Monday July 15
Extract from a mail I received at work today regarding MS group processes and
getting stuff done:
"Have you ever heard that groups go through 4 stages? They are:
The idea is that groups are assembled, go through chaos and friction, sort out
the basics, and then evolve to a higher level of function. We have been stuck
between forming and storming, but is probably moving beyond that. We have a lot
of the pieces in place for general operation, but things are not efficient. To
move to the perform level, we need:
-A super clear vision and high alignment of individual work toward the vision
-Focused roles and responsibilities
-Frequent and clear communication
Email and status reports arenít actually the best communication, in my view.
They are important, but tend toward chaotic information exchange, with lots of
context switches. The most successful groups also use routine meetings to
reinforce focus and keep work aligned."
* * *
Tuesday July 16
Excerpt from a mail I sent answering some excellent << questions >> about
"<< My conception is that your group is headed toward a sort of California
Guitar Trio meets King Crimson sort of thing... >>
Nope - think Dave Matthews, XTC, Gabriel 1-4, Shawn Colvin, CSN, Sting,
Rumors-era-Fleetwood Mac and that will be closer to my wish: rich music, unique
arrangements, but totally built around pop songs with a twist. TravisH came up
with a phrase the other day: math pop. There may be a few pieces in odd
time signatures, but odd time is not the goal.
<< ...perhaps without a kit drummer initially. Is this is how you see the new
group going? >>
No - the goal is to have a flexible line up that can meet the challenges of what
ever gigs are available - everything from totally unplugged acoustic to totally
plugged electric. This flexibility is essential given the diverse Seattle
* * *
Wednesday July 17
Excerpt from a mail I sent today regarding this next period of work:
"SBRS has three very clear goals:
1. Deliver our product
2. Raise our profile in Seattle so we can get more people to our shows
3. Build a bridge to play in Japan in 2003
Seattle Circle could be a spring board to launch a team of world-class artists,
instructors, and musicians working within a wonderful facility with audience,
tools and staff that supports what we do. A too-small clubhouse for inactive
pals who show up and do what ever is convenient is going to lead nowhere.
I would love to see you hit "Send" on your mail below to the entire board. It is
Unfortunately, hitting "Send" did not happen.
* * *
Thursday July 18
Poem of the day.
Q: What do I do at work?
* * *
Friday July 19
All day in an offsite meeting; no phones, email, outside contact.
Simultaneously refreshing and exhausting. My brain is tired.
* * *
This just in c/o TravisM made me laugh outloud:
* * *
This just in from my dear friend Richard KeslerWest:
by Czeslaw Milosz
O Most High, you willed to create me a poet and now it is time for me to present
My heart is full of gratitude though i got acquainted with the miseries of that
By practicing it, we learn too much about the bizarre nature of man.
Who, every hour, every day and every year is possessed by self-delusion.
A self-delusion when building sandcastles, collecting postage stamps, admiring
oneself in the mirror.
Assigning oneself first place in sport, power, love and the getting of money.
All the while on the very border, on the fragile border beyond which there is a
province of mumblings and wails.
For in every one of us a mad rabbit thrashes and a wolf pack howls, so that we
are afraid it will be heard by others.
Out of self-delusion comes poetry and poetry confesses to its flaw.
Though only by remembering poems once written is their author able to see the
whole shame of it.
And yet he cannot bear another poet nearby, if he suspects him of being better
than himself and envies him every scrap of praise.
Ready not only to kill him but smash him and obliterate him from the face of the
So that he remains alone, magnanimous and kind toward his subjects, who chase
after their small self-delusions.
How does it happen that such low beginnings lead to the splendor of the word?
I gathered books of poets from various countries, now i sit reading them and am
It is sweet to think that i was a companion in an expedition that never ceases,
though centuries pass away.
An expedition not in search of the golden fleece of a perfect form but as
necessary as love.
Under the compulsion of the desire for the essence of the oak, of the mountain
peak, of the wasp and of the flower of nasturtium.
