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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Just a Little. . .


Insert Shameless Commercial Plug for ANOTHER SHOT Here. . . Coming April 5th - ANOTHER SHOT by Ray Jozwiak


ANOTHER SHOT is the latest  release from Baltimore-based creative musician (composer, pianist) Ray Jozwiak,which will be available through digital distribution only.  ANOTHER SHOT contains a collection of eclectic sound essays including a Dead-ish funk-jam, a solo jazz-inflected piano waltz,  a Steely Dan-inspired tale of woe (complete with vocal),  meditative, ambient, new-agey piano solo (displaying some bluesy, Monk-ish chops), an epic, atmospheric, groove evoking the gamut of emotions (and sampled instruments) from Alpha to Zed, rounded out by a romping, rhythmic celebration of joy.  


Contact:
Ray Jozwiak
Website:  http://www.rayjozwiak.com
Email:  pjozwiak@verizon.net
Phone:  410-369-8463
Snail:  1049 Winsford Road
Towson, MD 21204
USA





Insert Shameless Commercial Plug for ANOTHER SHOT Here. . . Coming April 5th - ANOTHER SHOT by Ray Jozwiak

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lebowski who???. . .

My son Russell (the filmmaker) was involved in this skit for Funny or Die. (If you're a fan of The Big Lebowski, you'll understand. . . )



(Russell is sitting in the booth, black shirt, white pants, right hand seat in the last scene where Tara says, "I am sick of abiding man!" you see him behind her after she turns. . . )



Oh Yeah. . . hear my music TOO, at www.rayjozwiak.com

I can't remember. . .

. . . a time when music didn't play a major part in my life. Of course, in my second half-century, it only falls second in order of importance after my wife and children, being well past the kiss-butt, knock-yourself-out-to-impress-em at work paradigm and long over the status-seeking preoccupation of many young adults that I, as well, possessed, at least in some small amount. (I'm listening to the Spinners 'I Don't Want To Lose You' as I write.)

One of my earliest recollections of being conscious of music is hearing my father play the accordion on Sunday afternoons. Picture a mere child of four, seeing for the first time, a monstrosity of keys, buttons and bellows, and hearing it plow (sometimes haltingly) through old, Polish folk dances, as my father contorted his face and his hands in order to strike the right notes at the right time. It was magical. . . to me.



hear my music at www.rayjozwiak.com

Monday, March 28, 2011

Only once. . .

. . . in a lifetime does the right time appear
And that time for me was the day that I met you
there are good and there are bad things
Misunderstandings
That's just the way life is
So we'll have to face each storm before the next kiss

I'm getting ready for the rain
Here come the clouds all rolling by us
Are we ever really ready for another pain
I'm getting ready for the rain

But I know rain will surely end
And the sun will shine again
It always does
It always will
Nothing ventured nothing ever gained
Looks so different but the same
When will we learn

When will we learn to live
Like it's our last day
Don't take the fast way around
Cause the love we share
Is a fragile thing we've found
Why do we continue hurting
And go on skirting the issue of our love
Cause we know these sleepless nights will pass
Like the clouds from above

©1993 Raymond M. Jozwiak




hear my music at www.rayjozwiak.com

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dear Newt. . .

I remember you. Unfortunately, the preponderance of uninformed conservatives do not.

I remember your facing numerous ethics investigations and the dissatisfaction with your leadership within the Republican party. On November 6, 1998 you resigned as Speaker of the House and from the Congress. You and the foundations you were associated with were under investigation for numerous ethics violations, primarily concerning using tax exempt status for organizations designed to further your political goals and making misleading statements to congress. In December 1998 you paid $300,000 of your own money to settle the last of these charges. Thanks to you, in the 1998 elections the Republican Party lost five seats in the House of Representatives. It was the worst result for a party that did not hold the White House in 64 years.

And now you say you're interested in running for PRESIDENT? It appears that you have met your first debate opponent, YOURSELF!

You were quick to criticize President Barack Obama two weeks ago for not being more forceful in leading an international campaign to destroy Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's air defenses and save rebels from impending defeat. You said the United States should tell Gadhafi "that slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and that we're intervening."

