Saturday, March 24, 2012

You always want what you can't have

I just spent an hour or two playing the mandolin, playing scales and arpeggios and picking out the chords in songs like "I Still Call Australia Home" and "Home on the Range" and "Everybody Hurts." The thought crossed my mind: I wish my life were like this. Why can't being a musician mean I just sit around playing an instrument all day. Then I remembered that the reason I am a composer is that I suck at practicing and I hate it. Oh yeah. That's right.

I put my mandolin back on its wall hook and went thrift shopping.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ayn Rand saw aliens

From Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C. Heller:
One Saturday afternoon, Rand greeted the Hills by beckoning Ruth upstairs, unto the immense master bedroom, where tall glass windows lined a wall to the left of the bed. "Do you see those junipers?" she asked, pointing to a row of twelve-foot bushes about half an acre from the house. "A UFO came by there last night." Stunned, Hill asked for details. "It was hovering just above the junipers and then flying in slow motion," she said. It was round and its outer edges were lighted, she continued, and it made no sound. By the time she woke Frank and led him to the window, it had moved out of sight. "Did you really see this?" Hill asked. "I saw it," said Rand. The story seems to demonstrate her confidence in the ability of her mind to interpret the evidence of her senses. As the years went by, this particular confidence would not always serve her well.
Maybe ... maybe Ayn saw Stockhausen arriving from Sirius?

Oh, more stuff:
On the long drive in Frank's new Cadillac convertible, they stopped for a day or two in Ouray, Colorado, an old gold-mining town a few miles east of Telluride, whose surroundings contributed to the topography of Galt's Gulch. As they continued east, they may have passed the former site of Nikola Tesla's scientific laboratory, which had stood on a mountaintop near Colorado Springs in the early 1900's; the experiments the eccentric genius had made in harnessing electricity from the atmosphere and transmitting it wirelessly through earth and air may have provided a model for the revolutionary new motor invented by Galt. (Tesla also invented a fantastical but possibly workable "death ray" that Rand may have borrowed, in part, for Dr. Stadler's terrifying weapon, Project X.) Along with Edison, Tesla became one of Rand's models for her hero.