Friday, April 28, 2006

after reviewing my blogroll, i began noticing something. first, i've been trying to check in on these folks monthly for a while in order to get some perspective on weblogs over time, and i got it- how interesting. and i don't have much time to read, so they have to be quick, but sometimes they reach me anyway. i thought i'd fill you in on some of my favorites - not counting, of course, my daughter, my good friend Peggy, who I've known forever, and my good friend and former student Jessie, who continues to give me pictures and support, and has always had a stunning, honest & wonderful weblog, since long before I even started.

no, these are pretty much perfect strangers, but nevertheless people i really like, because what they say and do really resonates with me, for whatever reason....hope you enjoy them!

parking lot, chris corrigan, in british columbia, listens to interesting world music, and canada's own harry manx, which i found on his site, and for whatever reason, i've always liked his weblog a lot. one day he came up with a great movie that just spoke directly to my thoughts about this crazy world we live in. thanks, chris!

joi ito lives in tokyo, runs some tech company, and travels the world, so in short is about as opposite of what i'm doing as anyone. but i've always loved his weblog too, even though i don't understand much of the technological stuff. for example, i learned to make squares just by going there once in a while, and looking at his. thanks, joi!

a viet soul in texas, Vu Nguyen - this guy is stunning for his honesty, his directness, his spirit. he puts a movie of vietnam right up there on top, and is boldly himself, even as he admits that "my english is s-ck"...i have to admire a guy, so far from home, from such a different culture, who can put himself out there like that. thanks, vu!

rashika perera's between three worlds. i'm not even sure which three worlds she's between, but i like her title, and she puts a lot of pictures in her weblog, so you can see her living her life with her friends & family in australia. thanks, rashika!

chicana on the edge, by regina rodriguez, who i met once when i was with eli in downtown chicago. she writes about romance from a woman's point of view, being between cultures, being single, & living life in the chicago music scene - these are things i enjoy reading about- at least when i'm at her site, i feel like she's talking to me. thanks, regina!

turns out these are all people who are way different from me, but who i have stuff in common with too. interesting how that works out. maybe it's that they put their lives out there so i can see them, and then, it reaches me. maybe i can do that for someone.

is going to the Univ. of Kansas! Congratulations!
photo from Univ. of Kansas

Thursday, April 27, 2006

ok- talk about scary...
-bad news from the band, which will not be performing at makandafest...
-but, almost done with a major play, lots of research involved, about co's in wwII. tentatively called not quiet on the home front...but could have several other names. it's big. it's exhausting. the hard part is rounding up lots of kids to play the parts, at their busiest time...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

my heart goes out to everyone in iowa city, a precious place, a place that embraced me with all my vanities at a young age, took me in, and passed me along after eleven beautiful years. i can't imagine what it would be like to have my life torn into as happened to these folks on iowa avenue, home of the old capitol, hamburg inn #1, & a number of old friends' houses. i'll just tell one of a billion stories & hope it lifts a sense of whatever you feel after a disaster like this.

was living in a house with a small yard on muscatine one spring & decided to grow some corn; little did i know that dogs had lived in the yard earlier, & the corn shot up like a rocket. walked by a church every day with a big sign that said, "is there a god?" and ruminated on that on my way home usually. but a killer storm knocked down the corn one day (it was too high for early may) & i was mad at god. until i got to the church and saw that a tree had fallen on someone's car.

but when i was coming home, it had gotten even worse. apparently an artist asked that, rather than cut up the tree as they usually do, they try to save it; they had obliged, but then the tree tipped over the crane, crushed yet another car, and ruined the crane (or at least so they feared.

and i always teach the importance of punctuation...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

a year ago this little fella joined us on our journey. he's made a big difference....i see a lot more now, know more, feel like a better guy for knowing him. went out on a birthday dinner tonight (my birthday - two days early - his was a couple of weeks ago)...and was so proud of our huge family & how they doted over him. i let them do it for a change - as i was celebrating - ate a whole mudslide by myself too. taught the word 'avalanche' in the morning and ate 'mudslide' in the awesome way to start off the shot heard 'round the world/gotcha day/birthday/earthday holiday extravaganza the way, my daughter (two pictures down) and dad - also in april. april rocks!
7PM Saturday, April 22
Interfaith Center, University & Grand, Carbondale