On Wednesday, you did an about-face. "I would not have intervened," you said in an interview with NBC News in the morning. "I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Gadhafi. I think there are a lot of other allies in the region that we could have worked with. I would not have used American and European forces." By afternoon, you issued a statement explaining that you initially pushed for the airstrikes only after Obama declared on March 3 that "it's time for Gadhafi to go." "Now that we have U.S. forces engaged, any result less than the removal of Gadhafi from power will be considered a defeat. For that reason, I believe we must support the mission and see it through," you said on your Facebook page.

An aide said you backed away from your support only after Obama made a humanitarian mission the centerpiece of the military action. That alone wasn't enough to justify the no-fly zone in accordance with the U.N. resolution, the aide said, and cited comments from Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen that "the goals of this campaign right now are limited, and it isn't about seeing (Gadhafi) go."

We, I hope you lose the debate and I hope that Americans can just once, in this particular case, remember. Hopefully, they will not provide you an opportunity to do more of the kind of things you did in the past, in the future.

Very truly yours,
RMJ



hear my music at www.rayjozwiak.com

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Hell With It. . .

. . . (popular mis-statement of "to hell with it") is pretty much how I feel about the concept of a hell. This brought to mind by a recent story on MSNBC regarding a preacher who lost his job because he no longer believes in a 'hell'.

Chad Holtz lost his job as pastor of a rural United Methodist church in North Carolina after he wrote a note on his Facebook page supporting a new book by Rob Bell, a prominent young evangelical pastor and critic of the traditional view of hell as a place of eternal torment for billions of damned souls. Two days later, Holtz was told complaints from church members prompted his dismissal from Marrow's Chapel in Henderson.

He says he doesn't think 'justice' means an eternity of torment. In his book, Bell criticizes the belief that a select number of Christians will spend eternity in the bliss of heaven while everyone else is tormented forever in hell. He says this is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus' message of love, peace, forgiveness and joy that our world desperately needs to hear. Bell says that for Jesus, a 1st-century Jewish rabbi, where you go when you die wasn't the most pressing question. Probably not. The question was how can you enter into shalom and peace right now.

Holz, Bell and I would probably still disagree on many theological, philosophical and scientific issues, but enough for now to say about the idea of a 'hell'. . . to hell with it.



hear my music at www.rayjozwiak.com

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jokes about disasters. . .

. . . don't really move move me. But they are inevitable.

Gilbert Gottfried was fired from his job as the Aflac duck because he made some insensitive jokes (Tweets) regarding the recent disasters in Japan. Like. . . What do the Japanese have in common with Howard Stern? They're both RADIO ACTIVE. (one is enough. . . no, MORE than enough. . . you get the point.)

But after some thought, I concluded that yes, they were tasteless in that the disaster is too fresh and too horrible to begin joking about. But deep down, I know that it was only a matter of time before there would be jokes circulating by email (initially, then by other more archaic means) just as there were about the demise of Princess Diana and the crash of John Kennedy Jr's plane. (and even 911 - "The FBI has just identified the man who trained the hijackers: Dale Earnhardt."

BAD. But necessary. . . and human.

Look, I'm no judge of taste, morals, class or humor. But I do know that we all make mistakes. (Hell, I've lost count of mine!)
And we all like to laugh.

Gilbert deleted his tasteless Tweets. Maybe we shouldn't be so hard on him. It certainly doesn't mean we don't CARE any less or that we won't HELP as best we can to assist or try to help relieve the pain the victims of the tragedies in Japan. Why, I'll bet even Gilbert himself would like to help. At least I'd like to think so.



hear my music at www.rayjozwiak.com

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Have you ever. . .

. . . purchased one of those 'how to succeed in the XXX business' books. I have. And I probably will again. And even though the author's name may not be readily recognizable to you - after all, you want to succeed in THAT particular area which implies you have NOT yet succeeded in it, THEREFORE you logically would NOT recognize their name - you buy it anyway. But I, as I'm sure you have as well, sometimes suspect that if this person was actually qualified to offer such advice, why didn't she/he succeed in the XXX business in the first place?

And the worldwideweb makes it even easier to be an 'expert.'

No matter what your interest, passion or hobby, there is a guru lurking in the shadows ready to POUNCE and take your money for imparting their great wisdom.

