“I Am Half-Sick of Shadows”
— Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Lady of Shallot
“Lady of the Shadows” is a song that began as one of those post EGPhest efforts to convince myself I can still actually write new songs.
EGPhest is this event I’ve done for three years running where I invite other songwriters to indulge me by singing my songs for my birthday. It’s all very nice to hear folks cover the tunes I’ve written — which I appreciate it to no end — and of course people say all sorts of wonderful things about me (mostly owing to the fact it is my birthday) — which is lovely, of course, but far from stroking my ego the whole affair actually is a bit intimidating. What if I can’t ever write anything again that people like? Which I guess is a typical for writers, but somehow I feel like this whole affair ups the ante.
Anyway, after the first EGPhest, I embarked on a rather intense effort to write a song called “The Comet and the Wandering Moon” (more about that one in the months to come) and after EGPhest 2 I wrote “Lady of the Shadows” — oddly enough although I’ve been writing a number of songs since EGPhest 3, there hasn’t necessarily been a single “one” that’s been the focus.
The idea for LotS (as the cool kids will call it, no doubt) originates from my friend Luna Taylor, another singer songwriter I know from the Bay Area music scene (though she’s subsequently moved down to San Diego). Luna, by the way, is also responsible for the cover art for this single. Luna has this lovely habit of photographing shadows — she has a whole Facebook photo album dedicated to this pursuit and actually uses the hashtag “shadowgirl.”
One night while hanging around Bazaar Cafe with future proprietors Josh and Rozanne as well as Shawn Byron and his wife Jen, Rozanne took to referring to Jen as the “golden lady” owing to the fact Jen was wearing yellow and has long blonde hair. For some reason this stuck in my head and got cross pollinated with Luna’s photo taking habits, so in my mind Luna became “the lady of the shadows.”
This seemed to me like the sort of phrase that I must have picked up from somewhere so I did what any self respecting wrier does, which is to do a Google search. This brought up Tennyson’s “Lady of Shallot” which I was heretofore unfamiliar. For those similarly unfamiliar, the basic story of this poem is that there is this woman who resides in a tower and is quite isolated there (reasons unspecified) who creates pictures of what she sees through mirror on a loom (once again, reasons unspecified). Then along comes Lancelot of the Arthurian legend through the fields in the glow of the sunlight (hence Lancelot’s armor aflame in LotS) at which point our protagonist decides to leave her tower, get on a boat, and then proceeds to die (reasons unspecified, yet again). She is later found by the local peasantry who are all like “who is this woman?” And that’s the poem. It’s filled with lots of gorgeous imagery, which tends to go on ad nauseam and some folks have even put the poem to song, which come off as a bit interminable. But still, you know, it’s great literature or something.
Anyway, at some point while this woman is stuck up in her tower she mutters that she is “half sick fo shadows” and it’s apparently one of the better known bits of the poem and probably the reason it came up in my Google search. Being sick of shadows is a situation I doubt Luna would ever find herself in.
With all that in mind, with a premise for a song like “Lady fo the Shadows” one must immediately set out to find rhymes for the word “shadow” — of which there are a paltry few. But the rhyming dictionary did provide some “near” rhymes like “vaquero” and “Kilimanjaro” — the latter of which I felt like I just had to use. It immediately brought to mind Ernest Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” — so we’ve got another literary reference. Plato’s Republic with his whole notion about us only seeing the world as shadows on a cave wall seemed like an obvious choice to make it a trio.
The payoff is somewhat akin to Dylan sneering “you’ve read all of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books” but with perhaps a bit more nuance. For instance, yes, our protagonist is familiar with the arguments Plato makes regarding our ability to know reality as only a mere shadow of itself, but she still nonetheless has an affection for those shadows (and therefore perhaps the ever so limited understanding we have of reality? At this point I let other people do the analysis — mostly I just thought it sounded pretty).
A half rhyme with “scarecrow” brought to mind this image of our protagonist dancing around a frosty field in November — something which I have no knowledge of Luna ever actually doing, but it was a fun idea so I decided to make it my opening scene. It also worked well for the overall “ad campaign” — such as it is.
