fall, someway, somehow. 'Cause you always gotta use something current in order to live up to an e-mail address like "TheCoolOne". Boy, it's been a long time since using "Borderline" made me cool... IT'S NOT HOW LONG IT IS, IT'S WHAT YOU DO WITH IT As implied last week, I have the mileage statistics for our customary bike rides, which will now be a yearly feature of this spot. And here it goes: West Concord – 10.5 miles West Concord back way via Gropius – 10 miles West Acton with cutoff – 9 miles West Acton without cutoff – 9.75 miles Boon Lake circle – 10.3 miles Boon Lake doubling back – 9.8 miles Boon Lake via 27 – 11.1 miles Boon Lake roundabout on 62 – 12.6 miles West Acton via Minuteman Airport – 11.5 miles Nature viewing area -- 11 miles Arboretum via back way – 12.6 miles Baby ride by Shaws – 5.6 miles We haven't done the Arboretum ride in some while because we both hate all the traffic on Route 27 between K-Mart and the arboretum. But some day.... THE WAR OF BLOG Lou Bunk -- a Brandeis ABD -- is now one of the composer bloggers on the Sequenza 21 web page, and he is doing his best to be wacky. It's actually refreshing to read, instead of "Carter IS TOO one of the great living composers, you nimrod!", things like "Chocolate. Mmmm." In his initial post, Lou said he'd told Derek Hurst of his upcoming blog, and he reported Derek's response imprecisely. Lou left open the question "why do we blog?" to which many responded, including Derek appearing to clear his name by pointing out how severely unnuanced was Lou's report. It was very entertaining, and I kept wondering if everyone participating was trying to win something. For I do not know how these things actually work. THE FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT I GOTTA WAREBROOK. Upcoming events include dinner in Brookline with the Ceelys tonight (always an entertaining proposition -- as Bob Ceely makes me look shy and reserved), a trip to the Warebrook Festival in northern Vermont over the weekend (where a big swath of the history of Brandeis will also be), and several days in the Adirondacks next week with Hayes and Susan. We

will be on Adirondack Lake. What an original name. CONCERTO DE CAMERA So we have two QuickTime movies this week, with links to the left of this text block: Sunny cat scratcher shows Sunny a little high on catnip, and Malletts Bay Causeway shows a little bit of the bike ride along the bike path north of Burlington. Remember how much my butt was hurting at the time, and you will be ever glad. We have eight pictures below. Lazing kitties followed by one of the fireworks from Sunday night in Burlington. Then we have Friday's and then Saturday's sunset from the lake near the camp. We follow that with the parade we saw (it was over in a few minutes), and Beff at WATERBURY WINGS. Finally, Angel Falls on Route 100 and me at WATERBURY WINGS (I knew the camera was pointed at me).

JULY 10. Breakfast this morning was coffee in Coventry, Vermont, at Greg Djanikian's summer home. Dinner last night was pepperoni pizza and UFO on tap, followed four and a half hours later by salad with Italian dressing. Lunch was two cheeseburges with fried onions at Warner's Snack Bar in St. Albans, Vermont. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 53.6 and 87.6. LARGE EXPENSES this last week include lots of Inkos teas and other various foods, about fifty bucks, and every time I filled my gas tank. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Hollaback Girl," Gwen Stefani. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: when I was about 8 and the family was camping, I was trout fishing with my father near Island Pond, Vermont. Three times he hooked a big fish, and then handed me the pole nonchalantly, saying, "I'm not having any luck. You try it." And of course I immediately pulled in a fish. For many years I thought I had done the good fishing that day. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Does the melody still linger on? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: olive antipasto (still), jalapeno-stuffed olives, fried onions, small tomatoes. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Franconia Notch in New Hampshire. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are none. SOME BIRDS NOTED THIS WEEK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE: pileated woodpeckers in Vermont, white throated sparrow, Eastern wood peewee. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE an early version of Wordstar software, three junk bonds, a piece of toilet paper recently unstuck from someone's heel, the number "5". I have just driven back from the Warebrook Music Festival in northern Vermont, where my Hyperblue was performed, where I made a side trip to Warner's (where I worked in high school), and where it was Brandeis Old Home Week. I have just now finished mowing the way back lawn, wearing a black t-shirt while it's 89 degrees out, and Beff and I visit Hayes and Susan on Adirondack Lake in the vicinity of the village of Indian Lake in upstate New York starting tomorrow. There is no time for a proper update today, but I will be back in another week for a full two-week report. Meanwhile, be sated with two pictures I took at Warebrook: Jay Eckardt and Marilyn Nonken, and me with Greg Djanikian (a poet who teaches at Penn whom I have overlapped with at Yaddo all four of my times there). THERE ARE ALSO LITTLE MOVIES this week, including a brief view of Franconia Notch in New Hampshire as I drove through it, a car accident I passed on Route 93, and Marilyn Nonken nevously posing for a picture, not knowing I was just making a movie (see titles in yellow text on left, below). JULY 16. Breakfast this morning was Boca meatless breakfast sausages, lemonade, orange juice, and coffee. Dinner was chicken kebabs and appetizers, etc. at Bombay Club in Harvard Square. Lunch was olive antipasto. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 61.2 and 90.0 (in Maynard). LARGE EXPENSES this last week are some books at the Harvard Coop, $80 or so; bug masks, $16; chart of mushroom species, $6; dinner at the Bombay Club $75 for two; drinks afterwards $20 for two; West Wing seasons 1 and 4, $90. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Do It To Me One More Time", which I presume was The Captain and Tenille. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: in graduate school, Jody Rockmaker and I made up a song making fun of Walter Piston's Harmony textbook (not yet updated by Mark DeVoto) by changing the words of Tom Lehrer's "National Brotherhood Week." And it kinda went like this: "Oh the 3 chord/Goes to the 6 chord/And the 6 chord/goes to the 4 chord/And the 4 chord goes to the 5 chord/And it all goes back to 1/We're doin'/Piston's Harmony/Piston's Harmony/It only takes a chord or 2 to find another key, so/Come on and modulate/Don't you think that it's just great/Anyone can do it/Any time." COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY RECENTLY include Staples, Cuisinart, asiafoods.com, Earthlink, Sharp Electronics.

COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY AND THEN SOME this week include Inko's White Tea. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: What do salamanders do in the forest? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: olive antipasto (still), marinated shish kebabs, hamburger dill pickles, and, as always, Inko's White Tea. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Various stuff deep within the Adirondacks. MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN THIS WEEK: $30 for a Cuisinart citrus juicer. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are none. SOME BIRDS NOTED THIS WEEK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE: include a pair of common loons, ducks, a seagull, and hawks. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a blank CD-R, a raging case of adolescent acne, two pieces of moldy bread, a sewer grate. This is an update covering nearly two weeks of events, so be patient with me, almost twelve. As y'all know, I went to the Warebrook Music Festival last weekend because HYPERBLUE was performed on the third of the four concerts. From Monday to Friday Beff and I were visiting Hayes 'n' Susan at their summer cottage rental on Adirondack Lake in the town of Indian Lake, New York. And besides all of that, there was even a meeting at Brandeis to report in this last twelve-day period. So let's get down to brass tacks (or with them). After the return from Vermont, there were lawns to mow, cats to feed, laundry to do, etc., and do that we did. On Wednesday I sat in on a meeting with the Dean, a member of the creative writing department, and, by phone, the Chairs of Fine Arts and of Theater. The subject was something to do with contract faculty (non-tenure track), and it was that rare meeting where something actually got done. Later, I encountered our new Chair, and met with her 45 minutes to go over more stuff about being Chair, and other various and extremely tedious Brandeis details that somebody has to think about and I'm glad it is no longer I who has to think about them. Meanwhile, Beff and I went our separate ways a week ago Friday. Beff went to Bangor in order to start moving back into our house there and to meet with some faculty and students. I went to Newport, Vermont in order to go to 3 of the 4 concerts of the Warebrook Music Festival. I took the only route I knew: up 93 through New Hampshire to 89 to 91 in Vermont. I stayed in a hotel on Route 5 to the east of Newport with "Pearl" in the name (I'm terrible with names, as some of you almost 12 may have found out), which was also where Yehudi Wyner, Susan Davenny Wyner, Marty Boykan, Susan Schwalb, and Allen Anderson were staying. And, lo and behold, there we all were at dinner on Friday night at the hotel. Dinner was delicious, but I had to leave a little early. David Cleary was also in town for the festival, was staying at the Super 8, had no car, and found me in my hotel room to ask for a ride to the first event. So we rode together to the first concert, in the town hall of Irasburg, Vermont. It was a typical meetin' hall type building, with a stage and fairly large room on the second level, and a large room attached to kitchentype stuff on street level -- this is where the reception was held. There was an upright piano available for the concert -- one on which you could actually hear each note going out of tune as it was played -- and it did wonders for, for instance, Curtis Hughes's piece "Avoidance Tactics No. 1". As far as I could tell, the performance of that piece was pretty good, even though the lack of harmonic change in the second half of the piece kind of annoyed me. All in all, of the three concerts I attended this was the least interesting musically, though the performances were obviously very good. There was an existing string quartet who played a piece of unmitigated vomitous crap by a local composer that was notable because the cellist looked a lot like my brother. I imagined what it would be like if he also talked like my brother and had the same vomitous crap taste in music, but I didn't get a chance to test my theory. For you see, he was very good. As anyone from Brandeis knows, Sara Doncaster runs the Warebrook Festival, which is a buttload of work all year round, and she came up to me about fourteen times per minute to ask, "are you enjoying it so far?" After a while I wanted to change my answer just for the sake of variety -- or say something that was a non sequitur (like "why not ask a moose?") but I knew that would precipitate further discussion. So I said yes every time. Most certainly the music was very well-performed. On Saturday the remnants of tropical storm what's-her-name passed through New England quite slowly, so downpours were the rule in the morning. And this is the time I had pre-chosen to visit my hometown of St. Albans -- only about 55 miles to the west of Newport, but on twisty roads that go through at least two

mountain passes, so the drive time was an hour and 25 minutes each way. First I visited Greenwood Cemetary for the first time in about 20 years, where I got some pictures of my parents' gravestones -- in the pouring rain. This was followed by a trip downtown, where I got a portable blacklight (I can actually use it to verify that new $20 bills are genuine!) and four more prisms for the kitchen window. Then to the local supermarket to see if any new gastronomic obsessions were pending, and I did get a few things to try out (including a jar of jalapeno-stuffed olives for Justin Rust). Then I had lunch at Warner's Snack Bar, where I had worked in the summer of 1976. Of course the proprietors, Paul and Jackie are still doin' it (running the snack bar, that is), and they gave me another free t-shirt. Then I drove back in yet more driving rain (so to speak). The afternoon concert was at the memorial library in Newport, and it was very, very good -- pieces by Allen Anderson and Marty Boykan in particular were fantastic. A local Mamlok scholar had unearthed early sketches from Ursula's student days for violin and piano, and these received their premiere: they really belonged securely back in the sketchbook and out of sight. Spencer Schedler, a grad student at NYU I knew, actually popped into town for this concert (he was accepted to Brandeis but chose NYU in order to be closer to his now-former fiancee, who was studying at Peabody at the time). And the performances were fantastic. Before the concert, there was a reception/lunch at a health food store two doors down from the library, and I went in looking for the crew -- I had gotten Max a cheeseburger from Warner's, and didn't know I'd be presenting it to him in the context of a health food store. There I sat for a little while shooting the breeze with festival people. And afterwards, Jay and Marilyn and I went back to try some various things. And then I drove to Shaw's to see what they had, and I got 15 bottles of Inko's White Tea, which was on special. Love that stuff. The evening concert was at the high school in a very nice hall with a very nice piano, and it was preceded by brief talks by Sara (her big dissertation piece was the second half of the concert), me, and the Mamlok scholar (again, I am bad with names -- Wiener sticks in my memory but I am trying to get it out). The Mamlok talk was a pre-written paper that was read out loud much as seventh grade book reports are read in class -- I was glad to hear a bit of Ursula's history, and her sextet of 1976 was on this concert. It actually is a great piece, and in the talk she was described as being "at the height of her creative powers" when she wrote it. I started lusting after an accolyte to write about whenever it is, was, or will be, that I am at the "height of my creative powers", and hoped that that time was in the future and not in the past. Back on topic, I was thinking that for the student pieces, Ursula was at the depth of her creative powers. Rim shot. So the concert was actually quite fantastic, Hyperblue was done quite well, and I got to know David Fulmer -- who played violin -- a little. He is in the Rolf Schulte mode of extremely expressive with the body moving in all directions as he plays -- occasionally getting up out of his chair to make dramatic gestures for the benefit of the ensemble. Only two places where the trio got off, but hey, there's a million notes in the piece. As far as I can tell. And Sara's piece was about a half hour setting of 12 Yeats poems, it had expression, a sweep, and a point, and it was quite refreshing. Always nice to hear Brandeis music that doesn't sound like Brandeis music ("like most of my recent pieces, this one is atypical"). Dinner was actually paid for at the East Side Restaurant in Newport afterwards, and there we all were. I bought Max two beers, brought him and Leslie to their car afterwards, and then went home and to sleep. In the morning, back to Maynard where we had to get ready for our next big trip, to the Adirondacks. Mowing the way back lawn in the 89 degree sunny weather is a byotch. But I diddit, I diddit. Early Monday morning we packed up and drove all the way to Indian Lake: 117 west to 495 south to 290 west to Mass Turnpike to 87 north to 9 north to 28 west to Adirondack Lake Road. We stopped for lunch in Warrensburg, which is where you get off 87 to the two-lane roads. And I had rather good Buffalo wings -an idea that came to me when a 125-year old woman already in the restaurant was having some. The TV in the restaurant was playing ESPN2 "target games" -- lots of shooting at targets and at skeets. Surreality ruled. Upon making it to the ranch-type 2-bedroom cottage on Adirondack Lake, we watched Hayes and Susan eat, then drove around just a bit. We took a short hike into the woods nearby, and the deerflies were pretty annoying. Muy annoying. That night Susan and I cooked chicken for lunch on an old, rusty grill on the

porch. And we methodically went through some boutique beers that Beff and I had picked up in Groton. And we watched episode 12 of Wonderfalls. Then went to sleep on our crunchy bed. On Tuesday we began by driving to the Lake Store and getting those bug nets that you wear over your head; we already have four of them, but neglected to bring any along. What we got here were bug nets with a pair of metal hoops on the inside, not unlike wearing hoopskirts on our necks. And when we moved to our first substantial hike, we were all very glad to have them. That night we ate at a restaurant in Indian Lake, where our waiter had an eastern European accent, and then decided that the food was the opposite of delicious. Afterwards, the final episode of Wonderfalls. Several of us, especially Susan, kept referencing various tchotchke lines from Wonderfalls, especially "lick the light switch." Wednesday was the most active of the days: a substantial hike with a steep incline at the end; a visit to the Adirondack museum (an old rustic summer hotel converted to house large exhibits on canoeing, horses, birds, furniture, etc.); and the purchase of a book by a local artist about a chipmunk. We spent some time giving chopped walnuts to a local tame chipmunk that Susan named "Chippy". And then there was sitting around the dock, where the flies liked me and nobody else but me. Thursday began with a huge and windy thunderstorm: our planned even bigger hike had to be scrapped. After the storm was over, we drove to North Creek, where we got some various tourist things, and then Beff and I rowboated on the lake a little -- this is where we saw loons in a pair. Upon our return, I made the shishkebabs, and what it is, too. Friday morning we left at 8, got back here at 12:30, and had a LOT to do to get ready for the next phase: Beff's two week stint at the U Maine summer music camp. She leaves probably before I post this today. Last night we drove to Alewife and parked, walked from Porter Square to Harvard Square, went into various stores, and had dinner with Lee Hyla and his wife Kate. Much was discussed, including Lee's upcoming stint, October 2006, as Master Artist at the Atlantic Center. Pictures were shown, people were used. And then we drove home. The Cuisinart citrus juicer that I had purchased at Crate & Barrel on June 24 was being used again to make lemonade and limeade -- as it's what we do. And halfway through the third lemon it simply stopped working, as if the motor burned out. When we first got it, I made orange juice and the lemonade and limeade, etc., and Beff burned the box -- in order not to clutter the attic even more. Which meant that I couldn't return it (while veins on my forehead were bulging, I hastily made a new house rule that we don't burn appliance boxes any more before their warranties expire). Which was fine, I guess -- it kind of sucked, anyway. If you pressed on it enough to get juice from your average lime, it just tended to stop rotating. Who needs that? Beff looked online for juicers and found a whole bunch, and bookmarked them. It was amusing that the first one she bookmarked was a professional juicer for only $7200. We still haven't decided what our next choice will be, but it sure was hell on my right wrist pulperizing limes after the Cuisinart broke. And the not exactly covered in glory stuff? Well, they've been fun. The Inko's White Tea we had at Cho Cho's restaurant in Porter Square was so good we found it online and their webpage directed me to asiafoods.com. When no progress was made on this simple order, I contacted customer service to ask if there was a projected ship date: there was no response. So I cancelled the order, which you have to do via e-mail. Also no response. Meanwhile, the Sharp photocopy saga with Staples has been entertaining, as well. On July 5 I tried to make copies and the top third of each page was very light. A call to Sharp got me a very nice tech guy, who led me through many steps to see what might be wrong, and the conclusion was: bad. Take in for refund or exchange. So I called the Acton Staples, who had no more in stock; but they nicely directed me to the Staples in Framingham, which had one for me. So I drove there and exchanged it, and upon returning had an e-mail from StaplesEasyRebates: you returned your rebate item, so we CANCELLED your rebate. A long call to Staples assured me that the exchange was incorrectly entered into their computer and the rebate was reinstated. This Thursday another e-mail: your rebate was CANCELLED because there was no UPC enclosed. Uh ... um ... so yet another call to Staples got the rebate reinstated, and I got a confirming e-mail telling me to expect it within 10 to 15 days. I'll believe it when I see it. We checked e-mail a couple of times in Indian Lake, but since there is no local dialup access number, I had to look up Earthlink's 800 access number. A bunch of recursive pages on the Earthlink website failed to

point out even one toll-free access number: they simply said there were no local access numbers in Indian Lake, and I could find a toll-free access number ... somewheres ... So I called Customer Service. Who said "I can't give you that number. But here's the number of the office that can. They won't open for 45 minutes." Uh, boys and girls, can you say Earthlink get your act together? Meanwhile, I got boilerplated not once, not twice, but three times by Earthlink for having dared look for an 800 access number online. With lots of helpful text about how to keep Earthlink if you move and how to configure your modem, etc. But cancelling all that out was Inko's Teas. The stuff is great (we have about 40 of them in the house right now, and I told Justin when he was housesitting he could eat anything in the house except the Inko's), and the company is new and very small. I had written in this space about how great they were, and one of the co-owners, Googling Inko's, came upon my page, e-mailed me, asked where I was buying the stuff, and offered to send some free tea AND A T-SHIRT my way. Now that's classy. So let me evangelize for Inko's: it's great, the company is great and small (like all things), and now I really have to go to the bathroom. This week's movies are up there to the left in yellow text, as before. The little movie of Marilyn Nonken posing for a picture was so popular that I left it up there for another week. The "Rain" movie is of the thunderstorm we experienced Thursday morning, and the "Deer" movie is a singing deer at the outside place we went for lunch on Wednesday (I have mercifully excised the sound). As to pictures, they are legion, so bear with me. The first three are of people at the Warebrook festival, including Jay Eckardt (who did not take the redeye), Leslie and Max and Tim and Jay at the health food store, and Jay licking Marilyn Nonken. The covered bridge shot is on the way to Greg Djanikian's summer place in Coventry. Next, Adirondack shots: forest mushrooms, the other of our cohort on a hike, Beff reading on the dock, and a cumulus cloud at sunset. Next, two displays from the Adirondack museum. Next, my parents' grave markers. Finally, a lake view from the Adirondack museum followed by a panorama from the peak of what we climbed on Wednesday.

JULY 25. Breakfast this morning was Morningside Farms meatless breakfast sausage patties with melted 2% cheese, fresh squeezed orange juic, and coffee. Dinner was a Smart Ones shrimp marinara microwave dinner. Lunch was two Hebrew National lowfat hot dogs. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 57.4 and 93.7. LARGE EXPENSES this last week includes a new high-end iMac with extra memory, Apple Care, and iPod speakers, $2324.83 from J&R including shipping; and the third volume of complete Peanuts together with the new Pat Metheny album from amazon, $29. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "My Airplane" by that 60s English group that had the one hit about Snoopy and the Red Baron -- the tune is a total ripoff of "Octopus's Garden". POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: in 1988 as director of Alea II at Stanford, I hired Lyn Reyna to premiere E-Machines. Since I wrote it outdoors and stayed slavishly close to my sequence of all-combinatorial hexachords, I had presumed it was crap, if funny crap. At the dress rehearsal when I heard it for the first time, I marveled that it sounded REALLY COOL, that Lyn played the doody out of it, and that people would probably want to hang out with me after having heard that piece. When the piece got to the last gestures -- competing type A hexachords, the first high and the last low -- I realized that I forgot to change the clef to bass clef for the last gesture -- strange and odd especially considering the last attack is marked "with fist" on notes with 5 and 6 leger lines. Lyn played exactly what was on the page, and it sounded SO WRONG. I quickly put in the missing clef, and sat there as Lyn relearned the ending. And I became really cool again. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY RECENTLY include Sunbeam/Blue Rhino. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY AND THEN SOME this week include Inko's White Tea, again, and Arthur Marc's hot sauces. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: What relationship does pruning have to actual prunes? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: olive antipasto (still), Inko's White Tea with key lime juice, wickles (spicy pickles), spicy olives. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK The "notch" that gave Franconia Notch its name. MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN THIS WEEK: a nickel in a Maynard parking meter and no meter maid came by. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are none. SOME BIRDS NOTED THIS WEEK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE: dark-eyed juncos. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a Mad Lib filled in for the third time, a fancy schmancy appliance for turning crappy stuff into neat stuff, a gentle breeze, a pair of tweezers with a tick impaled on them.

The most important event of the week (nine days, actually) is related to an impending calamity: the Windows computer that I use to do e-mail, noise-reduce performance recordings, and maintain this website is slowly melting down. Since Thursday, during startup it has gone to a blue screen to say one of my disks has to be checked, and when I let it run CHKDSK everything checks out, and then on restart I get a black screen saying "Bad boot disk, please insert a system disk." I have managed to get the computer to start up by skipping over the CHKDSK that it wants to do each time, but occasionally at random times the blue screen comes back, suddenly, with a message "Windows has terminated to avoid damage being done to your computer" or something like that. The most comical thing that has happened (and enervating, since I hardly ever get to use that word) was that on Thursday night I retrieved 7 e-mails -- none of them spam (maybe for the first time ever), and the blue screen shut down came up as I tried to read them. On restarting, my Earthlink mailbox no longer had an Inbox. I experimented by sending myself an email, retrieving, and seeing where it would go: it went ... um, nowhere. As if one of those Jetsons sucking sounds had happened. While continuing to experiment, I accidentally retrieved a new e-mail to ... limbo ... and have no idea who it was from. So a few people I was going to respond to now are getting no response, since I have no record of the original e-mail, and therefore no e-mail addresses. As I recall, two of the disappeared emails were from Rick Moody, one from Jan Krzywicki, one from one of the almost twelve (with the same initials as Rhode Island) re:Total Eclipse, one labeled "conversation with admissions", and two others I don't remember. So somebody is going to be really mad at me or Brandeis or both for me not getting back to him/her. So in conclusion: Ross Perot's Giant Sucking Sound (GSS for short) was not because of NAFTA. It was the current version of my Earthlink mailbox. So I have been a firsthand witness to how much a computer can take over your life when something goes wrong with it. I did try all the utilities I've got on hand, but of course they seem to need to access system code that's on a bad block. So Norton Utilities bombs, and the "unbootable startup disk" fixing utility that HP sent me didn't do the job, either (it did 3 years ago when I had my first problems). The Norton I own is able to make fixit discs on floppies, as long as you bring it to another computer. So I actually went to 3 locations in Maynard to find floppy discs -- which I haven't bought in about 4 years -- and only The Paper Store has them. Beff has made the emergency discs on our computer in Bangor, and in a week when she is back, I will get to try an emergency fix. Ah, but today I am spelling it "ficks." So obviously the most intense time I spent this week had to do with Windows. And -- thanks a lot, HP -my computer didn't even come with any Windows installation discs. How odd to purchase an operating system and not actually have one. But I digress. I look forward to a ficks. In the meantime. Beff has been in Maine for the two-week summer music camp at the University. So she has moved back into our second house, and secured help from some of her colleagues to repair stuff that went askew in the year leave. In the meantime, I had planned to drive to Vermont on Sunday (yesterday) to do my yearly biergetrinken with the Director of the US Marine Band (formerly Assistant Director), because that was to be combined with a trip to the Yellow Barn Festival where Soozie and Curt were doing Violin Songs. I checked the Yellow Barn webpage to see whether the concert was in Putney or Amherst, and found out two things: it was in Putney at 11:30 am(!) and the program included Schoenberg and Brahms. I think Soozie had left me a message on my cell phone that went something like "........rk....... ..... ... d ......... .. . . .......... p .... . . ........ sk ............ . .. .. a .........." and I thought it was one of my grad students doing the juvenile phone thing, until I realized Soozie had e-mailed Beff that she couldn't get a cell phone signal. In Amherst! I emailed Soozie and she emailed back that the pianist wanted to do Brahms on that concert, he teaches at Yale, so I got shoved off the concert. And the festival director was sposta tell me. It didn't happen. So to Seth Knopp: bite me, it's fun. This gave me the weekend free. Meanwhile, Beff had her weekend freed up, too, because the people she'd planned to see -- because of my trip -- also cancelled. So as a real treat, Beff drove here for Saturday lunch through Sunday morning. So on Saturday, after the weather had suddenly cleared (in terms of humidity, that is), we wanted to go to a place

to sit outdoors. We tried the pub next to the Quarterdeck, but the only available table had no umbrella -and Beff and I are the whitest people on our block (or sunblock -- but I digress). So we walked further, to the Blue Coyote Grill, where we sat in the only shady part of their deck. And the table was very high compared to the chairs -- the table was at chest level and it was just like eating out of a high chair. So of course we had to milk the irony by having beers on tap (Long Trail Ale, Sam Adams Summer, Sierra Nevada). And we also did calamari (surprisingly good -- better than the Quarterdeck's), I had the veggie wrap (portabello mushrooms bleed gray) and Beff the lettuce wrap. We did TWO bike rides (Boon Lake, and the Cemetary loop), Beff made the place look less like a bachelor pad, we had breakfast, and she went back to Maine. And dinner was chicken sandwiches, which is normal. So without an event to go to on Sunday, I called the Lieutenant Colonel at all his possible numbers to reschedule -- even a voice mail where he identifies himself as "Major." That one was so stale it actually smelled. And he got one of them, so we rescheduled for Thursday. That was my Fun Day. The cats got me up at 5 on Thursday, I fed them, dealt with the Windows meltdown, and got sulla via at about 5:50. I decided to try the Route 93 route through Franconia Notch to St. Johnsbury to Newport and then through the gorgeous mountain passes in Jay to get there. I stopped for gas and breakfast, and later, to bring Inkos tea from Shaws Newport. From 10:50 to 1:00 we had our four beers each along with lunch (makeyerown sammiches), and I brought my entire percussion collection: train whistle, siren whistle, two vibraslaps, flexitone, four finger cymbals, two maracas, ratchet. And I brought the Dyna Mike. Usually both of the kids make voluminous noise with the instruments, but it was only Jack, going solo, and mostly heterophonic. I successfully predicted the exact moment at which Jack would start playing the instruments through the Dyna Mike. And I gave a copy of the Signal to Noise magazine to the family, who showed me a one page feature on the Lieutenant Colonel in the Washingtonian Magazine. He actually had to respond to questions like "Favorite Composer" (Sousa and John Williams -- he insists the original question was "favorite march composer" and I said I always thought of John Williams as an April composer -- rim shot) and "Favorite Patriotic Holiday" (July 4, duh -- are there any others? Nancy suggested he should have said Bastille Day). Then for 2 hours it was just shooting the breeze in deck chairs, looking out at the lake, and noting the peals of childish laughter coming from Jack and Claire, who were now in the lake. Winifred -- the Corgi -- was of course glad to see me (he forgot to put a gun in his pocket), but seemed quite reserved most of the rest of the time. He must be getting old, with those little sticks of legs, etc. And at 3 I embarked on my way back home, this time trying my usual route -- to 89 in St. Albans, catching 93 in Concord, etc. -- and I made sure to stop at Food Town (or whatever it is called) in the old railroad yards in St. Albans because they had Wickles that caught my fancy, and a very good olive antipasto. As I entered the Route 89 ramp, I called Ross. And we talked until Waterbury. The route via St. Albans is a half hour faster, so it will continue to be my route. Though DAMN, Franconia Notch is gorgeous. Work-related stuff happened, as I met with the Dean on Wednesday morning to get the ball rolling on our search to replace Yehudi. The committee is more or less formed, there are forms I have to fill out, but meanwhile I got authorization to advertise it. Deadline is October 1. And I started e-mailing my contacts at various doctoral programs to spread the word. We still need an outside person for the committee and a Diversity Rep (whose main task it is to certify that the applicant pool is diverse), but thankfully we have the authorization to go ahead. And then my favorite part -- talk with an Associate Dean about the money we can spend on the search. By the way, the search is for an Assistant Professor, tenure track, doctorate required. Spread the woid. And on top of that, I started AND finished a piece, which turned out pretty hot, hot, HOT. I had casually told Mick Rudy (my name for Rick Moody this week -- I don't know why, either) in e-mail that I would soon be on the hunt for new etude ideas, and he said all he had was do something with Tower of Power licks. I said there were copyright issues on that, but that there were enough licks that were part of the basic language of funk (I hate myself when I talk this way) that I could probably set up a funk etude with them. And so I did. I beat the six-day requirement by one day, and sent the piece to my Hot Pianist Spam List, along with the MIDI. And of course the piece is dedicated to Mick Rudy AND it is listed on this website. Two more and I've got another whole book, and that will make Peters glad. This etude was #68, meaning that, owing to the laws of cardinality and ordinality, the next one will be #69. I have an e-mail from Ken

Ueno offering to commission #69 with various requirements, including it be a crab canon, be retrogradeable and loopable, and include a quote from "I Touch Myself." I've always dreaded what would happen when I did number 69, and now I know. Oh yeah -- and the title of #68 references both the first and last episodes of Sex and the City: Absofunkinlutely. Though I must say, this piece had the most working titles of any etude, almost all of them already used by funk groups in the 1970s. My current laugh line is that you have to grow sideburns to play the piece. Except that it's not actually funny. So to call it a laugh line is an exaggeration. Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. Birds in the backyard have been doin' it big time in the last several days. Normally we get birdsong from an hour before sunrise to an hour after it, followed by quietude, but lately the sounds of aviary seduction have kept the entire day tweetful. Birds in pairs (naturally) have been witnessed flying from tree to tree, using what I presume is their "let's make eggs" songs followed by the "oh baby, you're so BIG" song. It seems to be rather a complicated affair, as I haven't seen or heard the "don't expect me to do any of the housework or put on good clothes for company" song yet. Last year at this time we had a nest next to the air conditioner in the guest room with loud babies (but not oh babies), but this year we have not put an air conditioner in that window. So we are missing that part of the fun of our existence. And it was so hot and steamy for most of the week that I had to use the Klavinova in the air conditioned master bedroom to compose on. Normally I prefer the actual piano, out of tune as it may be, because I'm one of those tactile composers (it's true -- I have a membership card and everything). So now I am waiting to hear if I am going to have to write a brief and weird piece for a Philadelphia group for December 2. It's going through channels (like anyone with a good remote and basic cable does), and if I have to do it (it would be way fun) I'll report it here. Otherwise, it's back to the piano trio about our cats. The humidity finally abated on Thursday. Then it came back. And abated on Saturday. Whoo, I'm dizzy. And now there are Heat Index warnings for tomorrow -- hey, in Maryland we routinely got head indices of 120, so this puny 100 heat index wont phase me. Though I noticed that the flexitone is rusting simply from standing still in the dining room, which DOESN'T have air conditioning. In the drier periods I got to mow the lawns and do some pruning of the bushes the edge the way back yard. I also pruned the hostas that were hanging over the front walk -- I hate excess foliage. And in spare time I started wondering about my favorite dam. Now Barry and his dad -- owners of the dog Samson -- have died or moved along, as their house is now sold. It's become clear that Barry had a hobby of keeping the path to the dam clear, since now it is overgrown. with bushes starting to crowd out even the "Where Stacy and Joe Sat" big stone hunks where it's always been fun to stand. It looks like my next project is to clear another path: I got there yesterday afternoon by inventing a back way through the woods. This week's movies (yellow text on the left, up there) include part of my drive northwards through Franconia Notch, a pan of the dam, and evidence of Cammy's reaction when he hears me utter the word "Treats!" This week's pictures begin with me and the Lieutenant Colonel relaxing with Winnie, and Winnie herself. Then, a sign at the Canterbury (New Hampshire) rest area that seems to think that "no" can be treated ironically, and the notch that must give Franconia Notch its name (not bad for a pic taken BY THE DRIVER from a moving car). Then, a mushroom encountered in the woods on the way to the dam, the cats looking out the dining room window in the morning (the screen was pushed up), Beff at her high chair at the Blue Coyote, and a bunch of change we encountered on the way home that had melted into the tar (we tried pulling it up, but it was stuck real good, and imagined there must have been someone from America's Funniest Home Videos nearby).

AUGUST 1 -- revisions and additional text AUGUST 2. Breakfast this morning was Morningside Farms meatless breakfast sausage patties with melted 2% cheese, orange juice, and coffee. Dinner/lunch was Davy-pizza, a cheeseburger, maybe a hot dog, and plenty of hot sauce. And beer. Lunch today was snacky chicken cooked in its twenty-third hour of marinade. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 54.7 and 95.9. LARGE EXPENSES this last week include payment to the vet, $188, payment to an emergency animal hospital in Acton, $288, Toast Titanium upgrade $99 (minus $20 rebate), Office 2004 academic edition $139, Adobe Creative Suite academic edition, $389 including shipping. MUSIC GOING

THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Actually, it's my ears this time, as I am on hold as I type this, and it's on-hold crap not even good enough for the Weather Channel. Last week's group ("My Airplane"), by the way, was The Royal Guardsmen. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: during my Tanglewood summer (1982), we often had performers visit the Koussevitzky mansion area, where the composers lived, normally thematically: upper string players, wind players, lower strings, etc. Normally Martler and I would make a whole MESS o' pizza in those expensive ovens, we'd serve them, and there was almost always some sort of dance party after the pizza. I remember the week of winds getting really frisky (and kind of dumb) and actually picking up some of the lighter people (okay, just the women) while dancing. Other composers did it, wind players did it to the composers, but I started it. I remembered that recently when one of the pick-upees, Liz Mann, played in the Orchestra of St. Luke's gig in June where Take Jazz Chords was done. One of these days I'll post the oh so nerdy picture of Martin and me slicing a big, big pizza. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY RECENTLY include CompUSA and Logitech. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY AND THEN SOME this week include Arthur Marc's hot sauces and Staple Rebates. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Where does the word "dill" come from? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Arthur Marc's Chicken Wing and Dipping Sauce, spicy olives, Porino's olive antipasto. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Mac OS X version 10.4 (Tiger, I guess) -- especially Automator and Widgets. MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN THIS WEEK: $159 at BJ's for a 5 gig flash drive made by Pleomax. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are a little bit of themselves, especially sunny. NUMBER OF TIMES THIS NON-CATEGORY WILL APPEAR ON THIS PAGE: 1. SOMETHING I'D LIKE TO PUT WHERE THE SUN DON'T SHINE: photographic film, and Bernard Goldberg. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE an Altoid, a disk label, a pair of discarded underwear, a 3-prong to 2-prong adapter. It has actually been a very eventful week, and almost thirteen (or however many it is -- a bunch of new regular readers popped out of the woodwork in the last two weeks, and I'm using it as an opportunity not to count them, or to change the flippant tone of these updates), you are very lucky to see an update at all this week. My Windows computer is very nearly dead, and it was a miracle that I got it to start up at all. As I started this paragraph, I was on hold with CompUSA, from whom I had bought the computer, for 20 minutes and was then cut off. A call back got me on hold another 20 minutes and I got the nice message that I should have called a different number. Prompting me why to wonder how this world has gotten to a point where icky things like this happen to people, like me, who are very good at following instructions. I was going to say "But I digress," but to do that I would have had to been having a point -- and there's a complicated verb tense (past progressive subjunctive passive?) for you. But again, I do not digress. Here's the skinny: bad boot blocks on the windows/web page computer, sometimes it will start up, sometimes I have to go through complicated tricks to get it to start up -- this most recent startup failed about a dozen times, until I tried whistling the piccolo part to the Trio of the Stars and Stripes forever while hopping up and down on one foot, holding my nose, and thinking good thoughts about manila folders. That didn't actually work, but you see, we are back to the impossibility of digression. And its unbearable lightness. Stop me somebody. But the real big story of the week -- actually there are two, but this one is bigger -- is Sunny's adventures in vet visits (doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it?). Beff was in Maine until late Friday night, so she couldn't participate in the very beginning of the Sunny Affair. Thursday afternoon when I let Sunny in for dinner, he seemed spooked about something -- normally he runs up to me and does the very cute I'm Grown Up But I Want You To Think I'm Still A Kitten thing of rubbing against the (my) legs and purring and stuff, but instead he looked at me like I'd just set off a firecracker, very tentatively approached the back steps, and when he got to his waiting food, he batted at it a little before starting to eat it. I just figured Krazy Kat thing -- after all those years when we'd hear Drip just running maniacally around the house at 3 in the morning, I figured, hey Krazy Kat manifests itself in lots of different ways. Sunny's has a few drops of paranoia.

Well. So. On Friday morning I heard a lot of pretty impressive Kitty Sneezes in the morning, the sound of Kitty-Barf-o-rama, and a puzzled Cammy looking on. After what I figured were six barfs, I called the vet for an appointment. In the meantime, I discovered four more Barf Sites, even slipping on one of them in my

flip-flops. Summer is a dangerous time to have a barfing cat in your midst. So, near the appointed time (2:20), Sunny was not to be found. I rolled my eyes (later, I was to roll some dough to make pizza, and here I DO digress) and searched all the nooks and crannies. And there he was, holed up in the pump organ (or American harmonium, as our pretentious friends call it -- or they would if we had any friends). The aperture to get him out was by far at the wrong angle to do so without hurting him -- especially as he had just barfed ten times -- so I rolled my eyes again (by this time I was getting dizzy), took all the stuff off the organ, made a sound that the court stenographer would transcribe as "HrrrUMMMph!", lifted the bass side of the organ, and transferred him into a different location with my only free limbs (my feet). Nope, no kicking, just sliding. Oddly, I did not feel "pumped", even though it is, indeed, a pump organ. So I got Sunny to the vet, and I knew everyone would be bored (as you almost 13? 14? 15? already are) if I told the How I Got Him Here In The First Place story, so I sat quietly. The vet took his temperature, which was normal, Sunny got very distressed and panted a lot, and blood work was done. I was told to feed him some bland food for a while and let the vet know if he got more lethargic. All seemed to be doing better until Saturday night, when both Beff and I noticed that his head was achieving asymmetry -- the left side seemed to be a little bigger than the right side. This doesn't happen in our unretouched photos of him. Sunday night I discovered what looked like what may be a tick or a wound on that side of his head, and Beff called the emergency animal care place near Staples in Acton. Comically, for an "emergency care" place, the wait was three hours. So at about 8 we got there, filled out paperwork and were invited to rest in our car. I took a walk to a scenic place where a house in on some flowing water and came back, and then almost slept. We were summoned at 10, described the problem, and were invited to call back at midnight: they were going to shave that part of his head and fix whatever it was they found. Speculation at that time ran rampant that he had been bitten by another cat, perhaps the one that occasionally hangs out in the garage, as does Sunny. So .. we worked on our computers as we could, and called back at .... midnight. They were just about to finish, and we could come on over. And that we did. After we waited until 1, they brought out Sunny, now wearing a cone on his head -- I'd only seen dogs with these things, and this looked both pathetic and funny (the humor is somewhat increased by learning that it is called an "Elizabethan Collar"). Clownlike, I guess. Beff had been told they found a worm in the sore that could have grown bigger and gone for his brain (as Woody Allen called it, "my second favorite organ") and we were lucky to get it while it was still very small. What I thought I heard the vet say was that the worm was called a "cuba libre", or a rum and coke to those of us who pride ourselves on our mastery of useless information. Beff thought it was "cutalibre", hence the term "cooties." Given that it was 1 in the morning, we sure were inventive, if dumb. The info sheet said what was found was a "cuterebra," which I looked up online when we got home: a maggot, the larva of the bot fly. Ewww. Meanwhile, Sunny was waking up from the anesthesia and was simultaneously very groggy and very distressed. He did the expected attempts to get the cone off, and kept losing his balance in doing so -- see the Sunnycone movie over to the left. We couldn't help laughing when he would fall over. The whole distress thing became old, though, as he started poking that cone into wires attached to computers, etc., so Beff volunteered to take him onto the porch for the night and sleep with him. From 2 to 5 Beff was on the porch with him, and apparently he never stopped pacing and going in circles. This afternoon I am grateful that at least he's tired now, even if it's awkward for him to try to sleep with the cone. So ... we have to ointment him twice a day for three days, and on the fourth the cone comes off. Oddly enough, next Tuesday is the yearly checkup for both cats, so there will be MANY stories to tell. And Cammy will just roll his eyes and yawn. I would. These two Sunny events gave me a lot more empathy for people with small children, for whom similar events are far more traumatic (more shared DNA strands and all that) and incalculably more expensive. "My cat had a worm and has to wear a cone." "My daughter had strep throat." No comparison, folks. I brought this notion up to Beff, who mused, "We are great pet owners. We would be terrible parents." Another big event of the week, in terms of time spent, is the installation of the new iMac G5 with that 20 inch screen, Tiger software, widgets, etc., and the backing up of files from the old iMac -- which was mondo time consuming. Alas, I found out much too late that files copied in OS 9 are interpreted differently in OS X, and none of my fonts were recognized as fonts, Word docs as Word docs, etc. I discovered the

OX 10.4 Automator program that could, by batch, rename files to have the extensions .DOC, .JPG, .MUS, etc., and that sure was a time saver. The fonts, well, I had to get them from an OS X computer, and I did, Oscar, I did. Toast 5 could not recognize the Superdrive on this machine, so I downloaded an upgrade. My Office for Mac OS X is an upgrade and in installing it it asks you where the old version is, and I can't do that 'cause the old version is in OS 9, and this computer doesn't have it. And I finally gave up my old classic Photoshop 5 that came with my scanner, bit the bullet, and ordered the cheaper version of the Adobe Creative Suite -- Photoshop, Go Live, Illustrator, etc. It is fully my intention eventually to move this web page and all its HTML to the other computer. But patience, almost 12(13, 14, 15, whatever). I look forward to being able to code HTML with web links IN THE TEXT -- can't do that in Web Easy. Then, of course, all hell will break loose. The next step after building up the iMac G5 was to convert the old one to Beff's DVD burning computer and move out the old 4-year-old G4. I winced as Beff mercilessly deleted big folder after big folder of mine -- always asking for permission, of course -- and installed OS 10.2 so that she could use Final Cut Express on it. Only hitch was that iLife 4 would not install (it's legal -- I got the family pack, which gives you 5 installs) because it thought iTunes, iDVD, iMovie or Garage Band was already running. Which was a lie! After much browsing on the 'net, Beff got the great idea to check the startup items, where she discovered iTunes helper. Which she disabled. So now we are both set, at least I will be when my last software arrives. A 250 gig drive sure is nice. Oh yeah, I haven't finished updating my iTunes yet -- I had downloaded "iPod rip" to transfer my entire 3700 song collection to the new computer, and it ... uh, doesn't work. So I am slowly reconstructing iTunes with the files from the Power Book G4. I sure have a lot of songs. I look forward to when the process is complete. I am also pleased to report that Widgets is cool. I get to see the weather radar immediately, get dictionary definitions, and see satellite images of any address I want. But I digress, I think. Somehow in the midst of all that stuff I arranged the funk etude for 9 clarinets (6 B-flat, 2 bass, 1 contrabass) because I'd heard that the 3 BIGgo clarinetists of the USMB were all retiring. I was only twothirds right. I dedicated the piece to the three of them and called it "It Takes Nine to Funk" -- the only one of many titles on Nine and Funk that passed the Beff test. And Beff and I held a big party for people from the Composers Conference here most of the day yesterday, which involved making 6 pans of pizza and having a dozen hot dogs and 12 hamburgers at the ready -- last time I had done this I ran out of food because some of the composers (Hillary, you know who you are) were having an eating contest, and they wailed and gnashed their teeth continuously about when the next food would be ready. This time, though, the weather got cloudy and coolish, the party was 11 people, and there were no eating contests. Lunch today was leftover snacky chicken, which I had not the chance to make yesterday. I will mention here that after a big beer bash like that, it takes quite a bit of effort to make oneself ready to drive to an emergency animal hospital. Oh yeah, Font Book in OS 10.3 and 10.4 is cool. I have thousands of fonts, so I figured I'd just create some libraries with all my fonts and enable and disable them as I chose. Bad idea, kimodavy. This slowed down the computer considerably, since I figure every application that uses fonts has to read a library of 3000 of them and disregard the 2700 that are disabled. The trial version of Word started up, gave me the "Optimizing Font Menu for better performance" message and sat there. After two hours it still just sat there. So (sigh), I went and deleted all the fonts from the libraries that I am not using. I still have to get some more stuff off the old iMac, including Petrucci -- hey, the new Finale seems not to have it, so when I open old Finale files they are all lines and big O's and OE's..... I guess I should have put "Finale music" on the list of companies who have not covered themselves in glory. So speaking of digressing, here's my stuff. Staples rebate for the copier finally arrived after having been cancelled twice by mouth breathers. Arthur Marc sent me two cases of his great hot sauce and billed me -he trusted me to pay him! And boy do I dig that stuff. Meanwhile, the Logitech optical 3-button mouse I'd gotten for the new computer turned out to be defective. I listed CompUSA up there because of putting me on hold a long time and then disconnecting me. Inko's White Teas will be up there again when they send me the free t-shirt (I had told the founder that his benificence was like that of Sarastro, and he's probably the only beverage company founder out there who would or could have thanked me for comparing him to a character in a Mozart opera).