Googling either "Make It" or "How To Make It" in the XXX industry, produces. . .
Music Industry - About 23,200,000 results
NBA - About 153,000,000 results
NFL - About 116,000,000 results
Fashion Industry - About 11,800,000 results
Rap Game - About 4,310,000 results
UFC - About 20,300,000 results
MLB - About 84,600,000 results
Film Industry - About 14,500,000 results

Well, you get the idea.

There certainly are probably thousands (maybe more) in the music business, and countless other businesses, just dying to get into your (and my) wallet. This plethora of knowledge, wisdom and beneficence now at our fingertips is certainly a wonder of the post technological world. But I must ask, if you've really "MADE IT" in your specific field, why do you need my money?



hear my music at www.rayjozwiak.com

Catalog Girl

HER EYES SAY COME CLOSER
HER HAIR FALLS DOWN HER SHOULDERS
LIKE A BLANKET ON HER SKIN
IF YOU DO YOU'LL NEVER WIN
SHE LOOKS THE SAME AT EVERY MAN
THAT LOOK SAYS I'M CONFECTION
YOU CAN'T HAVE A TASTE UNLESS YOUR DOCTOR SAYS YOU CAN

HER LIPS PURSED EVER SO SLIGHTLY
YOU THINK SHE WANTS TO INVITE YOU OUT
TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH HER
THE WHOLE ROUTINE BECOMES A BLUR
SHE SAYS IT ALL WITHOUT A WORD
SHE LOOKS LIKE PURE PERFECTION
AND YOU'LL NEVER EVER SEE THE LIKES OF HER AGAIN

BUT SHE'S MINE I KNOW SHE'LL NEVER LEAVE ME
SHE'S FINE AND SHE'LL NEVER DECEIVE ME
OTHER EYES ADMIRE AND DESIRE HER TOO
AND SHE SMILES IN RESPONSE TO ALL GLANCES
FROM THOSE WHO CARE TO SEE
ALL OF HER DELICATE LINES
ON THE PAGE WHERE YOU'LL FIND
THE TWO DIMENSIONS OF MY
CATALOG GIRL

THEY ALL SAY SHE'S NOT BRIGHT
BUT WHEN THE SPOTLIGHT IS LIT
YOU CAN SEE HER BUSINESS SENSE
IT'S SINCERE INTELLIGENCE
SHE WORKS SO HARD AT WHAT SHE DOES
INTENSITY AND CONCENTRATION ON HER FACE
SHOW SHE IS SO MUCH MORE THAN FLUFF

BUT SHE'S MINE I KNOW SHE'LL NEVER LEAVE ME
SHE'S FINE AND SHE'LL NEVER DECEIVE ME
OTHER EYES ADMIRE AND DESIRE HER TOO
AND SHE SMILES IN RESPONSE TO ALL GLANCES
FROM THOSE WHO CARE TO SEE
ALL OF HER DELICATE LINES
ON THE PAGE WHERE YOU'LL FIND
THE TWO DIMENSIONS OF MY
CATALOG GIRL

HER SHAPE'S LIKE A TAPE
SHE WEIGHS ONE HUNDRED EIGHT
AND SHE LOOKS SO APPEALING
IN CLOTHING REVEALING
HER HEART'S ON HER SLEEVE
THAT'S WHAT YOU SHOULD BELIEVE
SHE PRACTICES THAT COME ON LOOK
IMPROVES IT MORE IN EVERY BOOK
SHE IS THE EPITOME OF CATALOG GIRL

ONE DAY SOON SHE WILL NO
LONGER POSSESS ALL THE ASSETS OF THOSE
BYGONE YOUTHFUL DAYS
THE YEARS WILL PASS JUST LIKE A PHASE
NOTHING BUT MEMORIES IN A HAZE
AND THOUGH HER STAR WILL FADE
A LITTLE GLORY WILL REMAIN UPON A TABLE NEAR THE CHAISE

BUT SHE'S MINE I KNOW SHE'LL NEVER LEAVE ME
SHE'S FINE AND SHE'LL NEVER DECEIVE ME
OTHER EYES ADMIRE AND DESIRE HER TOO
AND SHE SMILES IN RESPONSE TO ALL GLANCES
FROM THOSE WHO CARE TO SEE
ALL OF HER DELICATE LINES
ON THE PAGE WHERE YOU'LL FIND
THE TWO DIMENSIONS OF MY
CATALOG GIRL





hear my music at www.rayjozwiak.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Since only hundreds of millions. . .