Randy Auxier - with Randall Hopper (aka "Grasshopper") and open mic between sets

randy auxier

Friday, April 14, 2006

i lived all over eastern iowa at one time or another, in lisbon, in mt. vernon, in frytown, near wellman, near solon, near west branch, in ivanhoe along the cedar river, on the highway near the dingleberry quarries, outside of north liberty, i even lived in cedar rapids for a while. in iowa city i lived on the north side, the old czech part of town, on the east side and once on the hollowed-out south side, down by the tracks and the old a & p where i heard stories of the irish railroad workers who came through building the railroad & decided to stay. if you were catholic, they said, you either went to st. pats if you were irish, st. wenceslaus if you were czech or st. mary's if you were german. each had a school, each had a culture, and all had a rivalry. they told me this actually because our restaurant was in the back of the old st. mary's school - but i assured them i had no particular loyalty. down by those tracks was where alandoni had his bookstore, where i'd hang around and bring my daughter- see picture below...later i'd visit her & she lived by those same tracks & we'd hear the trains going back & forth & clanging against each other - like old ghosts. st. mary's had had a scandal when the priests that ran our building turned out to be gay - but nothing like st. wence, where some priest collected $30,000 for a trip to the holy land and blew it all on some bad coke deal in chicago. this is all hearsay of course, & i probably heard it on the south side, where of course nothing like that could happen at st. pats.

but a tornado came through last night, wiped out a sorority, and blew the roof off of st. pats. i of course don't know the whole story...even my daughter is in minneapolis now - and most of the rest is just a memory, a lumpa coal on the tracks, a shiny rock in the groove where the tracks cross the brick road.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

eric koeller died...he was a friend of mine in college, a sax player, the kind of guy who would often be practicing late at night. he took the road I almost took; he became a music teacher, but i don't know much about his life, except that he was in kentucky for a while, and i actually wrote to him not long ago, but it was probably too late, because he died in vermont this fall. a brain tumor at age 45 (or thereabouts) - a tragedy.

i was playing some fiddle tonight and had a kind of a jazzy guitar player with us, who played a little "minor sevenths"...i went off being stephan grappelli for a song, and thinking of eric. put my soul into it too. it didn't stop the traffic on cedar creek & union hill road, but then, nothing does. here's to eric - travel with god, my friend. the next song is for you too.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


experimenting with flickr photos. this one is from summer - taken by derek, in new mexico. seems to have lost something in the translation - for a clearer picture, click on it. still working on that photo-transfer.

here's to family!

Originally uploaded by tlev.

Monday, April 03, 2006

-performed at the keep the faith benefit; survived a while as my wife and youngest, almost-one son went to nebraska; stalled some more on an important play that's running out of time; am working on another podcast - this one, hopefully, about bucky fuller; got back into the grind of meetings, classes, meetings, papers, meetings, and events in which you are to be civilized, polite, and consider reasonably a linguistics merger with the department of foreign languages.... meanwhile spring's a poppin'. sprung forward, learned some patience with various boys around, tried to keep up with the swimming.

big change at the japanese garden. where it opened out onto a peaceful parking lot, where cars came up against a grassy hill beneath it, there's a fence now; construction workers use that lot, and up to the left huge machines break out the main wall of an ugly old library that's been there for years. this violent rupture both makes the garden more of a sanctuary, and reminds me of the jarring yet random placement of images in my path. the path, by the way, is more crowded, the fence blocking off all parking-lot-cut-throughs. the flowers bloom in their own way; even the bamboo wonders...

on the chat the subject of different parises (paris illinois, paris kentucky, paris texas) led to verSALES illinois (there's a verSALES missourah too) - and how the speakers, one in phoenix, another in paris- could probably not manage any of them, with their stifling small-town mispronunciation. quietly i thought- i've heard these small no-count towns (like mine) abused before. but i'd rather have my kids growing up knowing there's a lot of action somewhere else (invariably they do leave, here in the midwest, though they often come back) - than growing up in the center of it all, knowing full well this is all there is, and wondering every minute if this is all life, i stay put another day, i guess. keep hope alive.