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October 6th, 2007

clutter roadshow


Sometimes misunderstood, originally uploaded by gurdonark.

Today I drove from court in downtown Dallas back to my office, using side streets. I deviated from my journey when I was on one of those M Street adjacent neighborhoods which has charming, non-tract housing. The sign that caused me to take a turn for the worsted said "Estate Sale ------->".

The sale held real promise when I arrived. The wares were abundant and laid out in no particular order, like a used bookstore so fun that it takes pride in making customers sift the masses of books. I hoped the pricing was as haphazard as the display.

Sadly, though, the prices bore that familiar mark that "someone has been watching 'antiques roadshow' and growing very big eyes". Nice curios were priced as if they were treasured antiques.

I usually watch for books or interesting gizmos at such sales. The book selection alternated between 1940s Career and Business School offerings on accounting and the novel Le Divorce, the former of which I should probably read but will not; the latter of which I have read already. She traveled the world, and only her guidebooks remain behind. I did not buy any books. The gizmo landscape was gizmo-free.

In five minutes such as those I spent in such a house, one can see what is left behind when the life is drawn from the home like a huge drag from an imaginary cigarette. Lately I think about dispensing with all the accumulations of my packrat ways. Sights like this give me backbone.

There will be a day of self-reckoning soon, and fortunately no particularly awful judgments are apt to result. But perhaps I will make progress in avoiding being someone's estate sale.

As for the home I visited, I know that the prices will all drop two hours before the end of the sale, when nobody "bites" at "roadshow pricing". But I have clutter enough already to need to buy any more.

early Saturday morning concert

I'd like to invite you to experience my early Saturday morning.

Imagine yourself 25 miles north of Dallas, on a warm October morning under a cloudy sky.
Place yourself in a two-story brick facade tract home, in a neighborhood of attractive but rather similar tract homes, down the street from an elementary school, a swimming pool, and a small lake park.

You have the morning paper with you as you lie on the sofa. Your little black dog sometimes exits through the back door's dog passage, in search of the bunnies which are now still plentiful, but will soon disappear.

The morning is utterly peaceful, and everything seems asleep, when a bird atop the chimney begins to sing. You place a voice recorder on the fireplace grate, and just listen:


[click above to play birdsong]
I have been considering going to hear the band Rilo Kiley play a concert tonight, largely because I can never pick up any media without an interview with a band member being featured somewhere. But when I hear birdsong, I wonder if I might buy an mp3 or two on amazon.com, and just enjoy the symphony around me.

St. Bernard

This morning acquires a musical theme.

I just got an e mail from Anchor Mejans, which is the musical nom de paix of artist Jaff Seijas. He and Old Dog, another ccmixter, have completed a new version of a remix of one of my songs.

They both do really fun work, and I've had the pleasure of collaborating with Anchor Mejans on the "Cloud" song cycle, a collaboration in which I was the lesser partner.

"St. Bernard Song", however, is a bit more fun than usual for me, because it is a musical setting of an a capella lyric I wrote and sang. I love to sing, but I've not yet captured myself in any song I consider particularly listenable.

Undeterred, however, they took my "St. Bernard Song", a metaphor about bridesmaids who are never brides, and turned my lemons into lemonade, with a new vocal by anchor mejans, far better than mine, right here:

http://ccmixter.org/media/files/anchormejans/11941

What fun!