. . . will probably see this, (I think it was J. Paul Getty who once said, ". . . a million here, a million there, and pretty soon you're talking big money. . . ") I don't think anyone will mind if you listen to the progress we're making on the performance of a song entitled SMILE (All Rights Reserved by Michael Mitchell) by Michael Mitchell on the collaborative, music-networking website Indabamusic.com, which I mentioned in my blog of 2/9/11.




It's like going into the studio but it's a 'virtual' studio and participants can be located anywhere around the world. And you add your contribution on your own time.

(did I say "probably see this"? I meant to say "probably not")



hear my music at www.rayjozwiak.com

Monday, March 21, 2011

Time. . .

sure flies when you're having fun.
(If you're a frog, time's sure fun when you're having flies.)
Time loves a hero. (But only time will tell.)
If I could save time in a bottle.
Takes a licking and still keeps on ticking.
Time takes it's toll.
Time is free, but priceless.
Make every hour in the day count.
Time discovers truth.
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.
Time heals what reason cannot.
Time heals all wounds.
You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people
all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
We didn't lose the game, we just ran out of time.
Truth is the daughter of time.
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted.
Lost time is never found again.
Time is money.
All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that.
All my possessions for a moment of time.

No, I did not make these up. They are all quotes or paraphrased quotes from
many who were much wiser than I. (or is it 'me'?)



(hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com/)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Russell's stains. . .

Russell, like many of us (and a preponderance of people under 40 years of age) has a facebook page. Russell is one of my three sons and lives in Los Angeles.

I, who by the way am well over 40, also have a facebook page; and a myspace page, and jazz network worldwide, global jazz network, twitter, google and more than even I remember. My membership on these sites is strictly commercial (thanks Frank) but no less sincere. In other words, if you become my 'friend' (on myspace) or if you 'like' me on facebook, I am sincerely appreciative. But my true purpose for being there is to spread my music throughout cyberspace. I probably, now that I understand social media, would be on one or two social networking sites even if I didn't play music, but I doubt I would be a member of as many of them as I now am.

But anyway, back to Russell. Now all three of my boys were 'creeped out' as they called it, if I (and it has been rare)
communicated with one of their friends on a social networking site, most specifically facebook, since that seems to be the most widely used such site for their age group. But if a friend of theirs and I somehow 'ran into' each other on facebook, and they held some interest in my music, I had no problem with the interaction. I wasn't exercising some strange voyeurism or some such other perversion. I was merely trying to spread my music throughout cyberspace.

And likewise, I have stumbled upon the facebook page of each of them sporadically when utilizing facebook and will sometimes glance at a photo or read a post. After all, that's what it's for.

Now there's not some sordid punchline to this little diatribe about the revelation of some bizarre proclivity, heretofore unknown revelation or any such thing. . . but maybe there is.

On Russell's page, there was a photo of Russell and two of his friends (and co-workers) all dressed in similar garb (sweatshirt and khakis, if you must know), and Russell is unknowingly sporting three, very visible stains on his sweatshirt. Which promptly led to some amusing verbal interplay among he and his facebook friends. And no, I couldn't resist adding my two cents, saying simply, "nice stains, Russ."

Well, talk about your anticlimactic rambling. . . not Russ and his friends on facebook. ME. HERE. I still found the situation quite humorous, in a dry sort of way. And I even think, and some folks have done sillier things, that since these stains developed such a personality in their own, small, facebook way, that these stains should have their very own page on facebook. Don't you???



(hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com/)

a footnote. . .

. . . to yesterday: Ann Coulter appeared on O'Reilly's show
and, although somewhat malnourished in his FACT diet, he actually DISAGREED with her. I'm not cheering for O'Reilly, mind you. A debate by intellects of this gravity may be likened to one between Archie Bunker and Homer Simpson.

Anyway. . .



(hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com/)

Friday, March 18, 2011

"That's not what the news is reporting. . . "

. . . says Ann Coulter, claiming yesterday that:
- radiation is actually good for you
- that the current situation in Japan of partial meltdown of nuclear reactors is really not a bad thing
- that the opinion of the preponderance of the scientific community should be ignored because SHE (bless her pea-pickin' little
heart) cited several studies claiming the benefits of radiation

. . . and the reason that we're all going off half-cocked about the nuclear situation in Japan and re-evaluating our use of nuclear energy, and showing concern for the Japanese population is (of course), because of the (Duuuh da da Duh) LIBERAL PRESS!

