Wednesday, December 15, 2010


So yesterday was fun! I got breakfast with my drummer and a rockin' 2-year old, and then the three of us went to the Discovery museum, which is right on main St. The museum is certainly aimed young, but exploring it with a toddler makes it fun.

The day before yesterday, actually, I got to read to Scott's daughter in the library, which was also great! Hanging out with kids is good for me.

Yesterday evening consisted of good company and good music at the pub across the street; this morning I burned off some of my restless energy on the treadmill at the gym, which felt great - I could have kept running all day, it felt like! Also, in the middle of my treadmilling activity, many WASPs in sweater sets filed in, followed by a kindergarten class, and there was a ribbon cutting ceremony! This was surprising. It's because it is actually a new gym location for the Bangor Y - I got super turned around on my way there and was surprised to arrive there at all, actually - and although it has been open for a couple weeks, I guess today was ribbon day!

Today I'll head to the theatre early and write some chords; then we have a show; also I will probably read a bunch of sonnets. If I can keep myself motivated, I will go to the gym again tomorrow and keep feeling great!

The end.

P.S. Pictures!

Bangor even has cute chocolate.

Dominick gave me a lobster pin!
Sometimes snow is fluffy

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

my favorite excerpt*

from the maine Edge's review of Forever Plaid:

"....And work it does. This is a show about the songs. Four-part harmony is a beautiful thing, when it's done right, and these guys can make it happen. The music is toe-tappingly mesmerizing. Each number is pure and engaging. Sure, the bits between songs - the comedy and earnestness - they're important (and very well done), but all in all, the music is the thing.

"This quartet has brought Forever Plaid to life. They are as real a musical group as you'll ever see - aided in no small part by the exceptional band, with Caleb Sweet on bass, Chris Viner on drums and led by piano player Shoshana Seid-Green. The band is tight, the vocals are spot-on - it's one of the better concerts you're likely to see."

Hell, yeah!

*Here is the rest.


Caelica 7

Ok, so I don't love this poem, although I respect its form, elegance, and technique, but I do love HOW MUCH FREAKING CHIASMUS IT USES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Caelica 7
Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke

The World, that all contains, is ever moving,
The Stars within their spheres for ever turned,
Nature (the Queen of Change) to change is loving,
And Form to matter new is still adjourned.

Fortune our fancy-God, to vary liketh,
Place is not bound to things within it placed,
The present time upon time passed striketh,
With Phoebus' wandering course the earth is graced.

The Air still moves, and by its moving cleareth,
the Fire up ascends, and planets feedeth,
The Water passeth on, and all lets weareth,
The Earth stands still, yet change of changes breedeth;

Her plants, which Summer ripes, in Winter fade,
Each creature in unconstant mother lieth,
Man made of earth, and for whom earth is made,
Still dying lives, and living ever dieth;
Only like fate sweet Myra never varies,
Yet in her eyes the doom of all Change carries.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lobby Reflections

Note: I was just writing this to write, and then it read like a blog post to me, and I am overdue to post here, so I copy-pasted it right on! Anyway, that is why it is so rambly. Also, I will try to post some pictures soon - maybe of the houses I passed during my walk. It is tricky to get on the internet these days, because the connection I was piggybacking on in my room disappeared, and the Chuck's internet doesn't reach up to the fourth floor, so I have to bring my computer down to the lobby, where there are no outlets. But of course that is not why I haven't been posting regularly. I am just lazy and have always had trouble being motivated to write about things that have already happened or that I have already thought about. Sentence-ending preposition! So there.

I’m sitting in the lobby of the Chuck, listening to Passing Strange, and sometimes the Yardbirds, and sometimes Cream, and sometimes Robert Johnson, sometimes Rush. It’s blues Monday, I guess. Well, it’s been blues post-Chanuka December so far. There is something transporting about the blues, and yet so totally grounded. The blues gets me out of me and into me, out of my head and into my body, out of the mundane frustrations of my body and into the deepest part where the music lives.

I always think I love musical theatre, but then I listen to the blues. Fuck musical theatre. Fuck Christmas songs. Give me a song with a pulse that roots inside me and throbs inside me and blots out everything but what it’s doing.

Which makes it sound like I’m depressed and want to escape or something, which is not the impression I want to give. I’m not depressed. I’ve been moody since I’ve been here, and especially since Alex’s visit ended. It’s boring here and it’s lonely. But it is also peaceful, and it is also beautiful, in some ways. I mean, the problem with Bangor is that it’s too developed to be immersed in nature, and too underdeveloped to be fun and engaging and interesting and busy. The problem with Bangor, of course, is that it’s trying to be a city, in Maine. Whoops. But still, nature creeps in around the edges, and it is good. I took a walk last week after the snowstorm, for an hour through a residential neighborhood off to the corner of town. The houses were so cute, and the piles of snow on them so lovely, that I took pictures of a couple dozen (it felt weird taking pictures of people’s houses when they were out front shoveling their walk as I ambled touristly along. But whatevs, I did it anyway). It was cold but perfect out.

