Monday, November 12, 2007

Aqua Blog (Recalled)

My apologies!
I have been out of the blog loop for a couple weeks, because I have been preoccupied with memorizing lines (oh that) for my new show, SLOUCHING TOWARDS DISNEYLAND. Not being a youngster any more (which I realized over the course of several performances), I have been pretty much staggering home after the rehearsals and shows, and sleeping the sleep of the just.

But my stamina is coming back, as old muscles begin to come back into play. The show is a laugh riot. And it's educational! If you live in the Bay Area, I urge you to come see it immediately, for your own good, and, yes, for mine.

We (that is composer/musician Joshua Brody and I) are the Marsh in San Francisco, Thursdays through Saturdays, through December 8. Themarsh.org will tell you more.

Omer? Omar?
There’s a man called either Omer or Omar, according to Patty our stage manager, who shows up in a wall recess next to the Marsh. He has a mullet and a black guitar. He sets up a little busking area for himself, then sings and plays. I have seen him do Buddy Holly, the Doors (though his memory lyrics is selective), and songs of his own devising (the lyrics of one were, near as I could tell, “La la la la twenty four carats”). He also “talks” between songs. These little speeches have the cadence of between-song patter, but what he says is nonsense. Nobody ever actually stops to listen to him. Most curiously, he has two square pieces of cardboard on a bag in front of him. They are the shape and size of a CD jewel case, and have scribbles on them.

It looked to me as though Omer/Omar has an imaginary musical career, complete with imaginary audience, and imaginary CDs.

Joshua and I were observing him (and trying to sing along discreetly with his version of “That’ll be the day”), when Joshua remembered a story he’d read about a guy who called himself “Mingering Mike.”

It seems a pair of record collectors were going through stacks of vinyl at a flea market, when they came across a series of what seemed to be homemade covers, which contained a sheet of cardboard cut to look like a record, complete with fake grooves. The artist featured was Mingering Mike.

The New York Times, it turns out, had done a feature on this guy: “The front covers were intricately painted to look like classic funk albums; on the spines were titles and fake catalog numbers; the backs had everything from liner notes to copyright information to original logos; the inner sleeve was often a shopping bag meticulously taped together to hold a record; and some actually opened to reveal beautiful gatefold sleeves. A few albums had even been covered in shrink-wrap and bore price stickers and labels with apocryphal promotional quotes.”

One of the collectors, by coincidence, was a private investigator, and tracked Mr. Mike down. He had created these “albums” when he was a teenager in DC. He didn’t want his real name used, but he had made the “records” because he couldn’t afford to record his music, except a cappella and on the fly, with his cousins. But when the day arrived that he WOULD be able to record his music properly, well, he had the covers ready to go.

Aqua Dots
I have much fodder which I sift through for my little blog, but real life and unrealistic demands for money from landlady, phone company etc. have forced my attention elsewhere, but I do want to say something about Aqua Dots.

I haven’t watched Saturday morning television in eons, but apparently Aqua Dots are advertised heavily there, and are quite popular with young children. Aqua Dots are little beads of plastic that you can arrange into pleasing patterns, which can then be displayed on the refrigerator, with the help of magnets, not provided.

Well, Aqua Dots have been recalled. The physical creation of Aqua Dots, it seems, had been outsourced to China, where a chemical was added to its composition, 1,4 butanediol, which ingested can cause unconsciousness. It is considered a"date rape" drug. Several children who swallowed the beads vomited and lapsed into comas (from which they recovered). The chemical, besides possessing its anesthetic properties, was believed to be an essential part of the “glue” that allowed the beads to stick together.

I hate to sound like a fogey, but maybe we should all go back to flour paste. You know, a little flour, a little water, and you have a glue that will bind almost anything. And my, is it tasty! If we really want to induce seizures among our children, we can always throw a little LSD into the mix.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Dirk van Nouhuys said...

No reflection on the many profound contributions of the Arabs to mathematics, but zero is not one of them. The history of zero is rather complicated depending on what you mean by Zero (seehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0_(number)#History_of_zero), but at any rate zero as we now think of it first appeared in India in the 6th century A.D. The Arabs got it from India and introduced it to the west.

11:16 AM  

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