Category Archives: Banjo

Hurdle cleared, but fell in mud pit, but had a nice talk

Had a great time this wknd:

Hanging with Robyn & Mahin doing our monthly bridge thing. I escaped without a dog bite or allergy blowup, and we had a great mexican meal. I have to say that I think we’re improving rapidly and enjoying the card games more, now that we’re into more strategy. It’s a lot of fun and they’re great conversationalists.

Open mic night at Wil’s in Jersey City — I have to say that my first public performance was a thrill and a nightmare. I’m glad it’s over and I’m really looking forward to next year’s jam. Everyone was really supportive — people were interesting and funny, plus there was great food. O man, did I hack up She’ll be comin’ round the mountain — I was terrrrible! — but the verse I threw in about Jersey City was a hit. It was like my fingers totally forgot who they belonged to. Anyhow I’ll post a brief video on youtube one of these days, but you’ll have to check back & look for it.

Hit MoMA this afternoon to check out the Automatic Update show (closing 9/3) and ended up having a rebus IM session with a guy on the other side of the plexi wall. If he happens to read this, give me a call & let’s have a drink — I should have been a little more interested in him as a person, but I wasn’t in that kind of headspace or something. There was a shot at an interesting conversation and maybe the opportunity to make a friend, but I didn’t take it for reasons that are still a little murky. That piece and the basketball video were the highlights.

Some early summer photos are up on flickr.

La, la la, la, la la la

Noodle Pho

Noodle Pho on 73rd street here in Jackson Heights. O yea, dinner for $8!

Looking forward to two long weekends in a row. This is when working for a large institution pays off.

If anyone’s sailed in the Florida Keys, travel tips would be appreciated. We’re planning on staying around the Upper to Middle Keys, not going as far as Key West. Snorkel sites, good eats, etc.

On the dock:

  • Theresa (sis in law) and Laura (T’s pal) visit
  • Thesis work. rough draft of Chap 1-3 (ca. 50 pages) due by Feb. 21.
  • Music on Sunday evening but I can’t remember what
  • flickr uploads if I can
  • Banjo:
    • re-working on G-major scale (I had the fingering wrong so had to work on my muscle forgetfulness)
    • She’ll be comin’ round the mountain in tablature
    • still working on This land is your land w/singing in the key of full-moon-wailing-stray
    • new 8-note forward roll
    • I have some wrist aches but not sure if it’s related

Shut and open cases

(a) Case dismissed: Thankfully, I was not one of 5 jurors chosen from the pool of 11 to sit on the gang assault trial. I am now safe from jury duty for 6 years.

(b) New initiative: had my first banjo lesson last night (finally) – stopped dragging my feet. It was fun & I’m looking forward to getting some practice time in this weekend. Studying with Henry Hample. Here’s what we did:

  • Some simple definitions: chords, scales, etc. & banjo orientation
  • G-major scale (banjos are tuned to G)
  • Forward roll, an 8-note picking pattern
  • G, C, and D chords
  • “This land is your land” using the forward roll with the C-G-D chords


20061005 banjo00

Here we go.

Banjo frontier

Elaine has dreamed the impossible dream. She (along with Loretta & Brian, Theresa, and Linda) bought me a banjo for my recent birthday:


The whole music thing is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time now – she also arranged a clarinet for me a couple of years ago, which didn’t work out for reasons that will remain unspoken. I think, maybe, I finally have some shred of discipline – giving me a glimmer of hope that I can learn to play Camptown Races or something.

I’ve actually been “practicing” for several days now and actually look forward to it. I can (sometimes) do a one-string C major scale badly without looking. Next order of business: find a teacher. I’m also looking for a song in C major I can start learning. I’ve begun noodling with Greensleeves, but it’s in C#.