How to Spell Saxophone

 

 

by

"The king of self-promotion, Paul Minor..."

XL 1-15-98
 

This web-page is not self-promotion.

It's therapy.

Just like music, just like writing. Just like anything worth doing.
 

I picked up the new cd sleeves at the printer yesterday and delivered them to crystal clear sound, who in turn sent them to the plant to be inserted into the jewel cases with the discs and shrinkwrapped. Things are on schedule for delivery by the 30th.

You should ask the other members of this illustrious band about their other projects sometime. Andrew's new band with Kurt Kirkwood is debuting soon. Allyson's other bands are getting some cool gigs, and Jon's latest personal projects are very involving ande challenging, and I am proud of his success with Ph and other groups of dedicated, earnest folks. Ask Jon about how he inspired 16 Deluxe's new ep title, "Easy with the Sideways." He's going along, feelin' jes' fine.

Last night was a hairy night at work. A busload of blind/handicapped children was stranded, out of gas, on an underpass at Mopac and Bee Caves. Back on campus, I suddenly found myself as the middleman, via an unreliable cell phone connection, between the APD, the towtruck dispatcher, and the driver. Everyone was irate and no-one was cooperative. The tow company brought the wrong size wrecker to the site, the police were threatening to impound it as a traffic hazard if we didn't get it moved, and the kids were growing agitated.

At the end of my shift at 11, the kids were safe in their dorms, the original driver of the bus (8 months pregnant) had been picked up by her husband, and the wrecker and an unlucky rec staff member finally dragged in around 2 a.m.

He was upset for being left behind, but we had a good talk today and re-established some trust. He kind of got left in the bag, holding the cold, as it were, and it was basically my fault. I apologized and thankfully things are back to normal here on campus at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, where black clouds almost always blow over within 24 hours.

I reminded myself of this fact as a drove home last night, and started thinking about another dilemma. I am in the market for a new camper shell for my 1980 chevy pickup, and was planning to look at some from the want ads today. yesterday during a lull at work i took a few minutes to unbolt the rusty nuts from the old camper, which is in sad shape due to an encounter with a low-hanging live oak limb downtown. I also unattached some wires leading to the cargo light.

So the camper, loose from its moorings, was presenting a dangerous situation for the drive home, and I was anxious to ditch it in a responsible manner. I couldn't talk the overnight security guard, Raymond, into taking it out to his ranch for a doghouse or something, so I decided to drive it slowly home and then ruminate on what to do with it.

As I got near my house, I remembered that our back alley was often the sight of a lot of discarded junk, so I decided to heave it off the truck and lean it against our back fence until I could figure out a more permanent solution. You can't very well install a new camper until you remove the old one, you dig.

I was in the process of doing this task, somewhat carefully and methodically so as not to break an arm or worse, when I started to detect the unmistakable smell of smoking plastic. The camper, hanging halfway off the truck, was snagged on one of the wires, which was still stapled into the wooden frame, and it was being stripped by the edge of the hole in the truck chassis, where it passes on its way to the battery. It was live and smoking, and cutting it would be no help.

Then I noticed smoke coming from under the hood. There were flames leaping from behind the engine, near the cab. I ran inside for water, filled up a pan, dragged the hose as far as it would go, and then doused the growing flames. I ran back inside and breathlessly called 911, thinking that the oil on the engine and air cleaner could still ignite if i didn't get that battery terminal disconnected. I searched quickly for a wrench, but when i failed to find one, i ran outside again to douse the engine once more for good measure.

sirens wailing, the truck came to the front of the house, and a firefighter jumped off in full gas mask and air tank. I told them there was no fire at the moment, but to pull around in the alley and help me get the battery disconnected. They did these things, and then they poked around the truck for awhile to make sure the danger had passed. As they left, they assured me the threat of fire was over, but that I probably had some major electrical work in store.

I went inside and fed the cats.

Jon showed up and after a cigarette break to expalin the situation, I unloaded my marshall combo, laptop, and gas can from the truck, and trusty housemate Jon helped me push her down the alley and into a parking spot on 47th st. I went to bed exhausted but edgy, and crashed around 2.

