Monthly Archives: November 2011

Capoeira in Honolulu – Brazilian Community of Hawaii

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Beach Life

My daughter is married to a Brasilian man from Minas Gerais province, and I have made two trips to the country. When my daughter’s mother and father-in-law saw a picture of Waikiki beach at night, they first though it was Rio De Janeiro, then did a double take, when they realized that it wasn’t quite. Rio and Honolulu are two towns quite famous for the beaches. “beach life” is a big deal in Rio as well as here, and as you might expect there is a community of expatriate Brazilians in Honolulu.

Capoeira in Honolulu

A recent houseguest was an advanced Capoeira player, and on a whim I took her to a class in Kaneohe, the other side of the island. The leader was  Mestra Kinha, the impresario of Capoeira Besouro, and seemingly involved with all things Brazilian in this town.  We had fun. The Mestre was gracious, as befits a guru in any discipline. He took me aside and taught me one move that would allow me to join him in the circle;  it was mainly designed to make sure that I did not inadvertently get kicked in the face. Oh, Capoeira is designed as a no-contact sport, but only when both parties are well schooled in the art of ducking.  Yes folks I am out of shape, but in another life I have practiced a variety of sports including east European folk dancing. I have always enjoyed the challenge of doing  these little psychomotor games, mimicking the moves of a person opposite me. I was able to draw on this to take direction for the one thing I needed to know….. there is one key move you do when you can’t think of something better or when you simply don’t know any moves – that’s what he taught and that’s what I did. My friend Stephanie was happy to have met those people, and I was in awe of Stephanie’s mastery of Capoeira.

Hawaiian Brian’s

Last night I attended the fundraising event of Capoeira Besouro, held at Hawaiian Brian’s showroom. Let’s be honest here: I am not much for the bar scene. Most of the time I am in bed by 9:30 P.M. since I get up so early. This particular hangout  is not easy to find, either. Yes, Kapiolani Boulevard is a main drag, and number 1680 is right across from Club Rock Za  – one of the main strip clubs in this town. But –  HB’s is  in the back of a fitness club, there is no signage for it on Kapiolani Boulevard, whatsoever, you need to go up the stairs to ask where it is.  The showroom itself is tucked in behind the pool hall – about two dozen tables under lights. Low Key atmosphere, here.

But I know a good place to shoot pool, now. If I ever decide to.

Anyway, the place was clean, and there was a good vibe of anticipation as all the members of the Capoeira team were there, as well as members of the Samba class from UH. Yes, we have a samba class here – taught by Carmen, who happens to be the spouse of Mestra Kinha.

There was a kind of family vibe at the event, which was cool. a half-dozen kids running around. The evening started with a performance by the dance troupe, all wearing white outfits typical of Bahia, the coastal province which is home to so much Brazilian culture. The did a half dozen or so dances as an ensemble. The dancers were having fun, and made a nice visual display.  I thought back to my trips to Brasil, and what fun I had….. there is a certain day of the year where every one wears white – I think it’s New Year’s Day.

The Capoeira was next, and a ring formed, with Kinha on Berenboim and two drummers. Capoeira is a martial art but one which consists of out-displaying your opponent, not causing harm.  There is always an opportunity to show some gymnastic moves inn any performance, and here was a club that was fired up, lots of dazzling moves worthy of Olympic tumbling.  The circle includes both men and women, both genders were highly skilled.  behind me, a guy joined in on all the chants, I talked with him later and he is from Sampa (Sao Paulo). he now trains for triathlon but his kids are old enough now to enroll in Capoeira class.

Samba

Then the Samba band played, this was new to me. Most of the guys in the room were too shy to dance samba, or perhaps not sufficiently fired up with alcohol, but I am not afraid to make a fool of myself, so I joined in. Well-performed samba requires the ability to create hip gyrations at the rate of 240 per minute; I am not up to this speed, but of course, i am pleased to say that many of the lady members of the samba class, are able to meet or exceed this standard.