Today I walked down rainy Main St. to the grocery store, wearing jeans and my rain boots and a yellow-and-red striped shirt that makes me think of Harry Potter, and black gloves and a long pearly beady ambery necklace Alex gave me and a ponytail – I felt fun.

I have a lot of time to read. I picked up The Art of the Sonnet today from the library – 100 sonnets, with essays about them. I may or may not read the essays – most likely I’ll skim most of them, looking for stuff that’s actually interesting or about something I don’t understand in the poem, or stuff that causes me to go back and read the poem again, more slowly, and get something more out of it. I love sonnets, though. I think sonnets are the perfect poems. That’s not anything close to an original thought, of course, but I think that’s ok J. I went through a sonnet-writing phase senior year of high school; they weren’t good, mostly, but they taught me a little poetic discipline I had previously been lacking, and a new respect for the form. I haven’t written many poems at all since high school – too busy writing essays and songs, mostly – but when I started writing a poem about Bangor in my head a week or so after I got here, it turned into a sonnet, both in spirit and in form. A good one, I think.

There have been some really really beautiful paintings on display in the lobby here for the past few weeks (the Chuck is “Maine’s first art gallery hotel,” and, I think, its only; this seems to just mean that they display some art in the lobby and the first floor corridor, which art I assume can be bought by inquiring at the desk, but I don’t really know; I guess that’s all an art gallery is, really, is a place where art is shown and can maybe be bought, no matter the context). Anyway, I really really want to take some pictures of the paintings, but I don’t know if that’s allowed or legal or whatever, and the only times I’ve had my camera with me as I pass through the lobby there has been someone at the front desk, and I don’t want to risk their wrath. I should start carrying the camera with me every time, and maybe I’ll catch the lobby at a totally empty moment. If I had money, I would buy one of these paintings in a heartbeat, but of course even the smaller ones are several hundred dollars. They are mostly somewhat surreal, but beautiful, scenes in the snow: a scene with a heart in the air, and a girl made of empty space on a swing also made of empty space, hanging from a wiggly tree; a tree whose branches form a heart, with a girl standing next to it, the sky a haze of autumn; a white-space moose on a cliff overlooking a forest view and night sky, both in shades of blue-grey. None of these descriptions do the paintings any justice, of course, and neither would a photograph, although it would come closer. It’s just, now that I’ve seen them, I can’t bear the thought of not seeing them again.

When I am rich, I will buy art.

There’s a modern sonnet by Derek Walcott, called “The morning moon”; the end of it goes thusly: “…I notice the blue plunge / of shadows down Morne Coco Mountain, / December’s sundial, / happy that the earth is still changing, / that the full moon can blind me with her forehead / this bright foreday morning, / and that fine sprigs of white are springing from my beard.” I’m listening to “Keys” from Passing Strange, and it feels like that poem, and I feel like that poem too, here, sometimes, here in Bangor. During my best hours.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Chanuka!

Hello! I thought it was past time for an update!

Bangor is fine. The show opened this weekend and is going very well - they actors are exhausted, but they're starting to hit their stride. It should be really really great by next weekend.

I've been taking some little walks and looking around local stores. I can't go much of anywhere because I don't have the car, but I'm hoping to get it for a day or two this week so I can make some explorations. Or at least next week! Sometime in the next three days I will make a couple latkes - I have been lighting my menora every night and opening Judy's exciting Chanuka presents! Actually, I have it lit for the fourth night today, because I was gone from 2:00 to 1am last night (rehearsal; two shows; went out after the show with everyone to celebrate opening) and obviously did not have a chance to light it then! Also sometime in the next three days, I will go over to Ben's place (he's in the show) and bake - he invited me to make use of his kitchen! So that will be great. And I'll take some more extended walks, I think, maybe go to the gym, get some good reading in, like that.

Alex came up the week of Thanksgiving, which was delightful! We went to Bar Harbor, a little town on the coast, the day before Thanksgiving, and had a lovely - if freezing - time. We went out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner, which was lovely although of course not as good as being home with everyone, and ate Chinese the day after that. On Saturday he went home :(. But it was a lovely week - he was my house-husband! It was great! He made me dinner and went grocery shopping for me and did the dishes and returned my library books and walked me to and from work and brought me snacks in the middle of the day! That is the life, man.

Anyway, I am enjoying my work here - I would love to come back and do another show here again - and I enjoy the company, and I hope to find a job somewhere for the spring (I sent my resume to a student group at Johns Hopkins who are looking for a music director for Evita, but they haven't gotten back to me), but I will be glad to go back to New York in three weeks. I miss Alex and my roommates and also the busy-ness of the city (although the fresh air out here is delicious, let me tell you!), and my own kitchen with all my supplies and ingredients.

But in the meantime, here I am, and it is good, and happy Chanuka!