Start with a dream, end with a nightmare. Remember how I said the blossoming of the trees should, in an ideal May, coincide with warmth and sun? Today:

This erases all memories of the years when they came out during a week of sleet. That never happened. If it happens next year I will be despondent, because that never happened before.

There’s still a week of May, which I intend to make last as long as possible by doing something new and different every day. What, I don’t know. When you think of it, that should be every day’s goal, but it never works out like that. We bring our gears to the day and the days bring theirs and everything meshes, as usual, and everything starts to turn, as usual, and the familiarity of the motion and the lulling whirr of the machinery makes us feel like we’re going somewhere. The machine always puts you back in the bed in which you woke, but that doesn’t mean you have no control over where you are in the meantime. So next week is going to be different. A full report will follow until I forget the resolution and have a chicken sandwich for lunch because it’s Thursday.

Daughter’s last orchestra concert. She won’t be doing it in high school, even though she enjoys the cello. Sawing away at the same few notes over and over, not so much. You hate to see all that end for naught, but it wasn’t for naught; few things are. Better to have cello’d and quit than to never have cello’d at all, I suppose.

As we walked in there were seven people outside the school, taking a break, getting some air; all were bent over and staring at phones. The world has become an opium den, I almost tweeted, but then I would have had to become one of them. (Which I did later, but I was looking at important things.)

Afterwards we went to Perkins, as usual for post-concerts and recitals. I used to go to this one 30+ years ago to sit at the counter and drink coffee and write. It was my way of getting out of town, since it was on the other end of the earth from the University, way over in cake-eater land. It was orange then. It was green for a long while. Now it’s grey. Because I am a member of their eSomething, and it had been a year since I signed up to get Rewards, I had the right to demand two pieces of pie on the house. This was verified with my phone. When the meal came the server set down a bottle of ketchup with a QR code to play Trivia Pursuit and win valuable ketchup coupons, and since I’m always keen to defray the high cost of ketchup these days, I fired up the game and we all played several rounds. After pie we drove home in a merry mood, the “Grand Budapest Hotel” soundtrack plinking and sighing on the speakers.

About as perfect as an evening gets. Sitting at the counter 30+ years ago I doubt I thought such things would ever happen, probably because I couldn’t imagine just why they would feel so marvelous. Too bad they took the counter out; I would have given a thumbs up to my shade on the stool by the wall.

Power went out this morning. Felt rather helpless for a while, but then I remembered that I was right back where I was, oh, 30+ years ago when the power went out; didn’t have a computer then. And I didn’t feel unmoored then, did I? All sixes and sevens? Well yes, of course I did. Even if you’re using no power you want there to be power. You want the clock to run and the stereo to play, even if you have a watch and a portable radio. You want to look out and see the stoplight working, which means civilization is operating as usual. As they say: you never miss the water until the well goes dry. Or the bucket is missing. Or the rope holding the bucket breaks, which you should have expected because it was frayed for weeks, and you did nothing. If the stones around the well were loose, and you leaned against them and fell in, you would not miss the water because it would be unavoidable.

Anyway, the power came back. The light on the phone said I had a message. It was from the school, which had mass-phoned every parent to tell them the power was out, but things were carrying on as normal, and there was no need to pick up your kid.

Who picks up a kid because the power's out? My daughter explained later it was fun, because they got to have class in different locations. Some of her rooms have no windows.

They designed schools with classrooms that have no windows.


Faces of Judge Judy update: I had no idea that the hairstyles of the Class of '76 were popular again.


As for our continuing examination of the blank-faced woman in the background who has a certain Scully-like aloof reserve, she has been present and accounted-for all week:


Different shows on different days. I hope she gets a spinoff series.



Now, the nightmare. No explanation offered. It's bad if you know. Especially if you know it's Dec. 31, 1958.


Now, this week's batch of "Couple Next Door" cues, taken - I believe - from the depthless CBS EZ Cue music library. The story takes place in Italy this week, from Venice to Pisa.


CND Cue #411 Sentimental mama-mia music.

CND Cue #412 Alert sound for a difficult piece of mail that eventually went through.

CND Cue #413 More pleasant family shopping music, even though they’re in Italiy dealing with language issues and toothaches.

CND Cue #414 I would love to hear the whole piece and see where this one's headed.

CND Cue #415 Happy and cheerful and undistinguished as it might be, I can't help but hear someone spit out a tobacco fleck around 2 seconds in.

CND Cue #416 A case study in what Mozart might have criticized for having “too many notes”


More X-Minus 1. Almost every single music cue does its job and manages to be . . . unfufilling. It's just pulling faces and making hammy theatrical gestures. Agree? No? Here:


X-Minus 1 Cue #10 Good Luck! Another cue I want to hear around the house or office when I go off to do something.

X-Minus 1 Cue #11The horrible tentacles of the Gorgomath uncoil from the swamp, and everyone runs.

X-Minus 1 Cue #12 Liftoff at pad 4, destination Planet Generica!

X-Minus 1 Cue #13 Frequently used on X-Minis to bridge scenes, but it would work in a detective series as well.

X-Minus 1 Cue #14 Ravel goes to the hippie commune

X-Minus 1 Cue #15 One false move and you’re finished! G’wan!

X-Minus 1 Cue #16 Sci-Fi shows required a million little snippets like this - something that contains mystery and heroism and the sense of an alien place. Unfortunately, most of them were boring. But you could probably say the same about many alien worlds.

X-Minus 1 Cue #17 If I remember correctly, John Williams wrote some CBS library cues as a young fellow. There’s a little of his Irwin Allen-era music in this short stabby cue.


Bromo-bromo-bromo-bromo! But first, that purloined Romeo & Juliet cue.


Bromo, 1959. Bromo-bromo-bromo-bromo

Have a great Memorial Day weekend. Summer's begun!



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