A prisoner of Forro

To my surprise and delight, the band played a short Forro set. This is my favorite genre of Brazilian music, exemplified by the band Falamansa. I own five of their CDs. I only have three DVDS here in Honolulu, and one is a concert DVD of Falamansa. If you have never seen Forro,  here is a link to some dancing that took place in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, when i was there in 2008. Chuva is one my favorite tunes – it’s about rain – the lyrics  compare rain to a blessing of holy water. One of the percussionists converted to the triangle for the forro tunes – you need a triangle and zabumba drum. Alas, the band did not have an accordionist… but give them time to find one. Accordionists are hard to find in this town.

Flashbacks to Brasil trip in 2008

On that same 2008 trip, I spent time travelling by myself to the coast. I took the night bus to Espiritu Santo, ending in ItaUnas, the forro capital of the world. The New Year’s Eve party there was particularly fun, some day I will tell that story. Here in Honolulu, the dancers kept the samba steps during the forro tunes, since the forro genre is not well known. Forro is a couple dance anyway, and the women on the dance floor outnumbered the men by five to one so it woudl have not been possible to pair off. A highlight of my time in Vittoria ES, was to attend dawn mass at the stone convent on the hill, scene of the oldest Catholic church in the western hemisphere. In 1510 the Spanish beseiged the town but never quite conquered the convent. That’s one the reasons they don’t speak Spanish in Brasil.

Carmen tells me that the guitar player for the samba band is from Salvador and is a forro teacher.  Maybe we will get a forro scene started here.

Any way, the next event for Capoeira Besouro is the annual Batizado, which starts Dec 7th and goes until Dec 10th. There are five guest out-of-town Capoeira masters on the program for that event, which goes every evening. This sort of concentrated practice is a chance to hone Capoeira skills, or to develop a solid beginner foundation. The event will culminate at Waimanalo Beach Sunday Dec 11th with a pot luck from 12 to 4 PM – “legal!”

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movie review of “The Descendants” Nov 25 2011

Sideways?

The Descendants is “the long-awaited next movie from the director of Sideways” according to the mini blurb on the google search. Maybe I am the only one who didn’t see the other movie (I think I was travelling in Asia) but when you live in Honolulu, any movie filmed here is a “must see.” I knew that even if the movie  was trash, I could indulge the petit plaisir of guessing the locations in the film.

The Premise

It’s a family drama set in an exotic location. Matt King is the hero, played by George Clooney. Matt is a hardworking attorney whose ancestors were children of missionaries that married into Hawaiian royalty in 1840 or so, and ended up controlling large swaths of the Aloha State, now under his control. Yes,  this is a colorful fact of Hawaii history,  there are such persons, and not too long ago one of our political candidates was a man with red hair and blue eyes who had a long Hawaiian surname. Quentin Kawananakoa didn’t win the republican nomination for congress, but at the time it was reminder that people like him, or like Matt King, are out there somewhere.

Th trailer doesn’t hide the challenge that must be overcome: There is a family tragedy to deal with, and Matt must make the decision to “pull the plug.” The rest of the movie is about character development and nuance.

Seeing a movie shot in Hawaii, on a Hawaiian screen

You knew they were expecting a crowd when the Kahala eight-plex scheduled it for two screens at staggered time. The seats were full, we got there early which was good because the previews started well before the seven PM showtime. Looking around, it was a noticeably older audience – gray haired couples; groups of three or four women. Not so obviously a “date movie” inasmuch as the teens and twentysomethings were vastly outnumbered. Maybe the younger set were all going to see The Twilight Saga – the next installment of a winning formula. I think the trailer made it obvious that The Descendents was not going to charge up the hormones like a Teen Vampire Movie would do.

