May 2023 archive
Ammospermophilus leucurus
Tina Turner sang on some of my favorite Frank Zappa songs. Frank said,
I wanted to put some back-up singers on the thing, and the road manager who was with us at the time checked into it and said, "Well, why don't you just use the Ikettes?" I said, "I can get the Ikettes?" and he said, "Sure." But you know what the gimmick was? We had to agree, Ike Turner insisted, that we pay these girls no more than $25 per song, because that's what he paid them. And no matter how many hours it took, I could not pay them any more than $25 per song per girl, including Tina. It was so difficult, that one part in the middle of the song "Montana", that the three girls rehearsed it for a couple of days. Just that one section. You know the part that goes "I'm pluckin' the ol' dental floss"? Right in the middle there. And—I can't remember her name, but one of the harmony singers—she got it first. She came out and sang her part and the other girls had to follow her track. Tina was so pleased that she was able to sing this thing that she went into the next studio where Ike was working and dragged him into the studio to hear the result of her labor. He listened to the tape and he goes, "What is this—what is this shit?" and walked out.
I think the middle section of Montana is an exquisite vocal part. Montana (excerpt)
Yesterday, a friend's five year old son asked, "Why do lizards live in the desert?"

His father fielded the question. It got me remembering how various people I know came to live in the desert. One friend was traveling with his father when he was young, their car broke down in Lone Pine, and they stayed.
Sphaeralcea ambigua
Ammospermophilus leucurus
The empty room shown in yesterday's pic now looks like this (from a different angle). At the advice of a real estate agent, my friend hired stagers to put in furniture that, in their opinion, would complement the house's modern style better than my friend's previous furniture would. some of this stuff is borderline 1970s-dreadful I get that empty houses don't sell as readily as houses shown with furnishings but I wasn't aware there were services that will put stuff in a house temporarily in an attempt to make it look inviting. I didn't know the word stagers when my friend first said he was hiring them.

Certain aspects of the real estate business strike me as absurd.

I've sold two houses in my life and never hired anyone to swap out the existing furniture for something else.

If dogs knew what money was and how much of it people spend on agent commissions, title insurance, stagers and so on, it would confirm their suspicions that humans are batshit crazy.
Eleven years ago, I wrote about a friend whose disgust with politics in the USA led him to say—
I would move to New Zealand, but I am stuck because of the kids.
—although I was skeptical that he really would.

With US politics having since worsened considerably, more friends have talked about wanting to leave. One friend made a trip to check out Canada and was underwhelmed, partly because it was cold there.

empty roomAnother friend is doing more than talk: he's moving to France. I didn't doubt him when he said he would do it but a pic of his cleared‑out living room shows that he's not kidding.

Me, I don't have the energy to move even if I really wanted to.
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