Thursday, September 17, 2015

In which Mixed Meters Turns Ten

September 16, 2005, was the day I started Mixed Meters.   Ten years have gone by and I'm still writing this blog.  No, this will not be a navel-gazing, soul-searching post in which I ask myself 'Why the hell am I still doing it?'.  Suffice it to say I the hell am still doing it and I doubt I'll stop soon.  Best not to wonder why and just go with the inertia.

Sixteenth of September, it turns out, is the name of a 1956 painting by RenĂ© Magritte.  I'll let you figure out what the title means.  Here is the painting:

I did the first Mixed Meters' anniversary post at the five year mark.  Back then I added a picture of me on the my fifth birthday.  Here's a picture of 10-year-old me with my birthday cake.  I know it was my birthday cake because the cake says "Happy Birthday David".

These days I don't remember anything about the occasion.   There's no one around for me to ask.   I'm pretty sure this cake picture was not taken on my birthdate because I found another picture of a baseball game with the exact date of my birthday written on it.  It was my Mother's handwriting. 

I remember going to the game in Kansas City. The Internet tells me all the stats: the A's lost to the Boston Red Sox.  I remember the several hundred mile trip on the train.  The train ride has stayed in my memory for over 50 years.  I don't remember the game itself.  Not one bit of it.  Nor do I remember that this happened exactly on my tenth birthday.

Here's some trivia: I don't like baseball and I've always hated birthdays.

Anyway, ever since MM's Fifth Anniversary, I've posted something self-absorbed about Mixed Meters on or near September 16.  Here are the posts:

In which Mixed Meters Turns Five - besides seeing me at 5 years old, you can read the email I sent to my friends when Mixed Meters was a month old.  And there's an annotated graph showing the ups and downs of five years of hit counts.  Here's a quote:
Sometimes I claim that Mixed Meters has only three readers. That's supposed to be a small joke.
A Thousand and One Redheaders -  in honor of the sixth anniversary Redheaders, the random tag lines at the top of every MM page, are explained.  I add more every anniversary.  There are now almost 1400 of them.  Here's a quote:
TagLine[9] = "Mixed Meters - Similar to the intersection of two country roads."
In which Mixed Meters Survives Seven Years - a description of the silly categories I put my music into: 30 Second Spots, 10 Minute Breaks, etc.  And, in a chart, I reveal how many seconds of music I had uploaded for your listening pleasure until that point.  A lot.  Here's a quote:
Do you wonder how long 55,393 seconds is in hours and minutes? Well, go ahead, do the math.
Mixed Meters Is Eight Years Old - without a doubt, my most self-absorbed post ever.  This is where I wondered why I bother blogging.  I discuss expectations, free time, the Four Ws, Garbage Day Periodicity and bucket lists.  There's a whole slough of my pen and ink doodles for you to identify.  Here's a quote:
During my lifetime the U.S. has invented the Tea Party, fracking, Miley Cyrus, megachurches, Shock and Awe, Dick Cheney, Walmart, the NRA, the rapture, Real Housewives, Three Strikes laws, Grand Theft Auto and mass murder in schools - to name just a very few things I would gladly live without.
Nine Years of Blogging - this was MM's 700th post.  I talk about birds, particularly a hummingbird named Red Thor and a nameless crow.  There's a silly moral at the end, it's photography advice.  Here's a quote:
Leslie saw me working on this post and asked "How long have you been married to your blog?
Here's another picture - me again still age ten, about to blow out the candles.  On the left is my Aunt Kate and on the right my Uncle Ben.  We still own the coffee table on which the cake is sitting.

So, that's the past.  And I hear you ask "What about Mixed Meters' future?"  I've hatched a plan for the next four posts.

You see, I have a small backlog.  There are three long essays and one piece of music which I never finished to my own satisfaction.  I never posted them.  These have been languishing in the "I'll get to that someday" pile.  I've decided that it would be a suitable Mixed Meters Tenth Anniversary Celebration to just post them as they are.  This will get rid of them and allow me to stop beating myself up for not finishing them.  Life is too short to have a "I'll get to that someday" pile.

The upcoming posts are:

Timeless Music (written circa October 2009)- I explore the notion of calling music "timeless".  I suggest religions exist for that purpose.  I mention famous musicians like Richard Wagner and Michael Buble.  Here's a quote:
Anyone can claim that certain music is timeless because choosing which music is timeless is a personal decision. Timeless implies that anyone, in any decade, any century, any millennium, will find the music meaningful. A genuinely timeless work ought to remain so regardless of changes in culture, economics or politics. It's a tall order.
Two LA Philharmonic Festivals of California Music (written circa January 2010) -  in late 2009 the LA Phil did a festival featuring California composers.  In this post I compare that festival to their previous festival devoted to California composers, way back in 1981.  So this is like a review of concerts 28 years apart.   Here's a quote:
Serious music in California desperately needs some sense of place.  My problem with these two Philharmonic festivals has nothing to do with the content chosen for them.  The differences between them no doubt reflect the differences of the times.  The big issue, however, is the length of time separating the two.
The Ring of Klinghoffer (written circa September 2014) - last year the Metropolitan Opera performed John Adams' opera "The Death of Klinghoffer".  There was a public brouhaha about it.  I tried to write a think piece based on the facts behind the opera.  Did you realize there were actually two murders and two hijackings?  I realized that one opera was not nearly enough to cover the subject matter and I started to outline plots for four operas which I proposed calling "The Ring of Klinghoffer".  I completely floundered on this task.  This is the longest and least finished article in this series.  Here's a quote:
Whatever meaning the life and death of Leon Klinghoffer could have had (should have had) for us has been buried by a war, more terrorism, several more wars and endless political and prejudicial propaganda.  Those things are all too real and all too deplorable and all too inevitable.  This can be an awful world.  No part of this story makes anything better.  Only worse.
Finale - Summer 2014 (short version) (composed in Summer of 2014) - this is not unfinished writing.  Instead it is unfinished music.  My series The Seasons in supposed to have one piece for each season on the calendar as the years pass inexorably.  I was never happy with how the music I composed in the Summer of 2014 turned out.  Time heals all ills, right?  Or some of them.  Here's a quote:
It took me more than 40 years to get around to using these ideas.  I'm old now and I'm allowed to dig around in my past without good reason.  I must have had lots of other ideas back then as well.  These two, for some reason, were never forgotten.
It's funny what gets forgotten and what doesn't, isn't it?

Here's another picture of ten-year old me, possibly taken on another night in another place, although I'm wearing the same outfit.  I think the little girl is my cousin Judy; she would have been about two.  The television is a Motorola.  Made in America.

If you've read this far you can congratulate yourself.  You've survived another Mixed Meters Anniversary post.  Expect me to pull out all the stops for the next major MM celebration, the Mixed Meters Centenary on September 16, 2105.  See you then.

René Magritte figured in this Mixed Meters post about rocks.
Here's a post about Ronald Reagan and my Mother.

1 comment :

John Marcher said...

Happy tenth anniversary, David.