Cultural Sensitivity

Any movie that deals with Hawaii has a formidable obstacle to overcome: sensitivity to Native Hawaiian issues. Land stewardship is a political issue, here. They got it right, I think. One of the meta-questions for any such movie I think, whether the location strictly necessary; in this case probably not. The issues of grief and bereavement are universal. Let’s face it, though – would you still want to see this movie if it was set in say, Arkansas?

Manoa – the Valley of Hawaiian Royalty

Next little game: guessing the locations. They never said “Manoa” in the movie, but Manoa is the neighborhood where such a family would live, and it’s where my first apartment was. The interiors of the houses bespoke the style of such a family. The stunning backdrop of the state helped set the mood, and for that matter, the soundtrack of Hawaiian slack key guitar was also quite good.

Pidgin and “Hawaiian Style”

Would the characters “get it right” in terms of the way people who live in Manoa talk and dress? The way they would respond to a given situation? Put this question another way: Is there a particular approach to this set of problems that might show the rest of us how this specific group of people, Hawaiian Kamaaina, would deal with such a situation? Off hand I would say one of the strengths of local culture is the understated dignity and consideration displayed by people here. There is an “Asian-ness” to this town, and this state, which is vastly different that other parts of the country. Don’t be fooled by the laid-back people in Aloha shirts; they can get straight to the point and they can be very direct. I think this movie captured that aspect of life here. To reinforce the perspective, somebody here spent a lot of time learning the soft subtle accents of “local talk,” and even the minor characters were chosen with care. Kim Gennaula for example, is a local TV anchor who plays a bit part. The audience chuckled at Kim’s scene, but she portrayed the dignity and warmth of the locals quite well. The director made a mighty effort to avoid caricature, and I think he succeeded.

Grief

The strength of this movie is the portrayal of complex grief and the up-close-and-personal mixture of emotions that play out.  When you say good bye to a person in your life, you have to come to grips with the idea that they were not quite perfect. We watch as this is revealed to Matt King, step by step, and this is the heart of the movie. Matt grows from seeing his own pain, to seeing the pain of every life that is touched, such as that of his daughters and in-laws. Julie Speer, played by Julie Greer, is an innocent bystander to the pain and hurt – there are always innocent bystanders. Julie’s scene with Matt is a shining illumination of the human spirit.  Yes, there are people like Julie Greer out there.  She made me cry. I am a sentimental softy.

Five Tasks of Hospice

Let’s face it, as a nurse I have been to more dying bedsides than average. Don’t ask me for a head count, you would probably be shocked. And so, as in any medical movie, the details of the scene are a make-or-break for me.  It is critical to portray medical details accurately. This movie does not have blood or graphic shocking scenes – even the accident itself is not directly portrayed. And so the interpersonal dramas are critical. I thought this was exceptionally well done.

The Study of Bereavement

It may surprise some readers to know that they study these things in the hospice  movement. The average person has probably heard of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, but there has been more recent work that is also very important.  Dr Ira Byock described the five things that need to be said to any dying person. 1) I forgive you 2) do you forgive me? 3) I love you 4) thank you; and 5) goodbye. I was on the edge of my seat to see how well each character dealt with these imperatives, this checklist of farewell. As each person deals with this, it’s presented beautifully, without preaching. A person who has not been around grieving families might be surprised by the irreverent humor, but in truth, this is how it unfolds and the movie showed this, too. bravo.

Caricature? Or – not?

The best movies will allow the audience to share this kind of experience but also to draw their own conclusions. Grief was handled with great sensitivity, here. I love it when any movie can be kept alive by the discussion in the car or over coffee, afterwards. This one served to spark just that kind of discussion.

In the credits, I was a bit surprised to see that there were a half-dozen stunt men on this film. There had not been any kind of stunt, that I could see.

In summary, it was a great little movie.

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The Early Beginning of a Down East Maine Winter

Stranded on a desert island?

So I made a quick trip to see my daughter who lives on an island in Maine. Okay, there are twenty thousand people along with her and Mount Desert Island *is* connected to the mainland with a bridge. Of course, I also live on an island, mine is shared with 950,000 other castaways. An island is a feature of geography but a parallel island always takes shape in the brain. Hers is a lot smaller than mine, but has equally exotic cultural elements.