What a woman! She can minimize a tragedy, the scale of which the world has not seen, the fate of millions of people, the future of an alternative source of energy and untold heartache. . . all for some airtime and a chance propagate the continuing conservative backlash based upon false accusation, oversimplification and sparse FACTS.

I'm sorry I wrote this if only to add a little more attention to this pitiful 'entertainer'.



(hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com/)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Local, underappreciated, talent. . .

. . . my old friend Jay (a musical force still to be reckoned with) has been making music in the Baltimore area for over forty years now. He is truly a talent, and a character as well. Check out one of his latest projects right here:




which features his son, Matt, a vintage composition from his long-time band and project-object OHO, with state-of-the-art technological enhancements to the basis of the original recording from way-back-when.

Anyway, briefly and happily, Jay and myself were involved in a musical endeavor about 35 years ago and it happened this way.
I played in a cover/standards/top40/wedding-type combo. This after many years of accordion lessons, family affairs and private parties. And we actually made real money doing this. (WIll wonders never cease?) Our guitarist was leaving the combo to join the ranks of a more well-established outfit and was leaving a hole in the group. Our drummer Jeff, who recently joined our group after the departure of our regular drummer, had a brother who had been involved in original, art/prog-rock music for several years (oh, how that word appears and reappears). Jeff's brother Jay, just (we were told) might be interested in joining our little combo in order to make some money. (You see, original music making in the Baltimore area was about as lucrative then as it is today.) So after an 'audition' of sorts (I don't think we really auditioned anyone else), Jay to Keith's place and "Ful Treatment" arose from the hackneyed, Baltimore wedding-band ashes. And arose we did indeed. Jay brought chops, life, energy, rock, exuberance and humor to our music, as well as to our 'backstage' existence. And it was good. Well, as good as a wedding band could be. We plied our trade doggedly between '76 and '79 when in anticipation of my forthcoming wedding and my increasing distaste for the wedding/bull roast/American Legion circuit, I retired from active performance. But not without a fond memory of the many wild and wooly nights playing with Ful Treatment, and my friend Jay.

More Later.


(hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com/)

You've Probably. . .

. . . already read the story of 'Jerry' that I posted yesterday and I want to be clear that I posted it for the value I see in it and by no means whatsoever take credit for the composition of it. I have seen it, as I'm sure you have, numerous times on the internet and have received it by email, but have never learned the author of it. Well, CHEERS to her or him.

I did add the note at the conclusion myself. The originals say something like, "Now you have two choices to make (which interestingly enough is grammatically incorrect) :
1. You can delete this message or
2. You can forward it to someone you care about.
I hope you will choose #2.
I did.

First time I read the story, I expected the ending to say, "Forward this to XXX amount of people or you will have seven years bad luck" or something to that effect.


(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and. . .

You have a choice.

Jerry is the manager of a restaurant. He is always in a good mood. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs, so they could follow him around from restaurant to restaurant. Why? Because Jerry was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious. So one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I don’t get it? No one can be a positive person all the time. How do you do it?” Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of life." "But it's not always that easy, “ I protested. "Yes it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. It's your choice how you live your life." Several years later, I heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business. He left the back door of his restaurant open. . . and then??? In the morning, he was robbed by three armed men. While Jerry trying to open the safe box, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.… I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Want to see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or could choose to die. I chose to live." "Weren't you scared“ I asked? Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the Emergency Room and I saw the expression on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'He's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action." "What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything." 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead'. "Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it. The only thing that is truly yours -- that no one can control or take from you- is your attitude, so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier. Note:

What you do with this message will NOT affect the amount of luck you will have in the future, result in any inordinate amount of ‘blessings’, alter in any way our friendship (if we, indeed, have one) or relationship as acquaintance, sibling or other family member, co-worker or just plain ‘guy’ on the street.











(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday morning. . .

There's a cool social and collaborative website for musicians called INDABA MUSIC which allows you to play on 'sessions', to which you are either invited or accepted to join, in essence, playing with a band on-line. I've been a member for some years. Here's one of the 'fruits' or our Indaba labors.
(Go to HO-HUM session at http://www.indabamusic.com/asset/show/28059)





Well, I've been working on a new session.


