Moira’s Audition

Maile has been watching a new series called Schitt’s Creek starring Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara and we’ve been obsessed with this scene. Moira is trying out for the Jazzagals and I think she nails it.

There are so many funny nuances to her impromptu performance. My favorite is the song itself – stuck in my head for days at a time – with its perfectly enigmatic, absurd opening line featuring the word Log. Makes me laugh, every time.

There are only a few lines before she’s incoherent, lost in loony scatting. And the whole thing is done with such falsely-modesty and confidence.

Someone held me on that log, it should have been you
Someone’s arms were big and strooong, it should have been you
I warned you I was lonely, but you didn’t seem to care
no, no, no, [starts scatting]… a woman’s tears… [scat solo]
Someone left me on that log, it should have been you

What is it that is so tender and hilarious about bad singing done with utter conviction?! When it’s not intended as comedy, which is most of the time, we have to not laugh. But here we have full permission and it’s a gloriously guilty pleasure.

It’s also such a pleasure to see Catherine O’Hara doing her amateur auditions again because we are already such fans of Waiting for Guffman, and this audition scene in particular from 20 years ago.

The Rainbow Show

Taos rainbow

When a rainbow appeared
touching down across the brushy hills
at the foot of the mountain facing
we stopped cleaning up after dinner
pulled our chairs together on the porch
and sat for the rainbow show
as the misty air blew through
and the low light lit the yellow hills
with long shadows like warm morning light.
The rainbow faded as the magpies gathered
just over the hill, no longer bright
as everything began to slip into its dusky attire
shadows vanished and where the rainbow was
no rainbow, the prismatic air invisible again
and through it all a nearby cricket played its violin legs
steadily with only brief pauses till the concert ended
leaving only a chatter of chirping
and the creaking of the kettle beginning to boil.
The magic hour over
dogs barked across the hills
and silence rose where the wind was.

Taos, NM
July 18, 2017

Kirby Jenner, Photobomb Master

KribyKirby Jenner makes me laugh really hard. The longer I look the harder I laugh. That’s enough. That mustache, that face, that body… so well played and seamlessly Photoshopped in.

There’s also a great gorilla satire to the hilariously eager and congenitally uncool character he inserts into the life of Kendall Jenner, professional princess reality star. Kirby is Kendall’s fictional twin we never knew she needed until now.

Kirby makes fun of Kardashian culture by impersonating it, inserting his parody persona in the form of a devoted fraternal-twin brother, tagging along on her photo shoots and photobombing her grandiose selfies with his goofy enthusiasm.

Kirby turns Kendall’s epic self-absorption…

Kendall Jenner

… into a grand farce:

Kirby Jennar Napoleon

He’s usually too enthusiastically enjoying the situation, making an awkward goofy face, sometimes moping or somehow getting it wrong, and often eating a Subway sandwich. He makes Kendall the boring background she is.

He’s frequently in his underwear, like Kendall, exposing all sorts of gendered double-standards with how differently it reads. He’s trying to be like Kendall but it never works, always to comic effect. He just wants her to acknowledge he’s there!

And that’s just the photos. His captions and hashtags add another level of endearingly dumb bragging:

kirbyjenner SO EMBARRASSING… totally thought Kendall said we were going to “mime camp” but I guess she said “voter registration rally.” Lol All good I had fun anyway tho. Ended up using the art of miming to help 20 youngsters register to vote AND taught them about the three branches of government 🙂 #ClassyMime #AlsoMimedAVotingBooth #GotStuckInTheInvisibleVotingBooth #yolo

Thank you, Kirby, for making me laugh so much.

Dylan Singalong at Little Stacy Park

We gathered in the pavilion at Little Stacy Park on the first Sunday of June – 6/4/2017 – and had a great time singing Dylan songs. Here are a setlist, video and a few photos, below. The video features our versions of All Along The Watchtower, Subterranean Homesick Blues, and Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.

  1. Like a Rolling Stone
  2. Blowin In The Wind
  3. The Time They Are A’Changin
  4. Mr. Tamborine Man
  5. Tangled Up In Blue
  6. All Along The Watchtower
  7. I Shall Be Released
  8. Forever Young
  9. Every Grain of Sand
  10. You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
  11. Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright
  12. Subterranean Homesick Blues
  13. Knockin On Heaven’s Door

Dylan Singalong by Loriene

Dog's eye view of the Dylan Singalong

Dylan Singalong promo


Joe’s Good Time Dance Band

One of the wonderful things about the family I married into is the music. Maile’s dad Joe put himself through college playing in a band (that his dad managed) and has been a lifelong guitar player with a band on the side. My kinda guy. (On my first date with Maile she told me that as a little girl she used to fall asleep in the fuzzy lining of her dad’s guitar case. I remember thinking, “This girl is for me!”)

I had heard about the Good Time Dance Band from their time in Hawaii.  Now Joe has shared with us some old converted VHS video from a gig that the drummer, Jim Coulter, posted on his site. Joe sings his first song at about 6 mins. See his description below.

Joe’s history of the band:

The Good Time Dance Band formed in the late 70s in upcountry Maui, Hawaii. Their popularity was due to the fact that they played Classic Rock, Country Rock, Country Smooth Jazz and popular Hawaiian music. They were very eclectic in their repertoire and as a result they were very popular on the hotel circuit and played frequently around the island.

The main band members consisted of Joe Broccoli, vocals and guitar, Jim Elliott, bass, harmonica and vocals, and Jim Coulter, drums and vocals. In later years they added Larry Givens, guitar and vocals, and John Neff, piano, bass and guitar. This video features Broccoli, Elliott, Coulter and Givens playing at the Maui County Fair in the early 1980’s.