Mud Room

On that island, she inhabits a small wood shingled cottage along the side of a road near Somes Sound, at the base of Sargent Mountain, with a babbling brook in the back yard, among the hardwood trees. Beech and Oak. Getting out of the car at night, no streetlights nearby, through the bare branches above I see stars that Van Gogh would envy – The Milky Way, the Pleiades, a planet or two. The cold high-pressure system to create winter clarity already exists here, and oak leaves crunch underfoot along with the gravel. Winter is a month away but the second major storm is in the forecast. We don’t see these kind of stars, and never the Milky Way, in Honolulu. Too much moisture at sea level.

Inside, back wall of the mud room displays a copper pipe assembly for the forced hot water heating system as if it was art. A maze of tubing gives off an aura of mystery. Like the exhaust manifold of a Harley, or perhaps a pocket trumpet on a grand scale. Trace the path of the fluid in the pipes; any moonshiner would envy the intricacy.

Tour of Kitchen

Once you’re past the mud room, there is track lighting, the smell of wood beams, and gleaming woodwork. Well insulated with e-glass and a small wood stove.  Through the window you can see the  solar panel array tilting on a sturdy freestanding pole. The landlord is a man of few words  but when he delivered a snow shovel, he paused to advise her never to park under the shiny slope  during a snowstorm.

Show me what a person reads and I will tell you who they are

Open kitchen shelves now stocked with staples – three kinds of dried beans; a bag of onions; canned goods; an assortment of tea… On the shelf to each window are books from her parents’ house – ranging from the traditional (Robert Frost) to the eclectic (croquet strategy) with an emphasis on natural history and outdoorsy stuff (“Weathering the Wilderness” by the sierra club) – medical memoirs include an autographed copy of The Hospital at the End of the World as well as Heirs to General Practice in which her mom dad and sister appear, by John McPhee. The cottage is rented to out-of-state rusticators in summer; When we unloaded some groceries we moved the expensive crystal leaded stemware out of the every day shelf, these will be stored safely for next year’s stylish outta-staters.

On the pullout couch a hand-knit afghan awaits the reader who might snuggle with a book and a cup of cocoa for added warmth. Hold the mug against your cheek when it’s empty, the warmth will soothe the arthritis in your knuckles. There is nothing quite like the heat from oak burning in the woodstove. In my mind, I bless the hands that will hold these books in the coming months. A true dad never stops praying for his kids and family.

In the magazine rack, a few past issues of The New Yorker, carefully chosen from among a large pile we used to have. You never throw these away or use them to start a fire. Ray Charles on the US twenty dollar bill? I’m down with that. Photos of an old Allagash trip with Amy and Julie’s high school buddies, I see my old F-150 pickup truck laden with trailer carrying five canoes to the County. Older albums of happy family times in Norridgewock – gardening, canoeing, blackberries, maple trees, Popham Beach. Amy and Julie independently paddled their own canoe around the cove at Embden when they were three and five. Julie sat in the stern.

York Island, Maine. year-round inhabitants: zero people and eighty sheep.

Surprised to see a framed three by five photo in the bedroom that showed me with red t-shirt and Amish straw hat, Julie and Amy kneeling alongside as we hand-sheared the umpteenth sheep of the flock on a hot June day at York Island, Maine. (not to be confused with York, Maine further south. York Island is located off the east shore of Isle au Haut). My daughters learned how to castrate a sheep, when they were ten and twelve years old.

Other pictures of my former wife. I have none of these in Honolulu. No reminders of that life, on my other island. That smile that could light up even the night sky, so rarely seen later in our life together. Did her hair really shine that way, in the sun? Was that really her kneeling proudly behind my preschool daughters, one Easter morning, wearing stylish hats with plumes and foofaraw? The pictures say yes, it was. I was behind the camera in those days, not so many candid photos of me.

