Thursday, May 28, 2009

Damn Those Musicians –

Who knows why memories of certain experiences drift back into our minds at times that don’t seem to make any sense in terms of connection? I guess I’m assuming this happens to other people, besides me. My mind is a veritable well with an accompanying apparatus that often vigorously dips down into it ... drawing up, from various levels ... happenings and feelings from my lifescape.

This morning, while driving down North Broadway here in Knoxville, I could hear the words of a job interviewer (I don’t know what her real title was) from eight or nine years ago. At the time, I was still the roving, roaming, itinerant humane education director for a local non-profit organization, visiting schools and organizations in Knox and contiguous counties with my program. The "EF" employee (initials of recruiter organization), who later served as interviewer, contacted me and asked if I would please consider coming in and applying for a part-time job with her organization – a job that would involve my working with inner-city youth. I loved that prospect, so I figured why not complete the application? Soon I had my initial meeting with her. Her eagerness for me to be a serious job candidate was evident and a bit disconcerting, as she later phoned me to ask me to please remain interested in the position.

At last, the day of my defining interview arrived and I sweetly and sincerely accepted the invitation into her office. A few moments into our talk, she said "I know, and you admit here (on my paperwork), that you’re a musician!". Then, without stopping, she went on: "Don’t you think you would be a bad influence on children?" Well, it was really, what would be referred to in the vernacular, a "sucker shot" -- one that definitely caught me unprepared.

In that moment, I realized she’d never intended to consider me for the job and had, in fact, put a lot of effort into bringing me to that place and time. Possibly so that she could say that to me? Who knows? Maybe I fulfilled some obscure category on her EOE documentation; is there one for "musician"?. Anyway, I remember looking at her and managing to say "I consider music a positive thing", then getting up and leaving ... bewildered on my drive home.

I don’t know who was hired for that job, but odds are that he or she boasted of having a tin ear.


Strolling Through The Park –

"I was strolling through the park one day,
In the merry, merry month of May,
I was taken by surprise, By a pair of roguish eyes,
In a moment my poor heart was stole away!"

Music and Lyrics were composed by by Ed Haley in 1884; the song’s genre was/is "parlor song" and it has an additional verse. BTW (this is an aside) I came across alternate, parody lyrics entitled While Strolling In Iraq One Day on The Boot Newt Sing-A-Long Blog at; I'm guessing those lyrics were written during the presidential campaign.


Dixie Lee and I took our Thursday outing today...we went to one of several parks we enjoy. Suddenly, the lines of this little song began to play in my head and soon I was singing it as we walked. I felt very uninhibited and the little melody continued on, again and again. May really is a "merry" month. Spring has grabbed hold with a firm and lovely grip and the little flora faeries have begun their seasonal dance among the flowers. Now, as the merry month draws to a close, the sultry (I always think of the month of June as sultry, seductive...that’s why the opening line in my song "That’s The Way You Make Me Feel" is "Like a sweet, summer day sometime in June" -- hear it on my Song Page link at I guess it naturally follows that we could ascribe one-word "mood tags" for each month. I’d be very interested in hearing your ideas about that, dear reader. What is the general tone of July, of September, the rest of them? Well, it’s kind of hard, when we’re standing here and straddling the line between being merry and being sultry, to imagine the mood tone for any other time. But let me know if you can!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Gate-Keepers, Step Aside –

"Animal People" is a newspaper publication about and for individuals and organizations that work to help animals – through advocacy, rescue, and/or education ... animal-oriented people ... in short, "animal-people". I had subscribed to Animal People for the ten years during which I was education director and traveling public speaker for a regional humane organization.

Recently, when I completed and recorded my classical music composition Requiem For Animals, I sent a news item about it, as well as a letter-to-the editor, to Animal People, so that the editor/publisher could choose the format he preferred to include in an upcoming issue. The items described the musical work and the fact that I was offering it as a gift to humane organizations that might want to use it as a film score or for an educational project. When the next issue rolled out, Requiem For Animals was not mentioned at all. Rather, I received an e-mail from the editor/publisher, rejecting my news item and letter and dissing the concept of my musical gift offer, in general. His tone, while polite, flexed the muscle of censorship and gate-keeping. He also suggested that I contact each organization individually. (!) Left on my own, without recourse to a widely distributed animal advocacy avenue, I’ve been contacting those organizations I find on the Internet via e-mail and postal mail, as time and postage money permit, but there is no way I can even know about the existence of many worthwhile organizations and certainly no way I can contact each of them.

How sad that the role of "watchdog", guardian, and gate-keeper would be so staunchly policed, that something of beauty and value (and free of cost) would be kept from those who might want and benefit from it.

Comprised of interwoven segments that tell a story and characterize states of being ... and consciousness... from the perspective of an animal, the Requiem For Animals musical drama attempts to portray the moment of birth, early life in the natural environment, the advent of danger (by way of man), death, the following quietude, the re-awakening, and the celebration of life in the cosmos.

I would like to tell the animal advocacy community – the animal-people organizations -- that Requiem For Animals is a professional, production-quality musical work that I am offering free, for use in their programming efforts. There are no hitches or catches. Requiem For Animals can be heard on my website at on the "Song Page" link. I will send a free copy of the CD to organizations that contact me at (865) 522-0204 and request it.

So, gate-keepers, step aside; let’s open the gates of information!

Starkly, With Finesse –

I guess that phrase and post title flew into my head because (I hope) it describes, succinctly, the relation, the balance, between me and the written word. (see Gate-Keeper post).

Flower Power –

One needs only to deeply inhale the wondrously beautiful perfume of the Mock Orange blossom (now abloom in profusion) or take in the visual feast of a velvety Rose garden, to be assured that, whatever is going on in the world of humans, Nature can and does upstage us – skillfully, eloquently, and with such drama!

Who Knoo?

That I might get a new vehicle?

That we’d have two straight weeks of rain in east Tennessee?

That the economy would start to improve?

That Chrysler would file for bankruptcy?

That I'd receive Victoria’s Secret mauve, lacey underwear for Mother’s Day?

That I'd receive a bottle of (immunity-boosting) food-grade H202 (hydrogen
peroxide) for Mother’s Day?

That I'd love sci-fi TV series "Moonlight" and its handsome starring vampire?

That I would be pet-sitting a 19-year-old adorable little dog?

Loft Office –

Clarence III and Dexter March and all their peripherals have been moved and are now located in my loft office, which is also known as "Dixie Towers" because my dog, Dixie Lee, loves to hang out up here. Jerry calls my office "Cape Canaveral" because he thinks it’s techy-looking. It is office-y enough, though also a quiet place with a nice, soft, creative vibe. Another plus is that my bedroom (where the computer equipment formerly was situated), now looks like a bedroom (a girl’s BR). And I love it!