(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's fast becoming. . .

. . . my conviction that truth is really so much stranger than fiction.
Is that the way it ought to be ?
It's not my eyes that do the seeking. Even a blind man sees agenda we're keeping.
Is that the way it ought to be?
I never thought I'd be looking behind like I do. Not quite sure just what I'll see.
But I'm rarely surprised by the antics of many; surprised by the antics of few.

It's one thing that they never mentioned. Back in my school was only so much convention.
Is that the way it ought to be?
And now we find it's what we're teaching. We're all conditioned. See the numbers we're reaching?
Is that the way it ought to be?
How can we say there's a god in his heaven above watching, directing with love?
And while on bended knee, we proceed to make judgement on things that we don't like to see.

It's fast becoming my conviction that truth is really so much stranger than ficion.



(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



Friday, March 11, 2011

Man. . .

. . .I am tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, concerned, tired, involved, connected, hopeful, fatigued, disenchanted, subversive, dedicated, persevering, mortal, hypersensitive, disenchanted, wise. achy, underappreciated. . .

Hope I feel better tomorrow.

(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



Thursday, March 10, 2011

I would like. . .

. . . to be BORED again.

I have NOT been bored since I was probably 20 years old. What once seemed a fate worse than death. But now, with additional years and responsibility, the very prospect of having more time available that activities to fill it holds desirability comparable to that of winning the lottery.

. . . eight hours of work five days a week, composers group meetings and plans to be made, band rehearsals, playing piano, composing, transcribing, recording, cooking, cleaning, sleeping, moving furniture, clothes etc. for the painter, preparing for my son's shoulder surgery, attempting to stay warm as winter winds down, hearing of Tokyo's severe earthquake and resultant tsunami activity with warnings issued for the U.S. West Coast where another son resides wondering if he is aware, wondering how close he is to the ocean, wondering how high in altitude is his neighborhood, mentally planning how to accomplish my goals at work today in half a workday. . .

Ah, to be able to wander down the alley, kicking a stone and wondering how to fill the hours of just another day. BORING!!!???



(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What's wrong with Egypt?

Thirteen people have died in the recent clashes between Muslims and Christians in Egypt. THIRTEEN!

After exhibiting a remarkable solidarity in their quest to depose what they viewed as a corrupt, dictatorial leader in favor of a more democratic government, they have now digressed to squabbling amongst themselves along religious lines. This population that inspired the world with their peaceful (mostly) demonstration for their basic human rights now shows the world an immature, tribal, self-defeating side that no one would have dreamed of two weeks ago.

Is there something in the atmosphere, the drinking water or the gummy bears in that part of the world that forces people to live in a constant state of turmoil?

Which country will take the lead and become an example to the region and the rest of the world, of what people can do when united for a just cause, without losing sight of the humanity of each and everyone of the members of the group and the humanity of entire population of the country???!!!!



(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



A Terrible Thing to Waste. . .

A while back, a widely broadcast public service announcement and slogan of the United Negro College fund included the line, ". . . because a mind is a terrible thing to waste."

To be sure, it was and is most certainly true.

But in addition, we, as homosapiens, seem to waste a lot of things. No, this isn't going to be a rant about conservation, nature or the environment. This thought came home to me thinking about my extended family. My wife and I half-jokingly say things like
"you're so close" when names of my extended family members arise, mainly because her family always made it a point to STAY CLOSE. After all, they were FAMILY! My family on the other hand, drifted apart, not because of squabbles, disagreements or fights, but simply due to neglect. Maybe neglect is the wrong word. Apathy? Preoccupation?

Whatever the appropriate word may be, WE DID IT. And now as the years progress, MOST of the older generation is now gone and the remaining 'cousins' have only been in contact at funerals. Very sad indeed.

