Jonathan Field - Maker of Random Stuff

Monthly Archives: May 2006


Just had a whirlwind trip to Kentucky for Zappos, where I got three hours sleep the first night and five the second. Combined with lots of driving and flying and full-day meetings, I arrived back in Las Vegas this evening pretty damn tired. But I had three tickets for the Cirque du Soleil show at MGM, Ka. I originally bought them to go with my cousin Debbie and her friend, who were going to be in Las Vegas for a trade show this week. But their trip got cancelled so I invited Brian and Cassie instead.

Brian and I had dinner at Firefly, where we briefly bumped into Romi, and later Andrea from work. It’s like I know people in this town. Firefly was great as always, but I drank a little too much, and by the time we headed to MGM I was really ready to sleep. I actualy took a 15 minute nap in the car. When we got to the theatre, we both admitted we were dead and would probably be better off going home to sleep. I briefly tried to sell the tickets to someone else, but some security guy came by and gave me crap about it. Then another security guy came by and said that we could switch them for another night if we wanted, which was cool. We waited for Cassie, to see how she felt. She was tired too, having just come from a dinner meeting with one of her shoe reps, but nonetheless we decided to go in and watch the show, hoping we could stay awake. If not all of us for the whole show, then at least in shifts so we could fill each other in later.

The show was pretty impressive technically. But for some reason it didn’t quite grab me as much as I was hoping. I don’t know if it was because I was so tired (though I did stay awake the whole time) or because I already saw O first, or because it was really less engaging. I certainly wouldn’t put it down… it has some pretty amazing stunts and clever set design. And overall I’m glad I saw it and enjoyed it. But Ka was more technical marvel whereas O was pure beauty. I feel like I could watch O many more times… it’s just so dreamlike. I think there’s a real challenge when doing such a grand production to make it connect on an emotional level, and to seem more than just a financial marvel. Big budget hollywood has trouble with this too.

Cassie said she liked it, and Brian gave it the nod. I think we were all pretty drained anyways, so perhaps not a fair showing. I’ll keep checking shows out though. I want to see more shows as long as I live here. I think Wayne Newton is retiring soon, so I should definitely get in on that before it’s gone.

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Saturday Night Clubbing

And all I have to show for it is a random song about a random girl at The Whisky…

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I’ve got one thing to show and one thing to say…

Someone at work sent me this screenshot.

All I can say is this.

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Things I don’t Understand

So I don’t really know how it works… but sometimes things just line up in such a way as to make me really feel deeply about life. It’s a sort of longing and sadness that doesn’t have a sharp focus, but rather bleeds across the people I love and their tenuous dreams. And being the neurotic type I can’t help worrying that I’ve not got my priorities straight, and that I’ll regret the paths I’ve taken at some point. With my parents getting on with their lives, seemingly a little disappointed, I want to do more. But what would it be? And other family, friends, and lovers… they’ll likely be here longer but I know I’m not making the most of my life with them and I miss them already. And what does it mean to miss people when I have such reclusive tendencies? How can anyone not be lost in all this?

Anyways, the Imogen is definitely bringing some of this on, in concert with other little goings-on in my life. I couldn’t explain why. But I like music that does this to me, even if I don’t know what to do afterward.

Particular tracks that are making me feel small: Come Here Boy, Hide and Seek, The Moment I Said It, Speeding Cars, Goodnight and Go

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Good Show!

So I saw Imogen Heap last Friday night: excellent show. Imogen is currently a solo artist, but was most famously known as the talent behind Frou Frou, who featured on the Garden State sound track. I didn’t know any of her other work, but a quick poke around iTunes convinced me it would be enjoyable nonetheless. She also had a song, “Goodnight & Go” from the OC soundtrack.

My friend Karen and I got to the House of Blues around 8:45, just before she went on stage. The only tickets available when we bought them were general admission, but there was an assigned seated section up front. However, it was about 1/3 empty, so we decided to try our luck sitting there. They were excellent seats. Aside from the seated section, the place was pretty full, actually, and the audience was definitely into her.