At 9:30, I awoke and called the mechanic across the tracks, who sent a couple of guys to pull it over to the shop. They looked under the hood and told me that the flaming wire under the hood was a buffer wire mounted to the firewall that is designed to burn slowly and protect the rest of the circuitry. I had assumed the entire wiring would have to be replaced, but hopefully I was mistaken thanks to this ingenious device. i haven't heard an estimate yet.

I went back to sleep for awhile after watching Chuck Woolery suck up to Regis and Kathy Lee for about five nauseating minutes. "I was behind you 100% during that 'clothing thing,'" he told her. I rose around noon and started doing some chores, watering the plants and stuff. I was discarding the kitchen garbage out in the alley, when I noticed that the camper was missing. I walked over to where it had been, and all that was left was the neatly piled wood from the frame, and a couple of piles of shattered glass. Someone had picked the aluminum clean from the shell, leaving the wood to rot like bones in the sun.

At first I thought maybe homeless scavengers had taken it for a cash-in, then I remembered that it actually was recycling day on my street. I thought I heard banging earlier in my slumber, but I never would have dreamed that the city workers would be so incredibly resourceful and industrious. If it was them, I wonder if they will be sending me a huge solid waste bill. I will pay it gladly.

What a night. It helped me get my mind off some other shit, I guess. I think waiting for the album to come out is making me kind of anxious. Certain people in my life are being very patient with me as I indulge myself in mild nervous breakdowns here and there with increasing frequencly lately, and I appreciate their tolerance. I find myself being highly critical of some of you who tend to bring out the insecurity in me at this vulnerable time. I was just telling a greatly loved close friend and collaborator last night before all the drama, that I needed them to give me some space and lay off me a little while I am in this state. I can't handle criticism or questions right now very well for some reason. I feel very defensive and agitated like I can't do a damn thing right. Trust me. It's not you, it's me, and it's only temporary.

Some things take a little longer than 24 hours to resolve, but the rewards are far greater.

This afternoon I opened the XL to read in the "street sounds" column that I was the "king of self-promotion." It went on to mention our new cd by name and the Lunch show on the 30th. I had such intensely mixed emotions, thinking that it was such an unsubtle, unclever way to chide me for being a shameless marketer of my art, and that maybe i should just give up on the whole damn racket because every artist mentioned in the xl and the chronicle this week had someone busting their butt to get their face on the cover and their name in bold print, and i got no-one except myself to do that ugly job, and I just wanted to throw this faxing, e-mailing piece of junk in the river and cancel the big show at liberty lunch on friday the 30th with Orange Mothers and fire the video crew and destroy all the mirrors in my house...

I even was thinking about calling Corcoran and asking him what I could do to lose this undeserved rep. Don't they know it's just a gimmick?

Then I read it again.

And as I read, I realized I had not read it at all the first time. It called me the king of self-promotion, yes. It mentioned the album title, and then it mentioned the name of the band, and the name of the show.

The name... Of the show.

The name that I , Paul Geoffrey Minor , the wearer of that ill-fitting crown, had given it gladly, at a moment when I was aware, when I was in possession of a sense of humor. When my "ego" was healthy, my head on straight. The name that the writer, that sly devil, took as the joke that it was. And of course, he appreciated the idea, and played it up like he always has, and cleverly used it in a blurb that took longer to read than he took to write it.

Next time I see him, I need to thank him for reminding me not to take it so seriously. Just measure it by the amount of space it takes up in the press kit. Maybe I'll even give him a copy of the new disc if he asks nice.

So here's to EGOMANIA '98

Friday, Jan. 30th at Liberty Lunch.

Starring me and all my friends.

And to all those who I left shivering in the cold, waiting for a call, puzzled by my bizarre behavior, disappointed by my imperfection, worrying about my well-being, doubting my integrity, I wish to humbly offer this sincere apology:
 

My bad...
 
 
 

past entries

next entry