January 1st, 2008

Wiązanka góralska-zespół impuls

Digging up and carefully listening to the music I grew up with in Youngstown OH in the 1950s produced a strange sensation. The melodies and cadences were hauntingly familiar, yet alien. In any event, here's a comprehensive selection. My all-time favorite is "The Clarinet Polka."

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A PhotoForum Exchange

Below is an image entitled “erect structure” submitted to the weekly PhotoFourm Gallery hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, with a caption by its author, Trevor Cunningham. Following comes my review of his image, and a response by a fellow listmember, Dr. Chris Strevens. (Both Dr. Strevens and Trevor Cunningham have given their permission for my reposting the exchange on Live Journal.)

erect structure

Caption: i believe john [Palcewski] made a phallic reference to an image i submitted a few weeks back (not that i'm shocked), so when i saw this tower in the middle of the zoo, i couldn't resist...plus, i thought the paint job was pretty interesting as well...should i just spot remove the moon? i think it looks a little pathetic next to the large bulbous end of the tower

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Review of Trevor’s image by John Palcewski:

Whenever I see a Freudian phallus I remember a joke. Guy goes to a shrink who gives him a Rorschach test. The shrink raises the first inkblot and asks, What do you see? The guy replies it's a naked woman lying on a bed with her legs spread. The next? The guy says it's two lesbians having sex. The third? Two male homosexuals having sex. The shrink says, "Obviously you see sex everywhere you look." The guy replies, "Hey, doc, you're the one
with all the dirty pictures."

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Betty Joyce wept when she listened to Maria Callas singing Caro Nome, and many other intensely beautiful operatic arias. Those hot-blooded Italians idealized love, love in its perfect state, something we desperately strive for but never quite achieve. It’s this failure to experience romantic love perfectly that brings on the tears. What a loss! And it’s always a loss, isn’t it? We are imperfect, and sometimes it seems we can never do it right, and thats the pity.

Of course looking back on how often Chester got drunk and so full of rage and hate and violence, it made her wonder what was wrong with her judgment and intuition. How on earth could she have misjudged him so badly? Maybe she was the one who wasn’t right in the head.

In the beginning she was drawn to his handsome face, and slim figure, and his almost feminine vulnerability. She understood his overwhelming fear of being hurt again, after a string of terrible traumas. The death of his father, the death of his mother, and his brothers, and then precious little Roberta. Also Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the ultimate father figure.

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Cold Metaphor

Harry picked up his five year old daughter Alice, drove her to the efficiency apartment he’d rented on the other side of town. Wet snow was falling. After watching cartoons for a while, Alice announced she was bored. Harry said, hey, do you want to make a snow man? Oh, yes! Yes! Alice said.

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Polish Archeological Excavation, Continued

Ralph Orzechowski is the bald one, second from right.

Continuing the Polish archeological excavation, there’s another strange coincidence in the Palczewski family history. My step-brother Ralph Orzechowski and I were born on exactly the same day: March 1, 1942.

When I was in the Air Force in the early 60s I got a gift subscription to the Youngstown Vindicator. Reading it in the barracks one day I found out I was related to a hero:

Five young passersby help four Youngstown policemen apprehend three robbers who pulled off a daring daylight robbery from a wholesale jeweler on the eighth floor of the Dollar Bank building. Jewels worth $37,000 and $2,000 in cash are recovered. The young heroes are Tim Domer, 20; Ralph Orzechowski, 16; Dave McGarry, 16; Tony Santangelo, 17, and Peter Mittoli, 16.

In a letter, my mother said despite this Ralph wasn’t really a hero, because at the funeral of Edna, her mother, they caught him trying to slip the wedding band off her dead finger. Ralph was going to pawn it to get money for his drugs. Not too long afterward, he was arrested, tried and convicted for a botched attempt at armed robbery at a Youngstown motel, and got hard time at Ohio State Penitentiary.

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Uomo e Donna?

Below is a question I posed the other day to Chris and Abby, musician friends of mine, part of research for my novel-in-progress. All here at LiveJournal are, of course, welcomed to comment.

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Chris, here’s a question. Do you see any significant differences in the performances of male and female musicians?

In the news this week there are reports of a study that suggests men and women “differ broadly in their emotional and behavioral patterns, rather than just in a few and comparatively narrow motivational domains such as aggression and sexuality.”

Now, this made me think about why, on a gut level, I greatly prefer a CD of the Berlin Symphony and soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter’s performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto over Heifetz’s playing the same piece with the Boston Symphony.

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Walter "Bully" Orzechowski

President Theodore Roosevelt often used the word "bully" which meant a platform from which to influence political and social events, that is, a "bully pulpit." To him it also meant something great or wonderful.

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A Male Version Of Her Own Voice

Wanda believed she was a reincarnation of Mozart. She improvised regularly for ballet and modern dance classes in studios a few blocks north of Lincoln Center. These gigs paid quite well, and in cash. Plus for her it was easy. She could imitate any composer’s style, from Bach to Stravinsky. Her virtuosity was such that she could play the piano and read a paperback novel at the same time, but she could do this only during a ballet rehearsal. Her long, bony fingers played neat phrases of eight, sixteen, and thirty-two notes as the dancers sighed and grunted and threw sweat droplets onto the shiny hardwood floor.

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