The World - 22 February 1996 through present

Nichelle

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 September 2009

Subject: Dust My Rim

Nichelle is on the way to symphony opener. Adams' On the Transmigration of Souls and Beethoven's 9th. (It is so nice to wear a dress just like real girls do.)

Nichelle: The bar at Symphony Hall offers both a Bravotini and a Violatini. (Of course I couldn't get the violatini. The last time those guys got us clarinetists drunk, they took our Brahms Sonatas.)

Howard: What language are you speaking? I don't understand your words.

SAGReiss: Howard, I don't know you, but if you don't understand Nichelle's words, you need to read more carefully. There is not a greater writer in the world, no matter the language.

SAGReiss: "He composed several instrumental sonatas with piano, including three for violin, two for cello and two for clarinet (which were subsequently arranged for viola by the composer)." (Wikipedia's Brahms page). Never doubt Nichelle.

Nichelle: The Wikipedia page on violatinis says that they dust the rim with rosin.

SAGReiss: I beg your pardon, they dust what?

Nichelle: Sort of like coating the rim of a margarita glass with salt.

Joy & Mimosa

From: SAGReiss

Date: 17 December 2009

Subject: The Joyful One

So I guess Joy's next in my weird order based on a mix of seniority, participation, and the old-school courtesy that Cor(r)in(n)e's ex-husband thing scorned, when I suggested he might let her go first to the bathroom in my home: "We don't do that shit anymore." Maybe that's why he's the ex-husband thing. Joy has suffered terribly for things that were none of her doing, and also perhaps for a few that are inherent to joyfulness. She has a keen mind & sharp wit, writes beautifully of cats, suffers fools not quite gladly, plays the bassoon, and is becoming a nurse, or perhaps even a doctor, like her father. Nichelle has hinted at things in her past (also not her doing) even darker than what I know of. I think she is tormented by her demons, but nursing school was a brilliant move. Joy's mind seems to be focusing as it hasn't always done in the past. I would rather have Joy treating Rose than any other doctor or nurse in the world.

Joy (left) also
              plays cello

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 July 2010

Subject: Return of Son of Calamity Kate Rides Again

I feel she is mocking me by speaking Spanish on her blog. And the whole thing is covered in pics of this weird toy donkey. She writes the same as she did fifteen years ago, well, better actually, really funny in a way none of us know how to write, this deadpan, self-mocking grin that sees & takes in everything around her. She seems to change jobs every couple of days, but Syracuse University, whatever else may be said for the place, doesn't seem to have prepared any of us for the real world. I don't even know anyone who has a job. Well, I guess laurent has one, and negatron, but it never ceases to irk me that he is paid (& probably treated) like shit, when we all know he is the baddest geek on Earth. Anyway, I will restore Calamity Kate to this list as soon as, and if, she approves my friendship on Facebook. I think the rabbis need to finally replace that daily prayer: "Thank God for not making me a woman," which seems a little dated, with: "Thank God for giving us the internet."

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 July 2010

Subject: Whooo Are You?

As I wait & hope for her confirmation, I forgot to mention that Kate appears to live on a different planet, one where such incongruous elements as sushi (which I've eaten once or twice, and which Murder is stuffing himself full of as we speak) and diet Pepsi (which I've never tasted) live in cheerful harmony. It was in 1995 when Cor(r)in(n)e & I met her, and is apparently still today, impossible to describe Katy. She doesn't seem to fit any known category of race, religion, geography (She comes from fucking Kansas and describes her current hometown of Brooklyn in language I do not understand, even though my whole family [both sides] lived there after they got kicked out of the Old Land.), politics, art, fashion, or style, which is why she belongs among us. I have long since stopped trying to figure out who we are. As Mic Jagger can probably not imagine what it would be like not to be a Rolling Stone, I do not know what it would be like not to be a member of the World.

