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Closet Song #3: Black Pants

And the third entry:   Black Pants, featuring Richard Travers on piano, Julia Ansolabehere on clarinet, and me doing most everything else:


And in case you are wondering:  after the big Selling-My-House-Cleanout, I am down to...let's see....only four pairs!

Closet Song #2 -- White Shirt

Featuring Richard Travers on the piano, Linda Toote on the flute, and Julia Ansolabehere on the clarinet.   Julia also serves as Airborne Food Choreographer.


Closet Song #1 -- Favorite Jeans

Enjoy!   And if you're so inclined -- please share this song with anyone who, say, has a closet.


Launching my first VMA!

I am getting ready to launch my very first Video Music Album!   Or maybe it's supposed to be called a Visual Music Album; I'm not really sure.   Basically, it will be exactly like Beyoncé's Lemonade!   Except for a few minor differences:

Private showing

I am holding a soggy bra when I get a text from our realtor:   can she bring a potential buyer through the house in three hours?

Of course, I respond.  And then I turn to the problem on hand:  where does one hang a just-washed brassiere to dry when one is showing one's house?

Kondo Association

For the past month or so we have been diligently cleaning out our house, giving things away as fast as we can.   Yes, I know, Tidying Up is having its cultural moment.  But this effort of ours has nothing to do with Marie Kondo!   We are cleaning out the house because we are getting ready to sell it.  And in order to do so, we need to make the house look uncluttered and spacious, inhabited by people with no discernible personality traits except that they are very clean.

After 21 years here, there is a lot stuff to clear out.   Now, I wouldn't really know, because I haven't watched her show, but I understand that Marie Kondo instructs us to thank each thing we throw out, and to kiss it as we let it go.   But I am not particularly sentimental about the stuff I'm throwing out.   It's just stuff.   And I'd just as soon not put my lips on 21 years of dust.

At HOME with Google

About a month ago I received a Google Home device in the mail.   It was a free gift for renewing a Verizon contract, or some such thing.  It sounded like it would be a fun thing to have; and it is!  It lives in my kitchen and has cute flashing lights and it tells me useful things like when Walgreens closes or how many grams in half a cup of flour.

My family was alarmed when they saw it; it's a spy machine, they said.  And they are not wrong!   The press is full of articles talking about how these smart devices are nothing more than machines for gathering information about us, which they use to sell us stuff.   Take, for example, this article from The Guardian: Will You Be Getting a Smart Home Spy for Christmas? 

I clicked on that article, and was immediately presented with sidebar ads encouraging me give to Planned Parenthood and to buy a streamlined steam cleaner from Dyson that will replace every other home cleaning device I own, but taking up only half the space. They know my politics and they know that I am downsizing.  

Of course they do!   Every time I go to the grocery store I blithely give Jeff Bezos full information about my consumer preferences in exchange for $.25 per lb. break on the price of organic avocados.   Should I be surprised that whenever I log onto Facebook, I am presented with ads for the most wonderful of pants, with pockets in just the right places, presentable in a business setting and yet comfortable enough to wear to yoga class?   Which are made from recycled coffee grounds!   And every time a pair is sold, the company gives money to retrain rescued sex workers as air traffic controllers!

Big Internet knows what I want before I know it myself.  And when I'm elbow-deep in bread dough but can still command the Google Home to play Leonard Cohen, I don't particularly mind.

Yesterday was my birthday.  In high spirits as I was cooking dinner, I told the new toy, "OK, Google!   Play birthday music!"

And without missing a beat, the Google Home started playing 2Chainz' hit, All I Want for My Birthday is a Big Booty Ho.

I am thinking that perhaps Google has a little work yet to do on its algorithms.   Because it is definitely NOT the case that what I want for my birthday is a big booty ho'.

I also want those pants I saw on Facebook.



The Leaky Pen Waltz

Shot last week in Santa Barbara!   Check out Julia Ansolabehere on the clarinet.   Thanks to Steve Ansolabehere for his ace iPhone camerawork, and to Rick Travers for his musical guidance.


Resolutions, L.A. Style

It is the dawn of 2019 -- time for a round of resolutions!   I am fortunate to have spent the past week in Los Angeles, a city deeply committed to self-improvement.  So I have decided to draw my New Year's resolutions entirely from the mile-long stretch of Ventura Blvd. in Studio City, between Coldwater and Laurel Canyons.   And here they are.

Resolution 1:  Get in Shape

There are dozens of fitness studios in this mile of Ventura Blvd.--I tried to count, but I ran out of fingers.   Here's a sample from a single block closest to our vacation rental:


Giving Season

It is the season of giving at our house -- mostly because we are planning to sell the house in a few months, and in preparation we are giving away as much as possible.    We're making trip after trip to the Salvation Army donation station; Big Brother has done a few major pickups of household goods.  The day after Thanksgiving we brought about 3/4 of our book collection to a donation bin.

At first it was agonizing, parting with much-loved books and souvenirs loaded with happy memories.  But I got over that pretty quick.  Now I find it postively exhilarating to get all this stuff out of my life.

Good-bye, Dostoevsky!  

Reading you made me a better person.

Good-bye, Marcel Proust!

It's possible that reading you might have made me a better person....but we'll never find out, now, will we?


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