Amy on the grass, crawling among the small bed of red tulips. Gardening au naturel as a two-year old, with Archie The Dog Of Enthusiasm (a.k.a. “Le Chien du Mangee” ) running nearby. College photos of Amy’s Vermont friends whose names I never knew, at places I do not recognize.

The Elgin Marbles, or equivalent thereof.

I remember the old location where the sheepshearing photo used to hang- a spot over our mantel, place of honor along with graduation photos, family shots taken during wedding receptions in Massachusetts and such. Points frozen at the click of the camera, like fish caught on a line to be pulled out of the  streaming river of time. Artifacts get inadvertently created by one person and then assume a life of their own among a small group of archeologically-minded descendants. Now in a different place of honor at the next house. I remember how Amy once found a cast-off wallet of mine and appropriated it through her high school days.

The Trail.

On the enclosed porch, a one-person yellow backpacker’s tent. I’d only seen grainy photos of this, til now. The pile of backpacking stuff is small as befits a thru-hiker. Yes, the backpack and the bag looked like the ones I saw in New Jersey two summers ago. Every hiker racks up a list of nights spent camping. Amy’s lifetime total at the age of twenty seven now exceeds mine, I think. Even though I am nearing sixty.

Home as museum

We all establish a museum of our own, here in Honolulu I go out of my way to avoid the kind of dusty clutter so emblematic of homes on the East Coast. Some day I will give the inventory, but the short version is, thirty years of adulthood went missing when I came here. A South Asian theme, with my thangka, prayer flags and Hindu posters. Any clutter in my life, is relegated to the office. I have pictures of both kids, the one taken outside Durgin Park the summer Amy worked on the dairy farm, is one of my favorties and it is placed so I see it every time I exit the office, right above the light switch. Amy has my old red white and blue Norwegian sweater, the one my mom knitted in 1982. She needs it.

The Urge For Going

So much music and song is made about the simple fact of exaggerated seasons in New England. We have seasons in Honolulu too but they are not the same. To winter over in New England has been celebrated by Henry D Thoreau; Louise Dickinson Reich and E.B. White have essayed the journey in their own way. Wintering over provides the theme for many an extended solitary retreat. Some of these succeed and some fail.

What you do during this time, is chosen from among the list of possibilities. Read or knit. Among the younger generation I suppose TV and Wii have taken hold. Eat, of course. Watch birds at the feeder out the window – chickadees, woodpeckers including the occasional Pileated, always dazzling. Crows are the largest but I wonder if she will see any since she lacks a compost pile here. Loons, robins and whippoorwills are long gone. Amy says she will write her novel in this cabin. And listen to Nanci Griffith sing the songs of lost love.

Anticipating Cabin Fever

Entertaining friends of course, is a must. March is coming and Cabin Fever is inevitable – the “ten foot stare in an eight foot room.” In Maine the remedy is a Contra Dance or a trip to Boston. On Oahu, the islanders with Rock Fever go to Las Vegas.

And I reflect on all this as I sit on the lanai. Sun arises in the East. Here the haze combines with the light of streetlamps to obscure the stars, but I know that even if I can’t see the night sky, it is still there. And shared with the night sky of that other island.

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the quick trip to Maine November 2011

Book Event

My event at UMA was really fun for me, it’s not often that I have an audience of people who have read my book about Nepal – they asked great questions and we had dialogue. I love to sign copies of the book. Appreciation for Dr Lynn King, who organized this using grant money to promote cultural awareness in this homogenous state. Seeing some old friends from ANA-Maine and RFGH who came for the talk. People I have known for twenty or thirty years.

