Levels & Degrees by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: A Clearance Blow-out Sale & Sync

Read Me First: Seriously, go get headphones and select this Web-linked track [Priceless Banter #14] before you begin reading this Web-linked posting. Really. I'm not goofing around with you anymore. I just finished writing this very Web log posting below and the audio track [clicky] really makes it "all come together" --and if you're "at work" or "with the kids" or some other whiney-ass bullshit excuse, participate with me later because you'll have some bored or down-time over the holidays. I don't care. But I made this you for the holidays.

- Sincerely, Ty

"Some people prefer cupcakes better, but I for one, care less for them."

- Fran Zappa, Bongo Fury, May 20th or 21st, 1975

Rehearsal Letter "J":

Obviously there are levels and degrees to everything conceived by humans. Arena League Football isn’t the National Football League. New York City isn't Wasilla. Jamaica's bobsled team is a bobsled team from Jamaica, right? It is diversity that makes a thing interesting and worthwhile ultimately. Levels and degrees is why we compete for top honors. Levels and degrees is why we have a future filled with flying cars and robot slaves and Barack Hussein Obama on the $25 bill. Levels and degrees invented aspiration.

The Olney Ballet Theater's (OBT ("Yeah, you know me")) presentation of The Nutcracker is definitely not the Joffrey's presentation with live music and dancers beaten to within an inch of their young, fragile lives to "PERFORM DAMMIT!" And that's where I was yesterday at the OBT ("Yeah, you know me"). Personally I would have chosen to see the Joffrey version at the Kennedy Center but we weren't sure if the child was up for two and a quarter hours of real ballet at $135 a ticket. So we went to the OBT ("Yeah, you know me") for $35 a pop. She was b-o-r-e-d but stuck it out like the badass she is.

I am such a fucking arts snob. I mean I do love the arts, believe me. My arts situation is incredibly important to me. I love and I share, you know? And I was all delighted to be in a third row seat in a live theater with a stage and all the lights and the over-saturated, incandescent white balance warmth of professional sets and costumes with music and dance. It was a experientially wonderful, really.

But, I was all cognitively critical of the execution of things. Well not all "things" because the costumes, set-design and FX were quite good. Not the kids either, they were super-great, and Clara was magnificent. But this is a small school-theater-based ballet that relies on what's called "guest artists" and program ads from Realtors and hair salons. Unfortunately, and here's where I suck as an audience member of any kind, many of the guest ringers were well past their primes and it goddamn showed. They were exposed to me as if they were being waterboarded in a live sex show the stage. I knew all their truths. I was so sad for them. And the music was too loud and poorly edited. At some point I actually thought, "I could probably put on The Nutcracker on my laptop iTunes and dance around in candy cane tights and probably get maybe $5 a seat for one night." Am I a jerk? You can tell me. I have thick-thin skin, tell me but tell me you love me.

I mean I appreciate what these people do and that it is clear that they probably were really quite good at dancing on their toes and landing softly 13 years ago. But, hell if this didn't make me want to die at times for very specific reasons. Reasons like, will he be able to lift her? What is he hiding with a cod piece that big? She probably knows my mother. Worse is the fact that I was not in an audience filled with similar snobs and people were actually digging this performance (or they were really high, dunno). I am a horrible person, I know. But, let me be clear it is totally cool that the Sugar Plum Fairy dancer won the Princess Grace 1989.

But this isn't even the point of this post [Note: I'm wildly distracted right now because I'm listening to Priceless Banter #14 and it's really fucking good so far...and has been downloaded 16 times at some site I never heard of. WTF, right? We made this like last year and just put it up on Blogger now it's at some site I never heard of and somebody has downloaded it a bunch of times? What the hell? This #14 is goddamn great though. Essence isn't just a magazine if you feel me. I know I'm all riffin' improv-style in a punctuation bracket right now. I know this. I know these things but the guitars are like water and the drums like thunder.... In fact, this very comment in this very punctuation bracket is pretty much what tKoL is has always been about: meandering improv riffs and very long wakes. And case you're still here and following along this, let me give you the first important Easter egg in a severall years: Mind the comments. These comments to you within these very punctuation brackets is exactly what middlespace is. Don't say I never told you, either. Here it is right here on the interwebs in English: PB #14, headphones, and these very bracketed comments is what middlespace is]. The point of this post is there are levels and degrees to things. Everything.