The old G4 is not in the why-isn't-it-my-former-office-yet while I figure out what to do with it. Sunny almost coned it over a few times. And anyway, back to rebuilding my iTunes library. Sigh. Meanwhile, as the Windows computer saga gets played out, don't grow accustomed to regular weekly updates here. For the computer sucketh. IN FACT, the computer bombed just after I typed the description of the pics below, aargh and all that. Also, f**k and s**t and OLAMBIC. Another big effort of the previous week was an offshoot of a trip to BJ's for mass quantities of party food materials. After getting extra lettuce, cheese, artichokes, etc., I noticed on the drive home that my next oil change was due 80 miles previous. So instead of going straight home, I went to Jiffy Lube in Maynard (as Martin and I say it, JEE FEE LOOB, which is next to the GAY UH TEE gas station). With a half hour to kill, I walked over to my bank (Bank o' America -- the Irish version) and signed up for online bill paying (it used to be free for anyone with direct deposit only -- and we have that in spades AND clubs -- but now it's free for everyone. It should be, since online bill paying costs BOFA maybe a tenth of the cost of handling actual paper checks). I dealt with a pile of bills, made our list of payees and amounts, and voila -- they got paid. And online we can see what payees got how much, and see scans of our cancelled checks, and ... oh, it's too much to bear! Beff was singularly unimpressed -- I may as well have told her that I got NEW MAP SOFTWARE! until she looked herself, realized she can see in a flash what has transpired in our accounts, including checks that have cleared (this morning she actually POINTED at our payment for seafood dinner Monday night) and now I finally feel like it's a little less of a guy thing. Hey, isn't it usually a woman doing the online bill paying in the ads? The junior composer job at Brandeis is in Music Vacancy List is posted, but unexplainably without the October 1 deadline. As of Monday, the application pool consisted of 50% men, 50% women, 50% Asian, 50% white, 50% Ivy league degrees, 50% state school degrees, and 100% first name begins with K. Pretty good so far. I brought leftover pizza from Sunday's party to work, and deposited a bunch in the Dean's office. The Dean, in an e-mail, called it "awesome." The Dean's first name does not begin with K. While I'm adding superfluous detail here, I spent a bunch of time Monday afternoon calling CompUSA to confirm that I was still covered by a warranty for my HP Windows computer. Comically enough, the first time I was on hold 20 minutes and then disconnected. The second time I was on hold 20 minutes and talked to someone who said I had the wrong number for what I wanted. The third time I called that new number, and ended up being forwarded to the person to whom I had just spoken. Who insisted that their office (Assurant Guaranty something or something like that) didn't have responsibility, CompUSA did. She gave me a new number. The fourth person with whom I spoke said the correct number was the second number and his office didn't have responsibility. When I explained, with tongues of fire emanating from my mouth (perhaps "explained" is too mild a word) that I had called that number already and he was the fourth (actually, third) person to tell me that I had called the wrong number, he politely hung up on me. The fifth person, at that same number, reiterated that it was the wrong number for my issue, and I was given yet another number. The sixth person, at this new number, told me I should have called the first number. This time there were no tongues of fire emanating from me as I explained that I was a little tired of the lack of people taking responsibility and that I had gone full circle. I was informed that was tough. So, back to the first number, where the seventh person predictably told me I should probably have called another number, BUT that she was handing me to someone who she thought was actually responsible. So finally, I got a very nice guy, who knows where and in what sphere of influence he moves, who took down my case, said he thought it was probably a software problem and gave me the number for Hewlett Packard. At this point, Geoff and Maria had arrived and we had seafood. So, this "CompUSA did not cover itself in glory" thing -blame it on the machines, but somewhere along the line somebody made the decision about how the trunking works in such calls, and this person probably went to a different company years ago. Oh, where is the OUTRAGE? Speaking of outrage. After seeing Bernard Goldberg on the Daily Show while we were in the Adirondacks, I was actually curious enough about his "100 People Who Are Wrecking America" book to buy it, at a steep discount, and read it. Getting through it was not unlike when you try to run fast in your dreams and

something keeps you from moving at all, and you lean into your running and still get nowhere. It was fun, I guess, to read bile about liberals because the argument was so shallow and could have been coming right out of Ann Coulter's mouth. But the writing is very poor. When the countdown got down to #21 or so, I started writing comments in the margins. By the time I got around to #11 or #10, I started crossing out entire articles. Bile started being spewed around #7. But I made it to the end, and ceremoniously tossed the book into the trash. Which I guess turned my marginalia into a kind of performance art -- all emotion and bile, but for no audience whatsoever (sometimes bringing me to those fluoxetine hydrochloride days). Bernard Goldberg can perform an anatomical impossibility with himself, but he's helped me get into cutting edge performance art, and for that I am indifferent. This week's pictures include the new G5 iMac in context (the desktop picture is the Minuteman Trail) and the old iMac in its new context. Followed by Sunny modeling his new Elizabethan collar, and Cammy trying to read Sunny's mind and not being very subtle about it. We finish with Cammy grasping the bed, and my new Arthur Marc's hot sauce collection (where it is stored, on the work table in the basement). AUGUST 8. Breakfast this morning was Morningside Farms meatless breakfast sausage patties with melted 2% cheese, orange juice, and coffee. Dinner/lunch was pizza. Yesterday's breakfast (pictured way below) was Trader Joe's potato pancakes, fake egg omelettes with fat-free cheese, orange juice, and coffee. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 59.7 and 94.1. LARGE EXPENSES this last week include deposit with Casello electric for rewiring, $800, refurbished HP Windows computer with maintenance contract, $779, various dinners with friends, various prices. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Zeccatella" (etude #59 as performed by Geoff Burleson, a recording of which I just got). POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: During the four "lost" years between grad school and full employment, my routine while living in Brookline was to spend a full day at each of the Boston YWCA Development Office and the Boston YMCA Black Achievers, and two half-days each at each place -- not exactly conducive to getting music written and especially not for getting that dissertation done. For a little while in, I think, 1986, I worked extra hours (at $12 an hour) to save up for an external hard disk for my fat Mac (the original 128K Mac fattened to 512K RAM at a cost of $330). I recall that it took 3 months of extra work, essentially adding up to full-time hours -- PLUS doing the occasional typing for Computerimages -- to save up the $800 it cost for my external hard drive. The size of the drive: 20 megabytes. How big it seemed at the time: infinite. Speed of my modem for crusing bulletin boards: 1200 baud. What was my next computer: a Mac SE that I got at the Stanford discount in 1988: internal 20 meg drive and TWO floppy drives, and a meg of memory. $2600 at that steep discount, as I recall. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY RECENTLY is amazon.com. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY AND THEN SOME this week include Arthur Marc's hot sauces and Inko's White Teas. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: How does old pesto turn blue? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Arthur Marc's Chicken Wing and Dipping Sauce, spicy olives, Inko's white tea (original). DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Adobe Creative Suite 2 and all the applications in it, each of which has a trailing "CS 2". MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN THIS WEEK: is actually none. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is a tiny corner of Sunny's scab (by Sunny) and a few little nicks on the screens by the window seats downstairs. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 41 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: the passive voice. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE Sunny's scab, Sunny's Elizabethan collar, a bot fly larva, a grain of coarse-ground pepper. I am no longer claiming a readership of "almost twelve" or "almost thirteen", since more people have told me they have read this page, though of course most did not claim to be regular readers. I now say the readership is "well into the low two figures." As long as the quality of this page declines as steadily as it has been, I have no fear of that being contradicted for some time. As I type this, Beff is in Vermont for the week teaching at the Vermont Youth Orchestra summer camp -she actually left a little earlier than anticipated, because she'd been alerted that more faculty would be stuffed into the same size dorm-ish apartments as last year, and she didn't want to be stuck having to sleep in a living room. As far as I can tell from her phone call, she got an actual bedroom. I suggested she take stock of the living situation and be like me -- threaten not to come back next year if status quo holds. I'm

like that. She does, of course, get to be close to her dad and, as it turns out, her sister and our nephew, who are in town, too. So there she will be. That which involved the most physical AND emotional energy this week had to do with Sunny's rum and coke. Or cuterebra, if I remember the term right (as big Mike rightly noted, bot flies are disgusting). We were directed to keep the cone (or Elizabethan collar) on him until Friday, but he was so pathetic and depressed-looking that it plunged deeply into our guilt to make him wear it constantly -- especially as it was humid weather, and the inside of the cone was getting disgusting with his dander and saliva. So at first, on Wednesday, we took off the collar at feeding times, and watched him like a hawk for when he would aim to scratch the injured area. Each time that happened, it actually looked like mass panic, as we kind of yelled, lunged, and used that as a teaching point -- that was when the collar went back on. Actually, on Tuesday night, somehow during the night he managed to slip out of the collar, and I discovered him looking very mundane in the dining room. Quickly I recollared him, plunged into those same feelings of guilt, uncollared him, watched him like a hawk, lunged when he made motions to scratch, repeat as often as necessary. Finally by Friday the wound was solid enough to let him free, and we felt free to concentrate on non-Sunny things. Many of which there were. On Wednesday morning our insurance agent -- an independent insurance agent who speaks for the actual insurers -- called to let us know our homeowner's insurer was cancelling our home insurance (no small thing, since our mortgage requires we have this insurance) because of the antiquated knob and tube wiring in the basement that one of their inspectors found. It was called a fire hazard, blah blah blah, and as usual my first impulse was to suggest various anatomical impossibilities for the insurance company. Luckily, I've been trained to suppress those impulses. Our agent -- who is really cool, but had a chance 5 years ago when he inspected the house himself to tell us we had antiquated and dangerous wiring -- suggested we could be put on the "Fair Mass. Plan", which sounds like a charity case, and we're too proud for that kind of thing, so I said what if we got it rectified? He called the company and said they'd give us until September 8 to put a deposit down for an electrician to rewire. And we called Casello Electric, and the nice guy scheduled us for September 2 and agreed to bill us for one day's work by two guys: eight hundred bucks. Though I certainly expect such a complicated job to take more than just a day. I will, of course, be asking our agent to get us another homeowner's insurer when this contract is up. Ooh, look at all that anger seeping out. I stand accused. By me. Well, lots of things happened this week that go into the minor frustrations that add up exponentially file, and the lovely CompUSA phone experience I described last week (five numbers, seven agents, cut off once, only one of those agents acknowledged any responsibility whatsoever) had plenty to do with it. The continuation of that story is that I called HP, as I was directed, since it looked like software problem. They wanted to talk me through the programs that come preinstalled on my computer for reinstalling Windows, etc., and damned if I was going to pay for something that anyone with an IQ well into the low two figures could figure out by himself. So after navigating through the many "this disk is bad" and "this disk is unbootable" messages, I got to the HP Restore utility -- the last resort -- where the hard disk was restored to how it looked when we first unpacked it in May, 2002. The sound of harp glissandi and birds singing could be ascertained from outside (HP has some very powerful backers), and meanwhile many of my programs and files and Shortcuts were still there. Including the files for this webpage. So, temporarily, and for however long it takes me to learn GoLive CS 2, this web page will continue to be edited and updated using WebEasy -- fantastically easy to use, and actually hasn't bombed in more than a year and a half. For as long as this computer will start up, anyway (I had to go through yet another CHKDSK when I started this time). So because of these trials and tribulations -- and who knows when or how either CompUSA or HP will decide which one is responsible for this disk stuff -- we started letting the Windows computer GO (in the emotional sense). Beff talked openly (thankfully, while the HP computer was turned off) about turning this area into the mobile computing area -- with the USB hub, printer, and DSL connection for whichever PowerBook we chose to put up here (on this drafting table, which was, by the way, my college graduation present in 1980). We figured we'd get to know Go Live and transfer the content to the iMac G5 (I even shopped for web hosting packages in the meantime, and hardly understood any of it). Noise reduction software and mp3 encoding is now available to us on our Macs (such things could only be had for Mac for $700 three years ago). And both iMacs are set up for real e-mail software. And then we looked for the last

piece: map software. Being remote as we are, we often have to send printed or emailed maps to people to get here, or generate them when we go somewhere unfamiliar for the first time. I bought Route 66 for Mac a few years ago, Beff tried it -- and it sucks big, huge, gigantic ones. I looked for maps on the Delorme site, and they no longer do Mac software (which makes me like them not very much). And the available Rand McNally software got one star on amazon from nearly every reviewer. So I idly looked through some computer seller sites and we settled on a new Windows computer. And this technology thing always gets me. The computer is two-thirds the cost of what we paid for this sickly one. And it has four times the RAM, three times the hard disk, twice the processor speed, 7 USB 2.0 ports (instead of 2 USB 1.1 ports), 2 Firewire ports (as compared to zero), a DVD-CD burner (as compared to a CD burner and a DVD playback drive that hasn't worked for two years), and -- this is the photography nerd in me going WOO WOO WOO -- card readers for all the cameras we have (Compact Flash, SD, Memory Stick,and Memory Stick Pro). I would have cited similar statistics for this computer compared to the 3year-old one it replaced, by the way. We will continue to use it for the Windows-only programs that Beff had let go of (including Cool Edit, Acid, Fruity Loops, and Streets & Trips 2004), web browsing, and emailing when the other computers are busy. Yes, our computers are pretty busy lately. The most common repeated occurrence this past week involves one of us entering the room while the other is using the iMac and the other saying, "do you want this? I'm almost done." The one most aggravating thing about returning to a virgin Windows was browsing while the Messenger something blah blah blah was enabled. Three years ago I figured out how to turn off the nasty advertising popups, which at the time were for Viagra and porn websites and very primitive. This time with Messenger turned on, I kept getting "SYSTEM MESSAGE: your file system is corrupted. Download a fix from ...." which I almost fell for once -- because, hey, my file system actually is corrupted. Another reason why I hate Windows. But I hate bacteria, too, and without them I couldn't digest any food. I forgot to mention that today is the Day of the Non Sequitur. Squirrels. True to form, when I googled "stop Windows pop-up messages", the first 7 or 8 choices were sponsored ones, as in download and pay for this instead of finding out where this little switch in Control Panels is. Gregg was right about what the internet has become. Chipmunks. We ate out in Maynard three times this week. We only do that when people visit, so bear with me. Monday night (as I reported in the last update), Geoff and Maria came for dinner and we went to the Quarterdeck. Geoff has a new 7 megapixel toy (it's bigger than mine -- as guys would tend to say, and hey, I'm a guy), returned Buffy Season 7, and brought a keen new CD of the Davytudes he played this spring -- including the premiere and an encore of Zeccatella. Which is very cool -- both the performance and the piece. His Pittsburgh performance of Bop It was blindingly fast and very cool -- I could have sworn it was Bud Powell except for the being alive thing -- and I reacquainted myself with old favories Horned In and You Dirty Rag (also brilliant, both of us). Actually, according to iTunes I played Zeccatella 12 times (each time concentrating heavily on a different pitch class). So far. The Flea performance I removed noise from using Bias Soap, and it worked about as well as Cool Edit. But anyway, we walked to the restaurant, took pictures, and so on, and fun it was. I gave Geoff an Inko's, Buffy Season 1, and a jar of Arthur Marc's Hot Sauce in return. Actually, I lent the Buffy. The other stuff, well, how do you return it when you are finished with it? Tuesday night David "The" Smooke drove all the way from the Bard festival where he had been passing the time. I won't go into his motives for driving 3-1/2 hours each way for dinner (he called us an island of sanity, which just goes to show you how deluded you get about things when you pass through Bard), and our conversation ranged from alpha to omega and back. Both of us had the Chicken Ginger at Little Pusan. Okay, grammarly types, EACH of us had the chicken ginger. I played him the MIDI of the funk etude, and, trained as he is to look for references in my etudes, he thought he heard "Girl From Ipanema" (with the triumphant tone that made it obvious he expected a prize or a diploma), while I poo-poohed that. Or perhaps said it wasn't intentional. Or ignored him. I forget which. My branching and trunking has been a little faulty as of late. And on Friday, Christine Schadeberg and Mike Finckel took time off from the Composers Conference to come to Maynard for dinner at the Quarterdeck. As is my wont, I brought the Sony camera, and took a little

digital movie of Mike, um, poseuring for the camera, and I included that movie -- slowed down -- in the yellow text to the left. Christine jovially told us about this year's experiences at the conference -- aw geez, both of them have been there for more than 20 years -- and we had steamers, and ginger fish, and clam roll, and fish chowder, and everything beginning with "p" we could find. Strong thunderstorms had passed just to our south in the mid-afternoon, and electricity went out in Wellesley. But nothing happened here, except -- we exited the restaurant at sunset, and there was a bigass rainbown over the mill pond. I tried getting some shots, but it's too faint for my mere 5 megapixels. While Mike and I filled Chris's vehicle (with gas), it is claimed, by Beff and Chris (passive voice, remember?) that briefly the rainbow became a triple rainbow. I took some nice pix, but mostly I have better ones from other sunsets. Let's call these particular pictures archival. Or archrival. Wednesday and Saturday nights were occupied by trips to Wellesley itself for concerts where former students or composers associated with me (I'm not going to parse that, dear well into low two figures) had pieces performed, and there was some very stunning stuff. Jeremy Sagala had written a tonal-modal piece for the amateur commission, and last week I hated the piece and this week I liked it. Amy Kaplan had a "funny" piece that reminded both Beff and me, fleetingly, of the Stravinsky Ragtime. John Aylward had some really, really, neat stuff in his piano concerto. Grace's songs came off very nicely with some lovely color combinations, though the things that some people said reminded them of me escaped me. And "iceman" Steve Hoey's piece was gorgeous and colorful, particularly the end when the layers started getting stripped away. There. Did I satisfy everybody? (if I had a nickel for every time I've said THAT one...) Big Mike carpooled with us for the Wednesday show, as he and Amy are old, old, old, old, old, old, old, old friends. Groundhog. Both Adobe Creative Suite 2 (Photoshop, In Design, Go Live, Acrobat Professional, Illustrator) arrived, taking up 4 CDs for installation, plus 2 discs of goodies which I haven't cracked open, plus a training CD. As has become the custom, there was no printed documentation of any kind, so there was not much to be gained from a first crack at these programs. I did own Illustrator 88, Illustrator 3 and Illustrator 5 but it's gone fairly far since those heady days. In Design opens my Pagemaker documents (I was a registered user of version 1.2), but again there's lots of cool new features that I'll have to discover at some later date. Ditto for Photoshop, which is the Photoshop LE 5 that I know (came with a scanner) plus a zillion other things. I used Photoshop to reduce the resolution of this week's pictures, since I have access to no other program that will do that -- and (geek alert) now the program has a "save for web" feature that makes GIFs instead of JPGs, about half the size (I know, I tried both). And I watched about 20 minutes of the Creative Suite video -- gawrsh, the narrator gets about 7 broken arms from patting himself on the back -- and as you might expect it's not for newbies. I opened GoLive and opened the Home of this webpage, and got this very cool background with absolutely everything smushed up in the upper left corner. No one is going to win a design award for that one. So, more discovery remains, and I may actually have to ask Carolyn some things. Now thanks to the lack of real documentation, a whole cottage industry of books that tell you how to use this software you already purchased has cropped up. bn.com reveals about 20 Photoshop books, and many, many others for Creative Suite 2 -- most of which have publication dates between September and December. Why, I never. I ordered what bn.com said was available NOW, at a cost of $72 (including tax, which bn.com actually charges), but we shall see what happens with that. Amazon, meanwhile, has been sitting on an order I made last June 20 without shipping it (I went for the free shipping option) and just today told me that only one of them (Star Trek sound effects -- yes, le dweeb c'est moi) was ready to ship, and the rest would come at the end of the month -- maybe. I remember when amazon.com was pretty good. Do you? Hedgehog. Well. Well, then. Well. Finally, by Wednesday I got the entire iTunes library ported over, plus the new etudes from Geoff, plus a Sheryl Crow CD, and I thought I was done. Then arrived the Creative Suite. And Finale 2006, by the way, but I am putting that off for a little bit longer. As for today, I have been using Finale 2005 -- for the first time ever -- pretty constantly. I have entered what I have of the piano trio so that the trio --which will have a few hours together this week -- can start to rehearse it. I may have mentioned -the first performance is scheduled at Rice University in September, and NOT in Vermont in October. In other non-news, the Network for New Music had contacted me to see if I'd be interested in writing a piano

left-hand piece with ensemble for their benefit in December with Leon Fleisher and I said sure, I'd even do it for free. My brain had been occupied with possibilities for such a piece until they got back to me and kept changing the parameters and finally said it wouldn't work because Mr. Fleisher was too solidly booked to learn a new piece so quickly. Which was fine, though it took a while for me to empty those lefthanded thoughts from my brain. I had gotten notice from Alex at Inko's Teas that BJ's now had 12-packs for 10 bucks -- a considerable bit less than the $1.89 per tea we had just paid at Shaw's -- so we went to BJs to get some, as well as some salad, tomatoes, USB cables, and other various things that hit our fancy. On the same trip we had gone to Target (next to BJs) to get Beff some new shorts, but the selection was pitiful, so we up and went to TJ Maxx, where success was had. Beff had carried around some flaming red ones, but settled on blue. Raccoon. Blast from the past yesterday as I spoke with Michelle Green (-Willner) for the first time in many a year (probably about seven). For the uninitiated (that would be all of you), Michelle was a student of mine in my first year at Columbia, and is now raising four children (all of them hers) in sunny southern California. There is a prospect for the family to come to the other coast, hence our conversation. This week the appointments of note include The Maids, Tuesday morning, checkups and rabies boosters for both cats Tuesday afternoon (boy will I have stories to tell the bet), and a meeting about the composer search at Brandeis on Thursday afternoon. Thursday is our 16th wedding anniversary, and normally we would expect appropriate gifts well into the low two figures. But there is no appropriate gift. If you didn't get us anything last year, you might be pleased to be informed that it is the crystal anniversary. This week the movies up there are Mike Finckel gesticulating at the Quarterdeck, and a sped-up and chopped up movie of Beff leaving for Vermont late yesterday morning. Underneath, yesterday's breakfast in the Davy context and the Beff context. Follow that with Sunny resting with his scar visible, and the knob and tube wiring in the basement that makes insurance companies absolutely loathe us. Then, Friday's sunset and very faint (to cameras) rainbow, the new Inko's tea from BJ's, Mike and Christine at the Quarterdeck, Maria at the Quarterdeck, and Geoff's 7 megapixels perfectly catching the flash of my camera.

AUGUST 15. Breakfast this morning was somebody's lowfat turkey breakfast sausage links, orange juice and coffee. Dinner was Trader Joe's random seafood chunks in Trader Joe's cioppino sauce. Yesterday's lunch was Oscar Mayer fat free hot dogs with dill relish, Arthur Marc's hot sauce, Gulden's mustard, and Heinz ketchup. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 64.4 and 95.0. LARGE EXPENSES this last week include $188 for checkups, distemper shots, and rabies vaccinations for both cats, Windows software at $99 including three rebates, Windows MS Office, $99 from amazon, $178 for office supplies at Staples (on tax-free Saturday) and $350 in electronic supplies at Radio Shack (on tax-free Sunday). MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "For Pete's Sake" from the Monkees Headquarters album -- for a while it was used over the closing credits on their TV show. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: there were two items I craved mightily in the early portion of my double-digit years: a small, portable, battery-powered movie projector and the second Monkees album (you see I wasn't hip enough at the time to crave the Beatles). In each case, my mother made me do chores around the house to accumulate enough cash to buy them. At the time I didn't know I was being taught "responsibility" because I wasn't. At the age of ten, the only word that came to mind was "torture". Eighteen cents to dust the living room? A dime to shovel the sidewalk? How would I EVER make $2.88 for the record, or $5.88 for the projector? Nowadays it's the Citibank Thankyou rewards that accumulate this glacially. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY RECENTLY is Roxio, through their proxy RebatesHQ.com. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY AND THEN SOME this week is Inko's White Teas, who sent a couple of free t-shirts. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Why does anyone, but anyone, work on Windows? RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Arthur Marc's Chicken Wing and Dipping Sauce, Inko's white tea, Bubbie's pickles, Real Pickles. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK The wall of the Ben Smith dam, recently exposed because of light flow of the Assabet. And the fact that pictures filed in your Mac OS X address book show up on e-mails you get from those people. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 7. FRAGILE THINGS

DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is nothing. BIKE RIDES CONCLUDING BEFORE 9 AM THIS WEEK: 7. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 31 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: G5 chips that run cool. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE an Altoids apple sour, frozen pizza, a burning pile of tires, that word on the tip of your tongue. Stacy called me "Mr. Wordy" after last week's update. I didn't have a similar epithet to hurl back at her, just the satisfaction of an extremely rich life and a whole bunch of time on my hands. Actually, I got a new scrubbing sponge and that got most of the time off of my hands (think about it). Where I could go next with this joke is beyond me. There is a far smaller variety of things that have happened this week because I spent so much time writing piano trio music. Since Monday last, I finished a first movement and wrote all of a second movement. The third movement is under way, and it is (sigh) blazingly fast. The deadline is ... soon. What I was writing in the first movement seemed largely arbitrary, as it always does, but then when I put it into Finale and look at it laid out neatly on screen, then it seems like actual music. Thoughtful music even, with ... ow, my arm hurts from patting myself on the back. Even II. looks like real music on screen. Must put more music into Finale, and more quickly. For the first time, I am using Finale 2005 to enter a piece (because Finale 2006 arrived after I started inputting it), and for the first time I am putting a multi-movement piece all in one file instead of in two or three or four of them. I am tricky that way. This is not to say that I didn't do other stuff last week. Hey, I had control of the house (in essence slowly converting it into a bachelor pad) almost the whole week because Beff has been in Vermont, and that meant taking on mundane tasks that Beff usually does that keep the place from becoming a bachelor pad (dishes, cat litter) while blithely ignoring the other things (cleaning, for instance). Beff gave me special instructions on better ways of guiding the litter from the box to the garbage pail so that it doesn't fall onto the floor (as if I were seven, but I showed her -- I acted like I was almost nine), but it still didn't work all the time. Darn that limp-wristed scooping technique, darn it! A few important other things did happen this week, though. The new Windows computer arrived and I set it up and ran it to see how things were going. Those companies that bundle trial versions of their software are getting WAY more aggressive than three years ago -- I was greeted by a plethora of "your trial version of xxxxx expires in three months, you must register and pay to keep it going, don't you wanna, don't you wanna, DON'T YOU WANNA, HMMMM?" pop-ups, and I authorized my trial versions of Norton stuff, which is itself more aggressive than it was before. Hey, the second time I turned the computer on it was to check the internet connection and view e-mail, but Norton anti-virus started right up and showed me its virus scanning progress right off the bat. NO, NO, NO, I said (not so much said as clicked the Cancel button) and Office 2003 tryout popped up and said hi, and -- every time about a minute after startup is finished I get the dreaded program bomb button "Setconfig encountered an error and had to terminate". At first I just pressed "Cancel", but since it got to be so prevalent, I actually got into the habit of clicking the "Send Error Report" button. Soon when I did that, Explorer shot up and showed me a page saying UNIDENTIFIED ERROR IN THIS PROGRAM CAUSED BY HEWLETT PACKARD DAMNED IF I KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS BUT IT'S NOT MICROSOFT'S FAULT AND EVEN IF IT WHAT COULD YOU DO ABOUT IT ANYWAY? So my ten-year impression of Windows as a rinky-dink operating system has not been moved, even in the slightest. Though some Windows programs kick ass. Since this sucker comes with a DVD burner, Beff researched software for creating digital media (I know the buzzwords, too), and settled on Roxio Easy Media Creator 7.5, which was selling at Staples with an instant savings AND with a mail-in rebate. More on the rebate later. I installed that program, and then investigated to see if I could make a backup DVD of my US Marine Band Plays The Midwest Clinic (And Davy's On It, Too) DVD. I had considered calling the company who recorded it to buy another copy because the DVD has gotten scratched in its holder (I've since transferred it to a paper sleeve), and parts of it wouldn't play on my office computer because of it. So the program created a digital image of the DVD, and I was able to burn another one, for my own use. Yes, it's legal -home recording act, and ahem, my publisher owns the copyright on part of the music. Cool. So now Beff's plans are to make a cadre of standard DVDs of her stuff in iDVD 4, make disc images of them on the

Windows computer, and burn when needed. I also got Office academic edition, Norton System works (FREE after TWO mail-in rebates!), and DeLorme mapping stuff -- which, I am sorry to report, kind of sucks. So I sent the rebate stuff in with the usual requirements: receipts, pieces of the boxes, childhood photos, leftover sausages, DNA samples, etc. And since all the notification stuff is done by e-mail nowadays, there's this odd time where you wait to see if your rebate has been, um, "approved." Like waiting for the results of something you applied for ("I'm sorry we can't hire you. The width of your head exceeds our specifications." "We can't offer you the job because our XMG quotient, calculated from the information you provided, is too low",). Both the Norton rebates have generated e-mails to me already, saying Hey Babe, We Got 'Em, Be Cool, Bro. And I got an email from RebatesHQ, a company of mouth-breathers that processes Roxio's rebates, saying click on this link for the status of your rebate! Be cool! So I clicked and got a message saying "we're sorry for the misunderstanding, but the rebate for which you sent in DNA and stool samples has expired." I checked on that rebate, and discovered that the expiration date is March 10, 2006, so I not so calmly pored through the Roxio and RebatesHQ sites for places to ask the question, dripping in as much sarcasm as is possible, of how August 2005 is probably not later than March 2006. The Roxio site does everything it can to make it impossible for you to ask any questions of anyone without paying a $35 fee. It even made me create an account, which it then did not let me log into (it said the account I had just created didn't exist) -- when I tried to create the account again, I was told the username already existed. Ah, plus ca change. I also bent a few rules to query RebatesHQ in order to ask the question about relative places in the time-space continuum of August 2005 and March 2006. It's too bad that bad behavior by companies who should know better can tick me off like this, because I do indignation like nobody's business. Late last night, Roxio emailed me to kiss and make up, not matching my level of sarcasm. By contrast, I also have good stories. Every time I have called Apple Computer with questions, someone answers by the second ring, and knows the answers to my questions. Ditto J&R Music. So I'm not all negatory, smarty pants. And now obviously Web Easy is back up and running on this new computer, and I have transferred my files. I mean, like, totally, duh. I did receive and start to read several books on Creative Suite 2, but it will be a while before I am competent to transfer this web presence to GoLive. Being a professional program and all that, there was a lot of unfamiliar stuff to wade through, and a ton of unfamiliar concepts -cascading style sheets, anyone? Reading the book would have reminded me of taking subjects in school that I just didn't get, except that never happened to me (for you see, I was the smart one) -- so in return, I should probably justify my existence and enhance my self-esteem by saying something true that is only for the already initiated. So here it is: Imaginary Dances (1986, revised 1988) was my first piece where I felt comfortable controlling harmony with trichord types (specifically 015, 014 and 013), deriving allcombinatorial hexachords with them and using common trichord types in a way analagous to common tones in tonal music as a way of moving from one hexachord to another -- not to mention briefer sections where non-structural trichords were pulled out of the hexachords and used to derive other hexachords (yeah, like that E-type hexachord in the cadence of the first large section that got derived from 014's, and the 015s that got pulled out of that hexachord to derive a B-type hexachord. Those were the days). The geekness of this update is breathtaking. Beff arrived safe and sound in yesterday's many downpours (we had three thunderstorms and then more rain this morning), and there was enough rain for some water to get into the basement -- a rare occurrence indeed. So that means I can put the sprinkler away again, and that the lawn might perk back up. I had, as predicted, found a way down to the dam and brought a pruner and some gloves, and pruned away all the stuff that was covering my usual viewing area. This summer has been so dry that the flow of the Assabet over the dam nearly stopped entirely, but I presume it's back to a normal flow with last night's torrents. New entries into iTunes: Monkees Headquarters, Mitch Hedberg (comedian), Missy Elliot. I heartily recommend the Hedberg, which is funny in a stoner sort of Steven Wright sort of way ("...to be understood when I was in the South, I started saying 'y'all' and leaving out "o-u" whenever I could. 'May I have a bowl of chicken noodle sp?' 'I think I'll lie down on the cch.' 'I stubbed my toe! Ch!'").

The cats had their checkup and shots, and Cammy's reaction to being in an unfamiliar room with unfamiliar people was to shed violently. There were practically hair projectiles flyin' everywhere! The vet looked at Sunny's scar, and I heard the word "pus" used in a sentence, in a non-derogatory way, for the first time in many a year. And so Sunny got an antibiotic, which is fun to administer: aim an eyedropper at the back of his throat, squeeze. Okay, back to geekdom. In the process of entering a lotta notes into Finale, I feel the need to take breaks to do dumb stuff. I discovered that pictures you put in your OS X Address book show up in the headers of emails from people whose pictures you have in your address book. So I spent idle hours dragging photos from my collection -- usually going for the cheesiest shot possible -- and even ramped it up to searching Google Images for some of the people I have (such as David Sanford and Sophie Wadsworth). I can't imagine anyone doing this that isn't a total geek. Le Geek, C'est Moi. I agreed to write an article for New Music Box about titles. I wonder why Frank asked me, other than the obvious part about how I'd be willing to do it for free. What, am I supposed to toss off lots of little asides like, "..and, coming from the composer of 'Absofunkinlutely' or "I should know. I called a piece Plucking A." So if any compositore reading this wants to e-mail me any reflections or commentary about titles of pieces, I would say, Bush-like, bring it on. Really. I am now a ways into the final movement of a piano trio. And I need a title! The first movement is about my cats (the strings are the cats and the piano is me -- it actually depends on what the meaning of "is" is here), the second is a smushy adagio with lots of counterpoint and in which the strings are muted, and the finale is a superfast scherzo in compound meter. Title, anyone? And before any of you pat yourselves on the back for discovering such things, I'll tell you in advance that the opening music is retrograded at the end of the first movement, the big tune in the second movement is the same pitch sequence as the opening of the first movement, and a Big Ben style chime is hidden in the piano part in the midst of the first movement. And ah! so far the scherzo seems to be about oblique chromatic counterpoint (as in, one note staying the same and another note moving chromatically). New handles for the burners on the stove! Hallelujah! The two movies this week (on the left, yellow text) were taken during one of the thunderstorms yesterday afternoon. This week's meager collection of photos include the Address Book entry for one of the regular readers (identity obscured), an extreme closeup of a Pez dispenser on the geegaw window, evidence of Maynard's extreme ambivalence about the naming of its waste, how the dam looked on Wednesday, the cats in the living room window, and a picture of me that Geoffy took at the Quarterdeck with his damn 7 megapixels -- I was drinking some Uel Ms at the time.

AUGUST 22. Today my father would be 83. Breakfast this morning was Morningside Farm veggie breakfast patties with nonfat cheese, orange juice, and coffee. Dinner was salmon burgers with nonfat cheese, and salad. Lunch was sushi from Shaws (California rolls for me, baby!). TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 53.6 and 88.2. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are USB 2.0 hub $26, bicycle repair $35, anniversary dinner at the Blue Room, $112. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "My Sunny Girlfriend" from the Monkees Headquarters Album, which I actually hate. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: There was a time -- a much better time, many would say -when there were no pointless nostalgic reminiscences on this website. I had a little more hair, we had cats that were 19 years old, and nobody cared that we had some old knob and tube wiring in the basement. And gas was $1.27 a gallon. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY RECENTLY include HP (for every week until they provide a fix wherein "Setconfig" does not bomb a minute after startup), Radio Shack, Radio Shack again, Finale Music and Axion. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY AND THEN SOME is PAC Insurance, who followed up about the wiring thing, and Inko's White Teas (again), 'cause I got a cool t-shirt from them. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Why are my experiences with the service industry so universally dismal? (Beff asked this question) THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: inspecular. RECENT GASTRONOMIC

OBSESSIONS: Real Pickles, Inko's Peach Tea, olives from the olives station at Shaw's, Oscar Mayer fat free hot dogs. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Laura Hendrie was at MacDowell with Hayes. My autographed copy of her novel contains the gem "I don't understand your humor"... THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 5. CHANGES TO THIS SITE: Kostitsyn link deleted, Haber link added. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is nothing, but the canvas cooler on the back porch took a hit from Sunny (chased a dragonfly, jumped up, dragged the whole thing down). BIKE RIDES CONCLUDING BEFORE 9 AM THIS WEEK: 1. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 12 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: moderate Republicans. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Pummels H. Nouakchott. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Superman pills pills. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE leg of lamb, eye of newt, Manos the Hands of Fate, a foot of snow. I am hoping to make this little update a little shorter than has been the case recently. I am very close to finishing my piano trio, which will be finished either today or tomorrow -- I hope. I am a little ways into what I like to call, modestly, the "recapitulative coda," and there are still a few relationships that have to be worked out. As is so often the case with what I like to call, modestly, "me", I used first movement music in the second movement (snaky hocketed line becomes big tune in piano solo, unison outburst reinterpreted as slow music), and both first and second movement music in third movement. While I'm writing that music, it seems like I'm getting free stuff -- or at least a 2-for-1 deal I didn't earn -- but I'm confident that when I see it in the printed Finale version it will look more like organic development than self-plagiarism. At least that's what I'm telling the cats. The other reason, of course, that, spending 6-8 hours a day writing and 1-2 hours in Finale leaves not much time for things that are equally boring to report here. But report I will. Beff and I did our anniversary dinner in Cambridge last Monday night at the Blue Room near Kendall Square in Cambridge. We arrived early, got some hefeweizen and "tiger bite" ale at Cambridge Brewery which is next door, did our very nice dinner at the blue room, and then drove back via Alewife. Tiger Bite Ale has lemongrass in it, among other things, and was very pungent and nice, but the hefeweizen was worth the stop. I followed that with a Bloody Mary at the Blue Room that had a salt-andpepper concoction lining the rim of the glass. Beff got the wabbit, I got the salmon, and the twain never met. Then Beff spent the middle part of the week in Maine doing Beff stuff while I did that boring thing of creating a set of instructions destined to produce highly organized sound waves. And on Thursday I rested. Well, mostly. Hayes finished a successful stint at what I like to call, modestly, The MacDowell Colony, and he stopped by here on his way home to return the printer that I'd lent him for his stay. I offered to do a touristy drive, which turned out more functional for me than touristy, but we did check out the old cemetary in Concord, the Alcott House, Trader Joe's, Staples (the USB hub, dude) and BJ's -- where Hayes got himself 3 USB cables for the unheard-of price of 8 bucks (we laughed, both inwardly and outwardly, when we saw ONE USB cable offered for the price of $15 at Staples). Regular readers will be pleased to know that I got two more 12-packs of Inko's teas there and a bigass package of Campari tomatoes. Hayes delighted at lying in the hammock for some time, while listening to the Monkees Headquarters on the iPod and iPod speakers. Then we walked to the Quarterdeck and ordered more food than we could eat: steamers and vegetable stuff, and (for me) Scottish style fish and chips and (for Hayes) the Cajun chunks of seafood. On Friday, Hayes went back to New York, minus his cooler and wheat germ. But I made sure he had his two jars of Arthur Marc's hot sauce. And he brought some cheap potato chips from Job Lots in Peterborough. Saturday night included a large multipurpose trip to Peterborough (we missed Hayes by a mere 60 hours) for a Monadnock Music concert (Soozie and Curt and Alan Feinberg and Greg Hesselink, etc.), and our friend Hilda -- the real estate agent who sold us this house -- invited us to dinner, as she now lives in the area. So I drove to the pound of my own drummer (to mix metaphors rather violently), took an unknown shortcut and missed a turnoff, but made it to Hilda's place on time anyway -- lovely salmon, Fat Weasel Ale from Trader Joes, and salad. And then was the concert, a mere 8 miles distant. Which we all went to. The concert started with the Brahms horn trio, which, as Beff noted, the acoustic made sound far less heroic

than on the recordings you grew up with, and ended with the Schubert E-flat piano trio (a long and rather dreary affair with a finale that had a set of variations that tried to titillate you by bringing in the funeral march music from the second music, as if it were either profound or guffaw-funny). In between were songiepoos: my own Violin Songs, and two sets of songs by the festival director, James Bolle (five letters in each name). The performances were all inspecular, and it was nice to see Greg -- whom I've only heard play modern music in New York, including three pieces of mine -- playing music with tonal centers. I did not reveal my absence of affinity for Schubert's chamber music to any of those involved. Judy Sherman was there (big hugs), and there was a man sitting in front of us that looked so familiar, but I could not place him -- was he an agent in New York? Did I know him from the MacDowell Colony (but a mile distant)? Does he serve the ice cream at the diner? After my piece he came up to me for congratulations, and I realized he was the Dean from UMass Dartmouth -- Ken's boss. I also apparently reverted to that panic that bestrides my face when I meet someone familiar but whose name I don't remember right away, as both he and Laura Gilbert (went to undergrad together, both taught at Bowdoin same summer) kindly introduced themselves to me. After the show we all went out for a beer (iced tea for me) at Harlowes, where we all caught up, and I laid the guilt on Soozie. ("So what have you been doing this summer?" "Sitting by the phone waiting for your call and checking my e-mail every three minutes to see if you've written back yet.") Which I then simplified to: procrastination. Which works fine as a lyric replacing "infatuation" in the Rod Stewart crapfest of a song from the 1980s. We have now listened to the entire Mitch Hedberg comedy ouevre from the CD and DVD we got, and I suspect a lot of the punch lines are going to enter our daily routine. "Dude, you have to wait", recontextualized, provides the necessary bisociation, in our case, to be funny once in a while. Beff prefers "I bought Ritz because I wanted a cracker, not because it's an edible plate." Maybe I'll start a feature in the first paragraph. There is much new space on the Windows station table, as the big, big CRT monitor has now been replaced by a flat screen. But getting it here led to this week's cosmic question, and my usual fun with what Beff calls "the service industry." So here we go. Under-17 may want to shield their eyes, or read only every other letter. Last weekend was tax-free weekend, and I got a few medium-ticket items that were already on special in order to save a few bucks (I spent it on pickles, but that's a story for another day -- hey, how come there are nickels and nickle, but not pickels and pickle, except for Pickel as a last name, as in David Pickel, a composer who graduated from Columbia? Are you still with me?). The Maxtor drive I got at Staples voiks like a charm. 60 gigs worth of files backed up in less than an hour. Meanwhile, Beff suggested we get a flat-screen monitor for the Windows computer, as the CRT 17-inch monitor was about 3 or 4 feet deep. I exaggerate, as usual, but what can you do? I didn't feel like making a longish trip to an actual technology place (as that's where everyone else was headed on this tax-free day), so I went to the local Radio Shack, browsed the catalog, and settled on a Sylvania 17-inch monitor that was on special AND included a mail-in rebate (my FAVORITE!). Since this piddle of a store didn't have the monitor in stock, I did the thing where you buy it and they promise delivery within a few days. I also noted a teeny DVD player on sale, and ordered that, too. A story that spills into a second paragraph! So I opted for the Deliver To My House option and not the Pick It Up at This Store option and was promised delivery Tuesday or Wednesday. On Friday, monitorless and little DVD playerless, I brought my receipt to Radio Shack to ask when I should expect delivery. Panic on the manager's face. He said I shoulda had it days ago, and worse, he COULDN'T check on the status of the item there because he did not order it there -- on Monday he had submitted the order from the Radio Shack his brother manages in Worcester, and that info wasn't available to him, or to him by phone because that Radio Shack branch was now closed while it was being moved. Long story short (too late), it took till late afternoon for me to find out that the merchandise had been shipped from Radio Shack Worcester and was already delivered to .... Radio Shack Worcester. And of course, as there was now no store there, there were no alarm bells a-ringin' anywhere. Manager guy physically brought the monitor to the local store for me to pick up on Saturday, and when I did, he said -- sorry, the DVD player is coming from another guy who gets here at noon. Third paragraph! So I asked Beff to get the new Sylvania flat monitor up while I moved the old and very heavy one to the attic. After getting down from the attic, Beff said, "where's the screw?" In the manual, lots

of shiny happy people were gingerly attaching the monitor itself to the base, without any language mentioning a "screw", but there was a drawing of a hand making a radial motion. So, sighing, I brought the monitor and stand BACK to Radio Shack, who looked for a screw but had none, but promised me they'd reimburse me for a screw if I went to Ace Hardware and bought one. Sigh. While it was downpouring outside, I tramped to Ace, asked for screw assistance, and held the gfornafratz thing while 8 different screws were tried. It's a metric size, oh joy, and it cost me 63 cents. I tramped back to Radio Shack, got my 63 cents, went home, and Beff got the sucker up and working. Yes, we do have more space. After lunch, I went back to get my little DVD player, set it up to charge 8 hours (as it says in the manual), wrote music, went to Monadnock, etc. Oh yeah, and I fired off an e-mail to the Sylvania monitors site, asking for them to send me a screw in the fastest and most expensive manner possible. So far there is no response. Fourth paragraph! Sunday morning I put some DVDs into the player and none of them worked. "DVD Video" appeared on the screen, and then "reading" and then ... nothing. Sigh. So here I went to Radio Shack again in another downpour, with all the boxing in hand (lucky thing I instituted that policy of not burning our boxes), confirmed the DVD player was a dud, and was given the display model (which I could have been given a week earlier, but noooo...). Which works, and is very, very cool -- not much larger than an actual DVD, fits in your hand, etc. But why me, Lord? Last time we made a substantial purchase at this particular Radio Shack was to get new cell phones a year and a half ago, we had to wait while one worker went to the Acton branch to get one of our phones, and only after I had entered 80 numbers into my phone book did I realize that MY phone was the one whose microphone didn't work -- as in, I called Eddie Jacobs, and he said, "Hello? .... Hello? ..... Hello? .... Well, I don't know who this is, but I have your number, and maybe I'll try to call you back." Eddie heard nothing, but my part of the conversation was actually, "Eddie! ... Ed! .... Hello, Ed, this is Davy! .... Eddie? ..... THIS ... IS ... DAVY! .... CAN.... YOU.. HEAR .... ME? .... (word that means) Intercourse." Stacy, stop calling me Mr. Wordy. By Davy, age 9. Only scheduled event this week is dinner with Lee and Kate at Taranta, in the North End, for Boston Restaurant Week. We hear the food is great. Lee and Kate are doing the Rolling Stones Tuesday night, so dinner is Wednesday. By then, I will have finished a third piano trio. And by the way, the movement names, right now, are I. Felinious Assault, II. Sostenuto, III. Scherzicle. I don't have a title for the trio yet, and normally I ask in this space for suggestions, but what I usually get when I ask that is really dumb. So if you have a possible title -- keep it to yourself. We watched the series finale of Six Feet Under last night. The series had jumped the shark last year with the stupid kidnapping episode, but it was nice to be able to say after this episode -- Everybody Dies! Claire being the last one, in 2083, at the age of 102. With her photographs from age 22 decorating her wall -apparently she didn't have much of a life after the series ended. This week we have three mini-movies, activated in the yellow text on the left: a much sped-up movie Beff made of the ferry into Vinalhaven, Maine; a sped-up movie of Cammy rushing up the stairs for some good ol' fashioned kitty-lovin'; and 3 instances of Sunny jumping for a little cat toy, proof that he's back up to speed. Pictures include the "School of Philosophy" next to the Alcott House, Hayes at seafood dinner, another picture from the ferry, Hilda and Beff before dinner, Soozie 'n' me, Soozie 'n' Curt (under that), James Bolle and Alan Feinberg late at night, fresh-squeezed orange juice next to cartoned (can you tell the difference?), Cammy in the reddened sunrise light made by the stained glass panel in the living room, and the cats at the top of the stairs.

