Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Bohemnian Rhapsody" on Ukulele?

Here at the coffee shop, we are experiencing an overload of acoustic music on a radio station called, Marz says, the Coffee House or something.

Right now, "Bohemian Rhapsody" on ukulele.

What, in an unpremeditative mode,do we think of this?

Marz: It's music like these [pointing at coffee bean sacks next to us].. these burlap bags.

FREX: How so? Bland yet irritating?

MARZ: Why "yet"? Don't those go together?

FREX: I was thinking bland like pudding, which is not annoying.

MARZ: If you were wearing this [touches burlap bag], it would be very irritating.

FREX: Whereas if you were wearing pudding, it wouldn't be scratchy.

MARZ: Pudding would be great as clothing. A pudding clothing line! Pudding You Can Wear.

FREX: How would you keep it from sliding off?

MARZ: I wasn't thinking that much, just if pudding could be translated into clothing, it would be very cool.

FREX: Like silk.

MARZ: Yeah, and they're working on charged clothing, so you can put your phone in the pocket of your shirt and it will charge. So they can knit all sorts of things into fabric, I'm sure they could do pudding.
You just need someone who would devote a lot of time and energy and money to it. The kind of person who would measure themselves in Cheetos. That would be the same sort of person.

FREX: That would be you, Marz.
But I have an idea. Pudding in little Zip-Lock bags, stitched together into an item of clothing.

MARZ: That's very do-able. But... does pudding go bad?

FREX: Sure, it's a milk product. This would be a one-time wear.

MARZ: You could do it for Halloween and go as Lady Gaga.

FREX: And it would be cheap.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


by Marzipan P. Marmot

a trumpet has a bell
but you shouldn't hit it like a bell
it will dent

[photo: Wynton Marsalis]

MARZ: But you have to explain this. It doesn't make sense.
This does NOT mean copy down everything I say!!!
[laughs; stabs your typist in the arm with a pen; hangs head when this has no effect]


FREX: OK, so... explain it. I won't type it until


FREX: [typing] [scerad,td.fd,g]ouf]p''[rbdft

MARZ: NOW YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN THAT! Now there's even more to explain. STOP!!!
[hits back of chair of your typist]

FREX: [scerad,td.fd,g]ouf]p''[rbdft looks like it looks because I was typing with a pillowcase over my head, placed there by one Marzipan P. Marmot.

OK, really now. Here's what happened.

This morning, instead of writing my [Frex's] resume, I sat on the couch with Marz and made up a song off the top of my head. It was terrible and I don't remember anything except it ended with
"Juice, juice, juice, juice."

Then I quizzed Marz on the properties of brass instruments. (She plays trumpet.)

"Trumpet," she said, "has a nice color."

"What's the color?" I said.

And she said, "It's not a particular color, it's just a brightness, like glossy paint instead of matte."

I said I think I prefer the darker smokier sounds of, I guess sax and trombone.

"Tenor sax," Marz clarified. "That's what Captain Kirk plays."

Then I asked her to compose a poem about the trumpet, unpremeditatedlyish,
and the above poem was the result.


"Justin Bieber Playing Trumpet" from Gifninja.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, Illustrated & Unpremeditated

Today, Marz and I made pineapple upside-down cake with my mother's handwritten recipe.

[ * * * *RECIPE AT END OF POST . . . ]

Then we talked about it.

MARZ: [This cake is] like dissonance.
Is it?
Is it?

FREX: Yes! Because it shoves into close contact elements which we normally keep distinct.

MARZ: Uh, yeah... with the fruit and the cake touching. That could be disturbing. It could make you feel like you're upside down. Even the name of the cake... you might have to sit down after hearing it.

FREX: Yeah, and the tart acid next to the fat sweet. It's like... what do you call it? When the chord isn't a comfortable major cord, like C-major?

MARZ: I don't know what that's called. You mean minor chords? Or, dissonance? Dissonance is major and minor chords touching?
Let's hope no one who knows music theory reads this.

FREX: Well, they could help us.

MARZ: Yeah, but it's not about the theory. It's just about the metaphor. Like how you can talk about math if you don't know it.

FREX: OK, but, you know what? I don't think dissonance is the best metaphor for this cake, because in fact, the cake is much more comforting, very much LIKE a C-major chord.

MARZ: When everyone was warming up for marching band, the section leader would say, "OK, everybody, C-major chord," to see if we were in tune to prevent any future dissonance.

FREX: This cake is more like the way dissonance resolves in music.

MARZ: It felt really dissonant to plop the pineapples in the skillet with the sugar and butter.

FREX: It's really satisfying to have something that sets your nerves on edge...

MARZ:... as long as it resolves.

FREX: It makes you feel all worried and then, sigh... everything's all right with the world.
Even if that's an illusion, it's an incredibly comforting one.

MARZ: All the waves are in synch. Which is right and makes sense.

FREX: Even though it's not how things really are.
Well, sometimes they are.
As in this cake.

MARZ: The people who are going to eat this cake won't experience it as dissonant because they weren't involved in the process of creation.
Like making the burrito at Taco Bell--
--if you're making it you know that everything barely comes together. It's very messy, very unsatisfying, actually, to make one of those burritos, but it's all folded up so the people on the receiving end aren't aware of that.

FREX: Maybe that's what art does for us. What artists do for us. They wade into the dissonance and wrestle it to the floor. Speaking of mixed metaphors...
Wait, maybe that works---it's like wading into a swamp and wrestling an alligator.
Which is a little dramatic for the act of baking.
Tho the way our kitchen looked at the end, maybe not.

MARZ: You did throw an egg, Frexipan.

MARZ: Let's fold this post up like a dissonant burrito. Can we charge people money too? Ninety-eight cents?

FREX: Yeah. Everyone: please send 98 cents and we will send you a piece of nondissonant cake. If there's any left. Which there won't be.

MARZ: So, in parentheses, that's (no).

To resolve this satisfactorily, here's the recipe for

Melt in cast-iron skillet
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 c(1 stick) or 1/4 c butter

Drain can of pineapple. Set pineapple on top of the melted butter and sugar.

Mix in small bowl:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Cream 1/2 cup butter with 1 c. sugar
add 2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add flour mix, alternating with 1 cup milk, to creamed mixture.

Beat 2 egg whites stiff and add to batter at end.

Bake 350 degrees, 40 minutes or so

(from my mother, Lytton V. Davis)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Damp air.
Damp brain.

I am going to post something here this morning, no matter how sodden.

I don't know why I'm not writing, and it's the not-knowingness that bugs me.

Though it's surely obvious?