My hope, as a result, it to (possibly) initiate and maintain some semblance of contact. (I hope.) With this remarkable technology that should be fairly simple, shouldn't it? Well, we'll see. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fred and Ginger

They dance together
Just watch their feet in flight
They're Fred and Ginger
But only when the music's right

The wedding was a big event
The champagne flowed
and so many dollars were spent
The social season now complete
He picked her up and
Swept her right off of her feet
They looked so sweet

Dance just dance the night away
Tomorrow brings a new day
Tomorrow brings a new day
That's their only chance to play
Tomorrow brings a new day
Tomorrow brings a new day

Everything was going right
The truth won't see the daylight
The truth won't see the daylight
Now they can't avoid the fights
The truth won't see the daylight
The truth won't see the daylight

Something's gone awry
They dance together
Never look into each other's eyes
The feeling isn't quite the same
But was it ever
Which of the two is to blame
It's such a shame
Such a shame

They dance together
Just watch their feet in flight
They're Fred and Ginger
But only when the music's right

(from ANOTHER SHOT
Copyright 2010 Raymond M. Jozwiak)


(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



Monday, March 7, 2011

It's been. . .

. . . a very busy weekend and, uncharacteristically, I'm looking forward to the 'normal' work week. (I think.)

After browsing some news this morning, it now appears that this week may not turn out to be so normal.
some 'developments' I found include:

** Ghadafi supporters are still fighting rebels in Libya
** Phil Collins is retiring
** The president denounced spending cuts
** Gingrich is running for president (uh oh!)
** The weather will be nice

And possibly the biggest development at all that will be closely monitored, I'm certain, by the pop culture media
. . .

** Justin Bieber to grow mustache
(Really. This is a news story on MSNBC.)

Wow! What a week it's gonna be.

(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



Friday, March 4, 2011

Always You. . .


You've always been ahead of me
One fact that I
In my infinite wisdom
Could not always see
But in the end you always convinced me
Things aren't always
What they appear
The things I've always looked for

Once long ago before we met
I thought I could
Singlehandedly make the
Spinning world go away
Just like some king
from back in those bygone days
But I was wrong
I don't belong
Inside this category

Seemed to be
At the time to me
To my advantage
Missing why
Not knowing
When to try
To start believing
In my
Very own
Self
Determination

Sometimes at night
When I'm alone
The solitude
And the quiet can bring out
All the worst in my head
But now it seems that isn't to big or bad
I've learned a thing

Or maybe two
And just ahead
There's
Always
You



Remember, tonight compositions by Baltimore Composers Forum members Garth Baxter, Rose Bridges, Jin-Hwa Choi, Ian Hockett, Ljiljana Jovanovic, WIlliam Milner, Vivian A. Rudow, Ariyo Shahry (and me-Ray Jozwiak) will be performed by Andrea Ceccomori a with pianist Elitza Harbova this Saturday at An Die Musik.

See the following links if you'd like to hear more about the concert/and a solo performance of the piece.
http://www.baltimorecomposersforum.com/concerts.html
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/#section2A
http://www.ourstage.com/tracks/TMYIXDMKNAGQ-always-you


(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



Thursday, March 3, 2011

Music. . .

There's music in the sighing of a reed;
There's music in the gushing of a rill;
There's music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.
~Lord Byron

Music is the poetry of the air.
~Jean Paul Richter

Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.
~Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn.
~Charlie Parker

He who hears music, feels his solitude peopled at once.
~Robert Browning

Music, when soft voices die
Vibrates in the memory -
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.
~Confucius

When you hear music, after it's over, it's gone, in the air. You can never capture it again.
~Eric Dolphy

Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is the best...
~Frank Zappa

Speaking of music, some folks in Baltimore will be hearing compositions by Baltimore Composers Forum members Garth Baxter, Rose Bridges, Jin-Hwa Choi, Ian Hockett, Ljiljana Jovanovic, WIlliam Milner, Vivian A. Rudow, Ariyo Shahry (and me-Ray Jozwiak) performed by Andrea Ceccomori a with pianist Elitza Harbova this Saturday at An Die Musik.

See the following links if you'd like to hear more about the concert/and a solo performance of the piece.
http://www.baltimorecomposersforum.com/concerts.html
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/#section2A
http://www.ourstage.com/tracks/TMYIXDMKNAGQ-always-you


(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Let's get with it. . .

