Peter: October 2008 Archives
PHONING IT IN... continues to develop as an entity. Pretty nice new website and easier archive browsing. The site also features drawings by fellow michigander/indiana-der, Erin Tobey. It's been about three years since BB played on the show...a performance I am still pretty proud of.
It might be unprofessional for a musician to comment on (let alone read) reviews of their own shows. For my songs the reviews are far and few...So, when I am able to gather feed back (MY FIRST FEEDBACK IN GLOSSY PRINT, MAY I POINT OUT!!) I have to feature it. On top of that, it's been a while since I could call anything I do/have done "professional." So, might as well. The reviewer loved Lucky Dragons, as he should, and then placed me among two of the great song performers...Calvin Johnson and Kermit the Frog. I have been likened to muppet characters before (not only in my singing...but the lanky way I run/dance) and as it was a large part of my media consumption growing up, maybe it's fitting.
BENJAMIN J. SCHAAFSMA (September 7, 1982 - October 25, 2008)
The day Ben died, I walked to the harbour. The day after he died, I walked to the top of Mt.Eden/Maungawhau with the intent to think of him and read a few things aloud.
There were tourists at the top of the dormant volcano...laughing loudly and listening to their tour guides. "Somewhere at the bottom of the hill...there is a large stone. After battles, they'd lay the bodies of their dead or the enemies dead upon it", I wasn't close enough to make out which.
As I went to read aloud, I felt indulgent and embarrassed.
"My back is wet from sweat...my ass is wet from the moisture on the ground." I couldn't help but dwell on my inability to be taken over by some great feeling...some great peace...some great grief. And I realize that this is it...the wet ass, the people laughing, the weight of my body as I walked up the hill, the stupid moment when I tried to read and heard my voice. The everyday. Thankyou, Ben.
I remember watching an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman with my mother. In the scene, it was a wet and muddy day in the newly developing town of Colorado Springs. (Byron Sully was probably off hunting buffalo with the GREAT WHITE WOLF. Loren Bray was slurring words. I always had a strange attachment to Horace, the owner of the general store and the only telegrapher in town. He must have gathered a lot of secrets, written them down twice, and then with his big goofy grin... bribed the townspeople for land shares and/or guns.) The sun was shining through in the background as the rainy episode developed, highlighting each rain drop and revealing that it's origin was not from the sky... but from a sprinkler system suspended above the actors. This, for my mother, was evidence of the disadvantage of the strict time schedules in filmmaking. The sun and rain would never exist together and if they do in a television series or a film, it is a clear indication that it is a created set in sunny California, on a lovely day, and so destroys the viewer's ability to suspend disbelief. So, I am NOT in Colorado Springs and I can't connect to Michaela Quinn or the three orphaned children that she has been TRICKED into taking care of.
Since moving to Auckland, I have realized that rain and sun are somewhat guaranteed here. I have witnessed, almost daily, gorgeously bright sunsets, sunrises, and midday sun hangouts with full on showers happening in front of them. I'm not sure if it is a characteristic of the city's elevation, the fact it's between two bays, or the general modestly optimistic nature of the population ("Well, it's raining now, but LOOK there is the sun hanging out behind it!...But yeah, it is raining."). I'm pretty positive the rain/cloud combo happens in lots of places around the world. It's probably not exciting for a non-midwesterner to realize that. But for me, it allows me to truly believe in Dr. Quinn... to be able to smell her hair, hold her soft (yet firm and directed) hand, and know that at some point... this show was REAL! MOTHER, IT HAPPENED! It did.