AUGUST 29. Breakfast this morning was orange juice and coffee. Dinner was chicken sandwiches and salad; the chicken had been marinated in a toasted sesame marinade, which I smelled on my fingers all night. Lunch was tomato sandwiches and ham and cheese Lean Pockets. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 53.8 and 84.6. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are dinner in the North End, $120. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS The frustrated climax from the Tristan prelude. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: After many years of work on the essay portion of my dissertation, the defense finally came in February of 1996. I was in the middle of my Rome Prize year, and

also on deadline to have the PhD by the time I started at Brandeis. When I showed my passport and ticket on the way out of Rome, the Customs Agent remarked, "ah, vacanza in casa." I made the 3-hour drive from Salisbury to Princeton, stayed with Lee Blasius, jumped through all the hoops to get the degree, and showed up to my defense,which began at 5. The first heartening comment was from Peter Westergaard: "let's get this thing over with. I have to be somewhere at 6:15." The rest of the faculty assembled said, "we haven't read your paper. Can you give us a summary?" I did. I played the recording of Cerberus, which was the dissertation piece, and the junior faculty commented on "ironic perturbations". The second reader remarked that my paper was proof that those who have taught write better papers, without agendas. And, as all dissertation defenses are, it turned out to be a non-event. Cindy Gessele and Lee and I went to the brew pub, and that was that. Doctor Davy. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY AND THEN SOME are none. We've avoided the Service Industry this week. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: How come no one has commented on the irony of the current President being an advocate of Intelligent Design? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: squimp. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Real Pickles, Inko's Peach Tea, olives from the olives station at Shaw's, Wickles. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Essex, Newburyport and environs, including Woodman's. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 6. CHANGES TO THIS SITE: new piano trio listed on Compositions page; links broken by Web Easy fixed. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is lots of small flying insects. BIKE RIDES CONCLUDING BEFORE 9 AM THIS WEEK: 2. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 13 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: no more articles on spectral music. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Dunk A. Killjoy. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: original Peorpcia, Viagra available. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a pile of vomit, a pile of puke, a pile of that which was spewed, a pile of upchuck. I have to presume that some students taking my classes are going to discover this page -- as I'm sure its de rigeur for new students to look up their professors on the web (which I never did because I did not have complete control of the dimensions of space and time, but I'm a-workin' on it) and read this thing for the first time this week and wonder how I can be so self-indulgent as to chronicle so many of the exceedingly dull events in my life. And believe me (actually, regular readers don't have to believe -- they are with the program), they are dull. I have decided, nerdlike, that it's like The Riddler. Story lines made it clear that the Riddler couldn't successfully carry off a job unless he sent Batman a clue embedded in a riddle. Similarly, the only way I can keep my e-mailbox clean of "where the heck is your update?" e-mails is to make new ones weekly. Plus, it's a "nice" way to spend a Monday morning. Hey, why "don't" I start using more of these "scare quotes"? After all, they are bound to produce "instant irony". I'll try, but "dear" reader, you'll have to "bear" with me. As I predicted in this here very space, I finished my piano trio several hours after posting, entered the notes into Finale, and got ready to produce parts. I still had no title, and dadburned if I was gonna "call" it "Piano Trio No. 3", especially as it's really No. 4. So on my VERY early Tuesday morning bike ride (to West Acton), I gave myself the ultimatum (and there was no space to negotiate): come up with a title by the time I "return", because it's time to produce scores and parts. So just as I passed the Apple Country Animal Hospital (our vet), I "decided" on "Inside Story." The first movement "portrays musically" the cats playing, and the other two movements reference it mercilessly, so it's certainly an "inside job". Hey, it's "better" than nothing. I decided the piece was 14 minutes long, so don't hate me for being "beautiful". This means that on Tuesday I made a big, wide trip. First, to "Brandeis" in order to use the "big" paper cutter so I could cut the 11x17 pages down to 11x14 for the pianist's score. Next, Kinko's in Framingham -now called Kinko's-FedEx -- to bind the "sucker". Then, BJ's for more Inkos, tomatoes, what have you. And "back". And, finally, the trip to the post office to send the materials to Curt. Who got them and is already asking questions about notation and editing. Woo hoo. Curt confirmed the September 22 performance at Rice, which I won't make because it is Beff's birthday and because it is in Texas. This meant that I could spend the rest of the week on "other" things. "Other things" included writing my 3 Brandeis syllabi (very time consuming, as the holiday schedule this year is extremely complex -- Music 101 has two fewer meetings than it did the last time I taught it),

fielding e-mails about Brandeis stuff, and slowly weaning myself away from checking my e-mail every five minutes. Like Bruce Willis, chairman habits die hard. With a vengeance. But a significant "other" thing was taking advantage of Boston Restaurant Week on Wednesday night. This included a drive to Alewife station, where we parked, a boring subway ride to Haymarket, a walk to Lee and Kate's place for hors d'oeuevres (I kinda pigged out on the gorgonzola) and then dinner at the Taranta restauarant in the north end. They were fun to be with, as usual, and the food was really good. And also as usual, Lee and Kate seemed on intimate terms with yet another restaurateur -- and by that very "familiarity," we learned that 90 of the 250 reserved for dinner that night were no-shows. Obviously a side effect of restaurant week, wherein hicks from the exurbs (me 'n' Beff, for "instance") make reservations at half a dozen restaurants, check them all out and park at the one that seems the "nicest". All the more food for ME! Actually, I had the chicken, which was delicious, and which reminded me of why I buy boneless breasts and not half chickens or whole chickens. Them what had the trout also said their meal was delicious. But fishy fish. Ewww. Beff and I also decided to take our yearly end-of-summer little adventure trip to places nearby we've never seen. Last year it was the central south part of Massachusetts and we made some cool discoveries. This time Beff decided we'd see the Cogswell's Grant museum in Essex, followed by some random sightseeing without much leaving the "car". So we stopped first at the music department so I could leave my big keyboard off (I need it for my "teach-in" tomorrow and they will be closing off the Slosberg lot, those dummies), and Carolyn advised us to do Woodman's for lunch after the museum -- as they apparently "invented" fried clams in 1916. So the museum is an old farm house with lots of period stuff and a plastic porta-potty (as much fun to say as it is to eat) and a couple of Belgian show horses in the barn. We took the "tour", plowed into an antiques place on the main drag (which was a drag) and went to Woodmans. Which was a real adventure. The inside was like a seaside resort attraction from, well, 1916, and lots of clam things to order for lunch and dinner. Drinks come from a separate line from the food, and we both got the fried clam plates. Said plates included a mess o' fried clams, a mess o' fries, and a mess o' onion rings -- all of which tasted exactly the same -- the only difference was texture and hardness. I was "heartened" that Frank's hot sauce was among the available condiments, so I mixed it with ketchup in order to make the food taste a little less exactly the same. And it worked. Later we drove north on Routes 133, 1A and 97 and saw the very pretty downtown area of Newburyport, plowed through Haverhill (sort of Fitchburg with less character), and got back home in time to use the hammock. And on Thursday we reacquainted ourselves with the "Battle Road" in the Minuteman Park. What is different this year is that there is now a bridge under a road, where last year there was a menacing looking sign saying END OF TRAIL GO AWAY I DON'T EVEN LIKE YOU ANYWAY. It was much more of an exercise than I'd remembered. And I was glad. On Saturday Carolyn herself came over to rent some hammock time (please hammock don't hurt 'em), and due to a bicycle mishap (is there such a thing as a bicycle hap?) she got here later than planned. We fed her olives, pickles, Inko's and beer (oh my!) and struggled mightily to have conversations about things not related to Brandeis. We mostly succeeded, but that subject does tend to turn into a vortex from which one is lucky to escape. After Carolyn made it homewards, we took a long walk for exercise, and repaired homewards, although the location of our home is already fixed (think about it. Now stop. And stop again). Yesterday was the day I set aside to begin my article on titles for New Music Box. After our very successful bike ride in the morning (one of our more exotic ones), and mowing the front and far back lawns, I decided to set up the backyard for casual computer use (that looks weird, but that's okay, because it "is" weird). I got a 100-foot extension cord, which I plugged into one of the outlets in the garage, plugged a surge protector into it, plugged my Power Book into it, and typed away. I didn't type "away", because that word isn't necessarily in the article. So I "typed" away. I had to run inside a few times for internet research (looking up titles), and I got about 6 or 7 paragraphs written before it started to rain. And then, to my complete surprise, I finished the article not long after coming inside with it. I was very proud of one joke in the article, which had to do with a possible Country and Western song title: "Even My Dung Beetle Don't Like You 'Cause You Ain't S**t". And Beff and I speculated on what life would be like for a cowboy who had a pet dung beetle. Well, not that much, because we have lives. But we "did".

This week classes begin, and I hop right in with three of them on Thursday. And every Thursday. And every Monday. And every Wednesday. Tomorrow -- the day that those Brandeis dung beetles are denying me my usual parking -- I do my Rubber Bands teach-in (a delightful meditation on the notion of tension and release, and everybody gets a free bouncy ball). Thanks to the parking thing, I'm taking the commuter rail in and back, and Beff has to drive me there and back, before she goes to Maine for a few days. Meanwhile, the big classroom in Slosberg (212) has been outfitted for bigtime AV, and I was given 3 possible times to come to be trained on it -- which, of course, I had to turn down. I can't give a teach-in at the same time I train on AV equipment, and there's the parking thing, and ... and meanwhile, it actually took quite a bit of time to write another diagnostic test for Music 101. I was reintroduced to the wonders of white-out (we had none in the house less than four years old) because I thought the points added up to 139 and they add up to 149 -- not to mention, I forgot that G above the bass staff has 3 leger lines and not 4. But I digress. This week's pictures include two shots from Minuteman Park, the pumpkin-colored Cogswell's Grant farmhouse, Woodman's, Beff inside Woodman's, our food at Woodman's, the icky green stuff on the Assabet (it was supposed to be a picture of a distant Great Blue Heron, and our recycling bin, revealing mass quantities of Inko's consumed over the weekend. The movies ("yellow" text) are greatly sped up, of Beff riding by on our Wednesday trip to West Concord, passing through the tunnel in Minuteman Park, and crossing the commuter rail tracks on the West Concord trip.

SEPTEMBER 5. LABOR DAY. Breakfast this morning was a Smart Ones breakfast sandwich (major miscalculation on their part: the English muffin part comes out hard as a rock), orange juice, Trader Joe's grapefruit juice, and coffee. Dinner was super-lean cheeseburgers, salad, and home fries. Lunch was a Buffalo chicken sandwich, New England Clam Chowder, and Tazo tea at O'Naturals restaurant in Acton. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 52.9 and 86.4. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are a new can opener and wok at K-Mart, $31, pickles and vitamins in Groton, $38, and half a tank of gas, $22. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "I had to break the window" by Fiona Apple. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: When my high school band was rehearsing (I use the word lightly and ironically) my first piece ever, I was the conductor and Verne Colburn -- being the regular conductor -- looked on. It was plain to see that lots of the band members didn't dig the piece, as it was atonal and strange, and they were doggin' it in one of our rehearsals. Verne came to the podium and chewed the band out (he did this at regular intervals, as it was the only thing that worked), and finished with a flourish, followed by a devastating silence. Which was broken by me remarking, "You're cute when you're mad." Verne struggled mightily not to smile, and succeeded. Just barely. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK is Sylvania Monitors, who, more than two weeks later, still have not sent the missing screw. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Why are Katrina victims being called "refugees" in the press? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: narkle. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: olives from the olive station at Shaw's, Inko's White Tea. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK The true extent of the original 1910 wiring of this house. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 7. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: Performances updated to 2005-6, Signal to Noise link replaced. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is a few small flying insects and small strands of screen window. BIKE RIDES CONCLUDING BEFORE 9 AM THIS WEEK: 0. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 23 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: competent FEMA administrators. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Imani Klopp. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Re: Really Works VÉry Good CíAIS VIAGRRä. INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a pine needle, the smaller part of the wishbone, a rolled-up newspaper, an electric grape. The federal response to Katrina has been pathetic. Beff and I gave money to the American Red Cross, and hope that it will do some good. The FEMA response to the ice storm in Maine in 1998 that Beff and I lived through was excellent. This time, the fund raiser who runs the agency didn't even know that people needed help. Dear readers, can you tell the difference between Democratic and Republican appointees?

Classes started this week, and I was roarin' and ready. As usual, I taught unimpeachably, though it looks like this overload I'm teaching is going to wear me out a bit by November, especially with the composer search going on at the same time. I was a little wrecked by the end of Thursday -- which ended with me 'n' Justin going over, fine-toothed-combwise, his dissertation piece. On the plus side, the piece breaks a lot of new ground for him. On the minus side, the weather was gorgeous, we were inside, and the day made the end of summer official. A new thing we have is an AV console in the big teaching room -- DVD, CD, and PC with a projector and a screen. The minus is that there is no equalization (can't turn up the bass or treble), that this console is only the temporary one, and that the new carpet in the room is also only temporary. All this and I doubt that the appointees in charge of wiring up the room are Republican fund raisers. However, it was a nifty toy to have for the two classes I teach in that room, as I got to demonstrate for one of them where they could go on the web to find the class materials, incidentally showing them the oh-so-crapful picture of me on the Brandeis web page. I am now endeavoring to make this room's nickname "the Boom Boom Room", and it looks like it will be an uphill battle. As if the end of summer weren't shocking enough, we already have a faculty meeting this coming Thursday. The Chair, Mary Ruth Ray, who is calling herself UV Ray now, promised the meeting would be "short and sweet, like Davy's meetings". Which was funny, because, even though my memories of my Chairman stint are hazy, I have sharp memories of our faculty talking and talking and talking in these meetings until someone came in and said, "I'm sorry, but we have the room now." Most of my so-called productive time this week has been spent producing the materials for Fundamentals of Music, which will be, at 31 (so far) the largest class I've taught anywhere. For comparison's sake, the largest I taught at Stanford was 12, at Columbia was 24, and at Harvard was 6. How did they all get to be multiples of six? As of this morning, I have all the homework, and it has all been put online (since I didn't make them spend an extra 40 bucks for a workbook), and one of three quizzes ready. I also produced some nice little handouts with piano keyboards, a grand staff, a map of all the C's on the piano, and a nod to two very important pitches: A 440 and the 60 cycle hum. For those of you just joining in, I rule. I also administered the dreaded diagnostic test for first year theory (this was Thursday) and promised results by day's end on Friday. And this is actually where the fun part of the week began. I would have used ironic quotes on the word fun, but I'm out of them after last week's ironyfest, and that's quite a narkle to deal with. As you can see, I'm saving them for actual quotes. Several weeks ago you would have read here that our insurance company doesn't like houses with original 1910 knob and tube wiring. Not only didn't I know that, I didn't know what knob and tube wiring was. I still don't, but now I know what it looks like -- and it's like those spider webs in the basement: everywhere and hard not to notice once you know it's there. Okay, I have to work on that simile. For the first time I even saw a bunch of it in the attic, too. So the insurance company had sent us a cancellation notice. We promised, with little halos over our heads, to get the wiring modernized, and we were reinstated. And now that is happening. But first a little more context. On Monday, plasterers came to fix the peeled plaster where water gets in in the alcove, and the bulge by the staircase. They plastered, but did not paint, and it was kind of destructive. Right now those two places are nice and smooth, but look like graffiti has been incompetently covered up with paint of the wrong color. We got some paint to paint over it (thus discovering an oriental market next door), and were planning on doing that painting this weekend after the plaster dried. Fast forward to Friday, at which point Beff was going to drive from Maine back to Maynard after breakfast. A pair of electricians arrived at 7:23 am and scoped out this knob and tube stuff. At 8, as I was about to start grading the Music 101 exams, the head electrician said there were too many boxes in the attic covering all the important wiring under the floorboards and the junction boxes, and that if they weren't moved, it would likely double the cost of the job. I took stock of the situation: $2500 to rewire may only buy a tank or two of gas now, but it's still considerable money if it's double that. And the many boxes in the attic were not necessary for us to keep -- they were there more out of packrat tendencies than out of actual need. So from 8 to 9:20 I dutifully carried loads of boxes down two flights of stairs, out the front door, though the front yard and driveway into the garage. And I sweated -- it was great exercise, and I got a lovely black and

blue mark on my right arm. By 9:20, noticing not a significant dent made, it occurred to me that tossing boxes out the attic window into the back yard was more efficient, not to mention way easier, and much more similar to a video game than carrying them out one by one (1 point for getting the box to land straight up, 2 points for straight up AND a ricochet off the mud room roof, 2 additional points for a full rollover on the ground and landing straight up). And I finished that part of the ordeal at 11 instead of about 2. I left the decision making on what boxes we really have to keep (turns out it's the banana boxes and the technology boxes for things less than 2 years old), and the rest were torn up into bitty pieces by Beff in order that they may be combined with oxygen to make a byproduct of "heat" in that little ol' thing we call the fireplace. Complicating matters was a whole mess o' styrofoam and packing peanuts without a home. The decision was to break the styrofoam up, hustle it into big lawn bags, and put it in the trash. So for about 45 minutes we had what could only be called a styrofoam stomping party -- we considered inviting Big Mike for the fun, but there just wasn't enough to last long enough to justify the trip. And over the weekend, Beff spent a lot of time by the fireplace while bad TV was showing, burning all those boxes. My part of this job was organizing the saved boxes in the garage. They will be returned to the attic when the rewiring job is done, likely in October, and meanwhile the Corolla butt will be sticking out of the garage by a foot or two. Meanwhile, as the metaphorical sound of dollars going down the drain was deafening -- as the cost of this rewiring was solidifying -- I listened in the distance with whatever the opposite of glee is as I heard banging and sawing and removal of plaster to get at the old wires. And when I saw the plaster patches afterwards, I had more of that opposite of glee thing. So now it looks like we're saving the painting until the end of the job. By which time we may actually have a clue how to paint. Just kidding. So the Friday afternoon outdoors scene was a surreal one indeed. Beff was organizing and triaging a big pile of boxes while I finally was able to get to grading the Mus 101 exams, which I did at an Adirondack chair to the tune of rip, rip, squeeeege, rip, kaflump(tm). Grading the tests was very brainrotmachen, so I needed a break after every 4 or 5, during which I either transported boxes that made the cut to the garage, or worked more on the Mus 5 materials. Once or twice the pile had a few blown off it, and I ended up with 3 of the tests in the wrong pile. I finally finished the grading, sent out about 30 or 35 emails with registration codes for them what passed, and realized only on Sunday that 3 had still not been emailed. Big d'oh there, pardner, and I don't rule. For comical effect, there is Saturday's dinner. When Beff is in town, we have this morning ritual. I ask "what do you want for dinner?" and Beff always replies, "What are my options?" which is ironic, because the options are always actually the same. This time, the choice was made for stir fry. We shopped, got stir fry stuff, I marinated some chicken for stir fry and was about to cut the vegetables when I realized -- the last time we did stir fry the wok looked so digusting that we tossed it. And here we were, planning stir fry without a wok. So. I drove to K-Mart, staying within local speed limits, picked up a Martha Stewart wok (she seems to rule everything at K-Mart), realized that the can opener we have is grody, doesn't work that well, AND dates back to the early 90s, and I got the MOST EXPENSIVE can opener they had -- twenny bucks. I liked it because it is black and matches the juicer on the counter. When I got back, the wok was supposed to be "seasoned", which is odd because I thought it tasted fine (rim shot). Boil water in it, then cook some oil 2 or 3 times. The boiling water thing turned out to be a good idea, because something not too appetizing-looking peeled off the bottom of the wok. And anyway, I made a nice stir fry and we tried the Korean teriyaki sauce for the first time. It was, as they say in Minsk, both appetizing and farty. Other generic things to report this week are that our yearly BMI royalty checks arrived, and mine was absolutely gigantic -- as "Dream Symphony" brought in a big amount which I didn't have to share with Peters, who is still sitting on it. Of course, hearing from the electricians what the size of the job was kind of deflated that check. Karma, I think they call it. Or amrak, if they are talking backwards. I also finallygot contracts from Peters for the books of etudes (but not one for III?) which I signed, and also sent them recordings of things they didn't have. By the way, I was asked to supply biographical, photographical and other materials for their web page, so it looks like they are finally getting on the promotion bandwagon. I'm going to be famous, and, dear reader, you knew me when. And how. And as. The andiron, or whatever it is called, in the fireplace has broken -- that's the piece of metal that holds up

whatever you are burning -- so we went in search of it yesterday while combining it with a trip to Trader Joe's for some essentials. Nobody had the andiron, so that is prompting a trip to Home Depot tomorrow. While I am there, I am also looking for a tarp to cover the shed in the back yard to delay the rusting of the roof by a few years, bopping over to BJ's for more Inko's -- as I intend to stock my fridge at work with it -and probably leisurely trips to the mall and Barnes and Noble because I can. Besides, I have to get out of the house early tomorrow morning when the Maids come to clean, and I have to go to town hall for trash stickers for our newly vast amount of it. And finally. It's been 33 years since I last was in the room while the note names on the staff were taught, and that is soon to become my job. I think All Cows Eat Grass and Every Good Boy Does Fine are in serious need of updating. I posit for the first Reagan's explanation of global warming: All Cows Emit Gas. For the second, just random: Eat Goats But Don't Fart. Bass clef lines? How about Gina Bought Doug Five Ascots? I think F-A-C-E still spells face, right? The packrattage of the attic included no fewer than 2 cheap stereo systems that no longer worked, 2 broken scanners, and a broken printer (not included on the original list on "Home" here), which for the life of me I don't know why we didn't throw out years ago. Plus, plenty of other things that made no sense to keep. There is photographage below in support of that hypothesis. But first we see the new can opener and its counter context (which makes a kind of counter statement), the new wok in the process of being seasoned, the kitties viewing the mess gathering outside, a bookshelf we have unexplainable held on to for all these years, a spider discovered in a garage window, and Beff in the early stages of organization. The movies (yellow text) are the boxes burning, Cammy going after a little wind-up toy, and a very small portion of the styrofoam stomping party. SEPTEMBER 13. Breakfast this morning was Morningside Farms vegetarian breakfast sausage patties with Kraft 2% cheese, Trader Joes Smooth coffee, and Garelick Farms orange juice. Dinner was a Lean Cuisine salmon microwave dinner concoction that needed more cooking time than stated on the box. Lunch was a big big salad with Good Seasons dressing and Inko's Blueberry White Tea. Mornigside Farms, Kraft Foods, Trader Joes, Garelick Farms, Good Seasons, Lean Cuisine and Inko's White Teas have not paid a promotional fee for mention in this space, though Inko's DID send me a groovissimo t-shirt a while ago. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 45.0 and 87.3. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are this winter's heating oil (1100 gallons prepaid), $2442, Font Lab for Macintosh, $299, garbage stickers $60, chimney cleaning $119, and half a tank of gas, $19. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "God is a DJ" by Pink. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: I voted for Jesse Jackson in the 1988 Massachusetts Democratic primary. He didn't win. A mere five months later, I stood right behind the man as he speechified on the steps just outside the music building at Stanford. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK is Pro View Monitors (who handle Sylvania Monitors). COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY is Finale Music, who authorized 3 installs for my Finale 2006 on 3 computers used only by me. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Why don't more people use "Let's not play the blame game" as a standard response to massive screwups? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: pangistic. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Real Pickles, Bubbie's Pickles. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK The fun of teaching music fundamentals. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 3.6. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: Performances by Amy D and Adam M added. New link to Beff's UMaine site fixed on some pages. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is a crumpled up piece of newspaper. BIKE RIDES CONCLUDING BEFORE 9 AM THIS WEEK: 0. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 27 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: free hats for composers. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Matilda Cierra. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Hot Demand Popular Meds At Cheeap money hard . FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: I've done wrong and I wanna suffer for my sins. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE the shadow of your smile, the look of love, the unbearable lightness of being, a vintage WW II army helmet. Dear readers, as I type this Great Road -- the swatch from Erikson's Dairy to the Mobil station -- is being repaved. The smell is sweetly sickening and the sounds vintage. Classic, even. Maynard Public Works apparently subscribes to the classic method of repaving: rip the road up so that it has the capacity to shred

tires, leave it that way for at least a week (two if you play the game right) and start laying pavement down in the middle of rush hour for maximum inconvenience. Repaving is a popular thing in this part of the world this week, as on my drive home yesterday I negotiated not one, but two lengthy detours around parts of Route 117. It only added 5 miles or so to my 14-mile drive, but it doubled the drive time. At least the detours were better marked than the street signs in Boston. So we have been blessed with a few orange signs locally that we don't usually benefit from: Rough Road, Bicyclists Take Note, and E.T. Phone Home. I put that last one in there to see if you were still following along. Oh, and I see there is another step to the paving that I left out: pave one lane, lay out a line of cones unevenly, and take a lengthy break. Big Mike (kaching!) and Carolyn (kaching!) tell me that they were speaking of the possibility of a kind of performance art wherein you do something suitably distinctive to be mentioned in Davy's blog. Well, the first thing is, I don't think of this thing as a blog but more of a pangistic thing. Beff (kaching!) calls it my update (rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?), but other times she calls it my blog. But I guess Big Mike (kaching!) and Carolyn (kaching!) can call it whatever they want. Score so far: Big Mike 2, Carolyn 2, Beff 1. Now that school is in full swing and I have a full Monday teaching schedule, I think I will be doing my updates on Tuesdays. I would have to get up at 4 to continue doing it on Mondays, and that would be bad. I have been introduced to the wonder of TAs, who take two of my classes per week, rescuing me on Monday and Thursday from severe laryngitis and bummerhood. Wednesdays, though, the effect of teaching an overload shines through: an hour lecture at 10, an hour lecture at 11 and an hour lecture at 1 followed by an independent study with Max (kaching!) is pretty taxorific. Compound all that with the suddenly hot weather here and the massive failure of the air conditioning system in the music building and it spells jello. I have, though, very much enjoyed teaching fundamentals, as it is a large and very bright-eyed class, and some newer students have made it decidedly interactive. Meanwhile, Theory 1 is huge this year and we got a second section authorized. Seung-Ah (kaching!) was hired to teach it, and starting tomorrow I have a more manageable class size. And in "Undegraduate Composition" (the "r" is missing in the official course listing) I have asked students to bring in examples of bad prosody. I made this assignment and then realized I hadn't defined prosody, so there was ova sulla mia facie. I myself am bringing in "Gold" by Spandau Ballet, which repeats an execrable scanning of "indestructible" countless times. The real accomplishment of the week is, I guess, the carrying of 11 lawn bags of styrofoam, an old convertible couch mattress and a big box full of packing peanuts and tent to the street, and sticking 23 $2 trash stickers on them and our usual garbage. It was fun watching the garbage truck linger as it picked everything up. Okay, I made that part up. It wasn't fun. But I watched in case they decided not to take some of it. Another accomplishment, which is a side benefit of the same large drive, was a trip to Home Depot to get a tarp to cover the storage shed, along with rope and pegs to keep it down. We measured the roof and I got a tarp that was billed as 2 inches longer per side than my measurement -- which is not how it worked in real life, of course; like Milton Babbitt, it's a little short. The typical thing was that the tarp was in a box marked "12' by 9' tarp!" and the package listed the measurements as 11'6" by 8'6". I had been sent by Beff (kaching!) in search of a new andiron for the fireplace -- the old one broke and the hardware stores said they don't carry fireplace stuff until the end of September -- and after a 3- or 4-mile trek through the store I got the answer: we don't carry fireplace stuff until the end of September. So Beff (kaching!) and I installed the tarp on Friday, and it was remarkably stress free. And you can hardly tell there is a tarp there at all. Which is why I'm doing the telling. Ash-Go came and cleaned the chimney on Friday and contracted to put a cover on the chimney later in the month. Two more electrician vi$it$ have been scheduled, the second of which is October 3, for those of you playing along at home. Geoffy (kaching!) will be here to let them in that day, as I leave for work around 6:30. I have been doing whatever the opposite of admiring is to the plaster patches they left where they had to get to the old wires. I was delighted to hear, by the way, from the head electrician that previous electricians had left a pull string in the attic, which will make their jobs easier. I nodded dutifully, not having any idea what he was talking about. For the first time ever, I received an e-mailed "Response to Blog" from Big Mike (kaching!) and the pressure was on. He did give me some nice new mnemonics for the lines and spaces of the staff (Even God

Believes Darwin, Fool), and I noted in Fundamentals that mnemonics is my favorite word that begins with a silent "m". As they said on the Sopranos, mno problem, dude. I believe the equilibrium of the universe is maintained, though, by Eddie Jacobs (kaching!) who adds an un-silent initial "m" to "Bye Bye" at the end of his phone conversations. Yes, he does say "Mbye-bye!" So no m's are out of work, nor have any been harmed in the teaching of musical lines and spaces. Geoffy (kaching!) contributed the bass clef lines: Groovy Bassists Do Funk Albums. The cool thing about that is, it's how he talks. After a long bike ride with Beff (kaching!) on Friday -- the one by the nature viewing area in Stow -- we did lunch at the Airport Cafe at the Minuteman Air Field, which was totally delish. We continued to obsess on the andiron situation, and we actually asked the waitress for a yellow pages so we could look up fireplace stores. She did the lookin', in fact, but all the stores were rather far away. So instead we had fun. And Beff (kaching!) had to go back early on Saturday for rehearsals for a concert next weekend -- I will go to Maine for that -- and early in the morning we took our old stereos and scanners etc. from the attic to the monthly Bigass Trash day at the Maynard Recycling Center. As usual, the workers scavenged, keeping in this case the old crappoliforic speakers. I winced a little when they tossed the old stereo a not insignificant distance into the shovel part of a big piece of machinery until I remembered -- it was a piece of crap. After Beff (kaching!) left, I indulged myself in a bit of nostalgia -- I made a font, thereby learning Font Lab. Fontographer was never updated to run in OS X, so I got this one, which has some of the same features, but enough of a different interface to make some of the work maddening -- not unlike the difference between Finale and Sibelius. Or totally unlike it, I forget which. This was a finely detailed font with a lot of fixin' to do, so I had that rare thing where I look up and notice it's 1:20 am without realizing it. Boy, talk about ova sulla facie. Actually, the first bit of business after Beff's (kaching!) departure was lunch in Hudson at the Horseshoe Pub with Big Mike (kaching!) just as a way to get my Buffalo wing fix. We sat in the patio outdoors, I also had some wheat beer, and we had a waitress with a voice not unlike that of the prostitute in "The Man With Two Brains" who keeps saying "I Don' Mind!". And pencil-thin, sculpted eyebrows that looked like runes. I don't think we talked about work very much, but who can know? Later I checked on the big bridge for the bike path going over the Assabet, and it's still not back up yet. Then I took a catnap, which turned into a 2hour affair. It has been dry again, and the water level of the Assabet is back down, thereby once again revealing the face of the Ben Smith dam. On my way to view the dam, I met the new owner of the house once occupied by the dog Samson, and his dog Molly, a large orange retriever-type mutt. When I was doing yard work (mostly pulling out vines), Molly approached me as if I had a whole bunch of bones formerly reserved for Samson but now available for any dog. And she was right. So with the new ownership of this house, that means all four houses abutting us to the east have changed owners since we moved in. And that makes us the Senior Landowners on this part of the block. I may have to have a ribbon made up that says that. And wear it ostentatiously as I parade by all of their front porches. Okay, I'll stop now. This weekend I was struck by a cleaning and tidying up frenzy. I rearranged the bookshelf of scores and filed about 4-1/2 years of sketches into one pile. They are on 11x17 paper, two systems of 4 on each page, and the pile measures 2-5/8 inches thick. Which is impressive. I then finally got to the 4 years of junk that has accumulated in my car, discovered that I have 5 road atlases in it, and a pile of CDs (kaching! -Carolyn's initials get credit here) that was most impressive. I had TWO of "Tower of Power compilation 2", thinking I had lost the first one obviously. And about 8 CDs without cases and, coincidentally, about 8 empty CD cases. So dear readers, it is no longer disgusting for you to drive in the back seat of my car. And alas, some leaves are starting to turn. Mostly on the Route 117 detours, but they are turning nonetheless. Yesterday, by the way, was a hot one and the first time in a month I had to turn the air conditioner on. My exercise ride was the West Concord ride, which was multifaceted: BofA ATM to transfer funds, CVS to renew a prescription, Dunn Oil to prepay for our oil, the ride to West Concord, the purchase of 3 jars of Real Pickles, the ride back, to CVS to pick up the prescription (Lisinopril), and back. The weather was so nice I spent some time on the hammock instead of writing this thing. And the rest is his story.

Pro View monitors -- the company that handles Sylvania monitors -- finally came through with the missing screw. I had wanted to embarrass them into sending it the fastest and most expensive way possible (don't get mad -- get irrational), and what they did was stick it in a regular envelope with 37 cents of postage. Of course, the screw being a screw, the envelope ripped and the Postal Service had to stick the whole thing in one of their rescue envelopes. It was hilarious, when you come right down to it. Today's movie (yellow text on the left) is the long downhill portion of the Nature viewing area bike ride, sped up greatly for your convenience. The pictures are of the CDs (kaching!) rescued from my car, the screw from Pro View as it got to me, the Ben Smith dam, the newly installed tarp (see yellow pegs?), Big Mike (kaching!) at lunch, and the top of our sickly front yard maple tree, already turning. Final score: Beff 7, Big Mike 5, Carolyn 4, Geoffy 2, Max 1, Eddie 1, Seung-Ah 1. Amy D and Adam M (from credits) 1 each.

SEPTEMBER 20. Breakfast this morning is coffee and orange juice. Dinner was a Smart Ones Creamy Tuscan Chicken microwave meal, and real lemonade. Lunch was a big salad with European salad lettuce, campari tomatoes, and Trader Joe's balsamic vinaigrette dressing. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 53.6 and 85.8. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are none! POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: I had a $100 stereo cassette player in my bedroom when I was in high school -- before the days of boom boxes -- and I separated the speakers so that they were as far across the room from each other as possible. I delighted at the cheesy stereo demonstration cassette from Radio Shack, and when friends were over, delighted even more at playing Jesus Christ Superstar -- as mean ol' Caiaphas monopolized the left speaker AND had a really low voice. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are none. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are none. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Where's the beef? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: cridden. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: none! DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Gasoline in Maine is 30 cents cheaper. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 9. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: Broken links on teaching page fixed, new names on home page. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is nothing. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 8. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 21 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: rationing of the octatonic scale. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Art Butts. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: fw. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: I wanna make a mistake. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE last week's homework, a microphone cable, that thing you do, twelve of them. Dear readers, the romance of returning to teaching is over, as this is the week that more time is spent outside the classroom correcting and grading homework than in the classroom actually teaching. Finding the same old mistakes (such as writing the leading tone to D# as D instead of C double sharp, or equating an augmented fourth and a diminished fifth) is not so nostalgic as it is frustrating. Alas, I'm the sort of guy who feels the need to give a mini-lecture in red pen on the page to mistakes of this nature. At this rate, homework may soon be returned with discs containing Power Point presentations about concepts not yet osmosed. But then again, I may be exaggerating. In any case, the real challenge of teaching this week was presenting, in both first year theory and fundamentals, the real difference between enharmonically equivalent notes. I dropped the name Mariah Carey, and I'll leave the reader's imagination for how that happened. There was actually a bit of traveling this last weekend, as I drove to Bangor (and back) for Beff's faculty group concert at U Maine opening this year's concert season. I had planned on driving up Saturday and back on Sunday, but them what make predicted the former Ophelia to be having her way with the state of Maine on Saturday, so I drove up a day early. While there, there was no want of things to do, but I did seem to spend far too much time asleep. Perhaps it was the humidity in the air, perhaps it was the lack of my usual gastronomic obsessions in the refrigerator (I had gone to a convenience store for pickles, which basically got inhaled), or perhaps it was the wait time as I did auxiliary e-mail by dial-up. I am STILL

weaning myself off of chairman-grade e-mail needs, and felt proud at restricting myself to three logons per day -- which, given that it was dial-up, was like about ten or something. I had come a little earlier than expected, and so I took a roundabout way in, passing through Brewer and stopping at Marden's -- a fell-off-the-truck kind of surplus store -- where I hoped to find gastronomic obsessions. My original primal cravings for stuffed olives came from jalapeno-stuffed olives I got there maybe eight years ago. All that was available were sugary cookie substances, but I did find a jar of vitamins and a 16-pack of alkaline batteries, the latter of which was to come in handy. And to Birch Street I came, admiring the tastefulness of decorating in a house where my preferences carry no weight. Beff was at work taking a student to buy a clarinet mouthpiece, so I took a walk in the neighborhood, encountering again the Hose Fire something museum (nobody ever seems to go in there) and the massive headquarters (probably a room) of Coffee News -- who make the placemats with little tidbits of local gossip that you get at local diners and other fine dining establishments. Meantime, Beff and I lounged in the afternoon, she had to do a 7pm rehearsal, and after that we drove to Old Town to go to the Chocolate Grill. I like the place because of the deep fried pickles, so we had those (they were greasier this time than they have been before), shared a blackened tuna salad, and had some soup. Our house in Bangor (which you can view through the Our House links) is a bungalow from the 1920s or 30s, and it's well built and designed -- not to mention nicely decorated. I delight in going into the basement and seeing both the old furnace -- a tin man construction with octopus arms going into all the rooms -- and the new one -- forced air heat. Though it's a small house, there are actually three heating zones and thus three thermostats -- great if you like that European thing of sleeping where it's cold and dressing where it's warm (in my case that would be sleeping in Montreal and dressing in Florida --- rim shot). The water table is high, as it's just up the street from the Penobscot River (say that five times fast), so when it rains, plenty of water gets into the basement. Since Saturday was Ophelia's day to have her way with the area, I finally got to experience Beff's story about the house -- every 45 minutes or so you heard the sump pump kick on and start a-flushin'. So in the midst of the substantial rain, and after Beff's sound check at noon, we drove to the Sea Dog for lunch. It was really quite good, and Beff got her old standby the Teri Tuna sandwich. I actually have forgotten what I got, so I'll have to get back to you. The original plan had been to follow lunch with a walk around downtown Bangor, but the rain and wind were a little strong for that, so there was just a brief trip to the library (largest number of books per capita in America), the Grasshopper Shop, and a used book store. Followed by a muggy afternoon reading and sleeping. With sump pump interruptions. The concert was well-attended, and Beff carried out her customary multiple functions. During her leave, the hall had been wired for recordings, apparently by doofi (plural of doofus) -- the permanent microphones are against the walls on the side, at an angle to capture plenty of ambient sound, but not much of the original sound. So Beff set up her DATman, and used -- ka-zing! -- the batteries I had bought at Mardens. One of the features of the concert was the newly rebuilt Steinway, which was not yet ready for prime time - the Bflat below middle C was for all intents and purposes dead, and even full-stick it sounded like it was full of cotton balls. Several pianists struggled valiantly with it, and one actually managed to get some music out of it. Just about every possible faculty member played something on the concert, and the Debussy Sonate for flute, viola, and harp was simply called "Trio" on the program. Beff's new piece for flute, blass clarinet and marimba was performed but with some major problems (marimba player skipping three lines in the part, for instance), so I didn't get the full effect of the piece. I am hoping to hear a tape of an actual performance if they can get a recording session together. Meanwhile, during these times when Beff is away from Maynard for long bits, she has expressed an interest in having cat pictures up here. I have done her one better -- on Sunday after my return, I used my little camera to make action movies of the cats to the extent that was possible. I then imported them all into iMovie (or iMovie HD as it now calls itself), and burned an autoplay DVD so that Beff can just stick it in and watch it while she grades. Two subsets of that movie have been put here, greatly sped up, in the yellow text on the left. Meanwhile, out of sequence I can report that I drove back Sunday morning through drizzle to greatly changeable weather in Maynard, finished the grading for Fundamentals (most common score: perfetto), and dove headfirst into recommendation writing season.

