Gunn wrestler, my quasi-godson

Palo Alto Mayor Nancy Shepherd and I greeted Gunn wresters, Principal Denise Hermann and coach Chris Horpel at the beginning of the season, to root them on and congratulate Chris on his recent successes including winning league for the Titans for the first time since 1974.

I actually didn’t notice until Sunday, months later, that my friend Sam Rothstein, a sophomore indeed took my advice and learned to grapple a bit.

Here is the photo, by Butch Garcia, and the edit that shows Sam and I as details, 14 faces down.




I am not literally his godfather, but I’ve known him since he was in utero. His brother Michael I was there the day he learned to walk.

If its not obvious who is the narrator, here is my closeup:

I took wrestling at Bellarmine summer sports camp in 1973

I took wrestling at Bellarmine summer sports camp in 1973

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Hey now you’re an All Star and CCS champ

This article shows the idiocy of the CCS format: you win Div. II and therefore can claim to be the 25th top team in the section? Why not have Div. I thru Div. L playoffs and give every other kid the chance to say he was a CCS champion?

I posted that snarky bit below John Reid’s Merc story about Los Altos advancing in Div. II playoffs. I’m not against Los Altos, I like Rosenbaum and McColl, I almost went up to Milt McColl and told him that I used to date the best friend of his wife, yadda yadda. But Los Altos has won State Championships in football, they don’t need watered down divisional sectional banners cluttering up their ceiling.

I also posted that I like St. Francis over Sacred Heart of Menlo Park tonight at 7:30 at Independence in San Jo in that I am a hater of Sacred Heart football even in a miracle season because the Palo Alto Weekly covered them fully but never ran more than a line or two about 1-9 Gunn, the home team.

I will count and then delete what I think of as 300 hoops photos at about 15 contests, maybe 20 this season. But if I go all the way down to San Jo to watch St. Francis v. Sacred Heart, might as well watch two WCAL’s in the other bracket, Mitty and Serra. I guess I would flip and root for Sacred Heart against Mitty or Serra just for the Mid-Peninsula connection. I guess I like Homestead over Bells but won’t pay to see it.

Meanwhile a Gunn kid Ian Cramer won CCS wrestling at 145 or so, only the sixth ever to do that.

and 1: you’d be looking pretty dumb with not your finger and your thumb but CCS CHAMP Div. L on your lid:

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And when he utters the imperative ‘Hush now,’ in ‘Don’t Explain,’ he could be talking to a lover or a hostage

This could almost fit above, in the Jamie Cullum piece. I was imagning or drumming –dramming dam u, stupid cumpooter — it’s a whiskey reference, although I am still on caffeine, and on bike, for what that’s worth, and walking on sunshine, and felling good — Jamie Cullum w. Jamie Stewart, dialing Nina fixes. Dueling, like that old guy from the movies, L.B. Jones’ father in law. Now this is Plasty!

(the headline above is Nate of the Times, 2013)

Jamie as Xiu Xiu did with Ches Smith in 2013 and Mary Halvorsen, and Tony Malaby a Nina Simone tribute, but did not touch “Misunderstood” which was written for Nina but I got from The Animals first. Jamie Cullum meanwhile covers as a Nina Simone shout “Misunderstood”.

Any one else care to see a cutting contest or collaboration with these two Jamie’s? If I was Michael Bailey I would have flown in Stewart to open for Cullum, with or without the Nina book.

Jamie Stewart, old pal, can you come play Lytton Plaza around Aug. 5 if we can get Jamie Cullum? I remember talking to Jamie Stewart the day Allen Ginsburg died and he said we should all gather at Lytton Plaza:

Jmaie Stewart and Angelo Seo by dan bleckley

Jmaie Stewart and Angelo Seo by dan bleckley

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Kickin’ it with Jamie Cullum

kicking it with jamie cullum, captured from Kimmel, 2015

kicking it with jamie cullum, captured from Kimmel, 2015

Dear Jamie Cullum, when you play Hollywood Bowl on August 5, 2015, please swing by Palo Alto and do a free show at Lytton Plaza to raise awareness of “the Great Unwashed”. Thanks, Mark Weiss

This is the quinetessentional plastic alto in that it stays on topic, is mainly about music, has a combination of memoir anecdotes, news and hypotethical news i.e. drams or wishes.

I just emailed Terry my Terry, the artist Terry Acebo Davis and our close friends, Steve and Eric Cohen — brothers, from Ally McBeal, the Dancing Twins — and suggested we all rendezvous in La-LA on August 5, at Hollywood Bowl where Jamie Cullum is apparently headlining or at least guesting with the LA Phil. We saw Joshua Bell there last year.

I met Jamie Cullum post-show at the Fillmore in 2005. I was rolling with Jack Walrath, a jazz veteran who was the youngest and whitest member of Charles Minugus’ last quintet, 1972-1975, which I guess is a long time ago. Jack told me that he has been playing that music longer than Mingus himself got to do.