Stream-of-Consciousness

A few impressions of the Pine Tree State: fried clams (with bellies!);Boston Baked Beans ( the candy, not the beans themselves); the smell of dead leaves; seeing the Penobscot Narrows bridge; listening to the Maine accents and seeing people of Irish descent all over the place. WERU-FM folk music programming.  Hardly any Asians! running into parents of my kids’ high school friends. Looking up at the night sky, clear enough to see not only the Pleiades but the Milky Way. Seeing the rows of my old books proudly displayed on my daughter’s shelves in her new place, including one of my old Boy Scout Manuals, and lots of books on natural history and gardening – Crockett’s Victory Garden.  looking through old photo albums of my kids idyllic Maine childhood – happy feelings that we could provide that for them. Cooking with my daughters. The Trenton Grange. Proud of the adults my kids became.  Worried sometimes when I see that they can be quirky like me, but that is the mystery of life isn’t it?

William Tell?

Last year I gave a bow and arrow set to my son-in-law since he is studying an Amazonian tribe for his PhD in anthopology. Never skimp on the arrows, I included two dozen, otherwise you lose your concetration because you have to stop and retrieve the arrows all the time and can’t concentrate on the zen of being one with the bow and mindfully shooting the thing. Last years gift was a child’s archery set but lots of fun. Thwack! He took it to Guyana and went hunting with the boys but never hit anything.  This year it was time to put away childish things so he has graduated to a long bow – very manly!-  and has joined the Archery Club at UVa. Maybe someday he will actually bring some venison over the theshold. It’s a respectable bow, fifty-pound pull. He needs lots of arrows for the new bow. the trick is to get two haybale targets, which also minimizes the walking between volleys.

“I will be checking FaceBook and if I ever see a photo of may daughter with an apple on her head, be advised I will not be amused…” – weapons come with responsibility. The long bow is six feet tall, not a recurve on it, in Amazonia they fletch their own arrows.

Snow

Wearing my Nepali man’s shawl as I type this at my daughter’s kitchen table. It is snowing today – another memory of New England,  a white blanket covers the ground outside.  Underneath the ground has not frozen so the owner of this place advised us to move the cars close to the road. We are a hundred yards from Some Sound, the glacial fjord of these parts, usually a moderating influence on the weather. Wet snow, coming straight down like rain, wonder how long it will last? Coastal Maine is often warmer in the winter than say, five miles inland, a noticeable difference. Five in the morning is my daughter’s favorite time to write, as is mine.  She can look out on Sargent Brook which runs behind the cottage.  I get on the road to Boston tomorrow, Thanskgiving Day, at 0300 to make my ten o’clock flight. I slept under a pile of heavy blankets, first time in awhile. It was a fine sleep.

Budget

Yesterday we did some of the things dads do with their adult daughters. Going over how you set up a budget, over morning coffee. I think my literary daughter is blogging on that same topic even as we speak. Julie and Lucas joined us for dinner and we shared “Lazy Pierogi” according to the Jamrog recipe. kielbasa, egg noodles, sauerkraut, boiled eggs, yogurt, cream of mushroom soup, mushrooms, horseradish. I gave my daughters their present

Plenty of time for more mundane pursuits over the course of a New England winter.

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destination: Maine Nov 20th 2011

From the airport terminal in Philly, Sunday morning

Three months ago some former colleagues in Maine got a grant from the Libra Foundation to promote crosscultural awareness among nurses there ( it’s a homogenous state, homogenized like milk….) and they had this idea to feature my work in Nepal. Originally I could not get the time off to attend in person, and so we were going to do a teleconference link. But now through a strange set of circumstances, I am able to go to the Pine Tree State and be “live” … and I will throw in a visit with my daughters on the side.

Nov 21st from 0900 to 1100 in Augusta on ITV network

I will be appearing live and in person at the University of Maine at Augusta, the state Capital, Monday the 21st. The event will be broadcast to five locations around the state. Eighty people there have read my book as part of a course assignment – I have been in front of large audiences, but not when so many have actually read the book. I am told it’s created a stir over there!

My Life flashes before me?