While in Bangor, I discovered that the Windows computer there has the data files for this page as of April, 2003. Since Idon't archive these updates (our correspondent in Iceland once asked why not), I will give you the text of that one, for the sake of nostalga, and especially for the sake of taking up space.
APRIL 1. Happy April Fool's Day. Today's breakfast was Pepperidge Farm Potato Wheat toast with marmalade, coffee, and orange juice, at the MacDowell Colony. Later in the day (today) I drove home for kitty doody duty and to deal with a large pile of e-mail that's hard to do at MacDowell, where the line for the e-mail computer stretches around the block. Even though technically there are no blocks at MacDowell. Guest breakfast is Laura Hendrie (from Brooklin, Maine currently), who had two sunnyside up eggs, a poached egg, toast, orange juice, and tea. Laura is a novelist. During my time at MacDowell I have taken a week off for Amy's events, including an outreach event at the MacDowell Colony for students of the Well School, colonists, and Board members, and two concerts. And a snowstorm, naturally, during that week. I have started and finished a fairly dense 9-minute first movement for string orchestra (213 bars at a fast tempo and one section that repeats), written 60 bars of a scherzi movement that I tossed out, written another 18 bars that I also threw out, and 40 bars of a scherzi movement that I am apparently going to keep -- even though it is screamingly fast music. I probably won't finish the scherzi movement before I leave MacDowell (April 11), but there will be at least one more update of NEWS before I go to Yaddo (April 17). Amy's concerts were all fantastic. A very favorable review of Amy's etude disc appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, and it is now quoted on page 2 of Reviews. Meanwhile, the fellow artists at the MacDowell Colony have given nights of presentations in spurts -- a week without a presentation followed by ten consecutive nights of them, etc. It is always amazing to see how many fabulously gifted people there are in the world that you haven't heard of. Last night, it was a playwright with some great monologues; the night before, two very different and fascinating poets. And the night before that, a very young and gifted visual artist. The fun never stops. For the record, I'm presenting Ten of a Kind on the night of April 7. I plan to serve Scotch. Beff has been away from Maynard for the last several weekends, gracing this house on Thursday night for the first time in a very long time. In the mean time, she played host in Maine to Hayes Biggs, who was the distinguished visiting composer, and went to Eddie's festival at ECU in North Carolina, where Soooooooozie and Chris Oldfather did a whole mess of her songs. Beff's travel agent booked her to Greenvile, South Carolina instead of Greenville, North Carolina, and she claimed not to be fazed by the extra six hours of driving that caused her. It is cold here again, and I have built a fire. Even snow is predicted for this afternoon. This winter and spring suck. Though the warmest temperatures here in Maynard this season have been 68.9 degrees, twice. It was 62.3 in Peterborough. NEWS FLASH; I have discovered and extracted more Buttstix. Picture to appear when they are identified, cleaned, and labeled. Pictures today are from my backyard (the crocuses, from last Saturday), from a practice room at Brandeis (that's Amy and a piano reflecting the ugly-ass admin buildings across the way from the music building) and from the MacDowell Colony. The snow picture represents how much was there the day I got there, and the sunset shots were taken last night.

I find it kind of funny ("It is interesting to note...") that I referred to the movement I was writing as a "scherzi" movement. On Thursday there was a party in the music building for the department with a motley assortment of people and a wide variety of foodstuffs that were Carolyn-chosen and -procured. I took my little camera to record the event, and found out that it sucks for this kind of event -- lighting from above that is not usual room darkness or outdoor darkness. Just about every one was out of focus, and I was able to salvage maybe three from about 30 taken. Thankfully, food -- which doesn't move very much until you eat it -- did not go all out of focus on me. Oh yes, while I am reporting out of sequence -- before the concert on Saturday, we went to an art opening on the U Maine campus, at Carnegie Hall (the "practice, practice" jokes flew in abundance). Beff said that she usually saw conceptual art there, but this exhibit was a more straightforward one of portraits of "truth tellers" as protest to the current political climate. Basically, plenty of really big postage stamps with writing on them. There was, of course, reception-type food, and when I poured myself a little plastic of wine, I heard "that'll be $3.50" from an arty type who was several miles from any sign that said "Wine: $3.50". So as not to embarrass myself (note to self: wine at music receptions is free; wine at art receptions is not; wine at theater receptions is yet to be determined), I ante'd up and calculated the 63 cents per gulp that I was spending so that the putrid taste would seem less putrid. I get the feeling, based on my quick quality control investigation, that I paid for the whole bottle and everybody else got free wine. And for the first time in some time, Beff and I had a substantial discussion about the intent and quality of the art. We Gingriched.

This afternoon the School of Creative Arts hosts a barbecue, and I am a celebrity chef. Indeed, color posters with a cheesamundo picture of me have been up in the music building for some time ("Slosberg? Schoenberg? Give me a hamburg!") and yesterday I wore my chef's hat to teach. This may be the first time in history that the minor scale was introduced by someone wearing a chef's hat. And tomorrow I get to play Happy Birthday in minor for the sake of effect. I rule. This week there are the two little cat movies in yellow text, and pictures all from Maine, including: the old octopus furnace in the basement, Carnegie Hall, a rain splatter from outside the Sea Dog, the Hose Museum, the remains of our salad at the Chocolate Grill, and Liz and Denny at the reception after the concert.

SEPTEMBER 27. Breakfast this morning is veggie microwave sausages, coffee and a wee bit o' orange juice. Dinner was Hebrew National 97 percent fat free hot dogs with a fireful bunch o' condiments, and limeade. Lunch was a lot of tomatoes and a little lettuce in a salad with Good Seasonings salad dressing. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 39.7 and 82.0. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "ABC" by the Jackson 5. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are materials for some house rewiring, $177; house lighting and fireplace hardware, $78. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: When we were grad students, we lived in half a house on Wiggins Street with a small back yard. At the back of that yard was a tree that formed a canopy. In warm weather, I got into the habit of taking a chair and music paper and a pencil into the little canopy and writing (it was my violin concerto at the time). I'm not sure if Martler and Beff ever used it, but it did come to be known as the Composer Canopy. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are gas stations. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY is, again, Inko's Healthy White Tea, who are sending specimens of their new flavors. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Where do flies go in the winter? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: alunt. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: olive antipasto salad, various kinds of pickles. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK the Wachusett Reservoir Dam, and my free web space at Brandeis. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 8. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: A few new recordings referenced, new links on Home, a basket of fries. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is a little fraying of computer room bags. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 6. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 3 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: Napoleon Dynamite lunchboxes for everybody. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Doctor. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: The Ultimate Online Pharmaceutical. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: I can't help it, the road just rose up behind me. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a bag of alunt, sixteen clothespins, a Red Sox reliever, a hummingbird feeder. Dear readers, crunch time has arrived and still I spend time for your pleasure, or whatever the opposite of pleasure is, writing these here updates. It is less than a week to the application deadline for the composer position, and then there is not much time for the committee to examine the materials. But dagnabbit, we will, and it will be good. I spent a large portion of Sunday reading applications and listening to submitted materials, and I got through fewer than I had anticipated, but that was fine. I found out a lot about quite a few composers who had been unknown to me, some of whom are worthy of our consideration. The only drawback to spending that time was the backache from picking out the materials, reading the files, bringing the recordings to the CD player, etc. Since what goes on internally is confidential, I can't bring up specific numbers, but I am impressed that I could imagine some people unknown to me as future colleagues. What my colleagues will think I do not know. I have read about half of the applications that have arrived, but I imagine that will be a much smaller proportion by week's end. Currently Carolyn (ka-ching!) is fielding emails asking the name of the Chair of the search committee. I'm not sure how she is responding. I do wish to say that, despite the great amount of time it takes to correct and grade homeworks now, this is still rather an enjoyable teaching time, and fundamentals remains fun (to be almost alliterative). Yesterday I apportioned triads among various portable keyboards and the classroom piano, taught students how to play them and play them at my signal, and when we were fully rehearsed, we played along with "She Drives Me

Crazy" and "You're Still the One." Then I started in on intervals. Meanwhile, in first year theory I introduced species counterpoint, and I still have a little ways to go before I will have crammed those heads to bursting with information. I didn't get to the no consecutive semitones in the same direction or no outlining tritones rules, but I will, Oscar, I will. Last week I ended up by doing a figured bass realization in C# minor (the class's choice) that was killa. Totally killa. I still got it, yo. Meanwhile, I also did a few font characters for Uncle Max for engraving flute fingerings onto scores, and it was way easier for me to do them than explain font structure, hinting, path directions, and font formats -not to mention the editing interface. Yo, I rule, I still got it, yo. And on Tuesday I did my stint as Celebrity Chef a-flippin' burgers for the School of Creative Arts barbecue, which was just a little frustrating because nobody got enough of anything -- not enough starter fluid, so the cooking started late while a bunch of strangers, plates held high, looked at me accusatorily for not heaving burgers onto those plates, and not enough buns or burgers. Indeed, there was about half as much as last year's, and it ran out by the time chorus was dismissed. So I left the area, plate held high, eating the last, bunless burger. I smelled like smoke for the next two days (I told people it was honeysuckle). Meanwhile, in the sacred time with Beff, we got to do Quarterdeck seafood for her birthday dinner (as Thursday had been her birthday) on Friday, and some circumnavigations of bodies of water on Saturday. We took some pictures of the Quarterdeck wine list so as to show Lee Hyla what great wines he said they had (he responded that the wines he liked are no longer on the menu), and did an all-appetizer dinner. I kept asking the waitress what sort of free stuff we got for people with birthdays (she should have responded that everybody has a birthday, but, you see, she does not know me), but all we got was beer, chowda, salad, Buffalo tenders, and scallops wrapped in bacon. During down time, Beff captured some audio to her computer -- she couldn't get the 828 to work in OS X, so we had to start from flippin' System 9, and this all happened while I was at Brandeis for Jeremy's orals (he passed). For some reason, we went to Papa Gino's for lunch on Friday (actually the reason was that the electricians were working on the kitche), and then moseyed to Ace Hardware for a fireplace brush and Shaw's for some food and firewood and whatever else appropriate began with "f". Later we rented Napoleon Dynamite at the video store, which we watched Friday night. Mindy Wagner had told me I simply HAD to see this movie -- and I accidentally caught the last 20 minutes on HBO, used a catchphrase on Beff ("I caught you a delicious bass"), and she grudgingly agreed to watch it. Some students in my composition class knew the movie, and they seemed either to love it or hate it, though everyone certainly knew the tag lines ("are you drinking 1% because you think you're fat?"). So we hunkered down, watched it, found out it was an MTV films release, and I rather liked it. Beff, not so much (she later said that one line from "Weeds" was funnier than all of Napoleon Dynamite). Truly, it was a bunch of silly skits loosely put together, but the characters were so -- cringe-inducing -- that I found it mostly irresistible. On the other hand, there is definitely something wrong with me. And it's not just the earlobes. So to celebrate the gorgeosity of Saturday's weather, we decided on a little hike around the pond at the nature viewing area in Stow/Harvard, which turned out to be rather a long hike, and then thought we'd take a little drive around the Wachusett Reservoir to see if there were any scenic areas. After the hike, of which at least a mile was on the road, we popped into the grocery cum orchard stand on the corner of 117 and 110 in Bolton, and delighted at the great variety of fresh-picked produce and exotic condiments, not to mention the ready availability of rest rooms. I got a bag of really big tomatoes and a bag of really small plums, as well as various experiments -- such as "Bone Sucking Sauce" -- and we packed up and drove through Clinton, etc., as we made our way around the reservoir. After a full revolution, we found the public parking area right where the dam is, walked down to mortal level, took pictures, and walked back up. On our way back up, a woman asked us if the Red Sox were playing that day, and I made something up ("yes", I think I said). After all that impromptu hiking, we thought we'd cruise into Hudson and find someplace not called the Horseshoe Pub for lunch, and to that end I called Big Mike (ka-ching!) for advice. But alas, he not there. So

we drove up Route 85 to see what was there, and we ended up at Applebees, where I got the Asian chicken wrap and Beff didn't. After a brief trip to TJ Maxx, we came home and did really, really important things. For instance, following Carolyn's (ka-ching!) example, I figured out that not only was I entitled to free web space as Brandeis faculty, I could actually use it. By navigating deep, dark crevasses within the Brandeis site, I was able to find how much I get (a gig), how to get to it, what it is called, and how to send files to it - to that end, I downloaded Fugu (as Carolyn (ka-ching!) told me, it was the fish Homer Simpson almost died eating), which is just an FTP program. And I used it to transfer some files, most of them sound files, so that in the future when people ask for perusal CDs I can just direct them to URLs instead. Meanwhile, I invited Beff to put some video samples in that space to reference from her web page, and we stuck one small example there. You can find that on Beff's page. Also on Friday was Electricians Rewire The House And Make Many New Holes day #2. At one point, as many as (as in,exactly) three electricians were a-workin', installing new lighting in the basement, fixing most of the ceiling lights and outlets in the first floor, and snipping out ALL of the old knob and tube wiring. Of course, by doing that, they cut off electricity to the ceiling fans on the second floor, as well as to the guest room, the bathroom, and to one outlet each in the computer room and master bedroom. Two of the outdoor lights are also now still not connected. They made a quick exit, very slightly apologizing for the inconvenience of leaving us in the dark for ten days, and leaving with such ferocious haste as to create a Doppler shift (the lead guy, a tenor, became a baritone on the way out). So in order for us to get by with some normalcy until October 3 -- and to have a bunch of superflous electricity stuff cluttering up the place after that date -- I went to K-Mart for extension cords and camping-type reading lamps (you know, the ones that are supposed to look like upright lamps with shades but are a one-piece plastic construction that look more like green and white mushrooms), but they had only the extension cords -- I got two 15-footers (and a bunch of Temptations cat treats, way cheaper there than at Shaws). Acton Ace Hardware, on the other hand, had bigass camping flashlights and TWO of those kinds of mushroomy reading lamps. While I was there, carrying an armful of stuff, I noticed that the fireplace stuff was out, so I got an andiron, too. So one extension cord goes from the one working outlet in the bedroom to the side that has our clocks and reading lamps. The other connects from the free outlet in thecomputer room to another 9-foot extension cord to power the fan that keeps our bathroom fresh-smelling. The mushroom lamps were installed in the guest room and hallway. The bigass flashlight now faces up on the toilet for nighttime convenience. And the other extra flashlight is a general one for the sake of navigation in the hallway. First and only visitor to avail himself of this major D-battery regaliafest: Geoffy (ka-ching!). I am now used to highstepping upstairs so as not to trip on the extra wires (indeed, give me a baton and a hat that makes me look like a Qtip and I'd be a dead ringer for a drum major), and Geoffy will have to do the same. I also got the first edit of Beff's and my tangos from Amy D's tango project, and we are very happy. You can hear mine from somewhere secret on this website, or by already knowing where to go to hear it. Expensive microphones and an in-tune piano go a long way towards making Davy not a dull boy. And so as I said -- on Sunday I drove into Brand-x to look over applications, and while there met with a grad student, for whom I am not the reader, to look at his paper before he sends it to his first reader -- thus making me both his pre-reader and his second reader (once again, dear readers, Davy explodes conventions of cardinality and ordinality). And then instead of making do in my office with the applications, I took them home, and gave myself several degrees of backache reading them and listening to them. All this while watching the Red Sox (won) and Patriots (won) and tripping over at least one cat whenever I went into the kitchen for a drink. Cammy found the box holding the applications quite interesting, and when it became half empty, he delighted at making it half cat. My piano trio "Inside Story" was to be premiered this week. It was to be at Rice University, in Houston, on Thursday. We all know what happened instead. Incredibly, Curt, the violinist, e-mailed to apologize for it not happening, as if he could control the weather (if he could, he's getting paid WAY too little). All the little movies that have appeared in this space since June are now archived in my Brandeis web space. Ask me where, and I'll tell you. Meanwhile, I was hard pressed to come up with a good one for this week -- every time the cats were being cute, I went for the camera and by the time I returned they were lying down and sleeping (I'm pretty slow these days). But I did get a piece of one frantic playing episode,

which is short enough that I did not have to speed it up -- see yellow text up there on the left. The pictures are of the pond we walked around, and a bit of the trail, a big ceramic apple outside the market in Bolton that has the downtown of Bolton, such as it is, painted onto it, a fountain at the bottom of the Wachusett dam (the rainbows made by the water are much more evident in person), and a panorama cobbled from 5 shots of the dam looking south, west, and north (into Clinton). The figures in the picture are, in real life, still frozen in that position.

OCTOBER 3. Breakfast this morning was coffee and orange juice and a few swigs of pure lemon juice. Dinner was some disgusting fast food. Lunch was California rolls and some lovely Tom Yum soup made from a mix purchased at the Asian market in Acton. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 39.4 and 74.5. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Lady Marmalade" by the Christina Aguilera et al. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are house rewiring expenses, $1177, and a new cap for the chimney in which the fireplace sits, $275. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: The day after I announced to my Music 123 class at Stanford that I had gotten engaged (it happened over the phone), my class brought champagne and cookies to class. I didn't ask how 9 underage underclassmen managed to get booze to bring to class -- instead, we drank up. Eventually, I tried to give my prepared lecture, and nothing happened. So we enjoyed the sun. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are any place we looked for a ketchup squeezer that didn't have one. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY is, again, Inko's Healthy White Tea, who sent specimens of their new flavors. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: What is the difference between pillbugs and sowbugs? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: interadsinklamaniationousness. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: hamburger dill pickles, real lemonade and limeade, jalapeno stuffed olives (nobody locally carries the Santa Barbara brand any more) DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK my old piece "Terra Firma" sucks a little less than I had remembered. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 3.8. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: upcoming thing at Walnut Hill School added. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is none. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 8. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 12 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: "Martian Counterpoint" ring tones. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Dervla Barth. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: defend Phharrmaceutical. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: I had to break the window. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE some overlwrought interadsinklamaniationousness, a toilet, three years' worth of lovingly collected snot with a rubber band around it, a pair of scissors that magically appears in your ears. A Monday update! Yes, dear readers, I am somewhat trapped in my Maynard existence today, as Brandeis operates on a Tuesday schedule and the electricians are here doing Phase III of the rewiring. The head electrician guy -- the guy with the Doppler shift as mentioned last week -- is out with a bad back, so the namesake of the electric company is subbing for him. Thus, I have to be around to clarify what has been scheduled to happen here. I also asked for dimmers to be restored where there were dimmers before, and that meant a re-rewiring of the paddle fan in the dining room: as it had been set to a regular switch, and a dimmer would damage the fan part of the light. Oh, lawdy. And I had to mention the extra outlets we'd ordered, what switches were still off, etc., and make a request as to the first things to be rewired upstairs. And I did all of that, but I have to make sure we're getting what we want .... I'm pretty sure they won't finish today, alas. So that probably means more D-battery powered lighting and drum major high-stepping over extension cords for a while, dontcha know. Soon, though, I will go out for some staples. And when the temp rises about 70, I'll correct the rest of my Music 5 stuff. Outside. In the Adirondack chairs. With pillbugs and sowbugs. And meanwhile, the deadline for the composer position at Brandeis has passed. Precisely half the applications received as of Saturday were taken home by committee members to review, and that means that yesterday, in my office, I made it up to half of the current pool. Again, dear readers, numbers and details are confidential, but I suppose I can say that: it's a strong pool, there are several very good composers who were unknown to me that I now know, and fully two thirds of the applicants ignored the

specifications of the job listing. Of the applications read so far, I have counted a prime number of candidates I am still considering seriously. For them of you what are playing along at home, the possibilities come from the sieve of Eratosthenes: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, and so on. This is not a Fibonacci sequence, but then again, who is? Incidentally, I used the example of the sieve of Eratosthenes as an analog to composing with various scales (you know, filters), to a room full of blank stares. That was, okay, I guess, because "Who wants to rock and roll?" done at full voice produces similar blank stares. I suppose next time I'll need the blue wig. And so far the longest cover letter is 7 pages single spaced. Dear readers, please note that 7-page cover letters do not leave a sparkling impression. When this search is over, I will have at least one two-hour professional seminar to give to graduate students regarding job applications, and issue #1 will be length of cover letters. Issue #2 will obviously be read the job description. Currently I have cold finger typing syndrome. It is supposed to warm up to 80 today, but when, oh when? This house keeps in the cold like nobody's bidness. According to Weather Bug itis 66.4 right now, and I wonder -- when did Weather Bug start doing temperatures in tenths of a degree? But am I bitter? The event of the week was a Rick Moody reading in a bar in Newton Centre, and I was pleased and privileged to be there for it. I actually went in quite early in order to get parking, and was delighted to find that a quarter still gets you an hour in Newton Centre. John A. came along for the free ride, and I watched him eat a sandwich while we shop-talked about Mus 106, and I walked into and out of some of the shops -or as they would probably prefer to be called, shoppes. The area is a strange conflagration of high end boutiques and blue collar hangouts, and oddly I could find no good bookstore. And the Union Street something where the reading was was definitely my kind of place. "My kind of place" when speaking of a reading or place to eat simply means that you can get Buffalo wings. And get Buffalo wings I did, I did, I did. So Rick came over to my table just as he was being introduced by a guy who'd hit his head, and Rick read from the head wound chapter of The Diviners in response. Afterwards, Rick had to sign stuff, so I gave him Becca Schwartz's Music 5 homework, which I'd been correcting, to autograph. Which he did ("Hi Becca. Rick Moody"),and Becca didn't realize what a weird but valuable treasure she was getting. I mean, come on, how many fundamentals homeworks have ever been signed by Rick Moody? And oh yeah, Rick also asked for my autograph in his bindery copy of the book. How random is that? Later Rick and I talked about the B-flat harmonic minor scale and The Doors and plenty of other random things. And it was good. Inko's Healthy White Teas sent us a big bag of packing popcorn and bubble wrap, and digging inside diligently, one could find four containers of Inko's new flavors that we'd been sent to taste test. Beff and I each had a third of each bottle and saved a third for Carolyn, and apricot will probably be our new fave, though honeysuckle and lychee certainly gave us a tingle. Pictures below. Which reminds me that when I told the first year theory students that normally about a quarter of their exercises get "OK" and in 2002 5 out of 838 were marked "good", I was asked what makes something "good" as compared to "ok". I said it was technical correctness together with something aesthetic that's hard to quantify. It makes me tingle. It's nice. And so the next odyssey will be explaining the aesthetic tingle, as compared to the workaday correctness. Metaphors abound, and that's me. Esprit d'escalier: I should have told them that the tingle tells you it's working, but somehow I don't think they would get a shampoo commercial from the late 1980s. As I type this, the sound of wires being fed through the wall right next to me dominate the landscape. Talk about the tingle. Beff's weekend residency included a pair of bike rides, seafood dinner (she got the sole & capers, I got the clam roll), a little more cleaning out of the attic, an oil change, a bit of Maynard fest (new drive through CVS!!), another trunk full of discarded computer equipment to take to recycling, and some shopping. Also some viewing of "Weeds", now on Showtime On Demand. And the first of Geoffy's 2005-6 Musica Viva residencies. Yes, Geoff is here now, enjoying the D-cell experience, and, as usual, washing his own dishes. Gotta get him some more of that spring water stuff. And Beff spent a long time editing her trio, which now finally sounds very cool. It can be accessed from her web page.

And everything else is what it appears to be. I moved some more old stuff to my private Brandeis web space, and there it will stay. This week's movie is the cats playing in the computer room, sped up greatly ("Cats tussle", to the left in yellow text). The pictures include Sunny in the attic window, the new cap on the chimney, the new Inkos flavors, and diametrically opposed cats in window and yard.

OCTOBER 11. Breakfast this morning was Morningside Farms vegetarian sausage patties with 2% cheese, orange juice, and coffee. Dinner was chicken sandwiches and salad. Lunch was hot and sour soup. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 47.7 and 80.4. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Extraordinary Machine" by Fiona Apple. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are none, yet. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: In mid 1985 after moving from Princeton to Brookline, I joined a temp agency and was sent to the Boston YWCA. After a week, they hired me without compensating the temp agency. I left shortly thereafter, joined another temp agency and was sent to the Boston YMCA (Droolie was my immediate supervisor), who also hired me straight off without compensating the temp agency. Soon the YWCA asked me to come back. And my weird years with two part-time jobs began. Now it can be revealed: Droolie and I always lunched at Our House East, and I got paid for lunch. I was still a bargain. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK is Earthlink. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are also none. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Does the melody still linger on? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: tortle. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: deli pickles and olives. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK a lot more people want to teach at Brandeis than I had predicted. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 12, if you bend the rules a lot. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: New double-fiver on home page, new performance noted. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is none. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 2. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 16 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: on Tuesdays everybody wears sky blue clothing. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Zeki Clair. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Re: Sayyid Mcintosh Phaarmcy. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: ...after all the folderol... OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a bag of green tortles, the length of your lips, a blank DVD-R, a song without words. This will be the week where local weather will start to take more of a center stage in this update. For you see, a week of gorgeously overwarm and sunny weather -- coinciding nicely with a Brandeis vacation -came crashing to a close with a big, big rainstorm over the weekend that promises to continue on and off until Friday of this week. We have probably gotten six inches of rain since Friday, and of couse with the high water table here that caused some water to come into the basement. No fear, though, because we have a very effective sump pump, and a basement floor perfectly designed for the water to flow right into the sump pump's evil grip. So I checked the basement last night to see if any water got in, and there was a lovely stagnant puddle oovering up the whole middle. Turns out the evil grip of the sump pump is somewhat mitigated when electricians have been rewiring, unplug the sump pump, and just leave the plug hanging ("Current! Must have current!" I heard faintly from the third prong of the plug). So I wetted myself -- actually just my slippers -- to atone for the electricians' unforced errors, and was satisfied by the giant sucking sound as the water apparently got jobs in Mexico. It was quite juicy by Thursday (my only teaching day of the week) and Friday, and I started having regrets about having taken out the air conditioners and transported them into the attic. We had a few fans still downstairs, and we did what we could with the air. In the meantime, Beff has a four-day weekend and I don't -- though this coming weekend, with Yom Kippur, ends up being a four-day weekend for me. Beff came in at her accustomed time. On Friday I went into Brand-x twice, the first time for a meeting to confirm what we could spend money on for the search, and the second time to go to a concert of Bob Nieske's big band. For the second trip, I was heartened by how many students in my classes made it to the concert. And then I was spleened, kidneyed, and small intestined, in precisely that order. Friday was a day of dire rain predictions, and everyone was talking about

when the rain would start. Answer: not until early Saturday morning. And for the big, big, big rain -- including a few incredible downpours -- we went to Trader Joe's in Acton, and a bookstore that plays classical music, and Colonial Spirits on Route 2A. Colonial Spirits is this gigantic place with so much in stock and all kinds of exotic beers that I have to be sure either to tell or NOT to tell Eric Chafe about it. We got some sort of fisherman's brew we'd never heard of, as well as a wine that comes in a cylinder that seemed okay. And earlier in the week, I had gotten some Sharpe Hill wine that Beff like, and not just because there is a picture of a 19th century child on the label. The electricians have not come near to finishing the rewiring, and have scheduled November 3 and 4 to finish up. We have bathroom lighting now, and a hall light upstairs, but there is still much to do. And I have become an expert on lighting solutions that involve D batteries. As has Geoffy, who stayed several nights while he was in town for his regular Boston Musica Viva gig. Now Musica Viva hasn't done anything of mine since 1997, which is too bad, because I rule. But this week I have my own Musica Viva premiere, and it turns out it's the name of the festival Curt Macomber et al run during the foliage season in Norwich, Vermont -- right across the Connecticut Riever from Dartmouth. On Thursday I drive up and hear my new trio in the afternoon for the first time. I looked at the PDF yesterday, and there are some nice things in it. Damned if I remember much of it, though. I also will get to see my old student Galen, who seems not to be able to get enough of that area. I come back on Saturday, and that is when Beff will be getting in from Maine. I will probably still be reading applications. And, back to Vermont, I'm told I'll be staying in a house whose owners are out of town this week. So anyway. Sunday night I had a performance of Toucan Play in DC and was told it killed (literally!), there's this piano trio thing, Adam Marks premieres the funk etude, and E-Machines is a tiny part of a Powerhouse Pianists concert on Saturday night that was highlighted in the New York Times over the weekend. Too bad I can't make it. When more info is available, I'll be sure to neglect to say anything about it here. On Wednesday when I started up the Earthlink software on this Windows computer, I got a message that updates were available for the software. So I downloaded them. And when the "Fast Lane" software for DSL/Cable was downloading, suddenly the task bar and all the shortcuts disappeared from the desktop, and there was no Start Menu. Meaning the only was I could figure to shut down and try again was to press the power button for five seconds -- always one of my favorites. Upon restart, I got the task bar and shortcuts back, but they again disappeared after about ten seconds. I figured out that I could run some programs by doing the Ctrl-Alt-Del thing and switching processes (not to mention shut down more elegantly), but the lack of lots of stuff weighed down at me. After I called Earthlink to ask if they knew that their installer could do this sort of thing, I got the standard reply: contact the hardware manufacturer. We didn't do it. Damned if I was going to do the on hold thing to explain something as scwewy as "task bar disappeared" to a rep who was going to say reinstall Windows anyway. So I tried restoring my system to an earlier version. Windows very nicely had about 20 earlier dates I could choose -- all of which I tried, all of which failed ("Windows cannot restore your system to September 21. No changes were made"). Talk about Windows as a rinky-dink operating system. And so I reinstalled Windows to the factory settings, i.e., a clean system reinstall. And had to reinstall Office, Media Creator, etc. And then the installation of Norton System Works 2005 failed due to an "internal error", the task bar started flashing YOU HAVE NO VIRUS PROTECTION, a retry of installing System Works gave the same error and taskbar flashing, and ... I reverted, yet again, to a clean system reinstall. Gfornafratz rinky dink operating system. But this time, things seemed to take. No more "SetConfig cannot run" messages and ... well, I've put off installing System Works for the time being. Beyond all of that. Beff went to Vermont on Sunday to see her dad and returned yesterday afternoon, calling the stretch between Concord and the NH/MA state line a "parking lot" -- something to do with all the rain they got there, I suppose. And scant moments ago, she off and went Mainewards. I have to go to Brandeis today for a few minor events, and of course tomorrow I become the teaching machine that Fiona Apple wishes she was.

Speaking of which -- Monday was an open house day for Brandeis. As it's a holiday FOR EVERYBODY IN THE COUNTRY EXCEPT BRANDEIS, lots of parents and prospective students come to campus to be talked effusively at, and to observe classes. Observers came in 20 to 30 minutes late into first year theory, without apology, and I made them introduce themselves. Meanwhile, I had to administer the championship of first species, and one with a dramatic and well prepared octave leap won the prize: a cheap ornament of a frog playing the trumpet that I probably got in a Christmas box from my sister some while ago. I also awarded a Yak Bak to the student who identified the song behind "Four Rhythms" which I had posted on the online class archive. So it was Free Stuff day. And meanwhile, Fundamentals got themselves awash in a sea of enharmonically equivalent major, minor, diminished and augmented intervals, I made up an Encyclopedia of Intervals for them, and the twain actually DID meet. A very nice family with a daughter who goes to LaGuardia High School of the Arts observed, and I got to talk about the program with them (I did not bring up faculty morale). And then I saw my independent study, who is writing a climax worthy -in dimension -- of Beethoven. Which is what I said, but I don't think I used the word "dimension". Oh yeah, and as usual I went to schmooze with parents at an 8 am breakfast -- of course I found nobody interested in music, just theater and political science -- but I wore a black shirt and a tie. The chalk dust that accumulated during the teaching machine part of my day was gentle reminder of why I don't wear black to teach any more. We haven't seen the sun, except in pictures, since Thursday. But the Yankees will have plenty of time, at home, to look for it. The defeat of the Red Sox was deserved. But the defeat of the Yankees was delicious. And best served cold. The Tussle movie from last week remains for this week, to which I add a cats Wrassling movie. Pictures include Cammy in a new favorite napping place, an artistic silhouette of Sunny in the attic, both cats trying to fit on a chair, and nascent foliage in our yard.

OCTOBER 18. Breakfast this morning was a Lean Pockets breakfast pastry, orange juice, and coffee. Dinner was Chinese style hot and sour soup and salad. Lunch was leftover rolls with Arthur Marc's hot sauce, and some pickles. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 39.7 and 61.5. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" (I had been looking for tunes that use augmented triads). LARGE EXPENSES this last week are software $69, more electrician expenses $1044, HP all-in-one (scan, print, fax, copy) $75, ink cartridges $68, insoles, $9. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: When I was about 8, I got watermelon seeds (for who knows what reason)and I planted them in the front yard. After lots of patience and watering, after a couple of months one melon was getting substantial in size. I had anticipated that it would eventually reach some version of storebought size. Then one afternoon, my brother mowed the front lawn, incidentally ripping my watermelon to shreds. I was livid, even though I didn't know what that word meant. And the parents seemed to think it was funny that I was livid, and my brother even moreso (they had better vocabularies than I did). Scarred for life. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK is Norton/HP as software partners (I am weary of being prompted to configure Norton Antivirus and Firewall every time I start up). COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are the sponsors of Vermont Musica Viva. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: How many ways can wrinkles be made funny? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: scabbadab-doo. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this week include cloudiness, rain, and cars that drive below the speed limit. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Real (tm) Pickles, red beer of various sorts, jalapeno stuffed olives, Buffalo wings. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK nine straight rainy days makes everybody a dull boy. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 9. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: New performance noted. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is the insoles of my new(er) laceless teaching shoes. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 4. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 18 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: everybody wants to rake Davy's yard. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Charita Shifflett. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Re: Hotaka Carolan Medibctions. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: Fast as you can fast as you can fast as you can fast as you fast as you can fast ... as ... you ... can. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE half a fingerprint,

a spent C battery, a roll of Tyvek home insulation, an unclassifiable chord. This week the weather is on everyone's lips -- in more ways than one, as it turnsout -- and them what make certainly had plenty of self-inflicted egg on their face. For those of you playing along at home, there were nine straight rainy days in this part of the world (more even in some places to our north), and many of us could only dream of having our irises burned to a crisp by staring directly into the sun. As I drove through drizzle, showers, rain, showers, drizzle and rain on my way to work on Wednesday, the Them What Make commentator remarked that a strong High in Canada was pushing against a strong storm and it would limit the area to light showers, and "on Friday you will be surprised at how fast things clear out". A true statement if "fast" is treated with extreme irony. Those scabbadab-doos were off by about 36 hours at least. On today's Them What Make cast, the same guy noted "the two storms that combined over us on Friday to make a bigger storm have moved out over eastern Nova Scotia now..." Needless to say, the surprise on Friday was not how fast it cleared, but how much it rained. And rained. And the same for Saturday. And in times like these, I recall yet again (sigh, goes the gentle reader....) hearing the 2000 story on the radio about how the Them What Make service put a new supercomputer online that would make more accurate predictions and long range predictions as well -- which was ended by a forecast of overnight flurries. And we woke up to 10 inches of snow. But other than the weather -- boy, did it make everybody crabby, or stuffed up, or stuffed with crab, or generally moist -- what is most notable about this last week is its eventfulness. I already laid down the law in this space about how many pieces I was having performed and I could only make it to one of them (meanwhile, I have received several nice comments about E-Machines in NY from people I trust except for not having names of five letters). So after my three-day teaching week, I up and drove to Vermont to hear my new piano trio. But more about that later. I did my standard teaching, with an extra independent study, on Monday and Wednesday (students in Fundamentals continued to stress over intervals, students in theory wanted to know how to get better than "ok" on their counterpoint exercises (MWA ha ha!), and Syrinx is a nice little piece to use as a model. On Tuesday I had a lunch scheduled with the director of The Bacchae, and was stood up. Standed up? Aufgesteht? After a delay, I got a guilty e-mail and tried to milk it a little. But just a little. And meanwhile, there was much, much counterpoint to correct, probably over 300 exercises. I hate it when the hardass in me comes out. After my teaching on Wednesday, I stopped at BJ's, decided that it was not a good thing that my color inkjet was no longer able to print onto photo paper, and I got a new HP all-in-one (my new exclusive printer supplier), some more Inko's (yes, they go fast), some fire logs, some tomatoes, a lo-o-o-oot of toilet paper, and other stuff I forget. I spent Wednesday afternoon and evening going through yet more applications. So on Thursday morning, after a brief stop at Brand-x to drop off the application box, I up and drove up to Vermont. Norwich. Texas Tea. Y'all come back now. And was early enough that I met my players in a rehearsal and said hi, walked around downtown Norwich (it takes 57 seconds), and drove across the Connecticut River to Hanover, saw theDartmouth campus, parked at a CVS and walked around Hanover (it takes 3 minutes and 57 seconds) --- the best imitation I've ever seen of Williamstown or Annapolis, or a small Princeton. There I ate at Molly's, had Buffalo wings and salad, was obsequioused to, and drove down Route 10 to see where it would take me. Mostly, nowheresville, and then suddenly I was on Interstate 89 going back to Norwich. Cool. After which I unpacked a bit and found my assigned bedroom. The performance was to be in the Congregational Church on the town green, and the house right next to it was vacant and made available. I got the kids room, with a bassinet and two single beds pressed up against a wall that sloped because of the roof (number of times I hit my head hard on the sloping wall/ceiling: 3. Number of times I hit my head hard: 3). I decided not to sleep in the bassinet. And meantime I cruised Norwich again, this time with more detail. And I got some chips and cherry tomatoes for snacking, and snack I did. By 4:45 I was ready for my 5:00 rehearsal (I always have little trouble with deadlines), and rehearse they did. It was coming together nicely and, as usual, I scratched my head in "what the heck was I thinkin'?" mode regularly. Then we went back to change, and went to a funder's house for dinner with funders. Which was a wild and crazeee event. I even met one of the amateurs from the Composers Conference/Chamber Music Center, who shared stories

of doing the Wellesley thing. Then there was the drive back, and the sleep. On Friday I had plenty of time to kill, so I got breakfast stuff, walked around downtown again (cumulative total: 2 minutes 51 seconds). After that was another rehearsal (it started to kick butt), after which I drove to the area of commerce in southern Lebanon (New Hampshire). There I visited Staples, BJs, Price Chopper, Borders, and who knows what else, and there I discovered a Seven Barrels Brew Pub. Where I had some of the house red, and Buffalo wings. These wings were way better than Molly's, and I felt fortunate to have shared a little of their existence with myself. And then I drove back and napped a little bit. Dinner had been scheduled with Galen and his significant other Christine back in Hanover, and I got there about 45 minutes early to scope out the town again. (Galen was an undergrad at Brandeis, took composition with me, and wrote the only Theory 1 minuet with thrown bows -- so far) During this time, it started to deluge, and we did --- Molly's. Christine got the Buffalo wings, I got the avacado chicken sandwich, and Galen got a CBC. We talked over old and new times, tried to pretend that he didn't look weird wearing a tie, took a few pictures, and off and went to theconcert in yet more bucketsful of rain. And the concert was well-attended, my piece was quite well-received (damned if I know why), I put war paint on my face (not really -- I was just trying to see if you were still paying attention), there was a nice little reception in the back of the church, and after all of that, Curt and Judy et al made yet another meal, which I had to be polite and eat some of. It was over at 12:30, which was a good bed time, except that earlier would have been more appropriate. Judy is, of course, the great Judy Sherman, and Curt is the great Curt Macomber -- for the record, the other players in my piece were Jeanne Kierman and Norm Fischer, and boy did they have to learn a lot of notes. What thinkin' was I? The deluge continued for my drive home on Saturday morning, but I was surprised near Lowell by a brief glimpse of solarity peeking through the overcast. When I got home, the sump pump was going off every half hour, it was kind of cold, the cats were glad to see me, and Beff also arrived just a little later, from Maine. Two days worth of mail was waterlogged (luckily most of it was junk), and Sam Nichols's dissertation had arrived and was flat on the front porch, quite waterlogged (it's currently drying with the hope of being readable within the next few days). The newer laceless sneakers in which I have been teaching had been left, by me, in thecomputer room, and while I was gone, the cats fished both of the insoles out ("fished" is a mild word -- the insoles were glued into the shoes) and laid them to rest several feet (pun intended) away. After some cleaning (all of it by Beff), we recreated, while it STILL RAINED. The roof, by the way, kept the attic very dry. And we probably eventually watched something on TV, after I made delicious and wholesome chicken sandwiches. Possibly the most delicious and wholesome in the history of the earth. Meanwhile, Curt and Norm (see Vermont Musica Viva, above) seemed to salivate over the fact that I actually had a violin and cello duo -- it was written for choreography for Dinosaur Annex, and the dancer took off a hat and blouse in the performance. On purpose. And did some of that writhing stuff (not the way yeast writhes or the sun writheses every morning). And I had only gotten a VHS tape of the performance. A few years ago, Eric Chafe nicely converted it to DVD for me, and I needed a way to get the sound off the DVD. I had done it once, but that file died with the old HP (note: HP is printer supplier, not necessarily computer supplier. Except that it is), so I tried capturing the sound with a shareware program. Which had apparently expired, because I got a minute of white noise per five seconds of actual sound. So I paid the modest shareware fee for it, noticed that the same company had a video grabber, too, paid for that, and started taking little QuickTime movies of things I had only on DVD -- including a bit of "Boy in the Dark". And the Sibling Revelrys. (yesterday I captured a bit of Singin' in the Rain to use in Fundamentals -- but I am both ahead of and behind myself because I exist in more than four dimensions) Around all of that activity, both Beff and I did a LOT of grading and correcting -- and I gave my first "good" on a second species exercise. To which I later added a green star. And in the late morning we took a walk, the long way, into Maynard, where we noticed that the old covered up railroad tracks in back of the new luxury condos have been turned into a walking path, and possibly a future bike path. To celebrate, we took other old tracks on the way back, and the twain met yet again (Beff says I'm in my twain phase, and I wish I had a joke using "choo choo" to put here). While in town, I got new insoles at CVS (I've never done that before) and cut them up to fit when I got home (I've also never done that before). I got blue gel cushioned ones. I've never done that before.