Jack was my client for one term and stayed with me that week, on Pepper Street in Palo Alto. I suggested we check out Jamie Cullum at the Fillmore. I was hipped to Jamie by Jason Olaine (my fellow former Titan hoops star), then at Verve. At the time, Jamie was thought to be the answer for Verve to Blue Note’s Norah Jones. Please note that now Jason is at Lincoln Center at Jamie is at Blue Note, working with Don Was. I met Jamie briefly at IAJE the jazz conference, as well as his British spearhead.



Jack and I, quite frankly, were a bit bored and nonplused and retreated to the poster room to get high and reminisce; Jack had lived in Oakland in 1970 and was having flashbacks (and I do wonder what reading Fear and Loathing so young has done to my story-telling: does every little anecdote have to have lizards attacking our ankles?).

But then Jack came running up to me: Hey, that’s Haitian Fight Song! To his expert ear, the hook on Jamie’s single was copped from a Mingus tune. That inspired me and I sent a note backstage saying that an O.G. Mingusman was in the house and wanted a word with young James.

Sure enough, someone on his team came out and got us passed thru and we all went up for a nightcap. Jamie’s bass player said that Jack was a judge the year he was working on the Monk Awards, et cetera. Jamie true enough used actual jazzbeuax in his band those days.

I also caught Jamie on Kimmel the other night and captured him kicking his piano, ala Ben Folds. Jamie is MOT by the way and Burmese. And a Papa, which is more that I can say. Mazel mazel twice to the Cullums. If Dana Collins is still in his team, I am going to try to get backstage at the Bowl. Also, and this is counter-inductive to getting on a list, I am wondering why Charles Mingus is not given a writing credit on “twenty-something”. Not that Sue Mingus needs the money but it would seem the menschy thing to do, nu?

And maybe they will see this Bat-beacon reference to swinging it Lytton Plaza style. In fact, we should counter Los Gatos jazz on the plaz” note by note.

compare the two, “Haitian Fight Song” by Mingus w. “twenty something” by Cullum, the bridge or hook:

which also reminds me of an excellent recent article on copyright in The New Yorker by Louis Menard, I clipped and will re-read

The cd came out in January. The suss reveals it was Oct. 4, 2004 that Jack and I were kickin’ it with Jamie. Meanwhile, he was back at the Fillmore last summer, with my friend Megan Slankard opening. And Aiden Vizairi who I tend to dislike already reviewed “Interlude” for BrandChron.

and1, The Jack:

Posted in ethniceities, media, Plato's Republic | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment Akoka: Reframing Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time – Review


I interviewed, lunched and even jammed with David “Kracky” Krakauer and Josh “Socalled” Dolgin at KZSU Stanford the day this premiered live at Mem Aud…

Originally posted on OXINGALE RECORDS:

June 12, 2014

“Akoka – Reframing Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time” = DAVID KRAKAUER: Akoka; MESSIAEN: Quatour Pour La Fin Du Temps; JOSH DOLGIN (‘So-called’): Meanwhile – David Krakauer, clarinet/Matt Haimovitz, cello/Jonathan Crow, violin/Geoffrey Burleson, piano – Oxingale Records OX2022, 63:45 [Distr. by E1 Ent.] (4/01/14) ***:

Mostly quite interesting but a little weird.

Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time is an iconic piece of music. It is not just one of Messiaen’s greatest and best known works but it holds a very important place as – arguably – the best known work to have been composed, literally, by any composer as they were being held as a prisoner of war during the Nazi oppression. It is a brilliant and emotional work that finds great favor with clarinetists in particular but is also written in the style that will, in many ways, come to define the…

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Who kill Sy Abelmon?

A serious mon.

James, Marlon James aka him the hat fit

James, Marlon James aka him the hat fit. No, r’asscloth: who the cap fit

edit to add: I loves ABHO7K the way Sy loves Larry:

and1: I think it would be funny for Marlon James, a Jamaican English professor and novelist (“A Brief History of Seven Killings”) at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A. to next write about Jewish gangsters, maybe based in St. Paul, maybe a parody of Coen Brother’s “A Serious Man” the movie. The photo of me, above, is taken at a bowling alley in St. Paul, in 2009, at my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah, on a day I also viewed “ASM” at a local cinema and heard rock music outdoors at Macalester. Meanwhile, Plastic Alto — Leland Stanford meets Ornette Coleman — has reached 1,300 chapters, 500,000 words but only 50,000 readers / viewers, people stumbling by. I sent a version of this, or two versions actually, to the email address on his page.

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Keep moving, keep playing, keep dreaming (Susan O’Malley, 1976-2015)

Susan O'Malley was here

Susan O’Malley was here

Joey Piziali sends word sadly that his friend and colleague Susan O’Malley has passed away, at age 38. I wrote this about her Palo Alto Public art campaign, two years ago:

Terry and I met Susan O’Malley at an event at Palo Alto Art Center, for the closing of the group show there that featured part of her “Community Advice” project. Susan interviewed 100 Palo Altans about life and attitude and then created 10 letter press pieces, some of which hung in the gallery, some sold in the gift shop, some still available on her website and others placed all over Palo Alto, most notably or noticeably on Embarcadero near the Art Center.