I brought a copy with me on the plane – the first time I myself had opened it in awhile – and I was thinking, gee – I remember that event – fun to reread my own stuff from a new perspective. There are parts I would change, if I had it to write it all over again. On the other hand, I cried at the sad parts. I am still a softie. When you crank out a hundred thousand words, you don’t put the same effort into every single word – there were a bunch of places where the ratio of time to words was high – and where I can recall sitting for hours struggling to describe some of the events. Those persons who have read the book can guess the places I am talking about…..

Wintering over on an island

My younger daughter is spending the winter in Northeast Harbor Maine – and I will be the first overnight guest at her cabin there, quite an honor. This is a gem of a coastal Maine town – at the head of Somes Sound. In summer, Sweet Cottage rents for $2,000 per week. In winter, the tourist trade drops off considerably, so she has got a deal to keep it occupied until May. It’s beside the merriest babbling brook on Mount Desert Island, and a short walk to Asticou Terraces…

Maine Humor?

My daughter is prolly the best twentysomething Maine Humorist out there. A difficult legacy to assume – the pantheon includes E.B. White, Marshall Dodge, Tim Sample, Paul LePage ( by default; he thinks he is serious) – She has her own blog, titled mainethewaylifeturnedout, here in wordpress. Take a look at it.

Fried Clams?

She says I will get a bean supper while I am there – (“with red hot dogs?” i asked – “yes” she said!) complete with brown bread and ginger bread for dessert. An old friend of mine would say “that’s half of a Maine Saturday night!” and I laugh…. to get to her place I need to pass the Trenton Grange Hall – and other delights. I am a “Past Master” of P of H #550. Alas, I will not be there for a contra dance…..

But from the foodie end of things, I am salivating at the prospect of New England Seafood – forgot how much I missed it – I may very well be eating fried clams with bellies, every day….. not for breakfast though.

I wil be renting a car in Boston and driving north, later today. I am still wearing shorts and my red Heinz Ketchup t-shirt – I dug my polar fleece out of the closet and I did bring long trousers –

Deep Cultural References

I lived in Skowhegan for years, a dairy industry stronghold, and a dairy man once told me never eat red hot dogs “them’s BULL MEAT!” he would say…. I admit I can’t sday as how I have seen them in Honolulu….

…. and every bean supper blends together in memory…..

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“we could make beautiful music together…” (pick up line)

 
while in Nepal, I went out of my way to find the Everest Brass Band, which features some astounding trumpet playing. Take a look at my YouTube clips.
 
Thinking of buying a “new” trumpet….. new to me, that is.

You need to know that I once bought a used trumpet for $35 out of the front window of a gun store in Skowhegan Maine – I played it for ten years.

My present instrument is a Cerveny rotary-valve trumpet I bought in 1993 for a pile of dough. I got it because after attedning a music workshop in 1993 where I played with the Zlatne Uste Brass Band. The guys all had them. The rotary valves are a conversation piece – people always come up to me and ask me what da heck it is…..

Cerveny is the Czech word for "Brass"There is  only one other trumpet like it in Honolulu – nobody with any sense will steal it. It is so distinctive that it can’t be mistaken for anything else.

while we are on the subject, and if you truly must know, I use a Bach 1 1/2 C mouthpiece.

In the meantime, I had this idea of getting a pocket trumpet……

And on the internet i found these photos as a site called Trumpet Gearhead….

what curves..... I want to hold this in my hand.....

 
This is a Holton C 150 pocket cornet – no longer manufactured, unfortunately – but – just look at it.  those curves – you wonder what each pipe does, it’s like the engine of a steam ship, or one of those espresso machines from italy – OMG  I would love to caress this –
 
We could make bee you tee full music together!
 
Serious case of trumpet lust happening right now –
 
Q. what’s the difference between a man and a boy?
 
A. the price of his toys.
 
here is another view of the same one.
 
 
 

all this and more.....

 
Ain’t she sweet?
 
The problem is, these were essentially handmade – guess I will have to settle for one that is a little less fancy…..
 
 
 

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