Speaking of weather (which I was way before all these other paragraphs intervened), the fall foliage is very late this year. Most of our trees are still green or just very slightly turned, and by this date last year I was raking, raking, raking, raking ... up to 101.5 barrels. The big wind of yesterday and today has loosened quite a lot of pine needles, but so many of the leaves are on the trees that ... oh well, you make up your own joke here. So raking has to wait, and that means, dear readers, that you should make plans beginning a week from now to help out. And not just by singing "99 barrels of leaves on the trees, 99 barrels of leaves .. and when the wind blows, down one barrel goes, 98 barrels of leaves on the trees ..." because it's my song, and what it is, too. And we have set a new record for latest in the season to turn the heat on for the first time. Normally I try to hold off until October 15, but last year did so in late September. In Maryland, we made that date November 1 (and didn't always make it), and in Maine September 30 (made it easily this year). So far, the heat has yet to be turned on either by me or Beff. Which is probably fine, because the AA battery that moves the time cylinder in the thermostat got used up. It had been there for four years, so it was certainly cost-effective. As a big duh, I replaced it. Beff and I both got BMI checks to cover international performances and radio play. I was fortunate that an internet broadcast of "Close Enough for Jazz" brought in a whole penny (I'm betting they rounded up). The other stuff kept the amount from being embarrassing. I got some Netherlands play. Beff got play in several places, some of which I forget. And I got no royalties for the Art of the States stuff, and I don't think I am supposed to. Review this morning in the NY Times of the Powerhouse Pianists concert from last Saturday. As there were ten composers represented, I got the usual sentence. The reviewer astutely figured out that there are repeated notes in E-Machines. W's approval rating hits yet another all-time low. It's about time the rest of the country got to be as smart as me 'n' Beff. Since it was an eventful week, there are plenty of new little movies to look at, and I've kept the cat movies of the last two weeks up here. In yellow text on the left, note the two existing cat movies, a sped-up movie of me driving Route 89 in New Hampshire, a sped-up movie of the clouds moving on Sunday morning, the current torrent going over the Ben Smith dam (compare to the trickle exposing the walls of the dam scant weeks ago), the torrent going under Main Street in Maynard, and a little movie of a toy I got in Hanover that will be a prize for the championship of some species yet to be determined. In the ten pictures below, we have the venue for the concert, the inside as seen from the balcony, the trio getting ready to rehearse (left to right: Curt, not Curt, not Curt), Galen and Christine at dinner (note Buffalo wing sauce on fingers), the brew pub, a page from the cello part of my piece, the dam Sunday morning, the new path, a view from a window in the church, and the older train path. Gonzo.

OCTOBER 25. Breakfast this morning was Boca meatless sausages, orange juice, and coffee. Dinner was a Freschetta pizza. Lunch was Buffalo wings and a sour pickle. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 32.2 and 66.2. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Thinking of You" by Kalmer and Ruby. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are a few things at Amazon, amount not remembered. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: My parents kept a cute little notebook of funny things I said when I was very young. From this notebook, we learn that my brother's name for me was "Dready", though in the book it is spelled "Dreddy". We had a crabapple tree on the side of the house, and I used to like to pick and eat them -- the sour thing, dontcha know. According to the book, once I was told not to pick them, picked them anyway, and covered my tracks by saying that I was only picking the leaves. Of course I have no memory of any of this. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are none. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are none. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Are there any more puns I haven't heard on "leave" and "leaf"? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: snop. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this week is the word "Nor'easter" on weather maps. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Real (tm) Pickles, red beer of various sorts, jalapeno stuffed olives, Buffalo wings. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK the changes to "Over the Rainbow". THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN

1 AND 10: 6, but don't quite me on that. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: Just this page. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are a few small insects. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 5. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 22 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: certain suspensions of the laws of space and time. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: gepnwgub@mundoanimal.com. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Hello ! FBvb AgwVpmP. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: Please please please. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.49 a gallon. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a half-diminished seventh chord without resolution, a third species counterpointe exercise, a dripping faucet, a poster for the 1960s run of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown". Might as well talk about the weather some more. On Friday morning on the weather widget's radar for the area, there was a spot of white precipitation (snow to you and me) and some pink (sleet or mixed) that seemed to go right over us before changing to rain. There had been no prediction of same, but there sure was one that morning -- a little behind the eight ball this time. There actually wasn't any such precip, but I see from our temperature extremes that we got close to a temperature where that would be possible. Dreary weather continues this week, and as I type this, a "major Nor'easter" is forming just off the coast (I can't wait to see a Nor'easter that isn't major), and it will combine some forces with Wilma and Alpha. So far what we get is rain, rain, and some occasional big winds. Which is finally blowing some leaves off of these trees. Two weeks late, the trees lining the driveway are turning salt and pepper green and yellow, and not a pretty shade, either. The driveway is officially leafcovered, but it is still quite a while before the place is rakable. Too many leaves on the trees makes for repeat work. Though I am prepared to give a running tally of barrels of leaves raked and put away: one. On Saturday morning, before yet another storm emptied out upon us, we brought in the picnic table and chairs and the hammock (the Adirondack chairs are still out there in vain hopes of another Indian summer -- that and the electricians still have to plaster some of the ceiling on the porch where we store them in the winter), and did the yearly ritual of raking down and mowing the hostas that line the front walk. The ritual is always the same: I huff and puff something about my masculinity, Beff gets a rake (this year she counted how many we have: 5), rakes the hostas flat, I mow them down, and Beff rakes up the detritus. This year the detritus filled a barrel, Beff transferred it to the barrel, I brought it to the discard area, after which I tore down a whole mess of vines in preparation for another 70 or 80 barrels making their way there. I marveled that 5 years ago the discard area -- which was not a discard area at the time -- was overgrown with ailanthuses of various sizes, and now it's just a big ... discard area, framed by neighboring yards and a year's worth of big fallen limbs. Or maybe two years worth. Actually, they're not all fallen -- I did a major trim in April of some cedar branches encroaching into the back back yard. Why do I bother when we never actually use the yard except to mow its grass? Dunno. Our only other actual exercise for the week was a walk downtown, at which I discovered a new yuppie earth-healthy art artifacts store. Here there was available for purchase various classic vinyl albums that had been reshaped into platters, serving dishes, etc.For twenny-six bucks, we got a copy of Stevie Wonder's Talking Book that had been refashioned into an olive serving tray. Boy, now they'll see that I'm really serious about my earth-smart geegaws conversation pieces. The other exercise of the week, for me, was installing the storm window in the attic (successfully) and all the other storm windows except for two in the master bedroom. I can never do that without getting at least one thumb bleed, and this year was no exception. Meantime. Theory, composition, and fundamentals chug along. Fundamentals had a quiz yesterday which, despite my not having finished grading them all, I can report they seem mostly to have aced. And I got to play a funny scene from Singin' in the Rain where Lena Lamont lip syncs to Kathy Selden singing the tune, and asks for the key of A-flat. Of course, it's actually in E-flat in the movie. So they had to transpose the sucker to both keys. Soon I will be playing them part of the Wizard of Oz in order to introduce the 32-bar song form, lead sheet, and figured bass. Figured bass for Somewhere Over the Rainbow looks pretty funny, actually. Especially the V7 chord over the pedal tonic in the bridge. In theory, we are about to zoom

through third species and finally get to my fave -- uh, fourth. In composition, they are writing solo flute pieces and do not know yet that next Thursday Eric Chasalow is going to read through them in class. In Fundamentals, I decided to waste some precious teaching time by showing them examples of my exotic (cheap) percussion instrument collection, and Monday was the vibraslap. I played a few Brand New Heavies excerpts and pointed to the vibraslap usage, and one student knew what it was -- she said she had to play it because she was in a group that did a "cake song". Confusion wracked my brain. In 1989, Sean Varah showed up as a composition student in my office at Stanford and said he wanted help writing a "bicycle tune", which was a concept unfamiliar to me then as it still is now. But a cake song? There's AWB's "Cut the Cake" and Happy Birthday, of course, but otherwise it was a genre unfamiliar to me. It took input from Big Mike and Carolyn (double ka-ching) to convince me that "Cake" is the name of a band (iTunes confirms that) and that a "cake song" has a parallel function to, say, a "Madonna song" or a "Fountains of Wayne song". And I voted for them for Best New Artist. Which reminds me -- the Grammy ballot is in. Yet another strange time-consuming task. And Weather Bug chirped at me, letting me know, as it often does, that an advisory posted long ago is still in effect (a day and a half ago, flood watch and wind advisory were posted, and every once in a while, the NWS likes to remind me that they haven't forgotten about their precious little advisories). And this weekend Dan Stepner gave the Irving Fine concert, including a performance of my solo violin piece When the Bow Breaks. Some very serious people asked me about the significance of the title (I said there was none), and sensible people ignored me entirely. So on Saturday after our hosta-thon, we both drove to Brandeis for Dan's dress rehearsal, I made a few comments about phrasing, and we drove, new 30dollar Staples coupon in hand, toward Route 2A. We got a bunch of exotic stuff -- including "five pepper" stuffed olives -- mostly beers we'd never seen before. Beff, meanwhile, started having sneezing fits, and I made sure to get lemons at Trader Joe's for what we call "remedy" -- lemon and honey in hot water. I got other stuff at Trader Joe's, including some Beffstuff for Bangor, and when we got home, it was an afternoon and evening night with a fire in the fireplace with us on the couch. I had a lot of homework to grade, of course, and Beff was reading a book. After which we continued our Veronica Marsathon -- ten episodes aired over the whole weekend. I've decided I like the show, though I get a Twin Peaksish feeling about what they're going to do once the big murder case is solved. Plus, Veronica's dad is played by a guy who was in Just Shoot Me, and Galaxy Quest, and occasionally we repeat his lines in the funny alien voice he used in the latter movie. And Veronica Mars's acting reminds me of Buffy, though Beff claims she has a broader range. I swear. Alas, I read in a story in Entertainment Weekly who the killer is, so now it's just filling in the blanks in between. There was very low-level home improvement stuff over the weekend, and that involves a wrench and a screwdriver. Both doorbells send a wireless signal that is picked up by a receiver up in the hall upstairs, and they had stopped working. So I had to make a special Ace Hardware trip to get the special batteries -- they are marked "SECURITY" on them -- for the two doorbells, and the receiver itself takes C batteries. We use them so little that the package said "use by January 2004" -- they still work. And meanwhile, on Wednesday morning I got no flow from the showerhead. This has happened on both faucets, where normally I unscrew the filter element and blow through it so the mineral deposits go away. I didn't have time for any real plumbing, so I washed my hair in the sink, went to school, told Beff she'd have to deal with it when she got in, but when I got back from work on Wednesday, I asked about some special solution for soaking out mineral deposits, and was directed to a big container of CLR (calcium, lime, rust). While there, I drooled over the showerhead selection, and also bought one that has a valve for variable flow. Then, the actual plumbing part -- taking off the old shower head and putting on the new one -- took exactly three minutes. Of which two minutes twenty-seven seconds was finding the good wrench. So I'm clean, I'm clean! Or, in the words of Dorothy Gale, we must be over the rainbow.

And I started reading Sam Nichols's dissertation, which dried out enough for me to do so. So far, not a lot of markings except questions as to what consonance and dissonance means in George Benjamin's music,

but it's a dense read. As well it might be.

As I type this Tuesday morning, I have still not graded all of my 36 quizzes and 20 homeworks and who knows how many species counterpoints. And I am supposed to have lunch with Eric Hill today and do a panel for the Brandeis Festival of the Arts. Meanwhile, it's downright ugly out there, and I feel very slightly that I might be getting what Beff had -- right now for some reason the contact lenses are a litte more painful than they usually are, and I am tearing (rhymes with fearing) somewhat. So THIS weekend is my time to go to Bangor, just because Beff has so much stuff that she can't get to Maynard for the weekend. I have to get back by 11 on Saturday morning, as that is when Maynard Door and Window is coming by to look at the flashing on the mud room roof, the window we want to replace in the computer room, and a strategy for putting a fan in the bathroom. So much stuff. And then on Sunday finally we have our first search committee meeting. I hate it when that happens. Meanwhile, the week after, I do a colloquium at Boston Conservatory, and you don't. And Carolyn (ka-ching) is talking about a leafraking party for the first weekend of November. Now we're a-talkin'. Hopefully, on Thursday and Friday of that week the big rewiring will finally be finished. Among other little tasks was to assemble an html catalog of stuff I've put in my webspace. Not for web publication, just for my own amusement. Plus, I planned the rest of the semester's composition class, and dreamed trampoline dreams. Beff decided to do a cat video piece with instruments and we found the big Christopher Smart cat poem from Jubilate Agno, which we played with somewhat. So I transferred the fullquality versions of all our cat movies to Beff's working hard disk, and took some more movies -- evidence of same in the yellow text on the left. This week's movies are Cammy playing with Beff's sneakers, the cats coming running in from the back yard, and me feeing the cats. Pictures are Sunday's breakfast, the October version of the big hydrangea, the earth-smart Stevie Wonder Talking Book geegaw, Maynard on a crisp October morning, the last gasp of the 12thC Roofing Company's sign (it has been destroyed) and the cats lookin' out the window in the computer room. Again.

NOVEMBER 1. Breakfast this morning is coffee. Dinner was a Freschetta brick oven pizza. Lunch was Hebrew National 97% fat free hot dogs, and salad. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 30.2 and 68.0. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "We Need Him Every Day" or something like that, by Take 6. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are none. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: At the district music festival my senior year, I volunteered to emcee the informal talent competition, at which I also did a silly lip sync to PDQ Bach's "Do You Suffer" hay fever commercial. I got to feel the power of introducing various local music teachers by their first names, and I even knew that Verne Colburn's middle name was Arthur. I also accompanied Tom Chevalier in "Saturday in the Park", though I didn't know the changes for the bridge. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are none. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are none. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Are there any puns on foliage and portfolio? I ask this because last week's quandary actually received an answer. THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: crad. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this week is grading and correcting voluminous homework. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: sour pickles, jalapeno stuffed olives. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK all of the rest of Veronica Mars, first season. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 8. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: Just this page. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is the wrist pad on the iMac. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 12 -- it's Guggenheim season. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 9 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: magic disappearing leaves. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Forumla P. Victrola. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Software. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: I've been a bad, bad girl.WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.29, $2.34 and $2.39. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER

PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a passing that's like a samba, an extinct volcano, refrigeration, the head of a pin. Running total: 16 barrels of leaves raked and deposited into holding areas so far. The driveway was finally so thickly covered with them that I couldn't tell where it was when I got home. The raking started yesterday, at which time I did 15 barrels all myself. And since the weather was so dadburn gorgeous, it was great exercise. And unlike in previous years, I am not sore the next day. Because I was sore afraid. So today I plan on doing some more, in the morning and in the afternoon after I have lunch with Josh Fineberg. We are doing the Quarterdeck, and you're not. Meanwhile, a leaf raking party has been scheduled for Saturday, featuring the Ka-Ching twins, and dear readers, you are welcome to come along for the ride. We are either doing pizza afterwards or going to the Quarterdeck. I prefer the latter. At this time last year the leaves were almost all off the trees and raked, but alas, the season is still two weeks later than usual. I am not feeling very wordy today, as I'm eager to get out there and see my grass again. As to them what make: they had predicted mixed precip here for Saturday morning, at which time I was scheduled to be doing a long drive, but they got it wrong, as usual. However, they were right about the snow -- in the mid-afternoon, a little drizzle changed over to snow, which accumulated a little bit -- much more towards the coast than this far inland, as I was to discover the next morning. It wasn't exactly a winter wonderland, and boy did the local media crow over such an early dumping of snow. It was a hot topic, hot enough to sizzle. On Sunday morning I went into Brandeis all day for a meeting (in the words of Eric Chasalow: yes I really did) and in the morning there was maybe an inch or two of snow once I passed the Lincoln line. It all melted quickly, as it got to the mid-60s on Sunday. Meantime, I did 32-bar song form in Fundamentals, and inversions of triads was puzzlingly puzzling to them. It was a time to realize that really a whole lot of stuff goes into some of the simplest musical concepts. Fourth species is over in theory, and fifth species starts tomorrow. Flute pieces are to be finished in composition, and Eric Chasalow (his second ka-ching) is reading through them in class. Then we do ostinato pieces. This weekend, though, I drove up to Maine -- right after class on Thursday, and I had to return very early Saturday morning because we'd appointed with Maynard door and window to talk about fixing a roof leak, getting a new window, and installing a venting fan in the bathroom. Before leaving, I interviewed a prospective graduate student. And I arrived in Bangor at 6:30, after a breathtakingly eventless drive -except for the WOW factor of getting gas for $2.29 a gallon at the Maine Turnpike rest area. We did dinner at the Chocolate Grill in Orono, where I like to go because of the fried pickle appetizer. I believe I did a blackened salmon salad, and Beff didn't. During the day on Friday, I had a pile of counterpoints to grade, while Beff had appointments at U Maine at 12, 2, and 6. So in the morning we went to the Bangor Mall, where Beff had to get some stuff at Borders Books, and I walked around aimlessly for a short time, thought I'd check out the new shopping centers near the mall and ended up in a left turn only lane for getting on the highway. So I came home, graded my counterpoint homework, all the while watching more Veronica Mars episodes. I made it to episode 20 of 22, so I took the last 2 episodes home and watched them Saturday afternoon. I'm finished! I'm free! Also we made sure that the storm windows were installed, and I admired Beff's new garage door (a week earlier, she tried closing it and it pretty much crumbled in her hands). And then there was an excellent dinner at the New Moon restaurant in Bangor, where they had some rather exotic beers on tap, two of which I had -- including Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA. I think I got the chicken. And then I was up by 5:30 on Saturday morning to drive back (since I had that forecast of mixed precip in the back of my mind). While passing through Portland, I couldn't help noticing that, instead of mixed precipitation, there were clear skies. So whatever ocean storm was supposed to graze us, it was taking its sweet time. Yesterday was Halloween, and we matched last year's trick or treater quantity: 0. So we more than doubled it. Meanwhile, I dressed up for Halloween to teach because there was a Brandeis open house and I was expecting prospectives and parents, but got only one parent. And some of the students in Theory 1 were

dressed to the hilt -- one I didn't even recognize who it was. We crowned a champion of fourth species (Al, got an obnoxious beeping thing). And my costume was a red and black mask, blue wig, bathrobe and slippers. It was moist in there. Oh yes, and I had an extremely fun 8:00 meeting, so it was quite an eventful day -- before I came home and cleared off the driveway of 15 barrels worth of leaves. Thing is -- there are 15 barrels yet to fall, so there will be duplicate work. When that happens, hating it is done by me. Tomorrow I do a colloquium at Boston Conservatory. Thursday the electricians come back, hopefully to finish by Friday. And Geoffy has been around -- we did the Blue Coyote Grill for dinner on Sunday because the Quarterdeck was closed. So Thursday I have to blow off the faculty meeting to talk to the electricians before they leave for the day, and then come back for an Alvin Lucier colloquium. Yes, things don't rain but they pour. On top of everything else, the Guggenheim letter pile arrived and I hand-wrote them all. I rule. No new movies this week, so last week's are still there. Pictures include the beginning of the snowing, a picture where I realized that I got striking shots if I breathed (it was cold enough to see your breath), and the hyndrangeas with a little snow on them. Then we have Carolyn and me in our costumes yesterday (Big Mike took the picture), and some nice shots of trees in the yards a half hour before sunset yesterday. This is followed by the new garage door (picture taken on Beff's phone) and just me yesterday (pic by Carolyn).

NOVEMBER 8. Breakfast this morning is coffee and orange juice. Because of a long late-night meeting and an early afternoon appointment, lunch and dinner were conflated: leftover Buffalo wings and leftover hamburger, plus salad. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 30.4 and 69.3. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Wouldn't it be Nice" by the Beach Boys. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are a few things on amazon, ca. $60 and a BJ's Valu-Pak (fire logs, kitty litter, lemons, limes, fat free cheese), $64. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: My senior year in high school I mondo-auditioned for All-New England. Not only did I audition on trombone with the Hindemith Sonata, I also auditioned on euphonium with the F. David trombone concerto. Plus, vocal auditions were in quartets and only two tenors from our school had to staff 11 quartets auditioning. So like entering the lottery with multiple tickets, I was a multiple winner. They gave out blue ribbons for "I" ratings, and between all 7 auditions I did, I scored four ribbons. Which look damn gaudy if you actually wear them (which I did once). COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are Target -- no biggie, just that they didn't have the cans of salmon chicken mix that the cats like. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are Casello Electric. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: If Alito is confirmed, that makes "Judge Alito", both of them five letters. Will I have to put him on my web page. THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: shrappicate. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this week raking and barreling, raking and barreling, raking and barreling. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Buffalo wings and clams. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK the grass in the yards, again. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 4.1. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: Just this page. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is some plastic hangin' off a package of CD-Rs in boxes. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 4. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 4 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: I say it here and it comes out there. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Impairs H. Treated. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Software. PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,108. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: I can't help it, the road just rose up behind me. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.34. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE Italian caccola, an action figure of Attila the Hun, the snooze button, intransigence. Running total: 85 barrels of leaves raked and moved so far, with a lot of help from my friends -- none of it from one of the ka-ching twins. Though there was much assistance in other ways -- for instance, helping to flatten the cushion on one of the Adirondack chairs, somewhat, and assisting in the assembly of a pair of bookshelves. I may have gotten ahead of myself, but the number of 85 is pretty impressive. And there are some leaves yet to fall.

Yesterday when teaching my fundamentals class, I noticed that my watch was an hour fast. Though I know I set it correctly with the time change. How it got back I will never know. Luckily, I was able to use strategy to put it where it belonged. And the teaching was fine this week, and it included Eric Chasalow reading through the solo flute pieces by the students in undergraduate composition -- all of them quite sophisticated. I blame myself for that. Yesterday's lecture in fundamentals was on popular song forms, and verse chorus bridge form was all the rage, as I played Beach Boys, Christina Aguilera, Fiona Apple, OutKast, Julie Brown, and others -- including a special screening of Madonna's Ray of Light video. Theory I has finally traversed all of the species and we go back to the book tomorrow. As I type this, I have no memory of what it is I am teaching next. Although I know this week's unit in composition is composing with ostinatos. Besides the teaching, there is plenty to report. On Tuesday, The Maids came to clean the house just as I was on the phone with a colleague in another time zone, so I finished the call outside. Josh Fineberg came over in a Toyota convertible for lunch, and we did the Quarterdeck and then the Boston Bean House for espresso. I don't recall what we talked about, but I'm sure it was important. And of course during the day, there was much more raking to be done. For those playing along at home, I raked 12 barrels from the side of the garage and in back of the garage that day. Because of teaching and stuff, Wednesday and Thursday were a bust, but Friday resumed our program. Meanwhile, the electricians were here on Thursday and Friday, ostensibly to finish the job. They were late arriving Thursday, which made me late for my 9:00, and I came back home at 2 to check their progress, after which I had to return to Brandeis for a colloquium by Alvin Lucier (free dinner for Davy and really great hot and sour soup at the Asian Grill). Beff got back at a reasonable time, and on Friday after the electricians arrived, it was a day of raking and errands. Indeed, I spent the better part of the morning -beginning at 8 am! -- raking up the entire back yard (12 barrels) and Beff came to help on the tail end. This was followed by a mondo errand run to Great Road in Acton, and the electricians' van was gone when we returned. Turns out one of the guys injured himself in the attic while running wires and one guy finished the day by himself. Geoffy was here and doing his usual chores and rehearsals, and he was treated to -lights! -- when he got back. The basic rewiring got finished, and it was very very very very very very very very very nice to have all the outlets working again, to have the Xerox machine back online, and -- (sound of oxen making oxen sounds) -- a new vent in the ceiling of the bathroom. Yes, that window fan with the long extension cord taped to the tile in the bathroom is gone, the dust is cleared from the screen, and we have a normal bathroom now. Though the guys at Maynard Door and Window still have to pop by to vent it properly. I noted in the attic that there is a 25-foot venting coil awaiting its final destination. And the rest of Friday included Beff finishing with Veronica Mars, and me grading lots and lots of homeworks (by my count about 70 for fundamentals and 10 for theory). Dinner was lovely chicken sandwiches. Saturday was not just big, it was bigass. It was Big Mike's birthday, though we did not know that in the early portion of our program, and he was scheduled to make an appearance. As was Carolyn. Geoffy was around in the morning keeping us conversationful, and meanwhile I got obsessively to work. With the rewiring finished, that meant the attic no longer had to be box-free. While Beff and Geoff (what a great name for a comedy team that would be) were coffeeing and talking, I started the haul of boxes and other stuff that had been languishing for two months in the garage into the attic. At first I carried them to the top of the stairs and Beff ferried them into the attic. Then we rested. Then phase two was me carrying the boxes to the front porch, resting, and then carrying them the rest of the way. And that means I can park the Corolla in the garage again without butt sticking out. I rule. Meanwhile, Beff had scores and stuff to produce and mail, and we decided to replace the crapful bookshelf in the upstairs hall with newer ones we'd seen at Staples. So for the latter part of the morning, Beff did a shop with coupons and a trip to Staples to get those bookshelves, I mailed her stuff, and then raked around the northern and eastern periphery of the house. Soon it came time for Carolyn to arrive on the 12:13 from South Acton, so I picked her up, we picked up Buffalo wings for lunchifying in Maynard, and (gasp!) ate them. And then it was on to the real work. We started the day at 46 barrels of leaves raked and carted away, and even at that the driveway was covered again. So we worked on the front yard and driveway and carting those to the woodsy area about 300 feet from the front of the driveway. And then we rested, since that was

21 barrels right there. Then there was the side of the garage, and the far back yard with the apple tree, and I finished with the wide yard to the west (7 barrels). Carolyn briefly tried carting leaves with the wheelbarrow, which only made her appreciate trash barrel technology. Beff raked a barrel's worth of fallen apples into the cedars. And the twain was met. Total number of barrels for the day: 39. Good thing the weather was gorgeous. When Big Mike missed the appointed hour by two of them, we called him to find that he had had a party the night before and was late getting started. He arrived just in time to share our well-deserved rest in the Adirondack chairs. After all, it was his birthday. And as I said, the weather was oddly gorgeous. Given a choice of raking some more and putting together those bookshelves, we chose the latter. Big Mike and Carolyn did most of the work on the bookshelves, and it was strangely dark outside. Well, strangely is a little strong. The bookshelf-assemblage involved lots of use of Allen wrenches (good night, Gracie), and I pitched in towards the end. I had to take the books off the old bookshelf, Beff and I moved it to the attic, the cats were nowhere to be found, and when the shelves were ready they were placed such as to straddle the newly rewired electric outlet on the baseboard. Then Beff arranged the books on the shelves, remarking unsubtly on the number of Bathroom Readers we own -- okay Beff, we can get rid of some of them. Then with total darkness achieved, we played Twister in Big Mike's car (it was the only way for us all to fit), which magically transported us to the outskirts of the Quarterdeck restaurant. We delighted at his parallel parking skills ("delighted" is probably not accurate), crossed the street to the restaurant, and were awarded the bigass booth. Archer Ale was the draught of choice, steamers and Buffalo fingers the appetizers, and I got the clam roll, Beff and Big Mike the sole with capers, and Carolyn the grilled salmon. Bad puns were made, especially trying to shoehorn Carolyn's pronunciation of the rap artist 50 Cent into a mispronuciation of "pieces de clavecin", a joke tailor-made for this audience. And then Beff and I walked home while Carolyn and Big Mike decided not to see the production they had planned to see. So on Sunday we did waffles, and Them What Make had predicted cloudy but very nice. And were off by 15 degrees, and it was spritzy all day. So no outdoorsy for us. We did laundry and other things that married couples do, did lunch, and Beff left for Maine just after noon. So I had to do some more academic stuff, and drove to Brandeis for a grad composers concert (it was pretty good). Double-fiver James Ricci was there to comment on how often he perceives that I peruse his website, and the octatonic scale proved yet again its animal magnetism. In the night I settled down with a dissertation (don't I lead the life) and then realized I had a promotion package to read, and it turned out to be more work than I had planned on. That will take some time in the next several weeks. And finally, I get to report -- Davy's hernia is back. It's little, and might I add cute, but it's got to be dealt with. Again. I saw my doctor yesterday in order to be referred to a surgeon, whose first available appointment is December 2. I figure in January it will be fixed, again, by the same guy who fixed it in 2000. Which leads me to -- the MacDowell Colony now informs of admission by e-mail, at which time it asks a second time when you are available. I asked for 6 weeks in Feb-March/early April and when I get my dates I will post them here. Because I know you really want to know. I took a movie of Sunny responding to me saying "Treats!" but it turned out to be boring. So the same movies are up as in the last two weeks. Meanwhile, I got an mp3 of the Marine Band guys doing Two Can Play That Game, and it's quite good. Apparently this performance made the bass clarinetist and marimbist into demi-gods within the organization, and that's gotta be good. And they are not satisfied with it, so they intend to return to it. Hmm, play really hard music or go with the band on tour to a ton of high school auditoriums in Texas -- choices, choices. What's coming up this week? Not a heck of a lot. Today will be a harrowing day with lots of stuff to grade and prepare. Then the rest of the week should go smoothly. Beff arrives on Saturday instead of Thursday, and it is my hope that we can more or less finish with the raking portion of this year. On Sunday a bunch more leaves fell on the front yard and driveway (the corner was covered again), but Monday's winds blew them far, far away (you'll know when you get there). I like it when that happens. Today's pictures begin with cats. Cammy tends to lay in the bathroom sink when I get my morning pills, so

there he is. Then there's Sunny with those hilarious glowy cat eyes.Next, the new bathroom vent, Carolyn at work filling a barrel with leaves, Carolyn and Big Mike flatteing the cushions on the Adirondack chairs, the ka-ching twins assembling a bookshelf, a single glowy Cammy eye, the bookshelves in context, and Carolyn's salmon.

NOVEMBER 15. Breakfast this morning is coffee and orange juice. Dinner was a microwave meal. There was no lunch. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 22.5 and 63.1. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS One of those Adam Guettel songs from "Myths and Hymns". LARGE EXPENSES this last week is Papalia Plumbing, $204.98. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: These memories are vague, but they involve the new integrated elementary school in St. Albans and performances in the gymnasium: once I was brought in to play an obbligato recorder part for a piece with the chorus (which I was not in), and once I played a very difficult clave part in the same context. Why did this come back to me now? I also remember that I was sophisticated enough at the time to know to put the ring finger of the right hand on the D-hole to get "F" to come out more in tune. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK is Earthlink, for making this webpage variously inaccessible last Monday through Thursday, and for not responding to my queries about it. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are none. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Why do leaves keep piling around the back steps? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: fardle. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this week raking and barreling, raking and barreling, raking and barreling, just like last week. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Actually, none. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK there is a Dunkin Donuts on my drive to work -- not that I stopped there. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 5. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: Performances, this page. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is none. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 2. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 11 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: Absence of committee meetings. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Flagpoles H. Municipality. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Software. PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,148. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: I've been careless with a delicate man. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.09. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a Coke bottle, what the cat dragged in, the mother of invention, next year's SI calendar. Running total: 104 barrels of leaves raked and moved. The "burning bush" bushes (I don't know if they're called that, but Carolyn called them that, and that's a big ka-ching) still have some a-sheddin' to do, and some more oak leaves will fall, but by and large, we are by and largely finished. This is the first year that no one has suggested to me (or Martler, last year) that the leaves being dumped into the woods should be dumped in a very specific way (I normally wanted to suggest a specific anatomic impossibility in response). And our neighbor with the bigass fence did the big work of raking the leaves off the sidewalk on the non-yard side of his fence, which was the work of a good Samaritan if ever there was one. I have to go to the bathroom. In order to get to 104, I and Beff (who got in around lunch time on Saturday) spent nearly all of Friday and Saturday a-rakin'. It was more tedious this time, since the carpet of leaves and stuff was less thick, hence fewer barrels per hectare (an area of Berlioz, they tell me). There was a whole lot of fardling going on, and the mini-yard in the back of the garage yielded a big six and a half barrels. Raking that area plus the apple tree yard yielded grass that had to be mowed, so I actually fired up the lawnmower for the first time in a month and a half and went a-cuttin'. Some people have told me they mow their leaves, then rake 'em, but I just don't see that happenin' here. Lunch when Beff arrived was dumplings from the Asian market, and salad. Dinner was stir fry with a Trader Joe's "hot and sweet" sauce that we decided we didn't like. The rare dud from Trader Joe's. Tossed it we did. Actually, not all of Friday was spent a-rakin'. It turns out that grading and correcting about 100 fifth species counterpoints is pretty time-consuming, particularly the part about fixing them so that they work. That and

25 complex homeworks for fundamentals. Which reminds me -- I am now officially going to veer away from how fundamentals was taught last year and in the last 2 weeks after Thanksgiving talk about realizations of lead sheets (that's prounounced "leed", not "led" -- which would be dangerous, especially if they were used on your bed. And that's an internal rhyme, so there, smarty pants). 'cause the stony silence that greeted the "how to do a Roman numeral analysis" lecture was, well, stony. But not leaden. Also important to bring up was that on Friday we had a plumber here. For some time now --- and now that I think of it, ever since the new water supply went on line and we no longer had the watering restrictions -we've had to remove the schmutz traps occasionally from the faucets to blow out the calcium deposits that accumulate and block the flow. There was even a tedious story in this very space regarding that in relation to our cool new shower head. I had just de-blocked the schmutz trap in the kitchen faucet when the hot water suddenly stopped flowing freely. It was a trickle, and that hardly even looks like a word. So I called a plumber, whose first availability was Friday afternoon. He showed up at about a quarter to one, took the sucker apart and -- uh oh, I got a talkative plumber -- called up to me to see what the culprit was: calcium deposits. He said that he'd done a lot of blockage calls from calcium deposits in Acton and Maynard, and that this one was pretty much the most blocked of all. I don't know how much I love participating in such a superlative, but I may as well mention Carolyn here so that she gets a ka-ching. It took him an hour and fifteen minutes, and every once in a while he called me over to look at something or explain some nerdy plumberly thing. We made the joke that I'd see him again in three years for the same problem. And meanwhile, while we were without running hot water down there, I had to do the dishes in the dishwasher, which we never do. Yes, I bought Cascade liquid, and yes, it seems using the dishwasher wastes a lot of water. The plumber said he used some of my CLR to unclog the faucets before he rebuilt them and that we should not drink the faucet water for a little while until the system is flushed. So on Saturday I ran the water for a long time and then tried to make lemonade (since God gave me lemons) using the tap water. It tasted a little stony, and I couldn't tell if it was the soap from the dishwasher or the tap water, but I had to pour it all out and redo it using that expensive spring water stuff that used to be for the use of only Geoffy. And now, and then. And it tasted just fine. Beff stayed until Monday morning, actually a-risin' at 5 to drive Mainewards, and I didn't get out of bed until a quarter to six. Nonetheless, I pulled out of the driveway before she did, and I even used a car to do that. Oh yes. There was a faculty meeting on Thursday. I wish that would happen less often. It was the "it's an odd numbered year so we must be drastically revising the curriculum" meeting, and I'm already planning on what hat I will wear to the 2007 manifestation of that meeting. I think something with feathers, don't you? The proposed revision of the history sequence was presented by Big Mike, and I included this whole paragraph just so that he could have a ka-ching. Now I find out that Speculum Musicae is performing my new piano trio at Merkin on December 20. Oh lawdy, what is I goin' to do? That's right around the date all my exams are due (I will have 55 of them to pick up on the 19th), and also the date that the electricians are FINALLY going to be here to finish the job. So the four months with holes in ceiling and walls will finally come to a stop. We've been putting off putting the Adirondack chairs in storage for the winter, since we put them on the side porch for that, making it hard to get to the ceiling where plastering has to happen. I'll figure out something, but it ain't going to be pretty. Because compared to me, nothing is. So with leaf raking and another time-consuming chapter of life basically over, it's finally time to get to work on serious stuff. but first (sigh), lots of homework to grade. I don't think I'll want to do this overload thing again. Oh, that reminds me. I have undergraduates tugging on my figurative sleeve (I also have some abstract sleeves, but I save them for Valentines Day) to teach them orchestration, and in the past I've done that as independent studies. But those don't take enough time. Plus, one of the points in our external review from 2002 was that students wanted orchestration taught. But that would be a low-enrollment course, not feasible for our new get-warm-butts-in-Slosberg-chairs curriculum. So, sigh, I may be proposing that the course exist, limit enrollment to 5, and teach it as an overload (or overlord, as Carolyn (ka-ching) wouldn't

say) next year. And for those of you following along at home, I WILL teach Theory 2 next year, though I'm removing the 3-part species counterpoint unit, which I hated. Oh yes, and by far the most time-consuming event of the week was reading Sam's dissertation. I liked it, though it took a long time to get through it. Now I'm on a task beloved of many full professors, which is evaluating a promotion file from another university. I can't say whose or where, 'cause it's my little secret (il mio segrettino). Dionysus calls. So does Euripides. And Beff let me know that Paula Poundstone likes the Three Stooges, particularly the episode in which they are tailors and the immortal line is uttered, "Euripides, we mend-adese". Guy humor? Movies! I got Cammy responding to me saying "Treats" again, and I made another ritual visit to the Ben Smith Dam. I also put up old movies of our local dogs on the way to downtown (my avant-garde treatment of them, that is) and an old movie of Drip and Bly, now long dead (which they weren't when the movie was made). For pictures, I have splashy-splashy at the dam, a line of raked leaves ready to be barreled, Sunny midst the Buffy DVDs, some holly berries, and bookend kitties that I noticed while a-rakin'.

NOVEMBER 22. Breakfast this morning is coffee, orange juice, and Shaws light vegetarian sausages. Dinner was fried pickles and Buffalo wings at the Cambridge Common. Lunch was a garden salad. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 21.2 and 67.5. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine. LARGE EXPENSES this last week is $83 at amazon for fake books and DVDs and $82 at Tower Records for DVDs. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: Standards get you everywhere. I heard that once after an undergraduate composer concert at Columbia (in a Barnard building) that someone said, "I can tell my piece was pretty good because even Davy said he liked it". This was said by the same composer who composed what became to be known as "the stinker" 5th species exercise in my counterpoint class. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK is the US Postal Service, not only for the poor service at the Stow Post Office, but also slow delivery of packages from amazon. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are none. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: What, really, is "music when soft voices die"? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: kimp. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this week is grading homewok. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Blackberries, which are a little sour this time of year, just the way I like 'em. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK various music blogs, including one by Doctor Danny Felsenfeld. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 8.9. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: Performances, this page. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK some more wrapping of a package of CD-Rs. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 1. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 40 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: Absence of committee meetings. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Inkiest T. Electorate. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Software. PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,153. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: I certainly haven't been shopping for any new shoes. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.02, $2.09 and $2.27. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a salad shooter, erasable ink, obscure cognates, a head of lettuce before it's been washed. Running total: still 104 barrels, plus a few little schmutz piles from various areas. The Adirondack chairs are now safely stored in the basement for the winter, by the door, and I took care to rake the accumulated leaves and pine needles that were hiding out underneath and around them. This also means that the cats no longer have their mid-yard hiding place should the sound of a leaf blower or chainsaw intrude. During the rain and heavy wind storm of last Thursday, the tarp over the storage shed in the back yard blew off -- I figured because the very heavy Princeton ropes (they are orange and black) had stretched to the point where they were no longer snug enough to keep the tarp on. So one of our weekend errands was to buy rope to replace that morceau de merde stuff and re-secure the tarp. There was a driving rainstorm with big winds last night and it held, so success seems to be with us at the moment.

Also a quick, but strenuous task for the weekend was the removal of the squat and short rhododendrom in the driveway. I have hated it for all five years we've been here because during snow shoveling season, it's near the end of the driveway task, and just as you're getting really fatigued, you have to expend extra effort to throw shovelfuls of snow over an ornamental bush that doesn't even flower any more. So Beff gave me permission, and we had a rollicking good time, if "rollicking" has no meaning. The bush had trapped plenty of leaves midst the fangs of its lower branches, so Beff also raked and carried this schmutz pile away. And while I don't look forward to shoveling my driveway in the winter, I don't have to worry about my dumb ornamental crap-bush getting in the way. In fundamental this week there was a Quiz, and in Theory 1 we are plodding through Kostka/Payne at a pace that outraces the slow ones and bores the fast ones. Which is always the case. Yesterday in fundamentals I introduced seventh chords and showed how to notate chromatic alterations of them, and started them on piano realizations of lead sheets. And I introduced the opposable thumb piano texture (most of the class voted to be proud of their opposable thumbs) as evidenced in Daydream Believer and Chicago's I've Been Searching So Long (which sounds like the Days of Our Lives theme the more you listen to it, which I don't). More to follow after Thanksgiving break. Fully a third of my classes were absent, which goes to show you -- just as the Christmas season has encroached backwards all the way to Halloween now, the 4-day Thanksgiving break is now interpreted to be a weeklong break by many students. Well, not "just as", but close. It's about time for that yearly obnoxious e-mail from some administrative functionary warning us not to cancel classes the day before Thanksgiving. I've got to learn how to train my computer to zero in on that one and stick it in the spam box before it even reaches my sensitive little eyes. And it's time to report that I am ready, really ready, for that spring to be spent on leave. Yeah, baby, December 12 to September 1 or approximately that. I have started to have vivid dreams with music in them -- including a dream where music purportedly by me was blaring from a stereo while another sound was happening, and another one with some other music coming out. That's usually my body telling me to get on with the creative thing and forget the administrative-teaching crap. And when it can, to get me even more hepped up, it calls me "loser". Ah yes, I have a third person relationship with my own body. Doesn't everybody? I always love doing the Saturday morning errand thing with Beff, as she is usually producing scores and DVDs to send out to various places, and we have particular specific needs at enough various places that we actually have to use STRATEGY to get everything to come out even. Take this Saturday. We needed some firewood, which you can only get at Shaw's right now, and Shaw's is right next to the Stow post office. We also needed some fruits, vegetables, buns, salad, and various other things that can only be spelled using letters of the alphabet. So Beff decided she'd go to the Stow post office while I shopped for the stuff we needed. I picked up a ton of things in Shaws and was waiting for her a LONG time in the cereal aisle ("don't get cereal -- I want to choose it", she said) while little kids at the door of Shaw's were trying to get you to sign a petition about something. Finally, Beff arrived with the usual stories about waiting in line at the Stow post office: "I come here about once every three months, only to remember why I don't come here more than once every three months", etc. I think the tomatoes I had bagged went bad while I was waiting for Beff, so I just left them behind. And then we went to Colonial Wine and Spirits in Acton because we are in charge of the wine and beer for the Thanksgiving dinner in Vermont, and then on to Trader Joe's for more particular things you can't get at Shaws (such as small bags of lettuce, good coffee, stir fry veggies, and especially frozen potato pancakes). Then Beff wanted to to TJ Maxx. So I checked out Roche Brothers supermarket -- my third of the day -and got nothing. Beff got what she came to get, and home we went. Finally. Meanwhile. During the week, our old pal Danny Felsenfeld started up a music blog (felsenmusick.blogspot.com) and on Thursday night did a little piece on me, giving a pointer to the Buttstix on this page. At the same time, another blogger brought up his new relationship with Amy D, and a third blogger, unknown to all of us, commented on the irony and happenstance of all those things happening at the same time (the other blogs are called Night After Night and Deceptively Simple). Thanks to Danny and

the other guys, this page got a spike in page views (I include this graph because I just found out that I can get this information): Thursday was the day Danny posted his entry and Friday was the day of the other posts. And this is the first time that my e-mail address has ever actually appeared on my web page. It'll be gone next week. Danny wields vast power. Saturday night was Eric Chasalow's 50th birthday concert by Auros, which we attended, but skipped the reception because I had to be up early on Sunday. It was an impressive affair, with a few good performances and a few not so good ones. His piano and tape piece is a real winner -- the beginning of sustaining sonorities not just with unisons, but with third and fifth partials as well. Other tedious events of the week is just reading half of Dewek's dissertation. My function seemed to be to remove scare quotes, and stir to taste. Big event of the week was a day trip to Princeton, which is impressive given that nine and a half hours of the day was spent driving. The rest of the time was spent hearing some very young students of Jim's play etudes of mine, listening a bit to first edits of my pieces from Jim and Judy's upcoming CD on Bridge (they rock), taking a nap in the afternoon, and hearing the premiere of etude #63 in a graduate piano recital at Westminster Choir College. Danielle Ingram nailed it. Note the spike in Davy's barometer, first paragraph. Alas, there was a half hour delay on the Garden State Parkinglotway on the return trip behind an accident (if only I hadn't stopped for coffee....). I got home at 1:36 am, and -- incredibly -- answered a bunch of emails. Then slept. Then spent Monday being -- how you say in your language? -- wiped. And Monday was yesterday. After teaching, seeing Max's piece that he's working on now several times, and taking a commuter rail to Porter, I did beer with Gil Rose as we spoke of the future, and on the way home I got some holiday DVDs and -- for nostalgia's sake -- stopped at Cambridge Common for dinner. They have fried pickles now! So I got them, and they were a little weird -- they were fried pickles all right, but they were shaped like bread sticks -- cylinders rounded at both ends. But damn, they were fine to have. And the Buffalo wings did not disappoint. They also did not heavily impress, but they did not disappoint. While having this meal on my own (along with some Boulder Amber Ale), I delighted in watching a bit of a sports talk show on ESPN with closed captioning and the spelling errors that inevitably crop up when typing 150 words a minute. The trip from Porter to Brandeis was as I remembered it -- tedious. And dark. Tomorrow Beff and I drive to Burlington, Vermont for Thanksgiving with dad and siblings. I have to presume we will be getting a hotel room at a steep discount and arguing over the third pillow. We come back Friday morning and the cats will be pissed. And will have pissed. A lot. Football will be showing on TV, and we will continue not to enthrall with stories of lives spent in the arts. Not many pictures got taken this week. I did figure out why access was forbidden to the two new cat movies that I posted last week, and have corrected that and left the references up there. I took a new tussle movie, which is also there. Meanwhile, Sunny's tail got puffy when I played some old files of Drip meowing desperately, and there it is. I also got Sunny to watch a movie of Amy D. And the cats sleeping on the bed was way cuter than the pictures would have you believe. At bottom is the desktop picture on the Windows computer with lots of referential Davys. And no ka-chings for the twins this week.