Three Best Quotations of the Day So Far Today in No Particular Order
"Wow, thank you. Its not everyday someone sends you something they wrote. That's a real present."

"Just gorgeous. You're a genius."

"Wow. It took me a while to fire up all my morning synapses to figure out who/what that was and what you were saying? Did I send that to Ty? That was ages ago. Right on. Other people's shit gots a long wake too, I suppose."

"I'm the absolute funniest person in the world when I'm stoned. Had the fuckers rolling at the last night. Forced people to have spit takes and everything."

"I think you'd like it-- story of a woman in a criminal psych ward claiming she's a member of a secret organization that fights evil."

"No, that's in your pants."

"The point of this post is there are levels and degrees to things."

"For a minute there I thought you were going all OCD on us."
Obviously, it rains diamonds upon our shoulders, people. Stop crying because you're successful. Whaaaa-whaaaa! I'm successful. STFU! Love who you are and appreciate what you contribute.

My Side of the Story:

I went to a Board of Directors meeting the other night and we got to the part where we were discussing the '09-'10 budget for this one organization I govern when all of a sudden a paradigm shift happened before our very eyes and things got all red state-blue state partisan political on us.

Two camps quickly dug in WWI trench-style: The Number Patriots v. The Big Picturists. Conservatives and liberals, Jews and Palestinians, Sunni and Shiite, Democrats and Republicans, and now The Number Patriots v. The Big Picturists. Mortal enemies who must bury the other's families in perpetuity.

It started when the Number Patriots ambushed the corporate accountants with independent spreadsheets and what they posited as "questions." These "questions" were basically thinly disguised attacks on how this organization has historically managed The Money and how, specifically, how this organization will pay its staff money in the future starting with the '09-'10 fiscal year. The Number Patriots were the paramilitary jack-booted lacrosse brotherhood of assassins who had obviously met prior to this general board meeting.

Over on the left side of the large boardroom table, the Big Picturists were all touchy-feelie and Correctly keen to how much it costs the staff to purchase groceries and gasoline and provide child care "in this economy." The Big Picturista were all long view forward and backwards with regard to what's going to happen with the government and the economy and the demographics and how certain things impact other things and how we should just all "make it work in everyone's best interest." It was very much like an ACLU 12-step hippie jam fest. Lots of passive aggressive "love" over here. These people couldn't organize an side meeting to save all the whales in all the oceans.

There was a great impasse. But I, fortunately, carry the Sandy O'Connor swing vote of logic baton with me everywhere I go. I swing the vote where it needs to go. I was ready to posse-up and solve things by swinging the vote quickly determined trouble was ahead when I spotted my closest political ally, Joan, nodding off at the opposite end of the large boardroom table. Was she poisoned, I wondered. Perhaps. So I was alone. All by myself in this deal just like everything else in one's life, ultimately. In all things we will forever be alone (and "all ends are all beginnings"). So when it comes time to make a particular decision about what do we can only do what we decide to do.

In all things political, I take in a lot of information and filter it thoroughly; quickly but thoroughly. I make decisions and I stick with most of those decisions because I have learned that my decisions and opinions are usually the right decisions and opinions for the circumstances. Hence, when it came to the final pay rate percentage vote, I ended up voting, to the surprise of many and largely as "A Symbolic Gesture," with the radical minority from the Number Patriot gang. Levels and degrees, there is a thesis. I understood it perfectly.

United States Governors Who Had Something Interesting Happen to Them in 2008 (partial):
  • Schwarzenegger
  • Spitzer
  • Palin
  • Blagojevich
  • Paterson
  • Jindal
  • Napolitano
  • Richardson
  • Crist
  • O'Malley
  • Perry
  • Ritter
  • Sebelius
  • Patrick
  • Pawlenty
  • Gibbons
  • Stirckland
  • Rendell
  • Kaine

Not Art Until You Sell Something My Ass:

I'm supposed to putting a new gallery show together right now, but I'll never do it though. I cannot process the commerce side. Ask anybody. But, obviously there are levels and degrees to everything we've done and that we will do so I leave you here, at the beginning: [clicky]

See you soon & good holidays all