Also around about the time I ended up hanging out a bit with Brandi Cheek of Swamp Child after a Balanced Breakfast meeting. As it happened Andy Strong was leading the group that morning and at the time he was doing the booking at PianoFight. I encouraged Brandi, being from New Orleans, to approach Andy (likewise being from the South) about doing a booking, knowing a certain cultural affinity would be to her benefit in that regards (didn’t help me get on the bill, but oh well). This led to a subsequent conversation about her Southern roots where she mentioned how sometimes she’ll say certain sayings from her native land that make her boyfriend laugh (this boyfriend being, BTW, Robb Hagle, who plays lead guitar on “The L.A. Song” and is a Midwesterner like myself) — one of said sayings being “ridden hard and put to bed wet.”
Well this seemed to me to be a little bit of poetry, and as incongruous as it seemed, I kind of wanted to use it in this song I was working on. The term actually refers to horses (get your mind out of the gutter) and the practice, or perhaps lack of it, of not cleaning them up (hence the wet) after a hard day of riding. In my research of this phrase I came across all sorts of additional terms in the realm of horsey-type phrases like “green broke” that I felt like I had to incorporate as well as “sunfishing” and “crow hopping” which sounded so much more evocative than spinning or twirling for our lady as she danced about the field.
It was actually a couple of drafts in before the refrain morphed simply from “Lovely Lady of the Shadows” being repeated to making sure we emphasized that she took photos of the shadows as well. For the harmony I cribbed largely from Bill Evans’ “Jade Vision” — one of those strange flashes of inspiration one can't quite account for but some reason happens to work (at least in my opinion). I did throw in a D Augmented chord, largely because I had thought I would try and ape Sonny Rollins’ “Shadow Waltz” at one point for the lols. The instrumental bridge with its chromatic ascension is largely my own invention — I knew the song needed a little bit of a break but felt a bit iffy about even attempting it as it felt like I was already vandalizing someone else’s work as it was, but in the end I think it turned out quite lovely and I’ve got some very appreciative reactions when I play it live.
When it came to recording, I decided to use this song as the “pilot” project for working with Ben Osheroff as my producer. I met Ben through his now fiancee Louise Nalbandian (who contributes vocals to the song). Louise I know through the Bay Area music scene, Balanced Breakfast and open mics like the one KC Turner was hosting at the now defunct Doc’s Lab. I’d invited Louise to be part of my second residency at Bazaar Cafe and as part of her set she brought in Ben (on accordion) — whom she’d recently met — and his friend Chaz (on violin) to play some traditional Armenian songs. At the time I recall Ben saying some nice things about my song “Lighthouse at the Edge of the World” but it was the better part of year later when we met again at a pop-up event Louise was playing at Amado’s that he asked if there was a recording of that song. Although Shawn Byron had recorded his version, I did not yet have one of my own, at which point Ben expressed interest in creating one.
Since I had in mind a full album built around Lighthouse and am a bit protective about in general, I wanted to start with something less ambitious in scope to figure out if this would be a good fit as far a working relationship went (Ben gives me a hard time about this). Like “The L.A. Song,” LotS was new and I didn’t necessarily feel like she fell into an overall set, so doing her as a one off was appealing. It also felt like something that didn’t need to be huge in scope production-wise. So we brought in a bass player (playing and electric upright) so we could record the guitar and bass together in Louise’s living room. Ben added parts for Wurlitzer and accordion as well the tambourine. In addition to Louise’s backing vocals, I brought in Shawn Byron for some backing overdubs — Shawn had just a accompanied me on the song for a show at the Lost Church and I thought a second male vocal added an interesting texture.
With LotS finished, Ben I decided to embark on a full length album project, which had to be finished rather quickly given his ambition to head to South America and travel for an extended period of time. But more on that project later. For now, please indulge me and take a listen to our first collaboration together, “Lady of the Shadows.”
Thank you to Tohm Lev for stepping into the shoes of our eponymous lady for the purpose of the promotional video. Tohm has accompanied me on backing vocals on this song in the past and she is wonderfully creative songwriter in her own right.
Give the song a spin on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music or bandcamp.
- E.G. Phillips
"Yeah, I'm not sure this song is about L.A."
— Robb Hagle (Swamp Child) introducing his version of this song at EGPhest III
The L.A. Song began with a pair of trips down to Los Angeles in the Spring of 2017.
