Steps in stone(d)

Steps in stoned

That’s David Middlebrook, 2000, “Steps in Stone” in front of the Westin, Palo Alto, says Mark Weiss, who admits to being Windows-aided, although he also saw two Middlebrookses just yesterdaze at Montalvo.

Speaking of Montalvo, Beth Custer is in residence there this month, during Montalvo’s Centennial, her third such visit in three years. She is writing and dreaming and also prepping for a performance of her original score to a 1930 Soviet Georgian film, “My Grandmother” which lifts its collective and collectivist petticoats Friday, May 25 in the Garden Theatre outdoors.

I am finding good homes for about 28 postcards promoting the event and plan to walk a stack of them over and into the Hoover Tower. And also I plan to snipe a few to producers of the Reagan and Gorbachev show I saw last week at CEMEX.

A just-arrived Japanese percussionist gifted us all with some mochi snacks, which Montalvo director Kelly Sicat kindly shared with me.

Beth and I walked the gardens, and I also stopped in at the nursery school at Thelma and Highway 9 where I pranced and frolicked more than 40 years ago. School director Heather King pointed out a vintage wooden toy train that was decommissioned for climbing but kept at the corner as a landmark.

Fond memories revisited just yesterday of 43 years prior at University PreSchool on 13560 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road, corner of Thelma

Alan Black’s breakdown of the UEFA soccer games for the Chronicle and blog reminds me of meeting him in 1990 when we were both clerks at SF’s Green Apple books. He was my guide to the World Cup: root for Northern Ireland over Ireland, Ireland over England and then two years later I saw the U.S top England in Foxboro, MA, two-nil, both on headers.

Alan Black has been in my pantheon of presenters and impresarios for all these years; he produced a live version of “Trainspotting” at Edinburgh Castle well-before the film version reached the U.S.

I sent this as an excloo to Leah Garchk: a Palo Alto motorcyle cop has a license frame that says: I know, I know The light was yellow.


I fished from my files a five-part sequence of photos of Frank Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall, shot in 2009 by Michelle Budziak. That’s me in the corner, losing my religion, although I am psyched to find a copy of Moses Maimomades “Guide to The Perplexed” published in 1963 by University of Chicago Press. Seek and find.

Because I was bragging on the bus ride up about my short-lived days as a New Orleans jazz manager I felt compelled to purchase the 2012 Rhino Records set “back in NEW ORLEANS” when our bus stopped at a Starbucks in North Bay, on our way to Oliver Ranch for an art tour. The cd starts with “Hey Pocky A-Way” by the Meters, passes thru Where Ya At Mule” by Dr. John, makes 13 more stops and then finishes with James Booker medley.
Which reminds me that I recently transcribed my own notes about my 2002 phone conversation with Stevenson Palfi, the deceased filmmaker who was also the basis for the Steve Goodman character in “Treme”.

Laura Jacobson, another Gunn alum of our generation, showed me during open studios her ceramic reaction to a Nabokov poem she then challenged me to add to my book cue.

Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, on loan from Palo Alto Downtown, mentions his fondness for Tracy Chapman; also, I recently learned that my Gunn and Dartmouth school-mate Kim Porteus has worked more than 20 years in South Africa as an administrator for the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Fact checked that: Kimberley Porteus is executive director of the Nelson Mandela Institute.

The second attempt at my Harbaugh Hater Monologue Friday at Philz Palo Alto open mic went well. I worked in new bits about Michael Akatiff, up next after me playing blues guitar and vocals, not remembering Jim – they were schoolmates in 1981. I also added details of Greg Zlotnick handing a fake Campanile to Jim on April 1, 1982 and then earlier Friday (May 12, 2012 – thirty years and five weeks laers—telling me to “let it go…get over it…move on”).

Anna Fermin wrote to say her West Coast debut will be next month in San Francisco. She is a Chicago-based roots singer with five albums and two children, who was kind enough to share a bill – and a meal – with Dao Strom my client on tour in The Windy City in July, 2009.

I touched in with my quasi-client quasi-busines partner the potter and artist Jody Naranjo of Albuqueque and Santa Clara pueblo to plot our slowly-firing Pueblo Girls rock band and camp. When Wheelright Museum director Jonathan Batkin was in town he mentioned that there is or was a Roxanne Swenzell installation at a private residence in Palo Alto.

John Mhiripiri of Anthology Film Archives told me of his friend in film at Stanford. His company recently featured a Shingo Francis print on its catalog cover.

I recently decided to hone my focus to three main projects for Warm Weather 2012, plus the Palo Alto Council race plus Beth Custer’s upcoming event. Down from the 106 projects I told Bruce Beasley I was working on when I saw him a few months ago at Smith-Andersen.

I followed those Ground Up signs to 395 Page Mill road to find a Blue Bottle outlet owned and operated by Stanford business lab.

Ground Up coffee, first floor of 395 Page Mill — enter from rear parking lot

Knee deep in this exercise my concentration was broken by the two energetic women sitting and talking next to me at Coupa: they were Deepa Chaudhary of Dutiee Blog and her friend Nora or Norah. Rather than merely linking, I took the liberty of pasting, as well; to wit:

Power and Progress Through Photography, See What a Few Free Cameras Can Do


There is a growing trend of handing cameras to people living in unjust conditions so they can tell their own stories through pictures. I’ve seen a number of such projects listed on Kickstarter (the most popular crowd-funding platform) and many of them are having great success with getting funded.

Thanks Mark, I will mention it!


Leah, Are you saying that Jacob did the arranging for the “Women’s Voices”/Mother’s Pre-Day show, or that he has, in the past, and on occasion, is or was a member of the party that aranges for Kronos? I think Jacob’s talent is considerable, but you don’t have to mention him on projects that he didn’t work on, and then claim “disclosure”?!

edit to adder: the Japanese artist in residence who brought the mochi, according to the blast, is Mamoru Okuno. And he will perform Friday, May 25 at 6 p.m. before and maybe near Beth Custer’s “My Grandmother” at 7:30 so come early. Beth and I put up flyers for her show in Saratoga Village today, May 17.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
This entry was posted in art, jazz, music, Plato's Republic, sex, sports, this blue marble and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s