As someone who has spent numerous hours placing posters and notices on surfaces protected and unprotected, I couldn’t help rescuing the piece I saw taped to a newsrack on Cali Ave some months ago. I could tell from the chop that this was the work of an artist and not just some naive well-meaning person, or superior being from outer space, trying to reach us with a message. I also pulled off of Embarcadero and rescued another of these, before I did the math and realized it was an extension of a current exhibition, which I later viewed.

But I also had my own riff. I wanted to re-purpose the one about sleeping in the RV for the sake of raising consciousness about the current debate here about a subgroup of community members who indeed sleep in their cars, or RVs. I contacted Susan’s gallery, my friend and sometime collaborator Joey Piziale and asked him to ask Susan if we could re-run a batch of these and put them up especially near the areas with car-sleepers, like off El Camino, near College Terrace. I had been invited to go to a meeting that I think is ongoing on this issue, on campus, at the Episcopal Lutheran Church on Stanford Avenue; I thought they might like to see these posters.

I also wanted to modify and maybe reproduce the one that says “Do Not Lie” and change it to “Do Not Sit-Lie” which is the legal term for when a panhandler goes beyond his First Amendment rights to aggressively solicit or beg, whilst in the stationary position, on otherwise public and free property. I still may do that — create my own set of “Do Not Sit-Lie” xeroxes, after O’Malley.

Susan did not seem mad at me for threatening such a repurposement of her hard work. Meanwhile. one of our local rags mentions that in SF Tom Ammiano is behind a statewide measure that would rescind some local sit-lie bans.

Susan’s work reminds me also of course of Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer.

As a McLuhanist, I was into anything that is letterpress and tacked to a telephone poll, so retro, in this era of social media and all that. Medium is the message regardless of what the message actually says (which I thought some would think author is being ironic).

I think I have the actual poster documented on Susan’s site, on Cali Ave.

More from JP:

There has been an outpouring of love since the news of Susan’s death. Thank you to everyone for sending such heartfelt love, prayers, and condolences. It is incredible, truly incredible, to feel all the love that she inspired. As was beautifully stated by one of her friends, “the city seems to be stumbling around in a daze.” The urgent need for connectedness among all who loved her has been so profoundly touching. Now, more than ever, we look to the heart and wisdom of Susan’s words and to the power of the community she created to help guide us through this daze.

A memorial service for Susan will be held on Monday, March 9, at 11am at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga. Susan was previously an artist in residence at the Montalvo Arts Center. Villa Montalvo is located at 15400 Montalvo Road, Saratoga, CA 95071.
In lieu of flowers, the family hopes to set up a fund to support emerging artists and to commission a permanent installation of Susan’s work. Details are forthcoming. Her husband Tim and the family would also like to invite everyone to visit to celebrate Susan’s life by sharing stories, memories and pictures.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the gallery at 415.550.7483 or email


I will update here with our actual correspondence.

Joey or Vanessa:
I saw some Susan O’Malley prints /broadsides on Cali Ave and had no idea what they were and “rescued” one, okay, two, and now know that what I saw was or is subtly promoting an installation or exhibit at Palo Alto Art Center and what I want to know or do — per my voice message — can we likewise promote Susan, Romer Young, the show and perhaps at same time HELP THE LOCAL HOMELESS SITUATION or RAISE CONSCIOUSNESS ABOUT RIGHTS OF THE CAR-SLEEPERS (cf “THE RV WAS A GOOD IDEA” ): I am wondering if we can synergize the discussion here, mostly takes place on Sundays at the Episcopal Lutheran church near Stanford, about art and politics and homeless by either putting a few more of the works up or making “bootleg” versions of such — can I run off on a Xerox machine “derivative” versions? Or maybe somebody can sponsor a special printing or procure copies from the actual run expressly to use as agit-prop on this issue.

I was noticing the overlap between the homeless community chatter and at least that one execution (“IT WAS A GOOD CALL TO BUY THE RV’ or whatnot) — what can we do?

Or can we commission Susan to do another execution or similar that creates dialogue on the homelessness and debate over sleeping in cars and whether or not to ban it, as is being suggested?

Mark Weiss

edit to add: It just occurred to me that I may have destroyed this installation shortly after Susan placed it, here on Cali Ave. Oops:

poignant eulogy by Christian Frock, on KQED page.

edit to add, the next day:
I spent an hour at Lytton Plaza Tuesday with three of Susan’s posters, from our collection. I was trying to make eye contact as people passed — I had done a similar exercise with a hand lettered “Do Something” sign given to me by Stanford students last fall, apropos of Ferguson, MO. I spoke to about 5 people overall and another 75 completely ignored me or averted. Granted, Susan designed these things to sit on poles or sides of news racks; it is not self-evident that having a human holder augments them. The reason I cropped this photo so closely is that by the time “Gemilla” spoke to me, I was so happy for the acknowledgement, which does not fit the overall mood of the piece:

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