During the first, I was meeting up with my sister and her family on their way to a pilgrimage to Disneyland from East Central Illinois. For me the highlight was not the amusement park but a chance to spend some time with my nieces on the beach and at the tide pools of Southern California. One day the younger of the girls was drawing a line in the sand as she walked and insisted that I follow the line as she drew it, at times with huge loops and flourishes that gave the path twists and bends not unlike all the freeways one has to navigate while in Los Angeles.
At another point I took up a stick of my own and claimed that if I finished writing her name in the sand she'd fall under my control — a bit of silliness owing to a notion from a Doctor Who episode about the power of naming things (The Shakespeare Code, if you must know) but she took it so seriously and desperately tried to stop me. So I’d write a letter and she’d use her stick to scratch it out and I’d spin around trying to write her whole name out, her spinning with me as I went, using her hands and feet to sabotage my efforts as I tried to write with one hand and tried to hold her off with another.
It was these sorts of games we were playing that I was thinking I’d try and capture when I started writing, as well as just the experience of Southern California in general. I was back in L.A. a month later for the ASCAP Expo which is held in Hollywood. A few experiences there, notably with one of those hustlers you encounter on Hollywood Boulevard and just how tacky the walk of fame felt that provided some additional fodder for the lyrics.
It was an interesting piece to write, with the word “forever” cropping up organically, as did this sort of rhythmic structure that was pulling at the second half of the verse to want to vamp a bit on single chord for an uneven number of bars. It was an exercise in letting order gradually emerge from what seemed to be chaos and also letting the words develop into their own sort of form without necessarily pushing them too hard in one direction or another until an overall form began to take shape. Like a good dough, you could just sense the words becoming more pliable and starting to go from a sticky mess to something resilient and part of a whole.
At the time I was messing about a bit with chord chords from Duke Ellington’s “I Didn’t Know About You” (I was first familiar with Monk’s take on “Straight No Chaser”) and that became this section I thought of as an interlude, maybe a bridge. While messing about with that I flipped through my jazz fakebook and landed on “Blue In Green” and it’s opening BbMaj7#11 chord struck me as interesting. It became the basis for the opening broken chords of my composition. I don’t know where that F augmented chord came from, it just felt right.
The structure that developed is a bit unusual — although “forever” could loosely be considered a refrain, I didn’t have a proper chorus. The interlude section seemed to work nicely as an outro, but I had decided that I’d keep it lyrically simply as “oohs” and “L.A.” in contrast to the verse as opposed to piling more words and information into the thing. But this section was coming later than you’d expect a chorus to come. Part of the reason for that was I liked the idea of delaying “the reveal” about the location until we’d gotten into L.A.’s traffic. But it also felt a bit natural as already I felt like a verse that was fingerpicked building to increasing rhythmic intensity felt right for the overall arrangement I was teasing out.
Things happen along the way as you’re writing you don’t really plan, but amuse you, even if its more of a visual gag — “labyrinth and “landscape” both starting with “la” was totally unintentional. Some things came less easy — Olga getting name checked was simply because I couldn’t begin to get all the details about this photographer that came up to a group i was with in a Mexican restaurant during the ASCAP Expo. She was trying to hustle us into buy some cheap photo prints she'd taken of us for an outrageous amount of money (she eventually parted with them for the grand sum of a dollar — probably still a bit more than what they cost her). She could have been a whole verse, or a song, but I needed to have this vignette that was a few lines. Instead of trying to describe her in great detail, I just gave her name because that seemed to say enough and had a nice assonance with some of the other surrounding words.
Still, despite the fact it was a bit odd, it proved to be popular when I played it out at open mics. My little interlude/outro was sufficiently catchy that people would actually join in despite it only appearing twice in the song. This was part of the impetus for giving it a place as an instrumental intro. When I played it at the Utah open mic, I brought in a lead sheet and asked the host, Brendan Getzell to sit in on piano — Brendan’s good that way. I was particularly delighted with what he was adding in my “interlude” section.
Later on, they happened to have a drum kit on the stage for the featured act and I asked Ben Visini to sit in along with Brendan (Ben’s actually contributed to a full length album I’ve been working on). Probably one of the more rewarding things is when another musician comes up and tells you that your composition was fun to play, So I felt like I had something. It was this way that the L.A. Song was added to my short list of songs I wanted to get recorded having released my first album earlier in the year. I also didn't readily conceive of it as being part of an larger project, so it would work well a a "one off."