NOVEMBER 29. Breakfast this morning is orange juice and coffee. Dinner was a Healthy Choice macaroni and cheese microwave dinner. Lunch -- rather late -- was a chunky chicken noodle soup. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 14.7 and 46.0. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Daydream Believer. LARGE EXPENSES this last week is $99 for Fontographer upgrade, undiclosed amount for Christmas gifts, $60 at amazon. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: In high school I worked at Warner's Snack Bar in the summer, a drive-in with picnic tables and a sign where you ordered that read "Absolutely no food at the tables not bought here." Don Swin and Margaret and their mother and I had great fun making fun of the bad grammar of that sign, and once

the family all went to the snack bar, and Margaret's mother actually got in line and began her order by asking, "can you tell me which of the tables were not bought here?" COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK is Font Lab. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are none. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Who reads the Wall Street Journal for its coverage of culture? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: Blxnod (a funny clown). THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this week is snow (already!). RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: uh, turkey, I guess. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK "Evening in the Palace of Reason", which I read from cover to cover this week -- excluding endnotes, that is. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 1. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: This page. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK yet more wrapping of a package of CD-Rs. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 0. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 14 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: Extreme ease in finding catsitters. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Dorab Hunter. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Make Google your profit maker. PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,182. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: I say tell me the truth but you don't dare. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.17 in Vermont -- though I passed $1.99 at the Shell station in Waltham. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a block of gorgonzola carved into a miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty, a New York minute, a peacock feather, a Bezier control point. Running total of leaves raked: still 104. Them what make are back to their old tricks: compare the maximum temperature of this last week (above) to yesterday's forecast high of 55. And of course with last week's cold snap and accumulating "shovelable" snow, the weather is on everyone's mind. But not everyone actually seems to have much of a mind, as yesterday someone (I forget who) asked, rhetorically, when I thought we would get the first snowfall of the season. Why do people ask me so many rhetorical questions? A little break in the action was just what the doctor ordered, and the Thanksgiving break was just that break. After my usual stellar teaching on Monday to a less than full house, there was Tuesday and errands, Beff drove in from Maine late, and got home near midnight. On Wednesday morning we left for Vermont, after yet more e-mails answered from students asking if Wednesday classes would be held, whose answer was given them far in advance at least half a dozen times. As a sidebar, one might note that the Brandeis student of 2005 asks a lot more questions that have already been answered than the Brandeis student of 1996. Back then the raging question was, "They hired YOU"? And, not less importantly, "you left Columbia for HERE?" But that one went rather far afield. Them what make assured us of great driving weather for Wednesday, and off we went at about 7 in the morning, after breakfast-y items and coffee, and I was the driver. We hadn't filled the tank before leaving, and we wanted to be free of urban New Hampshire, such as it is, before pulling off the road, and soon after Bow we took an exit that looked promising, drove about five miles on a road lined with trees and not a single domicile, turned around, got back on the highway, and took the next exit. Which brought us into a charming, yet charmless, little village, where we filled up and got some crumb cake stuff and made our way back to the highway. Noting with the opposite of glee that there were some rather large iced-over puddles in the service station. After dealing with the mindnumbingly boring part of the drive (New Hampshire), we delighted at the explosion of scenery at the Vermont state line, followed soon thereafter by an explosion of snow squalls and, briefly, barely passable lanes. Oh, those them what make! A portion of the drive between Randolph and Montpelier was spent going 40, behind a granny-type driver who couldn't be passed because the passing lane was impassable. And eventually, we got back to full throttle, parked at Beff's dad's condo, did our tumbling routines on the mini-trampoline, and drove into downtown Burlington for a previously-arranged rendezvous with Troy Peters, a composer and conductor who is now the head honcho of the Vermont Youth Orchestra. Alas, the place that Troy chose for this rendezvous had two of my least favorite things in a restaurant: absence of Buffalo wings and a free-for-all setup of places you stand in line to order stuff, depending on whether you want sandwiches, coffee or pastries. Despite all of this bad fortune, we had a lovely lunch,

talked of studying composition at Penn, and of Daron Hagen, and spent nearly the rest of the afternoon standing in one of the free-for-all lines waiting to pay. Beff had tea on a stick (picture below) along with her food, and I got some Real Tea by whoever it is that makes Real Tea. And the rest of the day was spent in the condo. On Tuesday it had rained and then then changed to snow, and plenty of ice was evident, and talk was of an intensifying clipper that would dump 2 to 4, no! 3 to 6! inches on Thanksgiving day. Beff's sister arrived in the late afternoon and took charge of the neckwards gear (Martler's terminology), which included the most comprehensive collection of antipasto selections witnessed since the Enlightenment. Meanwhile, I was reading the book which I mention in the first paragraph, and I couldn't put it down because of the glue on my hands. Sorry, such an easy joke. The antipasto meal was good, the sports on TV was constant, and on Thanksgiving I spent the lion's share of the day grading theory homework while ignoring football. Thanksgiving itself was a relatively pain-free event, and the snowstorm ended up dumping about 2 inches. In the late morning, Beff and her sister and brother and I walked to a convenience store to look for Bell seasoning, but got beer instead, since our quest was for "b" food. After the homework was all graded (total time: five hours, give or take four and a half hours), I went back to the book, then cut the turkey (I was asked to evaluate whether it was ready, and I made something up with great authority in my voice: give it another half hour), and we ate. This was an unusual meal because for once there was no lowfat nothin' -- gravy made directly from the turkey greasin's, real butter, etc. -- and I made sure to have but one helping of everything. And then I went back to my book. Beff took charge of the drive back on Friday, and this time the mountains were free of snow, and I finished the book. At one of the boringest places in New Hampshire, Beff got pulled over for doing 70 in a 65 zone and both Beff's brother and I wanted to slap some sense into the state trooper, but there was no ticket issued. We made it back in good time and ---- for the first time this year, there was snow shoveling to do. Eeew. Not a lot, but it had to be done. On Saturday Beff had to leave early to drive to Maine to do a gig in the backup orchestra for Anne Murray at the U Maine Performance Arts Center -- one rehearsal in the afternoon and the gig in the evening. Beff reports that she even got one solo and a spotlight, but she didn't say on what piece. In the meantime, I liked Jim 'n' Judy's recording of my old arrangement of "Musician" for voice, violin and piano enough that I searched through my archives and found the original (from 1990) -- missing the first two pages. So I entered that much into Finale and made entreaties to Judy on e-mail to fax me the first two pages. Which happened on Monday. "Musician" turns out to be Son of To Be Sung on the Water, since it was written to be part of a big set (Six Bogan Poems) built around an arrangement of that song and using the same chords and motives -- I even located an old letter where I revealed the middleground bass line (which traces the E hexachord complementary to the voice's opening hexachord and unfolds it in fifths -- probably due to the presence of a violin), and I nearly broke my arm patting myself on the back. Once that was done, it was to the Bacchae, where I sat down (on Sunday) and wrote down stuff for the first time since August 22 (David Sanford's birthday). And I wrote feverishly -- a whole bunch of cues that are to become mottos for Dionysus and the lion's share of the underscoring of the first chorus of Dionysian revelers. I did not quote Revel-y, as I am writing for the Lyds with timpani. Since this is incidental music, I learned how to create more length with our old standbys, repeat signs and big type that says "4x" or "8x" -which the sound guy for the production is going to play with anyway. So with all the x's I estimate I wrote about 6 to 8 minutes of cues and underscoring in an afternoon. I simply have to reconsider becoming a minimalist. The return to teaching on Monday was -- disappointing. In Fundamentals we realized the lead sheet for Over the Rainbow and in first year theory we harmonized some soprano lines, but really, what's the point? Oh wait, that wasn't me speaking. In any case, the manifold excuses for missing assignments started to pile up. And instead of my usual noon exit, I saw two graduate students for consultation on their dissertation pieces. And I went to the bathroom. Last night's grading of homework took until 10 at night. Then I discovered that a native OS X version of Fontographer was now available, paid for it online, and attempted to download it, each time with an error message that something had been reset by the client. Eventually I got the message that I had downloaded it

too many times (apparently in some worlds, zero is a very large number) and would not be able to do so any more. Sigh. Either the Font Lab people fix it or I have to call Citibank and deny the charge against the card. I hate rank incompetence of this sort because it is both rank and incompetent -- hence the term. The spike in hits on this site from Danny's blog mention, and stuff, finished and I'm back to several hundred hits a day. As Jim Ricci pointed out, a large number of those hits is likely from search engine bots like Google looking for searchable text, etc. So I'm pleased to say that this site is the preferred choice of bots everywhere. Meanwhile, Chamber Music Society put up a chatty little blurb on me on their web page for the February 16 Double Exposure show, noting that if you read this web page, attendance will be pretty much obligatory. No, really. Events this week include a drive to NYC to hear Mindy Wagner's piece with CMSLC, Corolla appointment at the dealer, doctor's appointment with a surgeon, and an appearance in a reading of a brief set piece Thursday night for the first annual BrandAID. The only new movie this week is of Cammy expressing his displeasure with cuisinal offerings, up in yellow text there (Donotlike). I also put a link to an mp3 of the first edit of "Musician". So there. Today's pictures include: foliage mixed with winter in Burlington; a traffic sign that seems to indicate that an aerodynamic grand piano (or a slippery one) lies ahead;three Wiemanns walking in the snow; Troy Peters in a reflective moment; Beff's tea on a stick; our antipasto dinner from Wednesday night; the cooked Thanksgiving turkey; and Cammy into extreme exploring.

DECEMBER 6. Breakfast this morning is orange juice and coffee. Dinner was Thai hot and sour soup, and salad. Lunch was a South Street club and some Inko's blueberry. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 19.6 and 63.1. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS that Saint-Saens bacchanalian dance music, whatever it is called. LARGE EXPENSES this last week is $90 for a new bedside reading lamp for Beff, and the cost of Beff's Xmas present revealed: 4 gig iPod nano, $250. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: My first year of grad school was also the year that the complete LULU came to the Met. Claudio Spies got some of us students into rehearsals, and I think I went to five; I got to know the piece rather well. Twice after rehearsals, Claudio got "Jimmy" Levine to come and talk to us in the lobby, and we got to make suggestions about staging! Apparently, a staging for the beginning of Act 3 Scene 2 where Lulu picks up a client at a seedy streetlight was deleted due to our input. And Levine exhorted us baby composers to send him our work. One of us (not me) actually did so -- and never received an acknowledgement. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK is BJ's -- they are OUT of Inko's! COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are Apple Computer. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: to quote French proverbs or not to quote French proverbs? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: n'arace. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this week is theory homeworks that fail to raise the third of V in minor. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: gourmet tomatoes, gourmet olives, soy salad dressing, Granny Smith apples, fresh squeezed orange juice. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK the singer of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" was the voice of Tony the Tiger, and the composer of that song was on the Fame TV series. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 19 (I bend the rules a lot in the last week of classes). REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: This page. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK Beff's reading lamp on her nightstand. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 11 (all of them for Galen). DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 47 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: Cat doodies that dissolve within an hour. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Blaze Mote. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Re: forthcoming Meediacdations. PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,197. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: Ah-ah-ah-e-ah-ahhh. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $1.99 but I see it's gone from $1.93 back up to $2.05 at the station across from city hall. Oh, those gasoline types! OTHER

INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a picture that I didn't draw, the future of radio, a naughty bit, one of those songs that you always knew you knew (burp). As I type this on Tuesday morning, a big coastal Nor'easter that the them what makes have been direly predicting for nearly a week is dumping ... nothing ... on us. As recently as yesterday's lunch with the kaching twins, it was noted that the possibility still existed for 6 to 9 inches, and that's just pornographic. I officially moved the gas can from the storage shed (for lawn mowing) to the garage (for snow blowering) for the eventuality of what has become nothingness. And THAT will be a title someday. Running total of leaves raked: still 104. Now any left to rake are snow-covered due to Sunday's storm, and I don't even know if that is the passive voice. It had better not be, because they already charged my credit card. What a week! What? A week? Wha? Ta? We? Ek! Actually -- fairly eventless week, and I suppose the highlight was Joe Morgan (ka-ching), TA'ing for Fundamentals, being peppered with questions about -tritone substitutions! Geez, he probably thinks they learn secondary dominants and suspended thirteenth chords this week. (no, but they do learn turnarounds and sus4 chords -- how else am I going to deduct the cost of the "Help!" soundtrack?) In fundamentals, we actually watched Teen Girl Squad on the AV box, just so I could teach the 8va sign (which is on the soundtrack transcription I gave them) and grace notes. I also spent a good amount of time making up the final exam, so that is out of the way. I cling steadfastly to the Kostka/Payne in theory, though I have my own ways of illustrating its bigass points: to wit, using music from the Grinch to illustrate melodic sequence (I was asked to reframe the music as a harmonic sequence, and either I or the music refused to yield). Thursday was spent finding good ways to harmonize full scales up and down in the soprano and bass. And just wait -- 6/4s are this week and that means -- Borderline! And ... Gloria! Davy knows his goofy pop cadential six-fours, all right. Oh yes, and I ornamented the chorales with secondary leading tone seventh chords and augmented sixth chords. Filling their minds with mush, I am. I also did the final exams for first year theory by doing the Frankenstein thing with some old ones (yes, yes, putting screws on the side of their heads...). In composition it was actually a fun week, as the topic is variations. All by themselves, the class made a list of 12 ways to make a variation. And now (mwa ha ha) they have to use at least four of them. On Saturday their 12-tone and variation projects get read by an excellent pianist, all because I knew where to go to beg for fundageness. Can you tell I'm REALLY READY for the semester to be over? Careful now, slow but steady wins n'arace. Among more mundane things, the radiator in the master bedroom is bubbling when it comes on in the morning, leaving a trail of wawa and recently overflowing the little ceramic bowl we got to catch its drippings. Beff thinks the air purifier has something to do with that, and we will see, we will see. The cats, especially Cammy, have wanted to go through closed doors at all time, especially the attic, and while searching for our lighted wooden Xmas tree, I discovered Cammy laid out on a sleeping bag in the attic. I think I've caused them a little less want of going into the attic by bringing the sleeping bag to the guest room couch and arranging it with two casual (not causal) kitty sleeping stations. Evidence of my immediate success is in the pictures below. Among the time-consuming things of the week included our Friday errands, which we usually do on Saturday, but this time included car service at the dealer and the MA state inspection and an appointment with a surgeon -- likely my wittle bitty opewation will be in very early February -- which was the only suitable hole in my schedule I could find. It also included Beff getting a new bedside lamp, as the cats knocked her existing one over and broke it, and a walk downtown for three-way bulbs and mailing gifts and stuff. During our salmon burger dinner, we watched The March of the Penguins on DVD -- on Saturday it was Horton Hears a Who and the extras that go with the Grinch special while I corrected homework and Beff made packages of gifts for relatives. Speaking of gifts, we exchanged our regular Christmas gifts on Friday morning because we will be at

VCCA, away from gift-givers, on Christmas day. So we ended up getting each other vastly smaller and thinner versions of things we already have and use. Beff got a 4 gigabyte iPod nano, and I got a digital camera (see pictures below). The digital camera seems to lack functional drivers for OS X, so I have to capture the shots on the Windows computer. The iPod nano plays tunes AND shows photae, so Beff loaded a few things up onto it, and is ready to be the coolest person in school this week -- in fact, loading pictures of each and every colleague who will be giving her that designation. Beff's iPod is engraved "I belong to/Beth Wiemann" on the back, and I got a FedEx tracking number with my confirmation e-mail -- just for the heck of it I checked the tracking number to find it had been shipped (for free) from Shenzen, China, and went to Anchorage and then Indianapolis before coming to Boston. This is such a cosmopolitan present, it is, it is. Alas, I started feeling pangs of want for one of the new iPods that plays videos.... Then there was dinner at the Quarterdeck on Saturday night with Seung Ah (ka-ching!) and her husband Peter as a way of doing a key exchange before she takes care of cats while we are gone (big Mike (kaching!) is also doing a week, and Justin about 4 days). We all had Archer Ale, and the Seung Ahs marveled at the size of the portions. They had to have theirs wrapped. And one exclamation from Horton Hears a Who is going to make it (back) into our regular exclamations for a while, and that is: Beezelnut! It is most useful to remember to do it as if in the voice of Tony the Tiger, as it was the same actor. (in high school after an airing of the show, we used "Yopp!", "Boil That Dustspeck" and "A person's a person no matter how small" a lot -- though we didn't appreciate that the voice of Horton was Edward Everett Horton. Who doesn't sound anything like Carolyn Davies (ka-ching!). Sunday I was to drive to New York to hear Mindy Wagner's Emily Dickinson songs, but the weather got in the way. I stayed home instead, wrote some Bacchae, and shoveled. And spent time on a letter for a promotion in another department. And what it is, too. I also took care of eleven letters for grad school applications, none of them mine. In fundamentals yesterday, one student finally identified the "four rhythms" I had posted on the online course materials for the course, and I promised a cheap or nearly worthless prize. Having realized that the prize in theory for the same identification was actually pretty cool, I hopped to the Dollar Store to find some cheap but nifty things, and encountered what can only be called optimism for the old way of composing. See the "tonality" link up to the left. And I scheduled my little operation for Groundhog Day, which brings with it two other appointments: a pre-op checkup and a meeting with an anaesthesiologist, neither of which came with the previous one. I hate it when that happens. There were no good new movies to be made, so I made a movie of the kitchen faucet dripping (on purpose). Happy viewing! Of the pictures below, the first two were taken with the tiny new camera: the Powell flute factory in Maynard, and the roster for the Sit N Bull Pub. Follow this with Cammy-In-A-Box and the cats fascination with the new placement of the sleeping bag in the guest room. Then there is size comparison of the new iPod nano and teeny camera, the counter after I make fresh squeezed orange juice, and evidence of Beff's footprints and tire tracks after I shoveled Sunday's snow.

DECEMBER 13. Breakfast this morning is orange juice, coffee, and Trader Joes vegetarian sausage patties. Dinner was hot and sour soup and salad. Lunch was ... actually, I didn't get around to having lunch. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 12.6 and 39.9. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS the Grinch song from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. LARGE EXPENSES this last week are none that I recall. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: The only time I drank in actual class time was my year at Stanford, in my Tonal Composition class. I had announced in one class that I had gotten engaged (unsurprisingly, to Beff -- less unsurprisingly, over the phone), and in a nonchalant way. In the next class, the students surprised me by bringing cheese, crackers, cake, and champagne. Which, of course, we had to consume. After half an hour I tried to deliver, or salvage, part of my prepared lecture (as back in those days of more hair and such unfulfilled potential, I prepared my lectures), and failed utterly. So we finished the champagne. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED

THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK is Oregon Scientific. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are none at the moment. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: where do I put all the stuff from my office whilst I'm on leave? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: orkle. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this week is lead sheet realizations. Only because I've seen 105 of them in the last week. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Granny Smith apples. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK there actually is only one way to skin a cat. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 8. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: This page. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are none. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 1. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 9 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: Perpetual Bermuda High. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Fiera Mcelwee. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Re: fomentation toiletware. PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,225. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: But your heart will not oblige you. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: I didn't buy gas this week, but the station across from City Hall is up to $2.15. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE all of my imaginary friends, a misplaced modifier, a stamp with my picture on it, seventeen ways till Tuesday. I have taught my last class until late August (big woo hoo there pardner), and still have a mammoth pile of grading to undertake before being scot-free sinks in. Indeed, I spent all of last evening poring through a pile of Fundamentals homework (how many ways are there to unfold the chords of "Christmas Time is Here"? Apparently, one) as well as a few early final exams, and still have today to plow through some stuff for first year theory. I very much did enjoy yesterday's very full plate, as it involved the one day per term when the teachers suck up to the students instead of the other way around. Yes, on Pass Out the Course Evaluations Day, it has become customary to feed the students goodies, and my part of that now ancient ritual was to buy 24 Dunkin Donuts, 100 Munchkins, a gallon and a half of orange juice, and plastic cups. Alas, since both Seung Ah's section and mine had to meet together owing to Seung Ah's Amsterdamian performance, the Theory 1 numbers were vast -- and they left mere skin and bones (such as is possible with doughnutware) for the fundamentals students. In both morning classes I passed out final take-home exams, fielded as many questions as I could, stood on the piano bench to appear taller (excuse me while I kiss the ceiling), and excused each class at least 30 seconds early. One student in fundamentals undertook enormous effort to compose "The Davy Song" using some rules taken from the "cow" handout, and we listened and watched the score on the screen. While meanwhile, I played some minuets past for the Theory students (who are already thinking forward to the spring). After which I had to do a noon meeting to discuss the theory curriculum with my colleagues who teach it (since it's an odd-numbered year, we have to do these ancient rituals, alas, without doughnutware). Professor Keiler, who wishes to remain anonymous, was unable to make the meeting, but he presummarized it pretty well: nothing gets done at these meetings and they are a complete waste of time. But hey, I'd rather do that for an hour than clean sewers. Which is a pretty odd perspective. The rest of the day took me through undergrad composition and a long session with Max (and more importantly, Mingus), and a home arrival at dusk, at which time I had to renew a prescription, make dinner, and go through homework after homework after homework after homework after homework after homework after homework after homework after homework after homework after homework. Practically an orkle of fun. Meantime, the gentle reader must be aghast (or a-gassed -- we now have helium at home and in the office) that it has taken until the third paragraph to bring up the weather. When last the intrepid reader (or gentle -can't we be both?) encountered this space, a Northeaster was dumping exactly zero snow on the area, saving it for "the cape and the islands" (the most used phrase on news radio 1030) and the Atlantic Ocean (where's the Gulf Stream when we really need it?), and snow showers were predicted for Friday. Quickly, them what make upgraded the forecast to 3-6, no 6-10, no, 4-7 inches of snow and Weather Bug chirped merrily with every one of them. What actually followed was a truly magnificent storm the likes of which is rarely seen around here. Two storms merged right over us (them what make didn't say which was female and which was male), and for about two and a half hours there were severe whiteout conditions that I haven't seen here before (they were common in St. Albans). The whiteout wound down in 15 minutes to flurries and in another 5 minutes to a pretty orange and blue sunset and clear skies. Beff and I trudged outsidewards to rearrange nature's snow placement as it was winding down, and were quite taken with how

it seemed to stop entirely in the time it took us to put on our boots. I was pleased that the snowblower was able to start -- for the first time in ten months -- as rearranging nature's snow placement while protecting a hernia would have been not much fun. But first I snow raked (Hillary loves to do that) the garage and mud room roof before trundling up and down the driveway. I would like to report how much fun it was, but it actually wasn't. Though I guess it's always fun to add a layer of stuck snow to the porch and the trees that line the driveway. On Saturday morning I did an additional shovel of the flat roof over the sun porch and measured 14 inches of snow. Rare to have that much this early in the season. Last time we had this kind of storm (I was teaching theory 2 at the time) this early, we had ... no ... snow for the rest of the season. Well, actually, we had no storms big enough to require the big machinery. And three weeks after that storm it was 60 on New Years Day and I was taking pictures of prematurely budding plants at the Acton Arboretum. And Beff was trying to get a movie of a train arriving at West Concord. But this seems like a rather big sidebar. On Sunday there was a lot of feverish time spent writing music for The Bacchae,and my sketch pages are now to about 10. I still have somre more character music to write, but a large part of the substance for future musical cues is just about done. My goal of getting it at least written, if not entered into Finale, by the time we leave for VCCA next Thursday seems possible. But first, more grading, and about 50 final exams to grade next week beginning Monday at noon. And as usual, Beff and I did errand day, moved this week to Saturday because Friday we spent the day being fascinated by the storm. Well, actually, we walked downtown during the beginning of the storm and did minor errands, gave a bone to the dog at Maynard Door and Window, arranged to have the driveway and walkways done while we were gone, and got our boots snowy. Good thing we got that done before the whiteouts. Saturday we did Shaw's in order to use coupons and ended up doing a giant shop. I also managed to shovel the snow off of the mud room roof (more difficult because it slopes) because the guys at Maynard Door and Window said they'd come by and slather some tar on the join with the house, now that some moisture is getting in (they didn't). On Wednesday I shopped at BJ's -- where I did find Inko's and got three 12-packs -- and got two helium canisters for the fun of it. I gave one to Carolyn The Ka-Ching for use in the office (it works) and one for at home (it works, but Beff needed several tries to do it without coughing). It's now back to workaday use for the helium, whatever that might mean. And at home, it's to the cellar for it. Lots of people wanted to let us know that helium can cause brain damage. So to counter that I made sure not to start smoking this week and not to have a conversation with a Republican. The latter doesn't actually cause brain damage, but it sure makes my brain hurt. Ken and Hillary came over on Sunday for Buffalo wings (Neighborhood Pizzeria downtown), and we had great fun, especially after returning home and trying some Tuaca (our Amaro-substitute), and me getting to show funny stuff that's come onto the computer since the last time they were here in August. And we even played some of a Pink album. Whatever happened to Pink? Let's get this party started! Meanwhile, I am kind of supposed to drive into and out of NYC for a quickie Speculum Musicae performance next Monday, and I don't know if I can do it -- the timing sort of sucks. The exams get collected at noon, the concert is at 8 (Merkin Hall), and the electricians arrive for their last hurrah at 7:30 on Tuesday morning -- like Cartman saying to Jesus on the South Park pilot: "your birthday is on Christmas? That sucks, dude." 20 years ago the biggest thing I wanted to happen to me professionally was to be performed by Speculum Musicae. This week the same thing unfortunately turns almost into a nuisance. But hey -- if you're in New York on the 19th and wonder what a piano trio movement called "Felinious Assault" sounds like, Merkin Hall is the place for you. And crap -- Aleck Karis (hey! both names have five letters!), Curt Macomber and Chris Finckel -- talk about the Mount Rushmore of piano trios (is that mixing metaphors or something?). So there are very few plans for the week beyond Bacchaeness and grading. Lunch with Elaine Wong today, Carolyn the Ka-Ching does a Messiah Sing this afternoon that I can't make, and Big Mike the Ka-Ching comes for dinner on Friday to prepare him for cat doody duty while we are gone. Then Monday la merda

batta il ventaglio. At some point in the next ten days, the hyper-extended phrase "I'm freeeeeeeeeee!" will escape my body. Until then, it won't. I have a cute little movie of Sunny on the mud room roof just outside the computer room (see yellow text), parts of which are sped up. Of course, this week's pictures are overwhelmingly weathecentric. The whiteout as viewed from the front door followed by two shots of snowblower detritus: on the trees in the driveway and on the side porch. Then the sunset that followed the storm by about 10 minutes. Next, some snow slowly peeling off a telephone pole on Saturday, and the sign across from our house that unexplainably has clamp pliers clamped to it. Then Beff in line at Shaws, and Cammy discovering the dripping from the end of the radiator in the master bedroom.

DECEMBER 21. Breakfast this morning was orange juice and coffee. Dinner was champagne and some brown crackers with high-cholesterol spread. Lunch was salad and an excellent Tom Yum soup made from a jar. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK -1.3 and 43.0. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS American Woman. LARGE EXPENSES this last week include an Apple keyboard at Comp USA, $31.49 including tax, a large paper cutter, ca. $180, and a $300 down payment for yet more work on the house (storm window for the computer room, vent for the bathroom fan, sealing for the mud room roof). POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: I took four graduate seminars with Milton Babbitt, the kind you love -- no papers to write. The seminar was essentially the same class with four different names: Orchestration, Advanced 12-Tone technique, History of Theory Since 1850, and Analysis. They were fascinating, and so rich with detail that I forgot everything within an hour of the class. One Bach chorale analysis was absolutely virtuosic. And I forgot that, too. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK is Staples. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY is Staples. This is not a contradiction. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: where do the ashes that Beff sweeps into the little hole in the fireplace go? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: slodge. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this week is urgent and pleading requests to extend deadlines that have been well known since September. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Boca burgers and Real(tm) Pickles. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK my music is not pretty. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 4. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: This page, bio page, Reviews 3. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are none. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 11. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 21 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: Oval office residents who have actually read the constitution. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Fiera Mcelwee. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Re: fomentation toiletware. PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,227. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: Oh, you silly stupid pastime of mine. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.17 at the Exxon on Route 27 near the Ace Hardware. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a magnifying glass, copy of the Constitution of the United States, all the different ways to spell "scrumpdillyicious", a downward trend. Finished! I actually said that twice in the last eight days. The second time was about an hour before I posted this, meaning I finished my grading (1 pm Monday to 11 am Wednesday), posted the grades online, and filled out the required forms. I would have taken a picture of the pile of exams (51 of them) plus lastminute completed homework (some of it faxed), but that would have just been silly. And now to ... this update. Last week's absence of having to teach was filled up by much homework to grade, but when that was finished I applied myself to the writing of the music for the Bacchae, and late on Saturday I got say "finished!" It turns out I was wrong. There is a LOT of music -- 33 pages of oblong two-system score paper -- and I didn't want the Lyds to have to learn a lot more, given what they are being paid. But later I decided that the scene where Pentheus's mother has Pentheus's head on a stick and thinks it's a goat's head needed some underscoring. So I will do that later. Meanwhile, there turned out to be (so far) 32 cues, some of them quite long, some of them quite short. Coryphaeus -- someone who emerges from the chorus to ask a few questions -- has bitonal major triads. I used all the tricks, you see. So on Sunday I started entering the music

into Finale, and got the first 16 in. Then work interrupted, and I can go back to entering the music as soon as I finish typing this putrid thing. And I will, Oscar, I will. So Monday morning I got to Brandeis at my accustomed 6:50 in order to enjoy the building while it was quiet, do some work, get the last stuff out of my office before I go on leave, etc. I had loaned my building and master keys to Derek Jacoby for his weekend recording session and was going to get them back that morning. But of course the building was locked and Derek had my key and I didn't know what number I should call to be let into the building. So I called the Brandeis number, which announced that its offices were closed, but I could reach campus police by dialing 9. Which I did, and the police guy barked "this is the emergency number. Call 6-5000 next time". And when I was freezing my fingers off while no one came, I did call that number. Same guy. Barked. "Didn't you call me already. It takes time for people to get there". The "conversation" was cut off before I could reel off my hundred or so replies that dripped with sarcasm. So good you won't want to miss a drop! So I did get let in and later I walked up to Brown to examine an AV cabinet that was proposed for 212 Slosberg. I took a picture of it with my cell phone and emailed it to Mark, who now is showing it to our own faculty. And when I got back, the exams piled up, though of course you can't trust students actually to read, on the exam itself, "Due at noon SHARP on Monday. Late exams will not be accepted." Of course, plenty were still not there when I left at 12:45. Aargh! On the way home I stopped at CompUSA to get an Apple keyboard simply to have the CLEAR key to use with the Power Book when entering notes in Finale during this colony hop. Really I did. As I type this I see roofers at work on the house two houses to the west, and I kind of wonder what the point of doing roof work at this time of year is. Unless they are getting leaks, I guess. That explains the agitation of the cats yesterday afternoon from the sound of the snow being shoveled off of the roof. At the time I wondered what the point of shoveling snow off of a sloped roof was, but I need wonder no longer. You will never get back the 30 seconds it took to read this paragraph. Not much of Friday was spent doing Bacchae music, as Beff and I were doing the usual important stuff and there was another significant storm -- this one freezing rain changing to all rain. Mainly, we spent time getting ready to be in Virginia until MLK Day. We have THREE house/catsitters lined up for our absence (Seung Ah, Big Mike (ka-ching!), Justin), and now there is plenty of the stuff they will eat -- they only like the Friskies shredded salmon and chicken cans, and they shun almost every other canned food -- and plenty of cat litter, etc. Shopping was a real joy, though I didn't realize that no one has plums this time of year. So I have peaches, and I actually like them. Don't you hate it when that happens? I also had lunch with Elaine Wong on Friday at a place in Waban (not the Wed, Wed, Wed one) and we got such a variety of nouvelle entrees that we could have eaten to the point of explosion. Elaine took her leftovers home. I didn't. For those not in the know, Elaine is a Dean of Undergraduate something, but not an important enough Dean to have her own parking space. At one point she asked me how I became such a great teacher (a designation that made my brain go "ping"!) and I think my first response was, "I fold it in half". I'm not sure if she got, or needed to get, the reference. The reason my dinner last night was champagne was that I got an e-mail from the Provost's secretary on Monday asking if I could meet the Provost to "talk about teaching" some late afternoon before classes started back up. I shared this premise with Beff, who speculated that I was getting a teaching award -- at which point I thought back to lunch with Elaine -- and I said, "oh crap, I would have to turn it down." "Why?" "Oh, I just don't think teaching is something that should be competitive. It's just what I do." "Well, you get awards for composition and you accept them. Isn't that also something you do?" Zing. So instead I told myself I was going to be invited to be on a University committee on teaching that meets eight hours every week and then goes to classes to observe and polls students on their reactions to teachers and writes long reports that take forever to get to the point. I was desperately hoping to be wrong. So I went in to work yesterday for the Tuesday 4:30 appointment I had made, parked in the small Slosberg lot, said hi to Carolyn (ka-ching!), talked a bit to Max ("Why you here?" "Meeting" "Who?" "Provost." "Money?" "Dunno."), saw some of my colleagues looking at the AV cabinet picture on Mark's computer, and arranged the particles of dust on one of my bookcases. Then I walked to the Provost's office and was surprised to see several of my colleagues, who were recently looking at pictures of an AV cabinet, in the

office. Yehudi arrived and I knew the jig was up. The door to the office opened, and there were the Provost and Dean, Elaine Wong, a bunch of my scores and CDs, a Brandeis envelope with my name on it, a bottle of champagne, and some expensive snacks. And what happened next felt like I was playing out a scene from "A Beautiful Mind." A bunch of super-smiley faces surrounded me as I did the ritual of opening the envelope to read what was inside (I knew by now what it was going to say), and a little later I got some esprit d'escalier -- when the Dean asked, "so what do you think?" I should have said, "give me time. I'm still on the first word." But instead, I think I said, "Cool." Nobody gave me any pens like in that scene from A Beautiful Mind, but I did get a named Chair. As of about 4:33 yesterday afternoon I am the Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Composition, and Yehudi is the Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Composition Emeritus. What do I get out of it? Free stationery and the obligation to use that title when dealing with the media (apparently, including CD-Rs). And all the champagne I could drink in 30 minutes. The reader who has followed this space for the last fifteen or so months can savor the irony in the whole situation. So I drove home (yes, I stayed in my own lane), scanned the letter (which calls me "Davie" and says it's in recognition of my "scholarly accomplishments", among other things -- yes, it's a form letter, but at least it's not a foam letter) and e-mailed it to Beff. And now I guess I have to start wearing lifts. (Beware of Greeks wearing lifts!) Meanwhile, other little dramas played out this week, not the least including the quest for a paper cutter I can use to trim 11x17 sheets down to 11x14 sheets. I did that with the parts to Dream Symphony, and there were a lot, and the cutter I have is only 12 inches wide. So the process of measuring 14-inch cuts was quite cumbersome, and it involved an external ruler. So Beff made it high priority to find me a good bigger one, and her father -- a retired architect who eats this kind of hardware for breakfast (and yet still has his own teeth) -- arranged to have one sent. It arrived and was ... 12 inches ... wide. And you can't fold it in half. So I drove to Staples to see what they could offer because the online catalog was pretty vague for paper cutters, and I looked in the Staples catalog, and there was one -- right there -- with the correct dimensions, which I ordered online on Friday. And it arrived on Monday and it is ... perfect! I had also ordered mailing bags from Staples on the 6th, and the online webpage predicted a December 15 delivery. On the 20th it predicted a December 15th delivery (at last check, it still does) with the notation "Shipped from Warehouse. Click here for tracking information". Which says DEC 7: BILLING INFO RECEIVED. Three calls to Staples were required to confirm that -- it never shipped. Though my credit card was charged on the 16th (Beethoven's birthday). Staples offered to resubmit the order for delivery around December 30 (when we will be in Virginia), and I asked if traditionally the point of ordering stuff online was that you order it, pay for it and it gets delivered. So I politely asked not to reorder. And at last check, the Staples guy's statement that "your credit card has been refunded" turns out to be false. So there you go: the Janus that is Staples. My piano trio was done on a Speculum Musicae concert on Monday and of course I couldn't go -especially given the transit strike -- and it is reviewed in today's New York Times. Dudes and dudettes, the news is -- I ain't pretty. Especially the moment I wake up/Before I put on my makeup. So on Friday we drive to Burke, Virginia to stay with the Lieutenant Colonel Colburn family overnight, after which we do the 3-hour drive to the VCCA on those lovely rolling Virginia Hills. The part I do NOT look forward to is that short stretch of malls, etc. in Charlottesville you have to drive through, and on the Saturday before Christmas. Beff will hear a lot of "I hate this..." and be saying a lot of "Now, now." And by lunchtime I will return to my other life, that of -- composer. Which is cool, 'cause I still get to be the Walter W. Naumburg Chair of Composition. Chair and Chair alike. Indeedy. Beff, of course, wants me to mention that we did our usual Friday morning walk downtown, and that was during a heavy rain falling on top of what had been freezing rain, so just using the sidewalk was a major adventure, especially given that the first 500 feet of the walk is downhill. On our return, we vowed to do the alternate route via what we call the "Harley Bridge", but an enormous puddle blocked us from doing that. Unsurprisingly, when we got back, we were soaked. And -- excitement of excitements -- the house is finally completely rewired. Electricians were here 7:30 to

11:00 yesterday bringing more circuits up to code and plastering ugly holes that we've been looking at for months. Alas, they did not completely plaster where they should have under the lights in the sun porch, but I guess that's okay. And there's a quad outlet next to the sink instead of a bi with a threefer extension (this may be the first time in history that sentence was uttered in the English language). There are two new movies up there for your enjoyment -- yet another example of how the cats react when I say "Treats," and a nice one of Cammy in the bathroom sink craving affection. I was Bacchae-busy this week, so not many photos were taken. By me. Just the way we discovered Sunny in the sleeping bag in the guest room on Friday morning, and an old picture of the Ka-Ching twins on the day of the Big Rake. Big Mike is actually reading a medieval manuscript, while Carolyn makes fun of his shirt. Next update: January 17, 2006, including the pictures of the year review. And a big YO to my homeys in Chicago, as I will be there January 18 to 21.

2006
JANUARY 14. Breakfast this morning was Trader Joe's potato pancakes, rice sausages, tangerine juice, and coffee. Lunch was tom yum soup, sushi spring rolls, and Turkey Hill green tea. Dinner last night was Shaws sushi and salad. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST THREE AND A HALF WEEKS 14.5 and 58.5 (where we were, it was probably about 25 and 66). MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Snowbird, by Anne Murray (thanks to Beff remarking about having the check stub from that gig). LARGE EXPENSES this last three and a half weeks include a portable DVD player, $169 after rebate, various pizza-making hardware which we brought back with us, $40 or so, and a 250 gig hard drive from J&R for Beff, $159. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: the first time I went to the VCCA was during my Guggenheim year, 1990-91, and I flew there. Having no car was a bummer, as it's at least a 2-mile walk to anything. The Griffin ensemble was doing my violin concerto (its only performance) that fall (conducted by Lucky Mosko), and I spent the first week and a half of my residency copying parts for the new movements. Then I wrote the "allegro" of the first movement of my symphony. A little ways into the residency, four writers from Russia arrived as part of some bizarre exchange, and one of them attached himself to me. The translator occasionally refused to translate for us, but we did communicate in all the German we knew. Example: "ah, wasser ist gut". One night he tried to roust me from bed for a vodkafest, and instead I ran to my studio and stayed up all night writing the transition that followed the climax. Meanwhile, I lost at poker several times, as I had not learned never to bluff with those people. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK is Barnes and Noble, but only because the one in Lynchburg doesn't sell Fanfare Magazine. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY is Kroger, for having some nice gourmet stuff that bucked the trend of southern blandness. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: when a place has a "vibe", does that mean it doesn't go lower than F? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: krishoola. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this last three and a half weeks is driving, and the many different ways of serving black-eyed peas. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: hamburger dill pickles, Mezzetta antipastos, and ice water with key lime (no sweetening) added. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK the Route 29 bypass -which now bypasses the VCCA entirely. The driving directions given by the VCCA do not reflect the new reality. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 5. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: This page, Reviews 3, list of compositions, main page. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are -- unknown. Possibly a bowl. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS THREE WEEKS: 18. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 19 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: a four-month academic year. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Bird Glenna. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Re: PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,303. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: I don't understand about complementary colors. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.15 in Maynard, $2.19 on Jersey Turnpike, $2.17 in Amherst, Virginia, $2.29 in Amherst 3 weeks later, and $2.39 in eastern Pennsylvania. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE the back of my head, two ways of looking at a blackbird, the length of your lips, a bucket of tar..