Stairwell Sessions 1 & 2: Ambience and Beach Boys

There’s this great echoey stairwell in the business school where I used to work. I’ve started going back over there. It’s got a great resonance and is hidden at the back corner of the building and hardly ever used.

First I took my Yamaha acoustic over there to try out a new USB mic. Laid down a chord progression then layered two tracks of Ebow ambience over it.


Then I brought my 3/4 classical guitar over there and recorded All I Wanna Do by The Beach Boys.


Geometric building reflection

Sven Eric Molin

This post is to remember my father, Sven Eric Molin, who died when he was 57 and I was 15. I’ve begun gathering here all the stuff I can find online, first by simply searching “Sven Eric Molin.” Brother Pete shared the wonderful obit of our dad, lovingly crafted by his college roommate and lifelong friend Alden Vaughan.


Sven Eric Molin ’50

Sven Eric MolinSven Eric Molin died November 5, 1987, after a life-long struggle with diabetes. Amherst friends who knew Eric well may recall his daily insulin injections and occasional seizures. In recent years diabetes had affected his eyesight and circulation; he had endured several operations. Through it all his mind stayed as sharp as his wit, and to the end he remained a dedicated teacher and scholar.

Eric (“Tink” in those days) came to Amherst from Rochester, N.Y., and subsequently from Wilmington, Del., where his parents moved when he was in college. At Amherst, he was an avid student of English literature and a fund of knowledge on all kinds of music. (I still see Eric deep in conversation with Lionel Hampton in the Thete Delt bar while Hamp’s band, weary from playing the Senior Prom, waits impatiently for post-concert libations.) Eric was active in the college band, college radio station, and Thete Delta Chi fraternity, which he served with uncommon intelligence and diligence.

After Amherst, Eric earned an M.A. at Columbia Univ. and a Ph.D. at the Univ. of Pennsylvania. He taught briefly at Ohio Univ. and for many years at Randolph-Macon Women’s College before joining the English department at George Mason Univ. in 1971. At various times in his career he held temporary positions at Columbia, C.W. Post, and the City University of New York. He was also a Fulbright lecturer in Finland and a research fellow in Ireland. Besides his teaching and administrative responsibilities at George Mason, Eric served for the past several years as his university’s representative to the Folger Library’s Institute for Renaissance and Eighteenth Century Studies.

Eric was devoted to both the institutional and the intellectual aspects of academic life. His students valued him as a stimulating and dedicated teacher; his colleagues cherished his wise counsel and deep commitment to quality education. At George Mason he was, at various times, a member of the University Senate, the Graduate Council, and the European Studies Committee, and he coordinated the Freshman Writing Program; he was also active in the American Association of University Professors. With equal dedication, Eric contributed to literary scholarship. To his fellow specialists in literature, he was an authority on eighteenth-century fiction and drama and the author of important journal articles, co-author of Drama: The Major Genres (Dodd, Mead, 1962), and co-author of a work-in-progress on the early nineteenth-century American theatrical entrepreneur, Dion Boucicault. Eric pursued his intellectual interests with fervor and energy until the end: a week before his death, he read a paper to the annual conference of the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies.

It was my privilege to know Eric even better in recent years than when we roomed together in the 1940s. Time had dimmed none of his puckish humor or his affection for music or his passionate commitment to a variety of causes. On my frequent visits to Washington, we reminisced about old times, caught up on university gossip, and shared our current professional and personal enthusiasms. We had abundant opportunities to do all those things in the summer of 1985, when my wife and I moved into Eric’s house in Arlington, Va., for nearly two months; he was there much of the time, between trips to Ireland, Rochester, and elsewhere. The three of us (and our dog) formed an unconventional but very congenial family. I shall sorely miss Eric, as will legions of his friends, colleagues, and students.

Eric was married twice and had five sons, two of whom graduated from Amherst: Karl Teo (Ted) Molin II, ’78, and Franklin Bache Molin, ’86. Contributions in memory of Sven Eric Molin can be made to the George Mason University Foundation and to the Diabetes Association.

— Alden T. Vaughan


November 7, 1987

Sven Eric Molin, 58, a professor of English literature at George Mason University since 1973, died Nov. 4 at his home in Arlington of the complications of diabetes.Dr. Molin was born in Rochester, N.Y. He graduated from Amherst College and earned a master’s degree in English from Columbia University and a doctorate in English from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a professor at Ohio University and at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Virginia before moving to the Washington area about 14 years ago.

Dr. Molin was a member of the American Society of 18th Century Studies and had represented George Mason University on the executive committee of the Folger Institute.

His marriages to Ann Molin and Barbara Molin ended in divorce.

Survivors include four sons by his first marriage, Karl Teo Molin II of New York City, Army Lt. Peter Castle Molin of Fort Benning, Ga., and John Bickford Molin and Franklin Bache Molin, both of Arlington; one son by his second marriage, Jason Eric Molin of Washington; two half-brothers, John McCauley of Wilmington, Del., and Edward McCauley of Rochester, and one grandchild.

The Washington Post


1956 Ph.D. Graduate
Dissertation Advisor(s): Arthur Hawley (Joe) Scouten
“John Wesley’s Techniques in Revising Literary Masterpieces for His Methodist Audience”


Other Links

Tom Waits’ TIME from the Trail of Lights

I got to play the Zilker Trail of Lights again this year for UT Night. Anais got up on stage with me a few times. The wonderful folks in the crowd got a conga line going, first song! I played a few covers: The Isley Brothers’ Caravan of Love, Cohen’s Hallelujah, and closed with Tom Wait’s Time, recording below (audio and video slideshow).