So that they last, and confirm our hymnic song against death.
And our tender thought about all who lived, strived, and never succeeded in
For to exist on the Earth is beyond any power to name.
Fraternally, we help each other, forgetting our grievances, translating each
other into other tongues, members, indeed, of a wandering crew.
How then could i not be grateful, if early i was called and the
incomprehensible contradiction has not diminished my wonder?
At every sunrise i renounce the doubts of night and greet the new day of a most
--translated from the Polish by
the author and Robert Hass.
* * *
Saturday July 20
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2002 12:04 AM
Subject: Re: report
Hi Richard -
Your timing is impeccable and your eloquence has me in awe. Excellent choice of
poem and surrounding frame. I am in an ongoing mediocre funk, working hard at
working, struggling daily to find or invite the motivation to keep going,
working, playing, recording, repeating the same mistakes over and over again,
each with a slightly new twist or dimple.
And somehow, about three times a week I absorb a glimpse of why, and about once
a month I receive a blast of why, and on nights like Wed, I remember a person
who was and still is.
The classic Yes reunion tour is worth seeing.
Those guys are getting really old, but the music remains timeless, from another
world. The five aging guys on stage have almost nothing to do with the stories
I realized today as I was sitting in a meeting full of extremely bright
Microgeeks that I am and always so attracted to Yes because I AM Yes:
extremely positive, slightly incomprehensible in daylight, extremely
complex, full of counterpoint, knowingly pretentious, and not worried about it
in the least because it's who and how I am; textural, moody, as likely to rock
out as soothe you with machine gun cushions of fluorescent air-brushed
non-sequiturs that will disarm and win you over in one high-pitched breath or
drive you away with the same, which is all the better.
Missing you, but less since you wrote,
* * *
Recording session in the afternoon, and post processing in the evening.
Productive day. Up way too late, into the early morning.
* * *
Sunday July 21
* * *
Monday July 22
Back to work. I have a great 'day' job. Wonderful people, incredible
resources, and a constant education. Can't believe I get paid to do my job
Other days, it's unbearable. Today, counting my blessings.
* * *
Tuesday July 23
Time to clear some backlog: About five months ago, I received an email from
someone on the east coast named Jud Patterson who is in the business of
making music oriented merchandise. He offered to send me some samples of
Very nice stuff. Seems he also does some stuff for David Bowie:
Looking for hand-crafted, high-quality, music-oriented merchandise?
Drop Jud a line.
* * *
Wednesday July 24
On a related note, a kind gentleman from Germany,
Peter Schell, also contacted me with an offer to buy some of his stock
of rare ebonite picks. He kindly sent me a sample of one of his (rounded)
triangular picks, sans emboss, but it is definitely ebonite (hard rubber
like the fabled "Herdim" picks that are no longer available anywhere in
the world unless you were one of the few people who bought them up from
Guitar Craft Services in the late 80s.)
Peter also says he has a few of the picks in his collection that were
traditionally used in the early days of Guitar Craft. Price seems a bit too
steep for me, but perhaps there are a few other desperate Crafties out there
looking for triangular ebonite picks?
* * *
Thursday July 25
Some hoopla rising out of the unfortunate fact that Starcastle has
canceled their upcoming appearance at ProgDay during labor day weekend
later this year. Perhaps a chance for SBRS to hit the east coast
with our version of Back in NYC for an audience of 1,000 spectacles-wearing
Gabriel fans singing along at the top of their lungs: "So you think I'm a tough
We shall see. Jud Patterson is on the case.
* * *
Friday July 26
A potential Wedding show for SBRS in September falls out of the sky thanks to
old pal Emily Geballe. Working on logistics, but sounds hopeful.
* * *
Saturday July 27
More recording. We have some ambitious goals. What else is new?
* * *
Sunday July 28
Off. An afternoon at the "beach" if you can call it that. A joyous
* * *