How a Bill Becomes Law, Constitution Article 1 §7.2

On Wednesdays we study the Constitution.

Why study? Well, I think it should be obvious.

Why Wednesday? It works with my schedule.

Last week I learned about the Origination Clause.

What’s next? Article One, Section 7, Clause 2. Continue reading

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Tiger Rag Today

A few years ago, I read the book Tiger Rag and I wondered how anyone could make the cornet a starring instrument. Then I saw Industrial Revelation play at Doe Bay Fest. Ahamefule Oluo’s trumpet solo cleared it up for me.

The Origination Clause, Article 1 §7.1

On Wednesdays we study the Constitution.

Why study? Well, I think it should be obvious that democracy dies when citizens are dumb. I don’t want to be dumb, and I don’t want democracy to die.

Why Wednesday? It works with my schedule.

What’s next? Article One, Section 7, Clause 1, aka the Origination Clause.

Continue reading

A Star Is Born

If you’re into music at all, the number of bands you’ve seen live really adds up over a few decades. From foot-staring technicians to sophisticated performance artists who happen to use music as their medium, there are a lot of ways to put on a good show. But every now and then, you see a true rock star. Some people have an innate ability to reach down and pick the crowd up.

I don’t even like the type of music he makes. But on the Bumbershoot stage in 2014, Otieno Terry was captivating. You would never have known that it was the biggest show the KEXP SoundOff winner had ever played.  The boy was in his natural habitat. He even stopped the show to sing Happy Birthday to his mother in the audience and instead of destroying the effect, everyone in the audience felt part of a special moment.

I pulled out my phone right after his set, intending to buy his album, only to discover he didn’t have one yet. In the years since, I’ve occasionally remembered that show and looked him up, and never found anything. Then a couple weeks ago I found Otieno Terry’s debut album The Woods. It’s still not my kind of music. But I’m looking forward to seeing him perform again. Rock stars always make you feel lucky to be in their orbit.

October Clips: Will Work for Tickets

photo by Gratisography.com

Remember that bit in Shakespeare in Love about losing one’s wife at the theater? My family might have felt that way last month, when I did a fair bit of reviewing both here on the blog and for publications. But I also wrote about law and family and my other usual topics. Details after the fold. Continue reading

Incompatible Roles, Constitution Article 1 §6.2

On Wednesdays we study the Constitution.

Why study? Well, I think it should be obvious that democracy dies when citizens are dumb.

Why Wednesday? It works with my schedule.

What’s next? Article One, Section 6, Clause 2. Continue reading

Naming Ghosts

Sometimes I take a bunch of concert photos and don’t have time to go back and tag them all with names. Especially at festivals. I think this is Aubrey Bramble (what a great name) performing in Golden Gardens at Bumbershoot 2014. Golden Gardens is a great name for a band, especially one that sounds as shimmery and ethereal as this Seattle band. Golden Gardens sounds like a metaphoric name for heaven.

But for me, Golden Gardens is the park with the largest off-leash area in part of town. There are few things more neurotic than an urban border collie, so for nearly ten years, I drove there literally every day to spend 30-45 minutes throwing a ball. That piss-soaked corral was my third place, rain or shine. I knew more local dogs by name than humans.

The heavenly music of Golden Gardens is hard to reconcile with my muddy memories of rambunctious canine joy. But if all dogs do go to heaven, I know mine is at Golden Gardens.