Posts Tagged ‘Jesse Hall’


Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

It’s half past midnight on a Thursday. I’m brushing my teeth in the first-floor bathroom of Jesse Hall. As the mundane events of the day tumble through my brain like grains of sand in an hourglass, I hear something. It’s quiet, but unmistakeable. “Ode to Joy.” Beneath my feet. Someone’s playing fiddle in the music practice room. Not super-fancy music-major pyrotechnics. Just good, honest-to-God fiddle.

I like to record music, and since I’m the only person I work well with, I like to do it alone. Unfortunately, my music misses the instrumentation I can’t play myself — pretty much everything but guitar, bass, and keyboards. Here’s a chance to get a real instrument in one of my songs, a musician besides myself. Of course, I have to get the building’s master key (I’m on the staff) to get into the music room. Would that seem weird to the fiddler under my feet? “Hi, I’m Dave, and I like to record music. Care to work with me?”

Or I could just go to bed. It’s late. Work is early tomorrow morning. And my teeth are brushed. What if the mystery fiddler is an exchange student, and I somehow intimidate him or her? What if they say no?

Ultimately, time becomes the deciding factor. As suddenly as it had started, it stops. I spit out my toothpace, race to the office, and grab my master key. At the elevator, I press both the down and up button, in case I catch the fiddler on his way up. He should be pretty easy to see, right? The guy with the fiddle?

I get to the basement and the door of the music room. No fiddling. I open the door, and there’s Nick. He’s a student in my building. We say hi when we pass by each other. We’ve even had one or two philosophical conversations. There’s a fiddle at his feet.

“Hi,” I say. “Wanna make some music?” I don’t have a fiddle part written. I don’t even have a song written.

But there’s plenty of time.

On The Frustration of Campus Life

Tuesday, November 11th, 2003
Current Listening:
U2: “With or Without you”
Sleight of hand and twist of fate

On a bed of nails she makes me wait

And I wait without you

With or without you

With or without you

Through the storm we reach the shore

You give it all but I want more

And I’m waiting for you

With or without you

With or without you

I can’t live

With or without you

Singing to a bar in the handicapped-accessible stall of the Lomasson Center. This is what I found myself doing tonight. Of course, I wasn’t alone. John was there — he was the one who got me into it. It turns out that the bar resonates sympathetically to the Bb in the octave below Middle C. How John found out about this remains a mystery. He obstinately insists that it was his brother, David, who discovered this strange fact. That still makes me wonder why he would be singing while taking a shit.

After that little escapade I went to the library. I had a hankerin’ for some Bob Dylan. But with John at his swing class and Carrie home in Kalispell, I didn’t have any way to check out books. So I decided to see just how high my overdue fees were.

I had issue with these fees. Last semester I had a bibliography to write about William Wordsworth. I checked out books and took them home to Corvallis for the weekend, getting a ride from my mom. Now, obivously this meant that I could take all the books home but not back because it was a long walk. Unfortunately, I checked out one book that was due back two days after I checked it out. So, my fees turned out to be $11. What kind of insane library charges a dollar per day for overdue fees?

But it turned out that said fees were absorbed into my bill. I was a happy camper. I went and got another Bob Dylan biography (I’ve checked out three but haven’t really read one), a guide to rock ‘n roll (a thick book), and a chronicle of The Rock Bottom Remainders, the band formed of Dave Berry, Stephen King, and other noted writers. I also got Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, because some fucktard checked out and lost all of his albums last semester.

Then I started on laundry, which took five hours. Serious. I had the worst time finding a dryer, finally having to move somebody else’s clothes out of a one. Then, it took five runs through the dryers to clean two washersfull of clothes. One load just wouldn’t dry. I think some asshole came down in the middle of each of the first two runs, stopping the load and wasting a precious quarter of mine. They finally got done at 1:30, so now I can go to bed for the holiday.

New Album in Works

Sunday, November 2nd, 2003
Current Listening:
Drag the River: “Forgiveness”
My daddy preached to me

Everyday for years

The day that he died

I swallowed my tears

The tip of the bottle

And a wish you were here

I’d trade forgiveness for a beer

Wow. Somebody threw strands of toilet paper through the trees in front of Jesse. In its own way, it’s really pretty. Like streamers of garland. That are supposed to wipe asses.

I was a Ninja for Halloween. Black pants, a black t-shirt, and another black t-shirt to make into my mask. There was this other guy in a ninja costume, but he was wearing a long sleeve shirt (with a logo!) and a bandana for a mask. I was so much sweeter than he. We did Trick or Eating, which meant we went to the Davidsons College and got a route, then went door-to-door collecting canned food. We got two bags full, which is a decent amount. Then we watched a late-night screening of The Shining. Interesting flick. So much so that I want to read the book.

I got some books at the library, thanks to Carrie. an Amiri Baraka treasury, Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys (A Very Short Book), and Stephen King’s autobiography/work about writing, On Writing. I’m about thirty pages into each.

So I’m slowly collecting another album’s worth of material. If all goes well, I should record it over the Thanksgiving break. This album will be my most acoustic yet: acoustic guitar, piano, and few electric guitars. It has some of my strongest stuff yet, though (I think). “Starting a Religion”, a slow, hymnal number; “Double Take”, an offbeat song about the similarty of the two ‘opposite’ political parties, and “Danse Macabre”, a visual, piano-driven piece.

Left Hanging

Nobody wants to explore anymore.

All we want is a copy of National Geographic and

a bologna sandwich, preferably with Super-Size Fries.

Can you blame us? Who’d want to leave

the serenity of a newspaper floor, our own feces

floating in a water dish, and pretty, shiny bars?

Thank God for the bars. If we squint and look

with what little imagination we’ve got,

we just might see a menacing cat staring us down.

He’s got mange, he’s missing an eye,

and a gleam in his good eye like a madman’s watch.

Watching the birds outside the window, we laugh nervously,

dismissing what we fear most. Let them live on the edge each day,

just outside the cat’s cracked paws. Let them live.

At least they don’t have to read old issues of National Geographic until they die.

Woe unto me! My showers are a bit cold!

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2003

It’s time to bitch and gripe. Specifically, I’m going to bitch and gripe about the showers here in Jesse Hall. These showers, in case you haven’t seen them, are the type that have one knob that revolves around, going from hot to cold. Now, these are already hard to deal with because they always start off cold, blasting you. This is okay in the morning when one is still tired, but quickly becomes annoying.

The other gripe I have is that the temperature of the showers is always changing. I often have to crank the shower all the way counterclockwise to hot and then, only minutes later, it will become scalding. Is there no way for me to shower in peace?