As this writer (call me third person guy -- or, whoops, um, first person guy) is now on leave, don't expect regularity in days of the week for these updates. I type now because we got back from our three weeks in Virginia yesterday and the unpacking and computer-sync'ing is just about finished, as well as the shopping for staples, etc. We had planned to drive back tomorrow, but that would have left precious little time before Beff had to drive yet further, to Maine, so we settled on a day earlier -- but the forecast of buckets of rain caused to shove yet a day earlier. So now let me skip around (or as third person guy would say, let him skip around) in the events of the last three weeks. First, Beff got back from Maine in the middle of the day on the Thursday before Christmas (a holiday we acknowledge and celebrate despite being liberals -- take THAT, O'Reilly), we packed, and made double sure that everything that was needed to be brought was brought -- indeed, this turned out to be the first such trip where we did not leave behind something very important (such as, during my last Virginia visit, the power cord to my iMac). We set up Seung Ah, Big Mike, and Justin in the saddle for the catsitting, and shoved off around 6:45 on Friday. An eventless drive down the Merritt, NJ turnpike, Delaware and Maryland turnpikes, etc. -- including a stop at one of the two giant rest areas in Maryland -- got us to Chez Colburn by about a quarter after two, where we decompressed naturally (no steroids), and stayed inside for quite some time. We got served some nice taco-style chili (as in, add what you want, and that included cayenne pepper, which I had never seen before) and, of course, overate -- hey, we were at a Lieutenant Colonel's house. In the evening, we watched a film about music of gypsies, done in a Hollywoodish fashion with faint narratives and very high production values -- it was fascinating as the music moved from east to west to hear how the music became more triadic and functionally tonal. The underlying narrative, meanwhile, either made no sense, or were left out entirely. I mean, bricking over a doorway to signify the nomadic existence? How film school. So anyway, we shoved off at 7 on Christmas eve day and got to the VCCA by 10, where it was brightly sunny and somewhat cold. Nonetheless, little ground snow was in evidence (we left Maynard with a foot -of snow, that is. Or as third person guy would say, THEY left Maynard). We filled the tank, bought a car wash, and were denied both the car wash AND the refund. The car wash finally happened several days later. We stopped at the Food Lion supermarket to get some snacky things four our studios, and then made for the VCCA. The traffice pattern was a little different, but not troubling, until I noticed that the entrance to the VCCA was neither within a mile and a half of Amherst or -- 13 miles of it. In a mild panic, I asked Beff to read the driving directions, and we followed them. So as an experiment, we turned around at the exit for Natural Bridge, drove back to Amherst, and set off onto BUSINESS 29 instead -- where the VCCA entrance now is. Turns out the bypass is now open, the old Route 29 is now Business 29, and the VCCA didn't bother to tell anyone driving there about that. So we arrived, there was plenty of slippery ice around that resulted from an earlier ice storm -- as well as some piled up branches -- and we set up our stuff in our respective studios (Beff: C2, moi: C3) and unpacked in our little room. VCCA has two rooms for couples, and we found out later that there were THREE couples there. So we got the couples room with two single beds -- last time we were there together we got the king size bed. My working habits included filling an extremely large plastic Coke-themed glass with ice and water and squirting key lime juice into it and drinking it as I worked, as well as various places of rest for pickles, pepperoncini, and olives. Naturally, I was a regular at the rest room. Lunch and dinner was served in the main residence, and lunch was done buffet-style in the barn complex where the studios are. In both our cases, since it had been so long since we had had real time for work, we dutifully traipsed studiowards after dinner and did even more work. And I didn't watch TV once, except to glance at a little of the Redskins playoff game. And we worked on Christmas day -- we did presents and stuff before we left. At that time, I finally finished all the music for the Bacchae, emailed it off, and sent a printed copy to the quartet. The very last cue -- a sort of dirge -- is the one that sounds the most like me. Unless you hear it played by the computer. It was easy to send the cues by e-mail, as there were two wireless hot spots on the compound. Both were powered by satellite, and failed in rainy weather. And for some odd reason, there were plenty of signs all over the place imploring us colonists not to download music files -- as if web pages nowadays weren't as big as music files. Slowly we settled in and got to know the writers, composers and visual artists there, and dealt with the very quick turnover that happens there. As is usual for such places, the inhabitants were at various

points in their careers, and some were intensely focused on their work while others were not. The median age of artists went way down after the new year and then back up a little, whereas the median age of composers increased very slightly (since we aged three weeks there). My old friend Dan Sonenberg was there when we got there, and Tom Cipullo came a little later, and both were essential to the larger existence. Whatever that would mean. Tom is working on an opera (isn't he always?) and Dan on a flute and harp piece (isn't he never?). Meanwhile, Beff got plenty done in the residence: a whole piece for flute, clarinet and video (featuring our cats), a 2-marimba piece, 2 songs, and some orchestration on HER opera. As to me, after finishing up the Bacchae, I retrieved all my hand drum stuff -- pictures, digital camera movies, and some pictures from the internet, studied them as closely as I could (not very), and dashed off three movements: the first is for frame drum, the second for talking drum and tabla, and the third for canning jar and bongos. Since Beff and I continued our tradition of afternoon walks at VCCA, we used that time for titles, and as usual, Beff had the funnier ones. The hand drum piece was finished on New Years Day and I called it "Snaggle". The first movement is called "Framer's Intent", and Beff titled the other two: Mr. Trampoline Man and Preserved. I e-mailed scores to Michael Lipsey -- who commissioned them -- and hit the ground running. The next piece was for Barbara Haney, about to retire as the Marine Band's bass clarinetist, for solo bass clarinet. The idea was (yawn) different characters for the music on different sides of the break (having a clarinetist as a wife certainly ingrains the break into you), and also to ape some of the TEN OF A KIND licks Barb had to wail on in a most exposed way. That one turned out to be six minutes, and I called it LIVING LARGE. Really. After those pieces were done, I started thinking about etudes that Don Berman asked for, but those didn't come right away. So I finished my time in residence with two etudes specifically written to finish Book VII (which I can now send to the publisher, etc.): #69 is a slow and pretty, understated cluster etude (I try to go against type sometimes) and #70 turned out to be one of the hardest etudes of all 70: in name, on sharp dynamic contrasts. In feel, really fast be-bop with a bit of attention deficit disorder (hence the crazy extreme dynamics that change very fast). Beff named both of them: Palm de Terre (as most of the clusters are supposed to be played by the palms) and Stutter Stab (stabbed chords, etc.). There were plenty of social things to do at the VCCA, including a pizza party on New Year's Eve. For this, we had to use the kitchen in the barn complex, and I had to buy pizza pans, knives, a rolling pin, a cup measure, and all the ingredients. It took quite a while to put it all together (I made a quadruple recipe, and there was enough left over to serve as lunch the next day). The serving of the pizza was followed by a dance party that really fizzled once some inferior music was chosen (you would think that one person dancing instead of eight would be a sign to put on different music). Friday night was poker night (nickel ante, maximum bet a quarter), and usually I didn't do poker there (because I lost so much the first time), but I joined in. The first Friday night I won 15 cents, and the second one I won two big pots, putting me ahead by $4.30 for the evening. Indeed, in one hand on the "midnight baseball" variation, I ended up with a hand with SIX aces. Not that easy to beat. There were a few drives to Sweet Briar College, just across BUSINESS 29, to take hikes and see horses, and two drives into Lynchburg to buy stuff (including pizza ingredients), but otherwise we mostly stayed put. The VCCA is right next to railroad tracks, and the freight business has picked up considerably since the last time I was there. Many, MANY trains passed at all hours, and Beff decided to take a movie of one. So she waited on the train bridge for an hour and nothing happened. One of the other couples, Lynda and Hal (writers), said that on their 1:00 walks there was always a train -- so we both waited on the train bridge after lunch and both got movies (me with the digital camera, Beff with the camcorder). And besides the composers I already knew, there were several familiar faces that I was glad to see again -Hal and Lynda, for instance, Anthony and (from an earlier MacDowell sojourn) Eunice. The core staff is exactly as it was back in 1990: Robert, Dorothy, and Cora. One of the stars of the "Colony" video (Amy) is still the resident artist, though with longer hair. And the office staff, meanwhile, was busy forgetting to update the driving directions. So yesterday we drove back. We set the travel alarm at 5 to shove off at 6, but it failed to go off: I woke us

up at 5:09, and we were on the road at 5:41. The weather had been very warm -- 65 on Thursday (on our walk I was in a t-shirt) -- and the low temp was forecast as 45. So all our delicate stuff went into the car for overnight (contact lenses and computers being delicate stuff). But when we got to the car there was a thin sheet of ice on the windshields and I --- gasp! --- had to use the scraper. We took the inland route in order to avoid all the Maryland and NJ Turnpike traffic (and especially to avoid the Washington beltway at rush hour), and that meant the first hour was spent snaking up and over the Blue Ridge mountains. And it was cool, not to mention twisty. The rest was a drive very full of large trucks -- especially in Pennsylvania -and what had been a beautiful sunny day turned, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, into a pea soupy fogfest. Hearing on 1010 WINS that the approach to the Tappan Zee bridge was very slow AND there was construction on the Merritt Parkway, we changed routes midstream, and went up 87 to 84 rather than across the Tappan Zee. On the way there, we lunched at the Sloatsburg (I think) rest area, and then gunned it all the way back to Maynard. We got onto Route 117 at about 4:15 and decided to hop right over to the post office to pick up our mail, then check with Maynard Door and Window as to what they did while we were gone (waterproofed the porch roof and probably plowed the driveway once), and THEN we pulled in, unpacked, etc. -- that was four trips each. After which we shopped at Shaws, I made dinner, and we washed the sheets. And Beff vacuumed. The cats emerged immediately, and were REALLY glad to see us. Our parade of catsitters apparently didn't read the part of our (admittedly very long) directions noting that they only liked the Friskies chicken and salmon entrees, and fed them canned 9 Lives, which the cats shunned. We rectified the situation, and gave them lots of treats, and they were happy. They have, meanwhile, acted very needy, following us from room to room, and especially, after it is dark, following us into the kitchen in expectation of treats. Today, in the absence of the really heavy rain that was forecast (on the weather radar, the heavy rain was in bands that missed us to the west and the east), I drove for errands: a haircut, dollhouse wine at Colonia Wine and Spirits, food at Trader Joes, mailing bags at Staples, and more food (as well as two very nice rice bowls) at the Joyce Chen oriental market. I made some lovely tom yum for lunch, and dinner will be chicken sammiches. And Boston lettuce, which I got at Trader Joe's. So now the future? Don Berman's etudes, and then finally several big pieces to follow. Tuesday I have a doctor's appointment (prep for surgery), and will pop into Brandeis to see if any of the five incompletes are complete. I am in Chicago Wednesday to Saturday (shout out to my homeys). Meanwhile, Beff will let Dunn Oil in on Friday for the yearly furnace maintenance thing for which we have a contract. After that, other things happen, and I will try to keep the gentle reader apprised, if not actually appraised (because you know you have value). This being the first post of the new year (2006, for those who have been playing along at home), I have included my yearly Year In Photos, with one photo per month from my iPhoto library. In January, Kate Desjardins did a big piece at the deCordova (it is the pink stuff in back of her), and I was there to capture her fun with rabbit; in February, I captured Sunny looking at Amy D's cat Ranjith on the old iMac; in March, I captured the lovely light of sunrise on Summer Hill after a particularly sloppy and sticky snowstorm; in April, the first day warm enough for hammocking was duly recorded as seen below; in May, I met David Smooke and Amy D at the Orlando Airport as we were about to begin the Atlantic Center experience: in June, after a rehearsal the Chelsea Art Museum for the St. Luke's gig, I captured Ingram Marshall's sneakers on the stairs above me; in July there was a lovely sunset over Lake Champlain near Beff's father's camp; in August I bought a Minnie Mouse pez dispenser specifically to take this nefarious extreme closeup;in September I photographed the big shiny apple at a produce place with the town hall of Bolton painted on it; in October, Carolyn (ka-ching!) photographed how I dressed to teach on Halloween; in November, a public statue in Burlington, Vermont, was captured; and in December during the amazing 14-inch snowstorm in which the last half fell in maybe an hour, I opened the front door and snapped away. At the bottom is a scan of the letter I got appointing me to the Naumburg chair -- for those of you who were asking (which is none of you).

JANUARY 22. My brother's 58th birthday. Breakfast this morning was fake eggs with 2% milk cheese, orange juice, and coffee. Lunch was Trader Joe's shrimp tempura and salad. Dinner was Scottish fish and chips, and steamers, at the Quarterdeck Restaurant in Maynard. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS

LAST EIGHT DAYS 7.7 and 59.7. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS For Wittgenstein, by moi, as Sooooooozie and Don Berman's first edit just arrived. LARGE EXPENSES this last eight days are office supplies at Staples, $39. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: in the summer after my freshman year, I worked as a security guard, on the graveyard shift, for MSI, where I was assigned to the time desk at Jordan Marsh. We would do 3 tours ticking off various security stations by turning a key, which was supposed to prove we had been there. I would occasionally steal long distance phone calls by making them from the business office. At the time, a newer Jordan Marsh was connected, Siamese twin like, to the old Jordan Marsh, and in that building we delighted in stealing light bulbs and dropping them down the eight-floor staircase (they usually broke). One night I was so broke that my dinner was free mustard and relish packets from the break room. Turnover was such that I was frequently called into do extra shifts, or double shifts, so I learned not to answer my phone. The local term for someone not showing up for work was "banged out". One night I was called in for the graveyard shift very late, I went to the Auditorium subway stop, and was shooed out in the most vigorous manner possible by an MBTA employee. Pay was $2.45 an hour, and just before the minimum wage went up to $2.60, the company advertised "15-cent an hour raise guaranteed within the first two weeks." COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are none. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY is United Airlines. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: what is the literal translation of "strange" flavor chicken? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: dartle. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this last eight days is wind. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Buffalo wings, weirdly stuffed or marinated olives. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK my house from the Google Earth software. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 9. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: This page, Lexicon. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are nothing, unless covering the top of the Klavinova with cat hair counts for something. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 4. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 5 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: MBTA buses stop in Bolton, Stow, Maynard, Acton, and West Concord on their way into Boston. Actually, just Maynard would satisfy. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Ameen Jamal. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Chairty. PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,312. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: But he's been pretty much yellow, and I've been kinda blue. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: I didn't buy gas this week, but would have paid $2.29 in Maynard if I did. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE the changes for the break in Night in Tunisia, the dreg de la creme, an elementary school pamphlet on the history of Thanksgiving, a brick house. SANDSTORM! The incredible mildness of the winter continues, as many shake their heads in disbelief to a point where I get dizzy just watching. Last year in this calendar month, Boston had its snowiest (calendar) month ever, and Letters to the Editor writers universally credited global warming for the phenomenon. This January seems to be running at least 10 degrees above normal, and the same letter writers will be writing the same things. And this is what music is like: the same thing means different things, and different things mean the same thing. Excuse me while I pat myself on the back. SANDSTORM! There is no snow to be found anywhere in Maynard except at the fringes of commercial parking lots; furthermore, the ground is not soggy. If there's a point to that observation, it eludes me, too. So naturally, we are all losing our winter driving skills. But gaining a friend. This freaky warmth extends at least to Chicago, where I experienced it first hand this week -- that and rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow. The richness of the experience amazes. SANDSTORM! But early in the week (Tuesday) I had to organize all the end-of-semester paperwork and grading from the fall into packets to return to students in the second semester of first year theory, and take it into work to Seung Ah (ka-ching!), who was to return it. My new endowed chair stationery had arrived, and I got to

bring it with me. At Brandeis I saw Caro(ka-ching!)lyn, Mark, Marty, Eric Chafe, and many other colleagues, where I jawed about until I had to leave for my doctor's appointment -- which was, I thought, a pro forma thing to prepare me for the operation, and it mostly was -- except my blood work and EKG were officially outdated. So I got both done, and it was comical as the (male) nurse kept reattaching the electrodes to various parts of me, asking me to scoot up, scoot down, raise my legs, lower my legs, and then finally bring in a dred-locked nurse, who first asked me, "Are you alive?" She then looked at the monitor, said, "the readings are fine," and exited. You always wonder what's wrong with you when they have to readjust your electrodes to get the desirable result. And those are words by which to live. Nonetheless. I packed for Chicago, got a ride to the airport, and it was incredibly warm and incredibly windy on Wednesday -- Beff said when she returned that the barbecue on the back porch had been blown a few feet such that it blocked the door. And I was worried that I wouldn't get out before they closed the airport -- "gusts to 60" sometimes does that. As it was, we got out on time, though many flights coming in from places to the near west were cancelled -- as that was where the storm was. We had the bumpiest takeoff I've ever experienced, which is not good for those of us who don't like to fly. Incredibly, a half hour after that, I was nodding off just fine. And we landed on time. SANDSTORM! I hired a professional redacter to do some work on this page, because the dacter I originally hired didn't finish the job -- though it was nice that at his office, his secretary said, "the dacter will see you now". Same thing happened, by the way, with the guy who fries the beans at the Mexican restaurant. But anyway, xxxx x xxxx x xxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxx. Xxxxx x xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxx xxxxxx, Xxxxx xxxxxx, Xxxx, xxx Xxxxxxx. On Thursday, it got to 57 degrees, and X xxx xxxxxxxx xxxx XXXX xxxxxx: xxxx xxxxxx, Xxxxx, Xxxxxx, xxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx (Xxxx xx xxx Xxxxxx). X xxx x xxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx Xxxxxx Xxxxxx, Amy D, her SO Marc (see "Deceptively Simple" on the web), and David Smooke (who thinks I should misspell his name Szmuk (in the authentic original spelling) to become a double-fiver; but it occurs to me that a David named Szmuk would be a Davide and not a David. Hmm). Xxxxxx xxxx x xxx xxxxxx xxxxx. SANDSTORM! Xxxxxx x xxxxx xxxxxx xxx xx xxxxx xxx xxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxx. Xxx xxxx xxxxx xxxx x xx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx! Xx xxx xxxxxxxxx xxx xx x xxxxx xxx xxxx xxxxx xxxx. It was good to see Amy xxx xxxxxx xx xxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxx, Joe Francavilla came and got me -- Stacy was getting back from MacDowell on the same day. On top of that all, rain had changed to sleet, and the roads were a little treacherous -- which didn't faze (phase?) Joe and his Corolla. We picked up Stacy on the way back, I saw their new apartment, and we went out to an Irish pub xx Xxxxxxxxx. When we got back, Stacy showed some of her closeup photos, especially of one leaf, from MacDowell (I seem to have been the one who turned her on to the closeup shots), and we were all tired and went to bed. The next morning Joe drove me to the airport, and that was preceded by an amazing procedure of getting the rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow off the car (I rule). My plane got off on time, and the pilot helpfully told us that there were big winds in Boston and the landing would be bumpy. Sigh. We took the approach from the due north, going right over the coastline, and every roller coaster-like movement produced squeals of delight from a toddler behind me that has yet to learn to hate to fly. Upon my return, I was amazed to see that it was 60 degrees (normal high: 35), quite windy, and all traces of snow were, again, gone. Beff and I didn't feel like cooking (as in, I didn't feel like cooking), so we walked in the high winds (take 2) to the Quarterdeck. In front of the NAPA Auto Parts store we encountered a gust that practically lifted me off my feet, and pelted us with the winter's sand from the sanding trucks. SANDSTORM! Just like that Hercules movie that was on MST 3K, except we got to have seafood at the end of it. Beff got bluefish and I got Scottish fish and chips. So there. This morning after breakfast, we took out usual long walk to the Assabet trail, passing by the Ben Smith Dam, and back. As I type this, Beff is on her way back to Maine for her teaching week, I have just resolved two of the fall's incompletes (except for finding the form for that), and am now plotting and planning for the future of me'all's writing.

This week there is a meeting with the anaesthesiologist for my operation (I don't think I'll get a "the dacter will see you now" -- though it might come out that way if I were still in Chicago), and a day or two spent in Bangor, as Beff's faculty group is doing an all-Mozart concert. Weather permitting, of course. On Tuesday and for the following four academic Tuesdays I have to go into Brandeis despite my on leave status. As I was typing this, weather bug chimed in with a "winter storm watch", possibility of 4-7 inches of snow tonight and tomorrow. Poop.

JANUARY 29. Breakfast this morning was orange juice and coffee, in Bangor. Dinner was a pizza at Pat's pizza with pepperoni, spinach, tomatoes, and "zesty olives". Lunch was the blackened chicken wrap at Sea Dog in Bangor. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 15.4 and 51.8. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS some of the wedding music from The Marriage of Figaro. LARGE EXPENSES this last eight days are office supplies at Staples, $34, but only $4 after coupon, and supplies at BJ's, $69. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: four of us -- Beff, Ross, Don Swin and I decided to form the Griffin Music Ensemble over a meal at the IHOP in Brookline -- there should be a placque or something commemmorating this. "The IHOP Ensemble" was the working name for the group until we realized a Griffin would be a cool logo. A local college with a Griffin statue somewheres would gladly have charged us hundreds of dollars for the privilege of posing with it. Soon we added John Watrous, Jessica Locke, and Allen Anderson, two-thirds of whom now fall squarely into the "whatever happened to?" file. Ross's habit of arriving late (which I knew well from Tanglewood) caused us to tell him meeting times that were half an hour earlier than we actually expected to meet. So yep, those 8 pm meetings started on time, with Ross's arrival usually around 7:55. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are none. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are none. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: how come there is strange flavor chicken but no strange flavor pop tart? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: curp. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF this last eight days is violent shifts in weather -- weary and fascinated both. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Mezzetta antipastos. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK Bangor has less snow than Maynard. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 5.6. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: This page. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are none, though some suspicious rooting around the pantry cupboards is suspected. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 6. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 7 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: I get a royalty every time someone clears his or her throat. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Moira. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Hey there. PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,312. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: Of the things that I can handle None of 'em's worth a candle. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.35 in Acton, coupled with a $7 car wash, $2.41 in Orono, and $2.31 in Maynard. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE a full-scale replica of the Empire State Building, the spit that collects when you play a brass instrument, three of those old-style pink foam curlers, a letter opener made of brass but coated with silver. I start typing on Friday, with an intent to post on Sunday. More as it develops. It has not been an eventful week, nor has it been an eventless one. So I'm adding to the ennui factor by doing my biyearly thing where I pretend to take a stand on various controversial issues. People who like to stay awake are invited to skip to the next paragraph. Alito: qualified. Gay marriage: for. Roe v. Wade: for. George W. Bush: worst president in my lifetime, or anyone's. Republican Massachusetts governors: all of them mediocrities. The Democratic party: in the words of Mark Twain, not an organized political party. NRA wiretapping without warrant: impeachable. Plamegate: not enough information. Affirmative action: for. Abramoff: lousy skunk gave $50 to his alma mater in his lifetime. Minimalism and post-minimalism: growing on me. Serialist hegemony: historical revisionism. Greatest pop song ever written: I Want You Back. Runners up: Peg, Borderline, I Want You to Know, God is a DJ. Worst pop song ever written: Macarena. Runners up: Lollipop, Mambo No. 5, Popcorn, Rock Me Amadeus, I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me. Winner of 2000 election: Gore.

Last week's update ended with a note that Weather Bug was chirping in with a winter storm watch, and shonuff, Monday's feature was a storm of snow -- known more colloquially and locally as a "snowstorm". Or schneesturm (which sounds like a sneeze). The total for that storm was about eight inches of heavy, wet stuff, and so that turned this winter into a two-snowblower winter (last winter was a five-snowblower winter, so we have some time yet). This was the first storm (that we were here) wherein there was enough snow, and enough stickin' together, that the sliding off the roof thing was dramatic, each and every time it happened. For those who haven't witnessed that (which is all of you), it's a five-second rumble followed by two seconds of whoomph, capped off by a big whump. It is comical to see the cats' reaction to each one: sitting at attention, looking straight ahead, wide-eyed, while that ears go forward, then back. Then there is the look of panic, and, given the attention span, almost immediate return to the sleeping position. So I did use the snowblower to clear the driveway and walks, which has given me some nice residual pain in my left arm all week. That means I must brace it against me or something, because that arm also has the lever for forward motion. In any case, the coming Tuesday is showing signs of another possible heavy snow. Oh, lawdy, I hate it when that happens. In any case -- there was also time spent on Wednesday on the flat roof over the sun porch shoveling the snow off. I have gotten into that habit, once all the snow that will falls off the roof into its designated areas. A blast from the past plays as I type this -- Gerry Itzkoff, who premiered HYPERBLUE way back when (1993), who was the soloist in the only public performance ever of my complete violin concerto, who played in the Griffin ensemble, and who migrated to the Cincinnati Orchestra, sent -- out of the blue, as we haven't been in contact for more than ten years -- a new CD of his of "20th Century Romantic Sonatas". Busoni plays as I type, and it sounds excellent. Another reminder of Boston's loss, and Cincinnati's gain. And speaking of blasts from the past, Collage is doing my Dances in the Dark on its Monday evening concert, at Longy. An old problem with that surfaced: when it was done at Mannes a few years ago, I got an e-mail from the director (a double-fiver) saying that the cello part for the fourth movement was missing. Probably my bad. I got that e-mail again this time, so I made a point to reprint a cello part, including the last movement (page numbered 42 instead of 8), and -- get this -- got my first official use of the new paper cutter that cuts up to 15 inches! As I had to cut an 11x17 printout down to 11x14. I rocked, I ruled, and I grinned. Just a little. And then I disappeared, except for the grin. Then the literary police pooh poohed my plagiaristic side. As the gentle regular reader knows, I go under the knife, and even get a little mesh added to me, on Thursday. I do not yet know at what time I am scheduled, but I did have to report to the Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain last Thursday for an anaesthesia consult. So on Wednesday I dress-rehearsed the drive. Why? Because my appointment was for first thing in the morning and I didn't want to be looking at a poorly-drawn map during rush hour and losing my way. After my dress rehearsal I stopped at BJs specifically for big jars of hamburger dill picklage and fat free cheese slices, to which I added Roma tomatoes, Claritin (for Beff), a 50-lb. bag of cat litter (Beff's least favorite size), and whatever else I felt like. I also got bread and butter pickles for one of the ka-ching twins, which will be delivered when they are delivered. So I did my Thursday morning anaesthesia consult, and because I hate being late (and I hate even more people who are late when I am on time) -- I would rather be an hour early than five minutes late -- I left at a time such as I was there, yep, more than an hour early. I walked a mile down Centre Street for the exercise and -- guess what? -- I walked back! What a boring neighborhood! Then I followed directions to get to where I had to get, most of which turned out to wrong. The first room I was sent sent me to another room, for signing in and/or registering -- where you fill out a form and stick it in a slot, someone comes out and grabs the next slotted form, and does the checking in. It occurred to me that this was one of the least efficient ways ever devised for this sort of thing, but hey, at least I got to watch a heartwarming story on Good Morning America while at least three interview people who obviously hate their jobs had their way with us. After my interview, I got sent to the first room where I was sent, which was, this time, the right room (as well as the third room). And my interview was over before it was scheduled to begin (I like to have my way with space and time). Dadburn it, all of the interview could have just as efficiently been done over the phone, but then my almost proud moment happened: the blood pressure reading. I have, for five

years, been on hypertension medicine (two of them, actually), and it's usually pretty high when the readings are taken. Getting it "down" to 125/100 has been considered a success. But here the pressure taken was, inexplicably, 104/70, by far the lowest reading I ever got. Pretty obviously, I am not the Chair of my department. And speaking of my department, my Tuesday was spent at the department in the first of our five interviews of the finalists for the untenured composer job. You won't get names or any particulars here, except where we went for dinner, perhaps, and other really dull tidbits. I was called in at the last minute to beef up the numbers for lunch with the candidate, and there ended up being 13 for a reservation for 9. So I'm not going to respond to any more plaintive e-mails of that sort. While at Brandeis, I participated in the bureaucracyfest that is changing a grade -- and I had two incompletes to resolve. That involved filling out a form that included the student's ID number (I had to search high and wide online for those), and justifying the grade change ("uh, like, the rest of the work was submitted and graded"). I did that by using my laptop, connected to the newly wireless Slosberg building, and that was empowering. Since I have no office, though, I had to carry the laptop with me everywhere. I hate it when that happens. And anyway, we went to the Tuscan Grill for dinner, which was quite empowering, or at least enfattening. The special was Bambi's mom, but I didn't get that. Eric Chasalow selected the wine. Eric Hill, the Theater Chair, came to the colloquium and dinner, so it was good to see him fully functioning within this search -- I told him I would give him a printout of all the music I composed for the Bacchae, and I printed one out, and I needed a 3/4 inch binding coil to hold it. Oh, lawdy. I love being the heavy, and all that connotes. As I type this, I have just returned from spending the first portion of the weekend in Bangor. Well, that, and the eight hours of driving associated with getting there and back. I left Maynard before 7 on Saturday, brought some various things to Beff, and because yet more unseasonable warmth made it all the way up there, we took a walk around downtown before settling in at the Sea Dog restaurant for some hardy fare (which was hardly fair). Or is that hearty fare? After some hangin' out, there was another sizable walk into parts of the city I hadn't seen before, then a drive to the University, where Beff's faculty group was giving a Mozart's birthday concert (how predictable). The concert itself was well-attended and well-played, and it was interesting to hear some of Mozart's "epistle sonatas" for the first time, for organ, violin and flute. There was also a cello and piano fragment rescued from the Mozarteum and "filled in" by someone, and it was pretty much crap -- except for an interesting resolution of a Neapolitan. But the concert ended with the Kagelstatt Trio, which was sublime, worth wading through all the other stuff -- which, by the way, included one of those concert arias, this one with an Erwartung-like leap in it near the end. (Soozie said that leap is not that hard -- it's the tessitura of most of the rest of the song that is hard) And this morning, after lounging about in my new maroon-colored bathrobe that Beff got for me mailorder, I drove back, talked a bit to Soozie on the cell phone, and settled back. Since Beff is catless this weekend, she has requested cat photos for this edition, which is fine with me -- I hadn't taken any photos all week, and boy are my arms tired (actually, they are -- still -- thanks to the shovelfest). So what we have is Great Road, our house, at 1:30 today; followed by five catpix that should be self-explanatory, as in, they explain themselves. Just one more thing: I got a CD and DVD of Danielle Ingram's recital from last November -- in which she premiered the 63rd etude -- and it was very good. Also in arrivo, the first edit from Soozie and Don Berman's recording of For Wittgenstein for that gonzo American Academy in Rome recording thing. Again, kuhl. Since last week I did a year in review rather than anything about VCCA where I had spent 3 weeks, the VCCA pictures are now here for your perusal. Also see "VCCA train" QuickTime movie in yellow text, above, which goes very close to the VCCA grounds. But first, here's my new letterhead, which is the first time my e-mail address has appeared anywhere on this site (I hate e-mail phishers).

FEBRUARY 6. Breakfast this morning was orange juice. Lunch was a salad with some Japanese soy dressing. Dinner last night was nonexistent. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 26.2 and

55.2. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Black Velvet, by Alannah Myles. LARGE EXPENSES this last eight days are various at Amazon, $300. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: I took two organ lessons when I was in high school. We did have a little Hammondtype organ at home, but I practiced on the organ in the Congregational Church when I could find time. I had to buy special organ shoes (I used them for some while after -- they made me taller), and for the first time in quite a while, I had to practice. I was assigned a little F major prelude and fugue of Bach, and did make it to the point where I could kind of play the entrance of the theme in the pedals (which had plenty of neighbor note sixteenths). When I got frustrated, I pulled out all the stops and played Joy to the World with feet planted on the low D. It was about that that the pastor would compliment me as I left the church for home. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are Faulkner Hospital, but only a little itty-bit. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are probably Faulkner Hospital. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: Is it coincidental that "scar" and "scare" begin with the same four letters? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: ploost. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF the prostrate position. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: salad. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK why stool softener may be essential. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 8. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: This page, Performances page, Reviews 3. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are none. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 3. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 13 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: the words "Uptown" and "Downtown" to describe music simply vanish (*poof*) into the ether. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: software10@virfilio.it. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Software Award! PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,332. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: Days like this I don't know what to do with myself all day and all night.. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.33 at Cumberland Farms in Maynard. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE the seven seas, draconian measures, a bag of peat moss, seventeen different excuses for being late. Last week, I put two thirds of the"other" of Griffin in the "whatever happened to" file. By coincidence or fate, half of that two-thirds got in touch to catch up. Jessica, who was the group's singer and so much more, now is a filmcomposer (one word), still living in Watertown, winning awards, and has recently spent time with one of the hardest-hit fire companies from 9/11 and has written a memorial for them. But that beautiful voice is apparently going to waste. As to the other third, I actually know something about him second hand, but he is still a mystery. Monday was a day of some driving. I drove to Alewife in the morning to catch a noon dress rehearsal of Collage doing my Dances in the Dark -- the lot was full, so I had to go to this other area at the end, and I was directed into place by some shifty types. The rehearsal was good, I was able to adjust some tempi and say hi to Bob Annis and Chris Oldfather, and make it back while it was still just a little spritzy. Then I was on my way to Alewife again in the dark at a quarter after six, and it was very hard to see with the spritzing, and the predictions of sleet and freezing rain screaming at me from the radio -- so I took the commuter rail instead, made it in plenty of time to see the concert, and it was a good one. Jim Ricci and Ken and Hillary and John McDonald were there, among others, and my piece came off rather well. There was also a Schuller piece that was about 75 percent solo cadenza that the critic led with. I only got to stay a few minutes at the reception, since I had to make it to a train going back, so I didn't get to see everyone I could have. Not that there's anything wrong with that. On Tuesday, the second candidate for the Brandeis job went through the ringer on a day which, as of three days earlier, was going to feature up to a foot of snow, according to them what make. The classic front pinwheels around a stationary low over the Great Lakes and a new storm forms in the ocean thing. Classic! Classic! What happened instead was a bit of freezing rain Monday night, a day of rain on Tuesday, and an inch of snow at the tail end. This made it icky outside, however, so the interview featured mostly indoor stuff. Early in the morning, I went out in my nice new maroon bathrobe to retrieve the paper, didn't realize the rain was freezing rain, slipped on the first step, and slipped on all the others on my way to the final one. Just some bumps and a small scab on my right hand, but I was more careful coming back in. Concrete steps are fairly solid. I made it in in time for some of the lunch with candidate, and also took said candidate to meet the Dean, where I waited while resolving another incomplete (they just kept comin' this term, I

swear). Dinner was at the Ariana Restaurant in Newton -- described by Eric Chasalow as really close and really easy to find, and it was neither. Eric Hill was going to meet us there, but couldn't find it (I will suggest that the remaining dinners happen on Moody Street, which at least we all know). The food was awfully good, however. I had orecchiette pasta with chicken sausage, and it was surprisingly the first time I had seen the word "orecchiette" -- little ears. More like little bowls, mind you. And Thursday was the big day. Beff had arrived from Maine at 12:45 am ready for it, and we got up about a quarter after six. My arrival time was to be 8:45, and of course I hate arrival times square in the middle of rush hour and in the direction of rush hour. We actually got there maybe a half hour early, so we walked on Center Street in toward the city, taking every possible opportunity to disparage the neighborhood -- though the Arboretum was certainly a nice thing to have there. But no convenience stores or coffee shops or anything where you can trade currency for goods and services. We did pass the Italian Home for children, though -- none of whom can go out for a walk and get a cup of coffee, can they? So the procedures were much as expected. I filled out paperwork, changed into hospital garb, and was assigned a bed in a holding pen, where Beff joined me. We tried to keep some conversation going so as to drown out the conversations about bad health from others in the holding pen -- and then came the parade. Everyone involved, or peripherally involved, in the operation came, introduced themselves, asked me the spelling of my name, my birth date, and what procedure I was having, picked up my data book, and signed something. Every other one had some papers for me to sign, and my favorite was from the anaesthesiologist: "oh, it's just the standard stuff -- you acknowledge that anaesthesia can cause heart and liver problems, cracked teeth, nausea, death, blah blah blah, you know, the works. Sign here." One doctor or resident with a thick foreign British accent did the spiel, and I looked at Beff and said, "Shazam? His name is .. Shazam?" Everyone, of course, wanted to comment on me being a music teacher, and one woman ventured some Ethel Merman (others noted that she would). My IV was to be inserted by a third-year medical student, and apparently he was a virgin at this. The rubber tube thing happened to enlarge the vein, there was a bunch of tapping, and while the nurse watched, I felt prick, prick, prick ("no, a little more of an angle"), prick, OW!, prick, prick, "There!". Then the IV started and the nurse called it "breakfast". I said "mmm, sausage" and she added, "yes, and antibiotics". You could see both me and Beff straining for a joke here, but it just didn't happen. I felt the cold sensation as the IV started, and carried it with me to the bathroom once. How very civil. So in all that context, I was wheeled, eyeless (had to take out the contact lenses) into the operating room, Ethel Merman was singing away, and an anaesthesiologist said to take four deep breaths. Naturally, I remember taking three. Later, I awoke in squalor, or a dark corner of the waiting area, received a few visits from medical types, was moved to a more comfy area, and changed back into civilian clothes. A nurse rolled her eyes and said, "Oh, it was Ferzoco. He likes his patients to urinate before they leave" and I thought -- it had been 18 hours -- doctor's orders -- since I'd eaten or drunk anything and I have to pee now? Well, I tried, and there was "not enough to measure". But I got to go anyway. The trip home was routine and Beff's dirving exemplary, and I was settled with an ice bag into our bed. I was extremely parched, so Beff delivered some lemonade and I drank the whole glass, then another half glass of it. What I didn't know -- because the last time I had this operation I didn't have the knock-out anaesthesia -was that, um, eliminating liquid refreshment would be slow and gradual, even though I felt at all times like I really had to. So that first afternoon of relaxing and getting rest from the operation -- at least half the time spent in the smallest room of my house. Finally things normalized a bit, I set myself up on the rocking reclining chair in the living room with a blanket and the cats loved that area. We watched some TV, but I remember not what. Finally I did a bunch of e-mail, since sitting was a better deal than lying down with an ice pack. And Thursday night featured a little bit of sleep. Friday was better, more lying down, and eating began anew. At night we watched Galaxy Quest, a silly movie done right, and left the lights on for Geoffy, who was in town for more BMV rehearsals. On Saturday, the ka-ching twins came by with some sophisticated lunch like objects (as in: food), so we talked and ate and talked and ate, and Mike had some good jokes, and Carolyn went to a belt sander racing tournament. Geoff went to another rehearsal, and when he got back we did Domino's and watched the

movie "Funny Bones", which started our whole Raymond Scott craze in the first place. Yesterday was a day of email and naps, then watching the first half of the Super Bowl, then going to bed. Meanwhile, I had understood that I was to take 1 stool softener pill per day because of the binding properties of the painkillers. I looked at the label again this morning and noted that I was supposed to take 4 per day. I won't describe why it was really, really good to find that out. Meanwhile, today there was some orange juice, a nap, some e-mail, a nap, Maynard Door and Window replacing the computer room window, at which time I started the Celesta etude, and then a 3-hour nap. Boy, this convalescing thing is tiring. And tomorrow I have to go in for another job candidate interview, and since I can't drive until Friday, I have to get a cab. Oh joy. This morning Beff called and said she needed the tape part to "This is Why She Had to Quit Her Band," which was in the bedroom here, so I used iTunes to make an mp3 and I e-mailed it to her. When I inserted the CD, iTunes thought I had inserted a CD called "Holy Wars" -- so I went with it. Meanwhile, I got a CD from Curt of Speculum's December performance of Inside Story. It rocks, and the story is not pretty. And with all the napping and stuff, I doubt I will make the 6-day limit on the etude -- but hey, for the first time, this one has phasing. More like microcanons, but phasing is so retro it sounds cool to say it that way. And now I'm ready for another nap. And the weather continued its warm ways. There were TWO rainstorms during the Early Convalescence, and the second one caused some liquid to get into the basement. The snow is now mostly gone. But it is now colder and we are promised at least two weeks of more winter like temperatures. Don't you hate it when that happens? There is a new movie taken this morning: I started a movie and let the camera dangle because Cammy was in Nuzzle Mode. See it in yellow text up on the left. Other pictures include two of Sunny in the new convalescing area, the second one on me; then Saturday's festivities people, and the spread we demolished; then the cats looking outside on Friday, Sunny on me, and the backyard with the snow gone as of this morning.

FEBRUARY 14. Breakfast this morning was orange juice. Lunch was hot dogs. Dinner was Chunky Chicken Soup and salad. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 10.4 and 37.2. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Sara, by me. LARGE EXPENSES this last eight days are none. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: I played the Arthur Pryor Variations on Blue Bells of Scotland with my high school band. It occurs to me that would have been the same concert as my first premiere ever, me conducting my own piece and the third clarinetists were all drunk. In any case, some dude instigated a standing ovation after the Blue Bells, and that may be the only one I've ever gotten. My only distinction in that performance was that I added a few notes in the cadenza, popping out a high E -which I now know was a leading tone that I failed to resolve in register. Bad Davy. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are none. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are Trader Joe's, for having a nifty hefeweizen that's cheap. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: How many words end with "kin"? Here's your starter set: pumpkin, bodkin. THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: lurat. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF is binary descriptions of the field of music, such as Uptown/Downtown. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: salad. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK little by little, the scar from the operation. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 6. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: This page, Performances page, Bio. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are none, but plenty of cupboard doors left open and books knocked off of nightstands. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 1. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 19 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: balding is sexy. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: dblagntm. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Do you want women to have you in their sexual fantasies? PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,393. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: No apologies. I guess they buy you time till you next step out of line. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.25 across from City Hall. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE the continental drift, beer that has gone flat, waltz tempo, a pile of used computer parts.