Around about the same time I was offered the feature slot at the Neck of the Woods open mic for an early December date. Knowing the dynamics of that venue, I knew I wanted a band to back me in order to keep the audience engaged. One of the people I tapped for that gig was Robb Hagle, who I knew from the Hotel Utah and I liked his lead guitar work when I heard him play in his band Swamp Child. Robb generously let me use his practice space at Light Rail and the song became a band favorite that actually had its debut at the Utah for an “unusual combo” theme night at the open mic. As the group gelled, I found myself enjoying Robb’s part so much I began imaging if there was a way I could marry what he was doing with what Brendan would add when he’d sat in.
For recording I’d gotten in touch with producer Ben Bernstein who’s based out of Oakland, which ultimately proved logistically problematic for myself given the divide that is bay so this collaboration may be a one shot deal. But Ben’s an excellent bass player in addition doing recording and mixing and we recorded him and Mike Stevens on drums together at Mike’s studio on Hayward where he has a kit all mic’d up and ready to go (which was a nice and efficient way to get real drums on a track). After getting myself and Robb tracked on top of the rhythm section, Brendan and I worked out a part at his place in San Francisco, at which point the track really took shape.
Michelle Renee’s part came a bit later — although I’d had a female backing vocalist for my initial outing at NOTW, she proved unavailable for a subsequent show in February and for recording purposes. I knew Michelle from the Utah as well and she joined in for the February gig on short notice. The part we worked out felt like the final missing piece, so I brought her into the studio to wrap up the single I’m now releasing. We got it all mixed and mastered in time for me to have it ready for the next time I’d be down in So Cal, which was when the ASCAP Expo would be happening again in May so I could use it as the basis for video that I intended shoot while I was in town for the conference…
Anyway, it's out now. It's one of those things, you start with the collection of things (memories and impressions) and something else entirely comes out of it that is a bit hard to describe but also just seems to work for reasons you can't entirely explain. The quote at the top of the post was something Robb said when he covered the song at EGPhest (my birthday show where other artists cover my songs). As with "The Fish Song" the piece's insistence that it is about something in particular is probably the best indiction that you are being misdirected. To me, it's a collage, you will likely see connections and ideas there that I am blissfully unaware of. And that's the thing, I can tell a lot about where it came from and how I made it. It's up to you figure out what it means to you and how it makes you feel.
Please check out the song or the video. I hope you enjoy it.
"I... I announce the acts, I count the tickets, I smile at people - you have no idea the strain it puts on a fellow."
- Henry Gordon Jago, Doctor Who, "The Talons of Weng-Chiang"
On Saturday August 11th, 2018, once again, there was an EGPhest and a bevy of San Francisco friends and songwriters made their way to the Hotel Utah, a familiar stomping ground for myself, and performed songs from my catalog of music on the occasion of my birthday. This was the third such outing of this variety and I'm always kind of amazed it actually happens.
I kicked off the "phest"-ivities with some rather rambling reminiscing about my high school Geography and History teacher, Mr. Butler and his annual Christmas lectures about the geo-politics of the North Pole (what with the war of the elves and the subsequent annual reparations paid by Santa to this day) in a round about way of talking about, how like the North Pole is blessed with an abundance of "toy-ore" I have my supply of "song-ore" with which I looked forward to how the artists that would be on stage that afternoon would create something beyond what I could have imagined when I initially wrote my little acoustic curios.
I would say they all did so with grace and aplomb.
Clyde Always started us off with his own distinct "Bard of the Lower Haight" stylings and, appropriately enough, a rendition of "Sett'n My Own Pace" — complete with boat hat and cane as promised.
Ken Newman was back to reprise his rock'n version of the Fish Song (which I look forward to hearing on his forthcoming album) as were the Complements, who (of course) gave us a medley on top of their sweet take on "Lifetimes Without You."
Teresa Tuan gave us a rousing and soulful "Sunday is Made for Loving" in contrast to the sparse and elegant version Samantha Margret did on the same song last EGPhest and we released ahead of this year's show.
In honor of our collaboration on DylanPhest back in May, Robb Hagle gave a bluesy and Dylanesque take on "The L.A. Song" — a piece he is intimately familiar with having played lead guitar both as part of my full band show and the recording to be released later this month (Friday Sept 21st for those who want to know).