Calamity Kate
MRI am hungry!
Cor(r)in(n)e

From: SAGReiss

Date: 17 December 2009

Subject: Cor(r)in(n)e

"Have you met Cor(r)in(n)e?" I could understand almost nothing of what Mrs McGinn said, neither in English nor in French. I had just returned from ten years in Alsace, and knew neither meaning of the acronym PC. I only read the sports pages of the paper Herald Tribune, and always complained to myself that they mostly concentrated on Eurofag events such as tennis (sorry, Murder) & soccer. I met Cor(r)in(n)e a few days later, a tiny, silent mulatto with the flame of anarchy burning within her. While I knew, and liked, her first husband thing, and know her brother & some of their bizarre family history, I don't feel I know much about Cor(r)in(n)e. Fifteen years later I was surprised that she had become the devoted mother of three, as no doubt you were all surprised that I had become the devoted father of one. I would very much like to meet Cor(r)in(n)e (again) & her family, although I think the feeling is not mutual.

Cor(r)in(n)e
Murder

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 December 2009

Subject: The Murderous One

Attached: messiaen_murder_merle_noir.mp3, redwinged_blackbird.jpg

Red-winged Blackbird

The more I think about our friend Murder, the more taken aback I am. Here is a man about my size, five foot five, 130 pounds, but about ten years younger, with a cherubic face & winning smile that has won Rose's heart, but whose mind seems to have an equally tight hold on words, music, numbers, and memory, a deep & subtle understanding of just about everything important, and even some not so important things, or rather things that might not seem important, such as the name of his parents' dog Riley, which Rose asked me to ask him, and he answered, which gave Rose some more mastery of the world, a further penetration into what Nichelle has just referred to, in her inimitable style: "the universe is a mysterious and surprising place". Indeed it is, and somehow Riley's name belongs to that mysterious & surprising cosmos that Rose is learning to know, in the beautiful German phrase. I could probably write such a portrait of all of you, and maybe I will. For the moment I will just share with you my feeling of gratitude for knowing John, and Nichelle, Joy, [Katy,] Cor(r)in(n)e, John, [&] Laurent [...] Rose & I thank you for aiding & abetting our education.

Riley

From: SAGReiss

Date: 17 December 2009

Subject: negatron

John is a man I've always loved, a drunken, hateful hacker & slacker who probably needs to see the sun shine a little more often. Joy loves him too. He's been stuck in some bullshit job forever for reasons I will never understand. I am happy that he has found a Limeblossom to lighten his burden in this valley of the shadow of death.

negatron
laurent

From: SAGReiss

Date: 17 December 2009

Subject: Son of #22

I'm sure that I am far more impressed than he with laurent's score in the hardest mathematics exam on Earth. I am also impressed with the facts that he can play most of the horn section [He has jammed with Joy.] despite a very long beard, has read everything in at least two languages, and carries within his girth a bullet fired upon him in an act of more-or-less random American violence, which might have sent a lesser man home to France. [Instead laurent married a Sister.]


From: SAGReiss

Date: 19 December 2009

Subject: Boil My Ass

Yesterday I spoke to Rose for an hour on the telephone. I do not bother C the G in our home, but she has blocked my e-mail accounts, so I have to print my messages and snail mail them to her, and she answers by telephone, in this case asking me to call her back, so I did. It turns out Rose is quite a chatterbox on the phone, punishing her mother with endless reiterations of: "I love you," and "I miss you", forbidding me to hang up, refusing even the promise of Père Noël in order to continue to speak with her own père. When C the G finally took matters into her own hands, and cut our connection, I built our World page. All of this time I had been suffering from a big pimple on my right ass, right under my wallet, a pimple of biblical proportions, a boil in fact the size of an almond, which finally burst, spilling a tablespoon of brown puss before the blood began to gush. Now a woman might go to see a doctor about the source of such intense pain. I don't know if there are any doctors left in Ardony who will treat me. I suppose there's always Buk's grandmother's remedy, impaling the boil on a crucifix while chanting prayers in German. Indeed I would take Rose to see a doctor if she had a pimple a quarter of that size. C the G thinks people should go to the doctor because of stinkfoot, but no one but Rose smells my feet, and she doesn't seem to mind. C the G also smells her own bodily fluids, I guess to see if there's an infection, but a puss-filled almond on the ass is by definition an infection, so I had no need (nor desire) to take the sniff test to confirm. (This is just shop talk between me & Joy, so please indulge us the disgust.) I have added a few wrinkles to our page, but informed only Murder (whose consent is necessary to the home improvements), so it will be a surprise to the rest of you. I had to compensate spatially by adding another pic of Cor(r)in(n)e, the grayscale obelisk of one half of your face, which seemed to fit best into the surrounding color scheme & geometry.

