Life Nuggets

Indonesian Embasy: My First Day Playing Gamelan

Jon Singer taking me to the Indonesian Embassy for the first time.

I have probably done my last gamelan performance for the time being in the DC area.  It was what felt like an impromptu lesson/performance at the embassy for a day when many embassies in DC were having open houses.  It was great fun.  Of course, I played an instrument I had never played before…once…and during a performance.

That is just how gamelan seems to roll.

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Me & Micah having a drink

Me (left) pretending to be crazy & Micah (right) pretending to be tough. (We both laughed at the pic, but we were each crazy and tough in our own ways.)

Yesterday I was informed that my brother’s ashes were scattered at sea.

This was the end of a phone conversation with my father regarding other non-related topics, so it came as a bit of a surprise even though I knew it would be coming soon.  The family couldn’t bare the emotional scarification of being there for the event, so we allowed the kind people at The Neptune Society to take charge and spread his ashes at sea out on the Pacific Coast.

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I will be performing with the Indonesian Embassy Gamelan today at the Walters Art Museum.

Javanese Gamelan Performance

April 25, 2010
Time: 01:00 PM – 02:00 PM

Continuing our ongoing celebration of the arts of Asia, the Central Javanese Gamelan Ensemble of the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C., (an ensemble of nearly twenty musicians led by Pak Muryanto on kendhang drums) will present a casual concert of classical Javanese gamelan music.

Price: Free
Location: Sculpture Court


Borrowing Without Asking

by Tobias on February 23, 2010

For some reason, this video has played in my mind a few times lately in seemingly unrelated context.  If you did not grow up in the Bay Area, then it is likely you have not seen it.  If you did, and within the right time frame, then you most likely remember Charley and Humphrey.  They taught me lessons as a child I’ll never forget: Get lots of glue if you want to really get high after you steal something.

Their creator, Pat McCormick, was a staple for those who landed on KTVU in the 70s whether it be for Dialing for Dollars or Charley and Humphrey 1 minute interludes of puppeteiring and moral lessons.

Check out more videos of Charley and Humphrey here on YouTube.


West Coast Tour

by Tobias on February 21, 2010

Now I sit in the upper levels of a home in Maryland looking back on a well worn trip across the glorious Western Coast of the United States.

The Bay Area, Los Angeles, Portland & Seattle.

I consumed as much friendship, family, good food, good cheer, warm hugs, a wedding, hotel rooms, fine champagne, Scotch eggs, celebrated my birthday, and overall just had a blast.

I will be writing more soon.  There is just so much to write about that I have the cloud of a large winged beast of pleasure hanging over me.


Truffle 3.85 ounces white Piedmontese

My dear friend, who shall rename nameless unless he waves me down to place him name here, acquired something of pure foodie beauty: A 4oz. white Piedmont truffle the size of a small fist.

The look of fried chicken is only captured on pseudo film. In person it looks more like a round knobby bit of ginger. Before you can see the nodule of fungus, you can smell it.

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Twitter Account

by Tobias on December 21, 2009

I am currently trying to get my twitter account, @TobiasTenney, unlocked from the grips of Twitter Support.

Hopefully the twitter feed on this blog on the right in addition to the twitter feed you might subscribe to will be sorted out in the near future.

Many thanks for your patience!

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Freude, schöner Götterfunken!

by Tobias on December 16, 2009

In honor of Beethoven’s birthday in 1770, I would like to take note of my personal favourite of his works:

Symphony No. 9 in D minor

As we all know, D minor is the saddest of all keys*. That being said, I find the 9th to have the ark of life; a life well lived with nothing but highlights, of course, as there are no boring parts.  It would be nice if life were actually to have this ark with no boring parts, but I’m sure Beethoven didn’t want to highlight the wonderful moments of “brushing of teeth” or “waiting in line at the DMV”.

(Hit play now and enjoy the music while you read and continue to enjoy while you surf elsewhere.)

The piece starts as if the strings are being tuned as they fade in, and, like a slap on the ass, the music comes screaming into existence.  Happiness forms like worms in your ear.  Sadness dances under the guise of melody. The end is a climax of pure joy; a true “La petite mort” in almost every way, except being “petite”.

The poem it is based on is a celebration of life which Beethoven modified.  When it is time for my friends and family to look back upon my time on this earth, I hope they can listen to this song and revel in a life lived.

Lyrics bellow via wikipedia. Words written by Beethoven (not Schiller, the original writer of Ode to Joy) are shown in italics.

German original
English translation
O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!
Sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen,
und freudenvollere.
Freude! Freude!
Oh friends, not these tones!
Rather, let us raise our voices in more pleasing
And more joyful sounds!
Joy! Joy!
Freude, schöner Götterfunken
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder
Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.
Joy, beautiful spark of gods
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter drunk with fire,
Heavenly one, your sanctuary!
Your magic binds again
What custom strictly divided.
All men become brothers,
Where your gentle wing rests.
Wem der große Wurf gelungen,
Eines Freundes Freund zu sein;
Wer ein holdes Weib errungen,
Mische seinen Jubel ein!
Ja, wer auch nur eine Seele
Sein nennt auf dem Erdenrund!
Und wer’s nie gekonnt, der stehle
Weinend sich aus diesem Bund!
Whoever has had the great fortune
To be a friend’s friend,
Whoever has won a devoted wife,
Join in our jubilation!
Indeed, whoever can call even one soul,
His own on this earth!
And whoever was never able to, must creep
Tearfully away from this band!
Freude trinken alle Wesen
An den Brüsten der Natur;
Alle Guten, alle Bösen
Folgen ihrer Rosenspur.
Küße gab sie uns und Reben,
Einen Freund, geprüft im Tod;
Wollust ward dem Wurm gegeben,
Und der Cherub steht vor Gott.
Joy all creatures drink
At the breasts of nature;
All good, all bad
Follow her trail of roses.
Kisses she gave us, and wine,
A friend, proven in death;
Pleasure was to the worm given,
And the cherub stands before God.
Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen
Durch des Himmels prächt’gen Plan,
Laufet, Brüder, eure Bahn,
Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegen.
Glad, as His suns fly
Through the Heaven’s glorious design,
Run, brothers, your race,
Joyful, as a hero to victory.
Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
Diesen Kuß der ganzen Welt!
Brüder, über’m Sternenzelt
Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen.
Ihr stürzt nieder, Millionen?
Ahnest du den Schöpfer, Welt?
Such’ ihn über’m Sternenzelt!
Über Sternen muss er wohnen.
Be embraced, millions!
This kiss for the whole world!
Brothers, above the starry canopy
Must a loving Father dwell.
Do you bow down, millions?
Do you sense the Creator, world?
Seek Him beyond the starry canopy!
Beyond the stars must He dwell.

Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
Diesen Kuß der ganzen Welt!
Brüder, über’m Sternenzelt
Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen.
Seid umschlungen,
Diesen Kuß der ganzen Welt!
Freude, schöner Götterfunken
Tochter aus Elysium,
Freude, schöner Götterfunken

Be embraced, you millions!
This kiss for the whole world!
Brothers, beyond the star-canopy
Must a loving Father dwell.
Be embraced,
This kiss for the whole world!
Joy, beautiful spark of gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
Joy, beautiful spark of gods

*Lick My Love Pump – Nigel Tufnel

Spinal Tap – Lick My Love PumpFunny videos are here

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by admin on October 14, 2009

I have had many words to say and write over the years. I have thrown them around, sometimes with great care, in various places. I am creating this site to be my home base, my helipad, my notepad, my empty beer coaster…

Hopefully I will help share, enlighten, and explore with you.