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has made a sweeping exoneration of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus Christ in a new book, tackling one of the most controversial issues in Christianity. In "Jesus of Nazareth" excerpts released Wednesday, Benedict uses a biblical and theological analysis to explain why it is not true that the Jewish people as a whole were responsible for Jesus' death. Interpretations to the contrary have been used for centuries to justify the persecution of Jews. While the Vatican has for five decades taught that Jews weren't collectively responsible, Jewish scholars said Wednesday the argument laid out by the German-born pontiff, who has had his share of mishaps with Jews, was significant and would help fight anti-Semitism today."There's a natural human tendency to take things for granted, and very often this tends to lead to a lapse in awareness and consciousness" about the risk of anti-Semitism, said Rabbi David Rosen, head of interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee and a longtime leader in Vatican-Jewish dialogue. He noted that the Vatican issued its most authoritative document on the issue in 1965, "Nostra Aetate," which revolutionized the Catholic Church's relations with Jews by saying Christ's death could not be attributed to Jews as a whole at the time or today. Rosen said the pope's words might make a bigger, more lasting mark because the faithful tend to read Scripture and commentary more so than church documents, particularly old church documents. "It may be an obvious thing for Jews to present texts with commentaries, but normally with church magisterium, they present a document," he said. "This is a pedagogical tool that he's providing, so people will be able to interpret the text in keeping with orthodox Vatican teaching." The book is the second installment to Benedict's 2007 "Jesus of Nazareth," his first book as pope, which offered a very personal meditation on the early years of Christ's life and teachings. This second installment, set to be released March 10, concerns the second half of Christ's life, his death and resurrection.

. . . remember in 1992, three years after Galileo Galilei's namesake spacecraft had been launched on its way to Jupiter, the Vatican formally and publicly cleared Galileo of any wrongdoing?

To quote an old song, ". . . too much too little too late. . . "


(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



Un- be - f&%k - ing - lievable. . .

'Fred Phelps (I hesitate to call him 'reverend' as I don't know what kind of church he would be 'reverend" to") and other family members who make up most of the Westboro Baptist Church (oh, THAT one!) have picketed many military funerals in their quest to draw attention to their view that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are God's punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.'

Now let's slow down this tape and ask about "GOD?" WHAT is THAT! 'GOD's punishment for the nation's tolerance of other human beings who are not like FRED and his GROUP!!!!' Am I following this or not???

They showed up with their usual signs, including "Thank God for dead soldiers," "You're Going to Hell," "God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11," Let me just insert here, Fred, if that is your GOD, please keep him on YOUR SIDE of the fence, in YOUR YARD. I don't even want your GOD near the dog!!!

Phelps told msnbc.com in an interview in 2006 . “That’s what we’re preaching and the forum of choice to deliver such a message, obviously, is the funeral of the kid that’s been blown to smithereens." (Sorry Fred, logic appears to be ABSENT!!)

"Albert Snyder was surfing the Internet for tributes to his son from other soldiers and strangers when he came upon a poem on the church's website that attacked Matthew's parents for the way they brought up their son. Soon after, Snyder filed a lawsuit accusing the Phelpses of intentionally inflicting emotional distress. He won $11 million at trial, later reduced by a judge to $5 million. The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., threw out the verdict and said the Constitution shielded the church members from liability."

The label "psychological terrorism" has been applied to Pheps' actions. I agree. While distancing themselves from the church's message, media organizations, including The Associated Press, urged the court to side with the Phelps family because of concerns that a victory for Snyder could erode speech rights.

In spite of my belief in justice and values, I do agree that free speech must be preserved. The circumstances of this situation are unfortunate, to say the least.

In my view, this GOD of Phelps' must be dead though. Because if his GOD is all good, all wise, and all-knowing, he would have knocked the breath out of Phelps and his crew A LONG, LONG TIME AGO.

(The 'news' portions of this are courtesy of MSNBC)


(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yesterday. . .

. . . my fingers were faster than the eye
never left my hands

but, nevertheless, pushed 'go' a little before I actually intended.

Great video though. Funny how many comments posted against this video on YouTube were by folks who had no idea that the clip came from a talk show parody called FERNDALE TONIGHT and the co-hosts (Mull & Willard) were INTENTIONALLY acting like idiots. Furthermore, the laughs were more a result of Martin Mull's facial expressions in reaction to the lyrics. And I'll go a step further, although Waits lived the life to write the songs, the act was still THE ACT, and he well knew why they were laughing and he played his part briliantly. (Of course he is an actor as well.)

Do you suppose the reactions posted on YouTube are, as an indication of the sophistication level of the general public, a direct correlation to the quality of popular entertainment today?



(Hear my music at http://www.rayjozwiak.com)