Journal of Pirate Lingo*


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11.15.04 - 9:11 p.m.

Some peoples' online journals have a "Now Playing:" field. I don't, but I do feel the impulse sometimes; the mood of what I write is often colored by music. I wish there were a way to record the music that was playing as I wrote an entry, and then have that stretch of sound play back automatically as you read it. Just think, if we could all do that, wouldn't it be cool?

Right now I'm listening to Gora Merdawa, a tinkling 15 minute instrumental from "Music of the Gamelan Gong Kebyar." Gamelan is a type of Indonesian orchestra, compromised of gongs and xylophonic instruments. I took a gamelan class when I was living in London. They had a beautiful set at Royal Festival Hall. It was the only time I've ever played music with other people. I feel nostalgic listening now... gamelan sounds like rain, it's minimal repetitive stuff, but very melodic as well. Unlike Western orchestras, there's no conductor-- people keep time communally. The gong is played the least (only once on every 32nd measure, or something like that) but it's the most important instrument, because it helps everybody else stay on track.

I took the class with this girl, Kristen, that I'd been close with since Rice days. It was strange how quickly she drifted away after we left London. No explanation really. I sometimes wonder what happened, but I don't know if there's an answer. At the time it seemed we'd be friends forever.

Here are some pictures from last night. Laura tipped us off to a happening, and though sleep deprived, Az. and I walked over to Adobe Bookstore, where an artist named Chris Cobb and a team of assistants had rearranged the entire shop by color!

On the way there we passed by a shop selling flowers and cheap raver trinkets. I'm sure it will be closed in a year-- the business model is ludicrous, why would the Castro need a shop selling cheap raver trinkets?-- but I bought a party noisemaker because the shop was radiant, and I liked the garlands hanging from the ceiling.

After checking out the bookstore, we had some coffee at Macondo. They had an old cash register sitting on the counter next to a bronze head. Colors everywhere. We live in a great city. The only thing it lacks is a place to learn gamelan! Nothing closer than Santa Cruz, as far as I can tell.

I want to go to Bali someday, to check out the pros. Or back to Royal Festival Hall, to find the ghosts of me and Kristen. Maybe we leave ghosts wherever we go.

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