Michael McGovern took on "You Are Not Her" — a song I haven't played out much of late, but was inspired to include in a set of tunes I recorded in Nashville after I wrapped up with the show.
I got a 2 for 1 deal on Argentinians from Madrid as both Natali Castillo and Pepe Arribas performed "Til I Wash You Away" and "Mama Make the Red Bird Come Back" respectively.
Then there was cake. A vast amount of cake.
For our second half, Shawn Byron did a new take on "Lighthouse atthe Edge of the World" — this time on piano. Shawn has recorded the version he played of that song at the first EGPhest and it will be a track on his forthcoming debut album.
Tohm Lev gave us her spin on "Girls Who Don't Get the City" and Drew K adapted "Lover of a Day" to his stylings.
Christine Tence sang a passionate version of "The Mystery and Milieu of You" with Gerard taking a break from his sound and photo duties to accompany her on piano.
Our illustrator for EGPhest III (and second to have his artwork put into cake form), Mario M. Noche, took the stage, and gave us a take on "Tall Girls In Love" — apparently under the duress of reliving his own traumatic romantic encounters with tall girls.
I wrapped things up with "The Albatross Song" and "Your Inexorable Pull."
Thank you again to all who participated and all those who came to enjoy the party.
We had fun.
I have fallen woefully behind in my blogging about my Spring California Tour. Suffice to say, I've been keeping busy.
Thursday was the designated day to shoot video for the "L.A. Song" — a song I wrote based on my experiences in L.A. last year while meeting up with my sister's family doing the pilgrimage to Disneyland and then a month later when I went to the ASCAP Expo music conference. I made my second visit to ASCAP my deadline for finishing recording of the song and having it mastered. I was lucky enough to meet through a friend from the San Francisco music scene one Daniel Button of Button Up Productions so I could shoot a video while in town. We spent the day capturing footage on Hollywood Boulevard and Malibu and places in between,
I had a lot of fun working with Daniel and his assistant Carl as well as the actors, Rachel and Josh. It was all done guerrilla style (there was some hiding of the camera under a conspicuously pink beach towel) with a fair amount of improvisation. I enjoyed both stepping back and letting Daniel take the lead as well as jumping in a providing direction on some of the bits that I thought were important to capture, especially when we drove up to Malibu to film scenes for the first few verses of the song — which are really about some games my niece Faith and I were playing on Newport beach. For the purpose of the video we are following the adventures of a couple who are still in the early phase of a relationship.
Daniel attached a GoPro to the front on his car (and sadly lost a hat while he took some footage while leaning out the window) and we caught some of our journey from Hollywood to the PCH and then up to Malibu where we hit some tide pools and the beach. We ran into another film crew while we were up there (they were a bit more official like). If nothing else, it was fun day out and the best weather I could have hoped for for filming after some very gloomy and unusually chilly days in Los Angeles. I'm looking forward to seeing the results.
Last night I played my first show of the tour — I was one of the featured players at Sun Space for the their “Unusual Tuesday” showcase. It was indeed unusual — and a lot of fun.
Once we finally got off the ground from SFO (no mean feat) the flight to LA was pretty un-eventful. Getting from LAX to my AirBnB, no so much so. Getting in around quarter after 4 pm (a good four hours after I’d intended) so of course by the time bag was collected and all that, it was rush hour traffic (although it’s LA, so maybe it’s a distinction without difference). I took shared ride van, and in addition to the general general stop and go — or rather dead stop to suddenly we’re riding on a flume or something out of the mine cart chase in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (it’s now clear to me where Spielberg got his inspiration for this) — the first couple we dropped off is way the hell up in the hills and the driver is taking the hairpin curves with less caution than I might have taken when playing Pole Position on the old Atari back in the day. Plus which my water bottle had fallen out of the backpack in the back of the van and was clunking about with great ferocity — at this point it was not clear what it is that’s making all the racket, so I feared the worst for my laptop and guitar. Apparently my running commentary on the journey was a source of great amusement to the couple in front of me.
In the end though, I managed to hook up Susan (with my compatriot for Saturday's shows) and get over to Kulak’s Woodshed in time for the sign up at the open mic — since she was worried about memorizing lines to a play, it took a little exhortation to get her out, but I felt like I needed a contingency plan for getting signed up lest I end up going hither and yon on the shared ride van or run into issues with check in. Kulak’s was awesome, nice and laid back. And the video cameras they have filming and broadcasting the performances give the whole thing a wonderful vibe . Folks are attentive and with all the cameras monitors it feels like you're on MTV unplugged or something.