SAGReiss by Rose
                Reiss

From: SAGReiss

Date: 18 December 2009

Subject: You knew I would do this

Yes, my friends, I've created a World page, but please wait, there's no link to it, no external links to your pages or texts on my site, no surnames, and I've slapped it with a "noindex, nofollow" metatag, so neither Google nor anyone else will find it until we've hashed out your objections, emendations, image swaps (I really wanted the pic of laurent he used to have on Twitter.), that is until there is some consensus that I may indeed publish it. Other people publish pics of their friends, and they aren't necessarily made to walk the plank. I await your howls of outrage, constructive criticism, vicious invective, slanderous entries for my portrait text, in short whatever you may wish to contribute.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 20 December 2009

Subject: RedWingedBlackBirdSong

Ignorant of all things musical, which I can barely read, I chose Murder's song for all the wrong reasons, but I still think it was the right choice. First, Murder would not publish a bad song, so I couldn't go wrong. Many of the songs on his site seem to have an animal theme, but that could be just my memory or interpretation. More important, the song demonstrates exactly what Murder & I have already agreed music cannot in fact do, mimesis. That the song ultimately fails to do what music cannot do is not proof of its authors' failure. It is proof that Murder (& Messiaen or however the fuck that's spelled) had the balls to try, knowing it was impossible, at least in Murder's case. You could play that song to a million Americans and a lot of them might spontaneously shout: "Blackbird". Um, it's the most common fucking bird in America. Europeans would shout: "Nightingale". Australians would shout: "Kiwi" or "Kangaroo" or whatever their fucking bird's called. It might sound vaguely like a bird, which could basically be said of all melody. It can't name the blackbird. It don't designate agelaius phoeniceus, which is why I needed the picture, which I was happy to provide, providing I could buy the color red for the same price (free), which in turn shifted the whole row down, since Murder is now hogging up all the space with three pics, no less, which meant I needed another pic of Cor(r)in(n)e, whose lovely face I was again glad to reiterate, especially since I could now duplicate the obelisk shape (with its inherent 2001 reference) in grayscale (in order not to take anything away from Stendhal's red black bird) and use that image to feed into negatron's, right below and only twelve pixels narrower [modified since, but I cropped Riley's pic to match laurent's at 226 pixels wide]. You think building [& maintaining] these fucking pages is easy?

From: SAGReiss

Date: 21 December 2009

Subject: The Bird's Reply to the Shepherd

"The chief source of Messiaen’s harmonic and melodic material for the rest of his life was birdsong. Always a keen ornithologist, Messiaen now set about transcribing the songs in meticulous detail, going on expeditions at all hours of the day and night, and incorporating not only the birdsongs but the landscapes he encountered into the massive Catalogue d’Oiseaux (1956­58). Messiaen admitted that birdsong was a refuge for him, ‘in my darkest hours, when my uselessness is brutally revealed to me’; and it may be that the sheer frenzy with which he plunged into the task was not unrelated to the unfortunate and prolonged illness of his first wife, who died in 1959 having spent the last 12 years of her life in hospital. Whatever the causes for this sudden change of direction, it probably created more controversy than anything else in his career; whether or not ornithologists are able to relate the birdsongs to Messiaen’s transcriptions, a musically intelligent listener should have little trouble in relating the two, or in enjoying the exuberantly colourful results in Messiaen’s music. He himself remarked that he saw nothing unusual in a composer composing from nature just as painters paint from nature."

http://www.musicaltimes.co.uk/archive/obits/199209messiaen.html

SAGReiss