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Music Journal Saturday, May 9, 2009

Miles Davis - Relaxin' With The Miles Davis Quintet (1958) [1987 CD on Prestige/Fantasy]
John Coltrane - The Mastery of John Coltrane, Vol. 3: Jupiter Variation (1978) [LP on ABC Impulse!]
John Coltrane - Giant Steps (1960) [2001 180-gram LP reissue on Rhino/Atlantic]
John Coltrane - Crescent (1964) [1995 180-gram LP reissue on Impulse!/GRP/MCA]
John Coltrane - Blue Train (1958) [1993 LP reissue on Blue Note/EMI]
Miles Davis - Blue Haze (1956) [LP on Prestige]

Music Journal Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sun Ra - Atlantis (1969) [1993 CD on Evidence]
John Coltrane - Meditations (1966) [2009 CD on Impulse!/Verve]
Hank Mobley - Peckin' Time (1959) [2008 CD on Blue Note/EMI]
John Coltrane - Settin' the Pace (Rudy Van Gelder Remaster) (1958) [2008 CD on Prestige/Fantasy/Concord]

May. 7th, 2009

 I thought tonight was going to be a night where I'd get to chill out a little, spin a little John Coltrane, and get some writing done.  No such luck. Around nine PM, I look at my phone - a red Blackberry Curve - and notice that it has reset itself. Neither unusual nor common. I figure, OK, it'll get back to normal and then I can get back to business.

The phone goes through its hourglass period, brings up the AT&T logo and then the phone's desktop/start menu.  Then it all of a sudden resets itself again. And then again. And then a fourth time. I try taking out the battery for about a minute and putting it back in. Phone turns back on, starts up - and resets again. I try turning it off completely, waiting a couple of minutes, and turning it on. That doesn't work. I've had it. 

I call AT&T Wireless on my landline and they give me a couple of suggestions over the phone, none of which work and most of which I've already tried. I get good news and bad news. The bad news is that they conclude that the phone is not functioning properly (at this point, Morning Musume and AKB48 should be collectively getting together and shouting in four-part harmony, "No Shit, Sherlock!"). The good news is, I am still under warranty and this they put me through to the warranty department. 

Unfortunately, AT&T's warranty department, at least at 9:30 PM Eastern time, is a room somewhere where a handful of people in a country where English is not the first language and therefore they are reading from a script that they do not completely understand. How this qualifies as "help" is beyond me. The person reading her script tells me that my options are either let a replacement phone get shipped as fast as possible, or take three hours (round trip) out of my work day and drive to AT&T's nearest service center in Whitehall, PA. I ask why I can't simply visit the nearest official AT&T store and handle it there (where LVP was able to get a replacement phone with no problem when she had major phone problems of her own. This person does not have an answer. Now, my phone and LVP's are both under her name because we got them at the same day under some sort of deal back when AT&T was Cellular One in the mid-90's, so she takes over the phone call. She explains the entire dilemma to the person on the other end of the line but the person doesn't seem to understand. Finally, LVP asks for a supervisor and we get put on hold for close to 20 minutes. The supervisor we get, fortunately, completely understands the gist of the situation and says she'll get a replacement phone out as fast as they can via FedEx. It'll take two business days - unfortunately that doesn't include Saturdays in this instance. So, I'm going to be without a cell phone, which is pretty much my main phone, for at least a day - maybe even the weekend. The supervisor says they'd be shipping the phone from Ft. Worth, TX. I'm not sure whether or not I like the sound of that. If the damn thing arrives tomorrow afternoon, it'll be a miracle.  Argh! 

Dealing with people from a call center in a foreign country is a real pet peeve of mine - and not because I want to come off like a smartass or, worse yet, some ultra-right-wing talk-radio xenophobe. The fact that these jobs are being outsourced blows goats to begin with, but for native English speakers to have to deal with call center operators from a foreign land that sometimes don't seem to completely understand the scripts they've been trained to read doesn't equal a great deal of help to the person calling on the other end of the line. It's a great recipe for communication breakdown. 

In less stressful news - or maybe not - Tara and I went out to dinner last night and then came back home. LVP is upstairs working on some stuff on her own laptop so her and Tara get to talking. Inevitably, Tara and LVP decide to get together and rib the fuck out of me - a little too much, as I end up laughing so hard that I end up hiccuping... a little too much. The hiccuping gets really annoying so when I drop Tara off and head for the supermarket to get orange juice for LVP, I grab myself a bottle of Coke - the only thing that really stops hiccups for me. Oy vey.

Well, outside of this entry I'm obviously not going to get any writing done tonight, and the only Coltrane I got to listen to was one solitary album (My Favorite Things) while I was writing this entry. Fuck a duck! Time to log off and decompress, tomorrow is another day. 

I should also mention...

...before I shut down my laptop and turn in for the night:

I put a little nick in the tip of my left index finger when I was washing my chef's knife. Nothing major but I did have to put a band-aid on. Every try typing something with a band-aid on the tip of your finger only to have the damned bandage occasionally catching on your computer keyboard? That was me tonight.  It's a good thing I'm not playing regularly with a band anymore; playing three sets a night would be a son of a bitch to try given that the left index finger is the most used finger for fretting string instruments.

OK, had to get that out of my system. Goodnight!

May. 6th, 2009

 Well, let's see what's gone on since the other day:

No major writing done but I have been doing minor things with the manuscript. I've love to get a lot more work done on it this week, I'll just have to see how my free time goes this week. Let's just say that,  compared to the other day when I had longer records to deal with, 45RPM audiophile albums are not the best accompaniment to long spots of writing (10-12 minutes of music per side compared to 18-25 minutes per side on a normal 33 RPM album... nothing like changing sides every song or two). Sometimes I think I should just put John Coltrane's Live At Japan album (multi-disc set with very long jams on a few of his songs) on when I write and see what happens.

Weather has been bleh. Damp yesterday, rain tonight. Not my idea of fun by a long shot.

I got the new Conor Oberst album (double vinyl) and the new Bif Naked CD in the mail yesterday, both pre-ordered. I haven't listened to Bif's new album much yet. Conor's new album is great and I've already posted a review at The Groove Music Life. The New York Dolls' new album came out today but I didn't get a chance to pick it up yet. Maybe tomorrow. I think the new Meat Puppets album comes out next week - I've already pre-ordered the vinyl weeks ago. 

Allergies are already acting up. Can't find Zicam Allergy anywhere and I don't like being knocked out by Benadryl so I guess it's Claritin-D for me in the meantime, in spite of the fact that I think my body is used to it. We'll see. 

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Reina Tanaka 'Hello Internet!'
cjmarsicano
CJ Marsicano (CJマルシカノ)
CJMarsicano.com

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