Sadly, my performance was not so awesome — I went with doing the Albatross Song instead of the LA Song because that seemed to fit the general milieu. But at some point I stumbled in the second verse and then started inverting the bridges haphazardly. It was not worth the 20 bucks I paid for the video of this particular performance. Sometimes playing in a new venue just throws you off — I had a similar problem with the Monkey House last week, but at least my set was long enough there I had time to settle in and get more comfortable. I am strongly considering going back to Kulak's next Monday, and maybe going early enough with leadsheets in hand so I can have the house band sit in
No such problems at Sun Space, for the most part. And it really was quite a different affair. It opened with a succession of characters in giant paper mache masks — one played the clarinet, which he subsequently “ate”, another had a television in its mouth which showed someone singing and a third was carved open on stage like some sort of piñata vivisection and succession of objects were pulled out — some clappers that were passed out to an audience, a bill — which I was asked to tear into little pieces as I sat in the front row as was an easy target — a dummy’s leg (there was a bit of slight of hand going on there). Later I was asked to come up onto the stage and told to throw the pieces of torn up bill at the wall, after which the Sun Space logo was displayed.
I enjoyed playing my set quite a bit — I went through all the “Song” songs —“The Albatross Song,” “The Fish Song” and of course, “the L.A. Song” — someone even bought my CD. All the performers in the showcase were great. Special mention to Coleman Moore, who I met last year at the ASCAP Expo and invited me to be part of the showcase. His stage presence was energetic, graceful and incredibly dynamic. There was elegance to just the way he tossed to the side a chair he had been writhing on as part of the act earlier. The show ended with a slideshow of brown couches at the side of the of the road and a game where the audience would look at photos of random people entering the 7-11 across the street and shout out what celebrity we were seeing (the more creative the suggestion, the better — Bono was off limits, though).
So, all in all, so far I’m having a blast.
Welcome to the new "blog" portion of the "Ducks With Pants" web site. I figured that the start of my first little music tour would be a good impetus to inaugurate this new feature of the site. I'm headed to Los Angeles to attend the ASCAP Expo in Hollywood. I went last year and had a good time checking out the scene and meeting other artists, but this time I go with a slightly more ambitious agenda.
I will of course go to the panels and connect with whom I can. I made some contacts last year that have been fun to keep up with through social media and has even translated into some shows for this time around. I'll be at Sun Space in Sunland May 1st with Coleman Moore and The Mint on May 5th with Susan Lucas — both of whom I met at last year's Expo. I'll also hit up a whole bunch of open mics while I'm in the area.
I also have finished up recording for "The L.A. Song" which was inspired by some trips I took last year down that way, both to see family (my sister and her family along with my Mom were making the pilgrimage to Disneyland) as well as the Expo the following month. Now with a mastered version "in hand" as it were, I'll be working with Button Up Productions to produce a video for the song while I'm down there. This will be my first produced music video -- I've messed around with iMovie in the past with stock footage clips, but this is, like, for real. Doing something in a "remote location" is probably not the best starter set for such a project, but the song lends itself well to visuals from the area, so that's what I'm doing.
Since it's been a while since I got properly away from San Francisco, I figured I'd take the scenic route back, so I'm taking the train up to SLO and then driving on from there to Santa Cruz. I'll be doing a show for Steve Key's Songwriter's at Play at 7Sister's Brewery before closing out the "tour" in Corralitos with Hannah Cooper, a friend I made a local songwriter's circle.
The start of this little expedition has been a bit inauspicious as I'm still stuck at SFO after my original flight was canceled and the replaced flight delayed. This blog post owes its existence to the largess of time at my disposal as I await for this whole affair to properly commence. I have to admit that I felt a lot of trepidation this morning. I've done much lengthier, much more distant solo journeys in the past, but for various reasons, this one feels that much more intimating. It's been a lot of irons in the fire to get this all to come together, such as it has. A lot more is in the works that I've had to juggle while putting this together — more on that in future posts, hopefully. I'm doing this particular sojourn in the red, more so than I initially expected. Hopefully it will pay dividends in the future.
It looks like a flight crew has arrived at the gate. Now all we need is a plane...
Until the next posting.