where to begin?

IMG_9865today, april 14th, is the third anniversary of the birth of my daughter, lulu salome lee-morrison. and, there is probably not a more auspicious day to start constructing this ambitious (for me) trainwreck! any parent will know what i mean when i say that lulu changed everything. i was a musician, an acrobat and an analog hacker of some repute before she made her remarkable entrance. in the few years since, i have lost so much ground in all those enterprises that it feels completely unlikely it will ever be regained. that’s not probably all true but, as you hear it said, everything is different. and, i’m a father now. it’s my primary purpose.


so, what am i trying to do here?

well, to begin with i am going to describe some things i am working on. after that, we’ll see where i/it goes…

i hope to discuss an analog sound design class (using vacuum tubes) that i taught at parsons last spring. it isn’t going to run this fall, and i’m not sure what happened? money..? politics? dysfunction…? whatever, i really deeply enjoyed teaching it and there is a wonderful story there.

i have some projects, some amps, a preamp, a distortion box, a filter and a speaker based on the manger driver, all in the works and i’d like to catalog what i’ve done for my own edification. i don’t even know anymore!

and now that lulu is three years old, there’s a little more room for me. time to get moving again…

its been a rough year. i suppose my wife and i were among the first “casualties” of the financial collapse. she would have started a new full-time job oct. 1st and i left my job at electro-harmonix sept. 15th. we planned to switch roles, where i would become the primary caretaker of lulu, work part-time starting my own business, and she would get the benefits, health insurance, etc. the collapse happened over yom kippur… right in between the 15th and the 1st.. no job and no unemployment. no health insurance… no solution. i can’t tell you how we did it, survive that is. the stress nearly broke us. we didn’t eat all the time… ok for me, but i still have guilt for my kid. emergency medicaid took care of lulu, but not my wife and i. it does help to know that others are also going through this, because we knew we weren’t alone, but no one we were close to was struggling. we felt like freaks, as if we had done something wrong…

one thing we have had is good friends… we don’t have any other safety net. no family nearby to lean back on and they all have their own burdens to carry, etc. thank goodness we live in new york city! to have to deal with all of that and then also drive to civilization?! we weren’t isolated and we had one ace in our hip pocket: our landlord. most ny landlords and all management corps. would have evicted us into homelessness. ours let us go 10K in the hole. we are almost back to zero, nearly a year later. oh, that most rare commodity in the city… decent landlords. and he is a pearl: grouchy, crochety, irish republican… from limerick too! but he knows. he remembers poverty himself. he has been nothing but kind.

i was talking with my mom about the great depression. it was really different then, the country i mean, but some things are exactly the same. greed and the republicans caused it. but the people hung together better. and there was a very different notion about the meaning of work and working. her mom worked as a secretary for the great southern before the crash. after, she worked as a seamstress, cook, maid, babysitter and music teacher all at the same time. a day here, and an afternoon there… that’s what has happened to us. last spring, i worked as a teacher 3 days a week (sound design and flying trapeze), guitar amp repair man, wrote a soundtrack,  and sold off my most valuable possessions. i fed my family catching students in the air. we are used to it now. and things have gotten better. one important lesson from all this, and a liberating one: i am not my job. not ever again… i am what i am.

and then there is lulu and lila. they are gifts. they give more than take… and so much heart in such little packages. they inspire me to be better. i am one of the really lucky ones…

more soon… had to start somewhere!


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