This week, dull as it was, has a few things to report. As usual, I had to go in to BrandX on Tuesday for an interview, and since I was prohibited from driving by the doctor, I took a cab. Maynard-Acton Taxi seems to be sufficiently marginal that they don't say "Maynard Acton Taxi" when they answer the phone, and I got the impression that the driver popped on over from another day job of some sort. And he wanted to talk about restaurants. The post-festivities dinner was at Tom Can Cook in downtown Waltham, and since I was still bandaged and all, I wasn't in the mood to eat much. I ordered vegetable tempura, and a giant plate of artery-clogging breading material came to me, allegedly with a few vegetables inside. Note to self: avoid tempura at Tom Can Cook. Josh gave me a ride home afterwards, as I am practically on his way home. After all of that, Wednesday was pretty much a rest and recuperation day spent in the reclining chair under a blanket. How spaced out was I? I watched all of a Leonard Nimoy-narrated program on the location of the Ark of the Covenant without changing channels. Cold weather has come back, so there wasn't much in the way of outdoor activities, though I did go out once, while the ground was still bare, to move branches that had dropped in the January windstorms into the discard piles. And there were quite a few. But more vigorous activity -- including driving -- didn't happen until after Beff got in Thursday night. Actually, she got in early enough that I could cook, and it was salmon burgers, baby, done on the grill outside. Friday was my post-op appointment with my surgeon, and all was well. Beff had gotten me some deluxe big bandages to use, which the surgeon marveled at (he actually called them "deluxe"), and he gave permission to stop using them (especially as they were beginning to itch). Little bits of tape left there are going to fall off of their own accord (some have), and otherwise I was given the green light for everything except heavy lifting. So I drove us to Trader Joe's in Framingham, where we got a lot of nice things. TJ's now has a range of boutique beer flavors, and their hefeweizen is quite good, and so cheap. I also got some chips that are neither baked nor fried, and it turns out they're not tasty, either. For dinner on Friday we thought we'd try a new restaurant that's just opened in Acton -- Not Your Average Joe's. We were next to a large table with twelve women and one man (likely an office party), and they got elevated pizza. Moi, I got the salmon with sundried tomato paste and it was good. That restaurant seems like it will be on our list. We had spent the afternoon Friday finishing the tallying of our deductions for tax purposes. And that was a big, big job. Unexplainably, we could not find the March and April bank statements, alas. But I can now tell you the final cost of rewiring, and of roof work, and of door and window work. But I won't. By Saturday, dire warnings of a Noreaster were piling up, so Beff decided to go back Mainewards on Saturday instead of Sunday. So we embarked on my first significant exercise since the operation -- a morning walk downtown with the expressed purpose of getting toothpaste, out of which we had run. There was beautiful icy formations by the river, so I packed up my camera and took some closeups (I'm a sucker for funny icy formations). Not so oddly, after Beff embarked, I pretty much spent the time asleep. Earlier in the week I had received an e-mail from Adam Marks, a 2000 Brandeis graduate who was in the first theory class I taught at Brandeis. On Halloween that year, he and Eve Crevoshay came to class dressed as Adam and Eve (which is their names), and part of the costume was a big pile of leaves. We could have raked in Room 215 that day. Adam came to Amy's 2002 New York recital and dug the etudes enough to solicit scores. He eventually premiered Madam I'm Adam (for vanity reasons, apparently), did Fists of Fury for the Yaddo benefit in New York last May, and recently premiered Absofunkinlutely last fall. I still have not heard it. So Adam entered the Orleans International Piano Competition in France, which happened last week. Among the many prizes offered are a composition award from the Chevillion-Bonaud Foundation for the piece played in the first round that the judges think is best. Or niftiest, or coolest. Adam entered Absofunkinlutely for that award, and it won, which enriches me by 4600 Euros (around $5500 last time I checked). Adam, meanwhile, made it into the second round, but says he screwed up in the second round and emerged without a prize. It's weird that I emerged with one. So the Orleans people e-mailed me for account information, which I had to get from Bank of America -- whoo daddy they've got a complicated series of things to go through to talk to an actual person. I now know BofA's routing number, and EVERYTHING. And any reader who wants to look at the Orleans info can see their webpage, www.oci-

piano.com. I join Ken Hesketh and Unsuk Chin as winners of that award, incidentally. Sunday was the Day of the Storm, and we were lucky to be in a dry spot of it for about two hours. The storm was strong enough to have an eye when viewed on satellite images, and it was New York City's biggest snow producer ever. Here we got about 14 inches, and it was a test of the snow removal people that Maynard Door and Window use (and that we hired). After the first five inches, a shoveler and a plower came, did the nasty, and returned at about 10 at night. Alas, they did not completely do the top of the driveway where we need the space to turn around, so yesterday morning I took out the snowblower and finished the job. Since the snowblower is self-locomoting, the only exertion on my part was the hands holding the blowing and locomotion levers down. So now it's a THREE snowblower winter. Yesterday was also the day the music I wrote for the Brandeis producion of The Bacchae was getting recorded, and Bob Schultz and the Lyds were there for a 10 to 2 block. J. Hagenbuckle, who took Music 5 with me, was The Man, and he set up two close mikes and got a feed from the hanging mikes for the best mix. The mix was essential, if you've ever tried to balance timpani and a string quartet, after all. Having vastly increased the potential repertoire of string quartet and timpani music, I feel no need to do so again. So the nine cues with timpani got into the can splendidly, and I had to turn pages for one of them. My bad. The other 26 went nicely, too, though at one point one of the quartet said the music was "terse". Well, it's the the-ah-tah, isn't it? Things were done by 1:30, so there. And another day (Sunday) was spent on the etude with optional celesta. It's actually better than it seems, though the title thing is going to be hard again. I have ruled out celesta puns, so Celesta The Mohicans is out of the running. It occured to me that the etude is really about figuration in the hands done in canon separated by a sixteenth note -- very much like what Martler and I used to (and probably still do) like to do with the figuration from Tubular Bells (the Exorcist music) -- play it as fast as possible and then try to do it in canon separated by one note. So if anyone is ruling here -- it is I. Martler is the Crown Prince. And tomorrow I begin a three-day New York sojourn. TJCMS is done on Double Exposure, and I already know the clarinetist lost at least one rehearsal to the blizzard -- being that he was in Arizona and unable to get in. While there I will see Jonathan to get our taxes done, will see Danny for beer and Harold for lunch, will be staying with Jay and Marilyn, and will do whatever else has to get done. At the same time as the Double Exposure show, Beff is playing a concert at Del's school, so she will be getting back late here, and the cats will be glad to see her. And NEXT week is Brandeis vacation, which, nonetheless, features for me a dissertation defense. I plan to come out a-swingin'. Or not. And I finally got to hear Jim Goldsworthy's recording of "Sara", which I copped from Hayes, who has it because he is writing the liner notes. It is a pretty piece, and Jim takes it faster than the tempos I indicated - which is probably the right thing to do. I remember that Amy and Rick Moody were in on the composition of it -- Amy chose the first two notes, and Rick the second chord (he suggested B-A-D because of the way he felt at the moment, and I sharped the D). This week's pictures begin with Terrace Kitties, followed by a nifty new snow cap for an ornamental bit of the house after the storm. Then there are three of the ice formation pictures and three pictures from the Bacchae recording session. Nothing else is new. And not even any ka-chings for the Ka-Ching Twins.

FEBRUARY 21. Breakfast this morning was orange juice and Boca meatless sausages with melted 2% cheese. Dinner was Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup. Lunch was two hot dogs with inlaid yumminess. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK 7.9 and 59.4. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS Abracadabra by the Steve Miller Band (Thanks, Beff). LARGE EXPENSES this last week include boutique beer to give to the staff at the MacDowell Colony, $45, various painting paraphernalia $15, dinner and Corsendonks with Jay Eckardt and Danny Felsenfeld, $110, black teaching jeans and a cat litter garbage pail at K-Mart, $60. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: When I was in sixth grade, I got to play in the local (high school) district music festival, in the second trombone section. Dunno why, but it was nice experience. I was rather small compared to the rest of 'em, but covered the part just fine. I was able to get a (reel-to-reel) copy of the concert, and for months afterwards I delighted

at playing the second trombone part along to the tape. The sanity of my parents and sister would certainly have had to be called into question during this period. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are none. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY are Inko's, because how could they not? THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: How many words end with three or more consonants that include neither diphthongs nor plurals? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: flokst. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF are the Cheney shooting story and Mary Matalin. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: meatless sausages with melted cheese. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK the Local Live website. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 1.000000001. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: This page, Performances page, Sound examples page, Compositions page. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are none, but Cammy nuzzled a bubble-wrapped piece of porcelain clean off the dining room table, and it survived. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS WEEK: 4. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 31 out of 47. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: less is more. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Perry Burger. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Re: t rundle news. PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,400. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: He's no good at being uncomfortable, so he can't stop staying exactly the same. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.53 in Connecticut, $2.11 across from City Hall. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE the tension and release model, cold storage, ten things that have no middles, the darkest part of a Twinkie. Updates will be quite sporadic following this one, as the colony hop proceeds in earnest beginning next Monday when I drive to the MacDowell Colony and mostly stay there for six weeks. I remember that I filled in "11:09" as my arrival time, so I better get it right. Whenever I go there to visit friends who are in residence, I bring some unusual beer for John Sieswerda, because it's what I do. I already have this year's selection, a-waitin' staff consumption. In answer to your question, no, I don't know which studio I will have. The last person I know who was there was Stacy, last month. Only Martler bit at last week's cosmic quandary (how many words end in "kin"?). The starter words were bodkin and pumpkin. Martler did not originally find "skin", as I did, but the results of the poll are as follows (and I quoteth): Munchkin, Gherkin, Jerkin, Liebkin, Kin, Kindertotenliederkin, Lambkin, Fuckin', Skin, Foreskin, Mooseskin, Snakeskin, Davyskin. This week's puzzler is a little harder. Today The Maids clean up this joint, so I must be prepared at any moment to be kicked asunder. At which point I plan to visit the Framingham Trader Joe's to get some cheeeps that Beth likes (with goat cheese and reduced fat), and to get yet more provisions at BJ's, including dry cat food. The tension is killa. Meanwhile, life continues on apace. I am close to finishing etude #71, and it will be a little longer than most. Close enough that I named it (not a funny title) and included it on the Compositions page. Later in the week (as in, tomorrow) is Sam's dissertation defense. Thursday I drive to Maine for dinner with Beff -- who will spend the weekend traveling to, being in, and returning from, Nawth Carolina. And next Monday it's off to Peterborough. Last week's fun with the fourth job candidate at Brandeis was fun indeed. This time the restaurant was the old standby Asian Grill, and I got my fave Tom Yum Soup -- which was a little more lemony this time than usual. I also brought along the laptop to fill the idle moments, and it was a little surreal retrieving an e-mail from Adam Marks in the middle of the hall with a recording of his Orleans performance of Absofunkinlutely. The sound came out of the little laptop speakers just fine, the tempo is blistering, and it sounds pretty durn cool. And while there, I helped Ms. Ka-ching herself, Carolyn, with a Valentine's Day movie made with her camera and edited with iMovie, and she took pictures of me. For whatever reason. At a quarter to six on Wednesday morning I shoved off (figuratively) toward the Big Apple to attend the latter part of a 10 to 12:45 rehearsal for Take Jazz Chords, Make Strange, to be performed on a Chamber Music Society Double Exposure concert Thursday. The drive was fairly eventless except for clumps of slow traffic around Fairfield, and I listened a lot to 880 ABC news -- shows you what I know. After parking at my usual place on 112th Street, I dropped my bag off at Jay and Marilyn's and took a subway to Lincoln Center. The subway stations now have kiosks where you can buy your Metro Cards and I was taken aback -

- touch screens? Something associated with the subway that actually works? And hey, at the kiosk, 20 bucks gets you 24 bucks worth of trips. I felt like I had achieved -- no, earned -- a real bargain. What new innovation will next greet me at a subway stop? Free pie? The players for my piece were really, really good, and really young, and very nice, and it was fun watching the interaction as they rehearsed. The blizzard had effectively scuttled at least one rehearsal, so more efficiency was obviously called for, and their parts had been cued to the hilt. There was not much for me to say except complain about tempi and give autobiographical detail about the piece. Hey, the outer movements both have 100 measures -- as Dan Stepner put it, one for every senator. I told the cellist that he was Rhonda Rider and the clarinetist that he was my wife, and that didn't seem to help. The weather had gotten really warm -- near 60 in New York -- so I took a long walk both in the park and out of it, got tired, and crashed at Jay's pad, where I think I must have napped. At 6 I walked to the Abbey Pub, which is the scene of so many craven evenings with Jay and Marilyn, and met Danny Felsenfeld there, too -- whose beer I bought. Danny has been losing weight -- but gaining friends. I didn't realize that he and Jay didn't know each other, but now they do, somewhat, and Danny had to leave early for a concert. So Jay had the veggie burger, I did Buffalo wings, and the Corsendonk flowed, so to speak. At the end of the evening, the bartender, whom Jay knows, sent over two free Irish whiskies, and I gave mine to Jay -- I no be a hard liquor drinker. I think that one did Jay in. On Thursday there was to be another rehearsal at who knows what time, and no word came to me when that would be. But I had a noon appointment with Jonathan, and I got there at 11:40. Jonathan was running behind, as usual, and an assistant typed in the income and charitable stuff. Jonathan was his usual hyper self, and this time since he was so far behind and others were waiting, too, we simply discussed the return, I gave him the meticulously calculated numbers I had, paid him, and off I went. I left at 1:15 and walked from 28th Street to Lincoln Center, since it was yet another gorgeous day. There I spied my old friend Valerie Guy, who knew when my rehearsal was (3:30), and that's when I found out. My rehearsal was yet another nice one, and Keith Fitch came in for his 4:30, and I listened until I had to meet Ken Browne for dinner (5:00) at Dan's. Keith used harmonicas, and that was pretty cool. I was ALSO glad that he had a keyboard part that was both piano and celesta, since that's what I was working on, and it confirmed everything I needed to confirm. And the pianist did NOT resemble Rick Wakeman. The event itself was a hoot. Simeon Hutner, a filmmaker I know from MacDowell, was there, and Anthony Gatto, whom I know from Yaddo, had a piece, and it was another rollicking evening. And even Don Hagar made it. In my first give-and-take with Bruce Adolphe, I said that I played with a little lick from Lee Hyla's bass clarinet piece that Beff was working on and I could have called it "Hyla Lick Maneuvers", but didn't. Bruce said he had a piece that had "Heimlich" in the title, and I asked if it choked people up. You could hear all the mental rim shots that people were making at that point, so I sat down. Great concert, twice, and I finally met my hero Gene Caprioglio from Peters. Who made it through both sittings without dying. After the concerts, there were many conflicting impulses of places to go, none of which I went to. So Jay and I subwayed uptown, went to a little bar for one beer, and retired for the evening. Friday was actually a more eventful day -- it started warm, again, and nearly all of the evidence of Sunday's record blizzard was gone by now. I did a nice lunch in the Village with Harold Meltzer, two hours at Cafe Fortuna with Michael Adelson, and another two with Michael's composition student, Aaron. And my raspberry tart was lovely. My return to Jay and Marilyn's to pick up my stuff coincided with Marilyn's return from playing at a saxophone conference in Iowa City. And off I went at 6:45, not having the sense of duty that Jay had to go to a friend's wind ensemble concert. Instead, I drove home midst a sea of high wind warnings. Except for the dark, it was eventless, and I was home and in bed by 10:30. With my lovely wife. The three days of incredible warmth demolished the detritus of Sunday's big storm, and our yards are once again bare. I had considered going onto the flat roof outside our bedroom to shovel some snow off -despite doctor's orders -- but ultimately decided against it. The weather took care of it anyway. The only snow left is the big pile by the corner of the garage that the professional shovel-boys left there. Though instead of 5 feet high, it's a foot high.

Saturday turned bitterly cold, and a bunch of quick snow squalls actually left a substantial white dusting around. The temperature was only about 15, so when the sun came out -- about 5 minutes after the snow squalls -- the snow in direct sun melted. Pretty cool, as the pictures below will testify. Beff and I walked downtown to pick up a few things for painting -- finally -- which will happen when she is on vacation, and nearly got blown over on our way out of the hardware store. Friday's windstorm had snapped a huge branch on one of our pine trees, so we had to pull it loose, saw it into pieces, and drag it into the discard area. We also had to readjust the tarp on the storage shed, naturally. A trip to Shaw's for provisions brought us eventually to K-Mart, as Beff was looking for a small garbage pail for kitty litter for when the cats make their brief move to Bangor. There I got me 3 new pairs of black jeans, which allowed me to do some triage upon our return. Everything else was just a light. Later we watched the latest installment of Project Runway -- it's such an addictive show, even for straight guys. On Sunday Beff had to go to Maine by 10 in the morning in order to catch a matinee show of Jesus Christ Superstar done by students at the University of Maine, and there she noticed that there are now some extra numbers now that kind of suck. Meanwhile, I got two solid days in on etude #71, and it verges on completion. Yesterday I decided to back up some G5 files on my traveling external hard drive, but one part of the power cord seems to have gotten lost (I had it at the VCCA but don't know where it is now). I also decided to do Software Update for the laptop, connected it to the networking cable that was in the Windows computer, and nothing happened -- no internet, no nuthin'. So I made a trip to the Maynard Geek Computer store, got a new 25 foot network cable, got a replacement power cord, and noticed a remarkably detailed birdseye picture of downtown Maynard on the large monitor in the store. It turns out there is a website called local.live.com that does those road maps and satellite things like in Google Maps and Google Earth, but it also has some remarkably detailed pictures, taken from four vantage points, of several urban areas -including Maynard. So I looked it up when I got back, and it doesn't work with the Safari browser. But it does work with Firefox, and it ... is ... so ... cool. There is enough detail that you can see our lawn furniture, even. It is so geeky that I played with it for quite a while -- probably explaining why etude #71 is not yet finished. As mentioned already, updates until mid-April will be sporadic or nonexistent. So get used to it. Today's pictures include two not at all taken by Big Mike (ka-ching!), but he was in the room when the first was taken. The first two, taken by Carolyn (ka-ching!) are me in recovery mode behind a table of fixin's, and me in the Brandeis department officeon Valentines Day (note hearts on page behind). Then there are three shots of snow that didn't melt because of shadows: a car, a telephone pole (the legs are Beff's), and our house. Then, two little bits from local.live.com: first, a small thing of our house looking north (you can see the lawn furniture and garage), and a large picture looking south, where you can see our yard (outlined in red) and the context of our neighborhood -- including the much remarked-upon Ben Smith Dam. Note the proliferation of what Beff calls "execu-ick". You can also see just a bit of the old Assabet railway on the other side of the river.

MARCH 11 BRIEF UPDATE: I have been at the MacDowell Colony for 12 days now, have written etude #72 and am at bar 160 of a big piece. Full update upon my return April 10, and maybe some more teeny weeny ones like this. Last night's dinner: steak fries, peas, breaded sesame chicken wings, and salad. I am here today to paint, but not the way the visual artists at MacDowell do. Crocuses have sprung up in the back yard, and temp extremes since the last update are 6.8 and 68.0.  -------

MARCH 17 BRIEF UPDATE: Ten-minute movement finished. More on the way. Last night's dinner: chicken, asparagus, couscous, and salad. Tonight's event: dinner with Lee Hyla and Kate Desjardins. What once was warm has now been cold.

APRIL 11. Breakfast this morning was Boca meatless sausage patties with 2% milk cheese, orange juice, and coffee. Lunch was a cheeseburger club at the Horseshoe Pub in Hudson. Last night's dinner was salad with Good Seasons dressing that's been in the fridge for some time. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST SIX WEEKS: 6.4 and 73.4. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS MIDI of the third movement of my piano concerto. LARGE EXPENSES this last six weeks include Santa Barbara Olives, $200+, and that's all I remember. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: When I was doing work study at the NEC library my junior and senior years, I was charged with training the new circulation chief, or my eventual boss. Her name was Mary Ellen Sweeney, and she was so sweet -- way, way, way, WAY sweeter than the head librarian, who was in desperate need of you-know-what. Bob McCauley's contribution to the lexicon that year was her nickname: Smelly Air In Weenie. COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are none, but a meek shout-out to the local Jiffy Lube, who still makes you stand there rolling your eyes as they go through a long list of things they are trying to get you to pay for that they can do that you don't need. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY is Inko's because they always do, and Santa Barbara Olives. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: How many words are there that are intrisically funny? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: stoob. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF are the ineptness of the current administration, the new design of the NY Times web page, people who think vowels are better than consonants, and chipmunks. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: rashers of MacDowell bacon, fruit for breakfast, unsweetened lemonade and limeade, Santa Barbara olives of various kinds. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK "funky" works at several different speeds. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: "toomey" (a number so special they gave it a name). REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: Lots of various pages. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK are a few things in the Maine house -- Beff says they knock over at least one thing per day. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS LAST SIX WEEKS: 11. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 42 out of 100. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: Bicycles that pedal backwards. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Biaggio Felts. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: VAL I UM. PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,739. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: I haven't been shopping for any new shoes. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.61 at Cumberland Farms: but $2.18 just after the last update six weeks ago. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE vomit, more vomit, lots and lots more vomit, a sickeningly large torrent of vomit. So there I was briefly in the music department this afternoon (Please Post; Summer Opportunities; Come To This Lecture; Your Faculty Research Request to record your piano concerto was turned down) and TWICE I got the "when are you going to update your webpage?" query -- each time in increasingly desparate tones. Or maybe it was disparate tones. Well, it was both. And the answer is -- whenever it is that you see this. So what is there to report? Well, I was away at the MacDowell Colony since February 27, leaving there only a few times (once to paint here in Maynard, once to do dinner with Lee 'n' Kate, once to talk to patrons of the Rockport Music Festival, and once to talk to a class at the Walnut Hill School), and accomplishing a great deal. I wrote Don Berman his second etude, my 72nd, on an ancient Hebrew chant (Davy plays against type). I re-wrote an article on titles for New Music Box. And I wrote three movements of a piano concerto, which now stands at about 21 minutes. For you old-fashioned composers out there (you know who you are -- and that's the problem), that includes the orchestrating and entering into Finale, and I can report that so far it stands at 79 pages. The quickie piano part I generated is at about 36 pages. The MacDowell trip was my eighth there, and my 20th colony hop in all. I can report that it resembled other residencies in a lot of ways, and was unique in a lot of other ways. For one, I find it hard to believe that it was only on my eighth trip to MacDowell that I discovered the old stone amphitheater from 100 years ago. And that this is the first trip where I learned the names of all the maintenance staff and kitchen help (Rob, Jamie, John, Blake, Anastasia, Lila, Ashley, etc.). And for the first time there I saw both deer (the white-tailed variety) and wild turkeys (not the one that comes in a bottle, which, if you think of it, is really hard to get them to do). My studio was Watson, for the second consecutive time; last time I felt a

little listless and that the music coming out was almost arbitrary (Dream Symphony). This time I felt very energized, and as if at least the scherzo movement of this piece was significantly inspired. I've felt that way before and I was wrong -- so cave canem, and what it is, too. And in my last colony hop, in 2003, I have hundreds of pictures of STUFF and maybe eight pictures of PEOPLE. I rectified that this time out, although a significant portion of my pictures were taken at parties with people doing stuff they may not want to be remembered for. Though if any organization calls me and asks me for a professional photo with a candy dot stuck to my forehead -- I've got one. And I can provide them for Lisa, Christy, and Nikki too (Eduardo, always the innovator, posed, instead, Davy-like, with a triscuit). After 20 residencies, I always try to stand back a bit and not get too attached to the other colonists -- being that I have quite a few lists from previous residencies with addresses and names of people I could now not identify in a police lineup, and lots of times I've tried to get together with colonists many months or years later and things just don't work out. Well, that cool displacement thing didn't work this time, either. It took me many weeks to get into the groove -- as the colonists who predate you have lots of stuff to bond about already (it was the windstorms and the electricity going out this time) -- but once I did, stuff happened. Mostly, parties. For instance, I spent about two hours wearing balloons in my shirt one night, also with lipstick on my lips and eyebrows. The pictures that people took I want to use when I win the Nobel Prize (I hear they're instituting a prize for silliness). Though I wasn't the only one wearing prostheses that night. But I may have already said too much. For the first time since Yaddo 1991, there were people who wanted to play E-flat blues, which is a trick I use a lot in theory classes (to explain the minor pentatonic scale) -- though there was a brief pilot program at Yaddo in 2000. Julian, a writer from New York, in particular had the "feeling", just not the technique. It was interesting to hear him form his ideas and actually develop them through a chorus. He always did the same stuff in the stop time choruses, though. And one night at dinner the poet Jo and I played chords on the oil and vinegar bottles -- eventually, with two empty wine bottles accompanying a fairly tuneless rendition of "Wrapped Around Your Finger". Jo, for her part, is very musical, which hit me when after I played the "Ray of Light" video she declared "that's the video where she discovered her head voice". E-flat blues in Gretchen's studio with Jo and Julian playing was both inspired and long. As usual, I really dug going to open studios, readings, and other presentations -- especially the two that served unusually strong drinks (one margarita isn't supposed to knock you out, is it?). And finding out that muscle memory alone is sufficient to sound okay playing the E-flat blues -- thanks for the snowflakes, Gretchen. As the weather warmed -- which took longer than a cadence in Tristan und Isolde -- I got to exercise, finally, hiking all the trails on the property repeatedly, and occasionally doing cartwheels. More on that later. But the sedentary, reflective lifestyle together with the unusually good food this time conspired to make me heavier. So back to walking and biking. Except not when I'm in Italy.... Speaking of which, I do that next Tuesday. The housesitter is Christy, a visual artist who had the Heinz studio. See her website over there to the left. And then when I get back, it's biking again for me, matey. Back to MacDowell. The last week got pretty intense in the party division, culminating in a dance party in the amphitheater at night after Lisa's open studio. We were VERY dedicated, as it was maybe 45 out when it started and 35 when it ended. This is where I rediscovered my inner cartwheel. I also stood on my head and was asked to form the letters "YMCA" with my legs (as they had nothing else to do at the time). I did the best I could, and I was told I got the "A" while I was falling over. The one tangible effect these dance parties had on my post-MacDowell life was that I purchased Nelly's "Hot in Herre" from iTunes. Which you would think would be intelligent enough to let you find the damn song if you spell "Here" like the rest of the world does. Yes, that's me -- the rest of the world. Externally speaking, Beff finished her two-week vacation and took the cats to the place in Maine. Where they at first hid in the box spring, and lately have discovered many kitty-cubbyholes in the attic. I drive

there tomorrow and will delight, yet again, in the fried pickles at the Chocolate Grill in Old Town. So the house has been a little weird by myself, since I instinctively have presumed creaky sounds to be cats following me, which they can't, unless they were many, many miles longer. And about 4 weeks ago, on the first day around 70 (it was brief indeed), I drove to Maynard so we could paint in the downstairs hallway -there was both a replastered and repaired stress bulge and a repaired ice dam stain in the alcove. The painting was fun, and Carolyn came along, and the crocuses were out, and the cats were in the windowsills, and there was beer and seafood, and it was a real hoot. Then it stopped. And about a week and a half ago I appeared at a soiree (or whatever the afternoon version of that would be called) for board members and patrons of the Rockport Chamber Music Society. I got some very stimulating and interesting questions from an audience of people who were my age when I was born. Even better, I had buffalo wings that night. Two weeks ago was an adventuresome day. Eddo, a colonist, took a ride with me to the South Acton train station, where he took a commuter rail in to meet with people at Harvard and MIT. Meanwhile, I did a talk at the Walnut Hill School and some various things at the house in Maynard. I was at South Acton to pick up Eddo for the 8:30 arrival, where we had decided to go for sushi at the Korean place in Maynard. The train came and went, and there was no Eddo. Luckily, he had called my cell phone earlier in the day, and as the train pulled out of sight, I called him. He answered. "You missed your stop". "(word that means) fecal matter". Quickly, I devised a plan -- I would drive to the Ayer train station and pick him up there. As I drove out of the station, he checked his printed schedule: "Yep, there's a stop called Ayer." "Then meet me there. And get off the train first." He preceded me by 10 minutes, since I didn't know the shortcut (and I did 2 revolutions of the rotary in Ayer, not being sure actually which one brought me downtown). We DID make it to the Korean restaurant, but they were out of sushi. Eddo got beef bulgogi, which he could not pronounce. I, by contrast, got something that I could pronounce. And we arrived at Colony Hall that night at 11:17. So yesterday was the day of packing, having The Last Breakfast (there was a great moment where I was at the center of the panel and everyone pointed an accusatory finger), driving home, shopping at Roche Brothers before my final arrival, unpacking, and preparing the house for summer. Ah, installing the screens (including the attic, which always involved spraying some hornets to their deaths), oiling the chains on the bikes, putting oil and gas into the lawnmower, and picking up branches from the yard. How very nice. The crocuses are now gone by and the daffodils are out. I am not calling them trumpet flowers this year because I never have before, why start now? This morning, John Aylward and I did a long hike in the nature reserve, discovering a working old radar tower that looks like a golf ball there (there were cars parked by it), and after I took him to Brandeis, I took a 6-mile or so bike ride -- to, but not around, Boon Lake. Ah, nature. And that's about where things stand today. There may be time for another update next Tuesday (my flight is in the evening), and there may not be. Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures. Since there were so many, I reduced them to get more in. There are three pics from painting day. Then, follow along: Kyle, Blake and Michelle; the DAVY t-shirt in the basement of Colony Hall; my studio; Colony Hall in the fog; two of my closeup ice shots (there are a lot); Lisa and Gretchen; MaryKate, Paula (obscured) and Cassie; Eduardo and Mark; MaryKate and Christy; David A; Nikki with a candy dot; Lisa setting up the sound system at the amphitheater; the (dark) dance party there; Mark on the rope over the fire pond; and the picture Julian took of me and Jo doing the blues. I am thinking of pickles.

APRIL 17. Breakfast this morning was meatless sausage patties with 2% milk cheese, orange juice, and coffee. Dinner last night was a large salad, and grapes. Lunch was hot and sour soup. TEMPERATURE EXTREMES THIS LAST WEEK: 36.0 and 76.5. MUSIC GOING THROUGH MY HEAD AS I TYPE THIS "Music" by Madonna (the only pop music setting of the word "bourgeoisie" that I know, and yes, I had to go to dictionary.com to confirm the spelling). LARGE EXPENSES this last week is a new, vastly more deluxe binding machine, $273. POINTLESS NOSTALGIC REMINISCENCE: My first colony was VCCA, and the first presentation I attended was on by a composer -- 2-1/2 hours including a refreshment break. I remember well a reading by an Israeli journalist and the question and answer session where

someone asked about "the West Bankers", and the response was, "you can't call them West Bankers, not just because they aren't bankers, but also because you would then have to have Gaza Strippers". COMPANIES WHO HAVE NOT COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY THIS WEEK are none. COMPANIES WHO HAVE COVERED THEMSELVES IN GLORY is Roche Brothers supermarket, who has someone bring your food to your car, and refuses tips. THIS WEEK'S COSMIC QUANDARY: What was it like to vote for W? THIS WEEK'S MADE-UP WORD: trianicide. THINGS I HAVE GROWN WEARY OF include anything that uses the word "Rumsfeld", itty bitty flies, and generic e-mails from work. RECENT GASTRONOMIC OBSESSIONS: Cajun pitted olives, seedless grapes, lemonade. DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK the cats make a lot of noise at night. THIS WEEK'S NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 10: 9. REVISIONS TO THIS SITE: Reviews 3, and this page. NUMBER OF HAIRCUTS I GOT TODAY: 1. FRAGILE THINGS DESTROYED BY THE CATS THIS LAST WEEK is unknown. RECOMMENDATION AND PROFESSIONAL LETTERS WRITTEN THIS LAST WEEK: 0. DAVY'S BAROMETER FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC this week is 39 out of 100. WHAT THE NEXT BIG TREND WOULD BE IF I WERE IN CHARGE: Glasses that see into the future. THIS WEEK'S FEATURED FAKE SENDER NAME IN A SPAM: Adrianne Clyde. SUBJECT OF THAT SPAM: Re: Hi. horn-shaped. PHOTOS IN MY IPHOTO LIBRARY: 8,787. FEATURED FIONA APPLE LYRIC: I want to make a mistake. I'm going to do it on purpose. I'm going to waste my ti-i-i-ime. WHAT I PAID FOR GASOLINE THIS WEEK: $2.69 at the local Mobil, $2.77 in Orono. OTHER INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN THE CURRENT ONE the first step of a long voyage, one way of looking at a blackbird, an Easter seal, a blade of grass. Hey, lots of e-mails last week congratulating me on the resumption of the useless information that goes into this space (which would be nice if I could intentionally leave it blank. Hey, I'll practice that. Hold on.

I love wasting bandwidth. If that is, indeed, what I am doing. 'cause I'm not sure what bandwidth means in this context. Maybe there will be more blank space in future updates. Speaking of which -- the next update won't be until late May, as I am practically on my way out the door, since I'll be in Italy at the Bogliasco Foundation Liguria Study Center (there may actually be words I left out) starting ... RSN. I am hoping to finish my piece there, and in any leftover time, either walk around Italy, or write piano etudes. Your (non-silly) ideas for etudes are welcome. No incendiary devices, talking, or use of extraneous body parts, please. So this last week had a nice break in it, as I drove to Bangor and stayed in our SECOND mortgage for a few days. The place, being much smaller than the Maynard place, makes it easier to hear the much noise that the cats make at night when at play -- claw-sharpening on the wicker chair in particular, sounds particularly cavernous. Beff has also allowed them to go into the attic, which is something they beg to do when the door is closed, and they get into crawl spaces and get all dirty, and stuff. Cammy goes from gray and white to gray, gray, gray, gray, gray, gray, and white (that's not got MUCH spam in it). During the time Beff was teaching, I went to the mall to get nice pants for Italy -- for you see, I hear they make you dress for dinner. And I did, I did. The event of note was the band and wind ensemble concert at the U of Maine, which we caught and probably enjoyed. Well, at least the wind ensemble sounded good. The first two pieces were as generic as

they get (Beff said the second one might have been constructed with a band piece construction cookiecutter set that could probably be found on the internet), and then genericness reached its zenith in a performance of a movement from a Weber clarinet concerto. The cute thing about that being the opening, which in the arrangement had the solo clarinetist accompanied by nothing but a sea of other clarinets. Cute. The concert ended with yet another set of variations on that Paganini tune that everybody uses that stopped about fifteen minutes after it was finished. The encore (The Thunderer, I think) was played about twice as fast and twice as loud as anything I've ever heard before. Beff and I drove back at the same time, as she was on her way to Vermont for Easter with family, and the fastest (though not shortest) route takes her in this direction, and we decided both to go to Maynard, do salmon burgers on the grill, walk in the newly opened Assabet Nature Preserve, before she continued on. There we saw exactly one snake and heard exactly no peepers. But the weather was gorgeous -- it had been raining and cold in Maine -- and I busted out my Baywatch flip flops for the first time this season (you betta believe they are going with me to Italy). Hin and Kellery came over for Kellery's birthday and stayed overnight. We hit the Quarterdeck (I got the clam roll) and Erikson's Ice Cream (not in that order), and enjoyed little single-user limoncello bottles. I gave them a bunch of SB Olives, which they forgot to take with them. We played with some of my chatter stones -- little rounded and polished magnetic stones that "chatter" when you throw them in the air a few inches away from each other. I even used the sound in my piece -- three percussionists doing it should be impressive. And we took silly pictures wearing said chatter stones. Saturday was quite warm, and I'm pleased to report that the rhubarb is growing very fast, the daffodils are out, the forsythias are blooming, and the quince bush and front yard rhododendrons are starting to bud. It was a day of yard work, and I'm also pleased to report actually mowing small bits of the lawn -- we have a bit of crab grass in the far back that looks like the back of Dennis the Menace's head (not the British Dennis the Menace). Late in the day, Christy -- the housesitter while I'm gone -- came with her trailer of stuff, which was installed under the pine trees, and I was impressed that she knows how to back a truck with a trailer and aim it. Then I gave her the tour, we did the Quarterdeck, and we tore another page (figuratively) off the calendar. Early in the week, I did my first traverse of parts of the Assabet Wildlife Refuge with John Aylward, and the exercise was good. This was followed by lunch in Hudson, and a trip to the impressive bridge over the Assabet for the bike trail -- and it is BACK UP. So we walked on the bridge, looked at things way down, made fun of various things, and I brought him to Brandeis, where I got my mail, etc. -- I believe I already reported that last week. I have now taken two exercise bike rides, including the one around Boon Lake, and saw ONE of my dogs that I regularly give bones to. Max was not available. Cassie seems to have left MacDowell, as we got an e-mail from her about getting to all her pictures on a Kodak site online. They are impressive, especially the ones from the night of balloons (yo, I am WAY cuter than Gina Lollobridgida). And -- the noive -- there was a dance party in Calderwood AFTER I LEFT. I'll have to see someone about that. So Beff took the binding machine with her to Maine, before I realized I needed to use it before I left for Italy. So I got a new, more deluxe one this morning at Staples (it can hole-punch 20 sheets, not just 10), and took the opportunity of being on Route 2A to pop into Quick Cuts for a quick haircut. I was tired of having wings, and now I don't. I'm also tired of all the times the phone wings and the caller ID says "Unknown". VCCA Hal has been sending "poems by others" as a regular e-mail feature, and now it seems he has begun an epic poem called "35 etudes for piano" to be dedicated to me. Hal has a blog, and you can link to it in blue over there to the left. Check it out, check it out. So I repeat. No new updates until late May. This week's pictures include the before-and-after of our painting day a month ago, a lovely pile of junk that was left outside at the Wildlife Refuge, a baby radar thing we encountered in the refuge, the first green

coming on to the weeping willows by the river, John Aylward not learning how to relax in a hammock, Hell and Kinnery trying out the Korean masks that Seung Ah gave us, them posing with a pair of chatter stones, and me at MacDowell being way cuter than Gina Lollobridgida. If you got to this page by a Google search for Gina Lollobridgida, I guess you're out of luck. But now you've got three hits on the same page. Gina Lollobridgida. Four!

The Title Pool By David Rakowski
Published: April 19, 2006

What's in a title? A piece by any other David Rakowski name would sound the same. Do they Photo by John Aylward relate to the music? Should they relate to the music? Does there even have to be a relationship? It's pretty hard answering all of those questions, because the answer is different for every composer—and indeed, even for different pieces by the same composer. Titles are specific and nonspecific, poetic and concrete, generic and particular, clever and stupid (between which there is a fine line). Titles can suggest how to listen to a piece, or give no clues whatsoever; they can link a piece to a tradition or ostentatiously renounce one; they can call attention to technical details in the piece, or they can refer to extra-musical metaphors that may have informed its composition; they can even suggest something of the personality, prejudices, training, or hobbies of a composer. So trying to answer those questions with a yes or no is foolish—since the answer is yes and no. Except to the very first question. One thing's for sure—a piece's title is frequently the first contact between the composer and the listener. It's through the title that the listener will form his or her first impressions or set expectations (or preconceptions) about the piece and its composer. A perfect example appeared on this website in a review of a CD of music by this writer: "if I were going to infer anything from the titles bestowed upon his compositions, my guess would be that this guy is a total goofball, or at least harbors some strange affinity towards Babbitt's bon mot titles." Got it in one. So what is a "good" title? What is a "bad" title? Are those even pertinent questions? Even the "best" title in the history of humankind can't save or make up for clunky writing and mishandled form, and by the same token, the "worst" title can't take away from a sublime moment when, say, the English horn emerges from a busy texture and takes over. Density 21.5 refers to the atomic weight of platinum, but is it a "good" title for a solo flute piece? Daniel Felsenfeld's Smoking My Diploma reveals Danny's attitude toward the physical manifestation of the conclusion of his education, but does the title prepare me adequately to listen to a piece for amplified and distorted oboe, cello and piano? Would I listen to the piece differently if it were called Composition for Amplified and Distorted Oboe, Cello and Piano? Hey, supposing the answer to that question is yes, would it actually be a different piece if it had a different title? Suppose Varèse's piece were called Starts Low, Gets High. Suppose The Pines of Rome were called My Weekend in the Bahamas. Or Smoking My Diploma…

We're inundated with titles every day, from newspaper articles to books to poems to technical manuals to pop songs to pieces of visual art and a lot more. In most cases it's the title that is our shorthand, or placeholder, for referring to those things when we think about them or talk about them. So, by that token, it must be good for titles to be unique, or at least distinctive. But, of course, titles are not subject to copyright. I can call my bassoon duo Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C minor if I want to, or Scrapple from the Apple, or The Wizard of Oz. If titles were copyrightable, there would be no more pieces called Symphony No. 1 or Invention or "Call Me"— indeed, all the short titles would already be taken, and titles of new pieces would be as long as this paragraph. Let's talk about popular music. I love the titles of Country and Western tunes because so many of them indulge in clever punning and word play—after all, who could see the single of "All My Ex's Live in Texas (That's Why I Live in Tennessee)" at Tower Records and not be tempted to buy it? Or "Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth Because I'm Kissin' You Goodbye"? It's a great game making up C &W titles for songs that will never be written—my personal favorite is "Even My Dung Beetle Can't Stand You 'Cause You Ain't S**t." These titles serve a commercial purpose: they are memorable and unique, so that when you go to the CD store or look online you know what to ask for. And when enough people ask for it, down payments are made on real estate by artists, distributors, agents, and everyone else in the chow line. The titles of commercial pop songs similarly are meant to be memorable and particular, and in a pretty rigid way. Most often the title comes from the song's hook. Since the hook usually comes in the chorus, you hear it several times during each play; so naturally when you go get your own copy, it's the hook that you remember. Think "Let It Be" or "Hollaback Girl" or "Little Red Corvette" or "I Want You Back" or "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" or any one of hundreds of other songs you may know—admit it, when you read the titles it brought to mind a little bit of those songs. (Now quick: Symphony No. 4! What piece came to mind? How about Intermezzo?) Still, pop song titles are not unique—wizened ones may remember that "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips was one of two songs on the Billboard Chart with that name at the time it was making me lurch so frequently to change the channel. And a brief trip to iTunes reveals no fewer than 129 tracks with that name available for download, of which more than half are different songs. Since mass market popular music is overwhelmingly vocal music (i.e. songs, with text), the relationship between the song and the title is usually straightforward. And titles of songs, and by extension, album titles are generally short. An album's title should fit on the spine of a CD case, after all. Of course, there are exceptions to this tendency. But I doubt Fiona Apple would get up in front of an audience and say, "I'm going to sing a few tunes from my album, When the Pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king what he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight and he'll win the whole thing 'fore he enters the ring there's no body to batter when your mind is... (That's just half of the title; I fell asleep typing it). The side of the CD reads "Fiona Apple—When the Pawn." In the world of so-called art music, the impulse to sell is less of an issue, hence titles are more abstract and more varied—especially as so much of it has no text from which to draw a title. I imagine that in the early days of notated music, titles were hardly an issue at all. The vast majority of notated music was vocal music, and it

was easy to refer to a piece by the beginning of the text (the closest thing the medievals had to a hook). If a composer wrote a polyphonic setting of the Agnus Dei (called in the church "the Agnus Dei"), it was pretty sure to be called "Agnus Dei," so as to distinguish it from a "Requiem Aeternam," which has a different liturgical function. When Perotin set a text that began with the phrase "Viderunt Omnes", I'm pretty sure it was called "Perotin's 'Viderunt Omnes'" (and not what several generations of music appreciation students have called it: "the 'Ee-hee Hee-hee Hee Hee' song"). I also imagine it became a little harder when composers became suitably prolific to have multiple settings of the same text, especially a Mass. Here's where the underlying chant material might have been used to identify which mass setting a particular composer did—e.g. the Armed Man Mass. I imagine that when instrumental music started to come into its own, then titles became more important. No familiar text to quote? How do I think of this music and what do I call it? Hey, how about a canzona per sonare? If you like that, you'll love Canzona per Sonare No. 2! But those were both just practice for Canzona per Sonare No. 3! So a whole new class of titles emerged having some reference to or derivation from Latin and Greek words for sound and singing. Sonata? Sounding. Sinfonia? Sounding Together. Concerto? Sounding Together. Cantata? Lots of singing. Oratorio? Really, really serious singing. Also, when composers became more particular about which instrument played which part, titles simply referencing the size and makeup of the group emerged: three instruments? Trio. Four instruments? Quartet (or sometimes, Trio Sonata—blast that multiplayer continuo line!). Three string instruments and a piano? Piano Quartet. Four wind instruments and one brass instrument? Woodwind Quintet. Oops. These composers had it pretty easy. Though I do imagine it must have been a little comical for audience members to argue the merits of Haydn's 57th Symphony over those of the 69th, 72nd, 77th, 78th, and 82nd. It still is. Abstract musical titles must have emerged not long after it was decided that it was okay for music to be about itself, without an underlying liturgical function, and with some sort of perceived affect. There must have been debates at some point later as to whether music could represent—or at least evoke—something other than itself. Hence titles like Pastorale, and eventually nicknames for pieces originally given generic titles by their composers—Sun, Pathetique, Appassionata, Jupiter, Clock, Military, Rhenish, Resurrection. Once the Romantics took over and gave us titles like "Gray Clouds," "The Poet Speaks," "A Frightful Experience," and "To A Wild Rose", all bets were off—and the range of possible titles exploded. Nowadays, just about anything is possible. Composers still write settings of the Agnus Dei and write symphonies and piano trios and number them. Titles don't necessarily need to be brief for commercial reasons, and there is no length limit. They run the range from the ever-popular Untitled (I wonder who would own the copyright on that one if it were possible?) and its sequel, Untitled, to La Monte Young's The Empty Base (1991-present), including The Symmetries in Prime Time When Centered above and below The Lowest Term Primes in The Range 288 to 224 with The Addition of 279 and 261 in Which The Half of The Symmetric Division Mapped above and Including 288 Consists of The Powers of 2 Multiplied by The Primes within The Ranges of 144 to 128, 72 to 64 and 36 to 32 Which Are Symmetrical to Those Primes in Lowest Terms in The Half of The Symmetric Division Mapped below and Including 224 within The Ranges 126 to 112, 63 to 56 and 31.5

to 28 with The Addition of 119 and with One of The Inclusory Optional Bases: 7; 8; 14:8; 18:14:8; 18:16:14; 18:16:14:8; 9:7:4; or The Empty Base (1991). *** I have tried to come up with a brief classification scheme for the ways that composers have used titles. The margin of error is roughly 75 points, and it's definitely a beginner's list. The classifications below are not mutually exclusive and often overlap—indeed, the Venn diagram would look like a bubble bath. Nor do the classifications hold for every title ever devised. Hey, this isn't a Ph.D. thesis. 1. Titles Taken from Pre-existing Texts The most obvious examples of this kind of title are te