Imogen’s setup was a couple keyboards, a couple effects boxes, a couple of instruments I couldn’t identify, and an Apple Powerbook. The stage was sparse, and her equipment was decorated with dashes of silk flowers and lights. It had a delicate look of clutter to it. She came out and engaged the audience without pretense, mumbling to herself and us as she seemingly figured out how to operate her stuff on the fly. She opened with a great a capella number, utilizing a sampler/delay box to build a full sounding production in real time with just layers of her voice and hand clapping. After that she playfully introduced “the band” by demonstrating what each piece of equipment allowed her to do. Throughout the night she created an intimate, conversational feel.

Then she really dug into the performance, and made about an hour and a half of great music using a mixture of sequences and skilled live playing. The thing I liked best though was that despite the technology her songs were very immediate and human — the lyrics and her emotional singing really pulled it together. In fact, I think the lack of a band, and her isolation on stage served her well, bringing out just how personal the songs were. About halfway through the show, her opening act, cellist Zoe Keating, came back out for a couple songs to accompany.

So even though I only knew one of the songs she played (her Frou Frou hit “Let Go”), I was really caught up in the show throughout. Which is rare for me with an artist I don’t know. Karen seemed to feel the same way. This was apparently Imogen’s first Vegas show, but she’s coming back in November. I’m definitely looking forward to it. And in the meantime I’m going to get to know her stuff better. If she comes to your area (and if you imagine you might like her style of music) I recommend checking her out!

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Last week

So this past weekend I just worked. No no, hold your tears. It was stuff that I’ve been wanting to do, so I expect no pity. Plus I was just getting over being a bit sick, so I didn’t really feel up to going out anyways. The previous week, though, was another story.

I had five vistitors this weekend: there was Matthew & Rachel and their recent creation. Matthew was here representing SGI at the NAB show, and brought along the fam. We ate at Olives at the Bellagio… the same place I saw President Clinton and his entourage last October. We had a great dinner chat that touched on everything from child rearing to porn.

Sophie was in town to visit her mom and do some photography. We tried out the new Melting Pot that’s 10 minutes from my place and had a great time. We also took a trip to the Vally of Fire, my favorite natural Vegas attraction. And we hung out with Gary!

Yes: Gary D came to town as well. It was great to see him… we’ve barely seen each other in the 15 years since high school. But somehow each time we do it’s just like good ol’ times. Except back then we complained about our parents and now we complain about marriage. But mostly we just laugh and have a ball. The three of us had some great food and drinks over a few days. Indian at Tamba was very good, and I really liked this Tapas & Wine place we happened across at Lake Las Vegas called “Sunset & Vine”. And completely by chance as we left the restaurant, James Taylor started playing an outdoor concert by the lake. We watched and listened as he gently rocked us like only James Talor can. I really dug the way Fire & Rain sounded echoing across the water and back off the hills.

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Playing Doctor

So… the posts about my arm will hopefully come to an end soon. There are other things in life too, one would hope. I had several visitors last week, and maybe I’ll mention more about that soon. But for the moment, the arm:

Tonight I took out my stitches all by myself. Yes, that’s what the doctor told me to do.

He used a completely different technique this time to close the wound, the goal being a smaller scar. The first time they just stapled my arm shut. No really, it looked like someone went at it with an office stapler. I think it was a good job actually, and it would have healed up quite neat, but we didn’t leave the staples in long enough and the scar just stretched out over the course of a month becoming nearly an inch wide at points, as you can see from the lovely photos in an earlier post. Despite it’s odd appearance, I never minded the scar much.

But this time, he used something called a “subcuticular suture” where the stitching is done under the skin. Basically the thread goes serpentine underneath the skin. You can see a nifty and non-gross animation of it. Then he put steri-strips (the medical equivalent of duct tape) across the top for a little extra protection.

What was interesting about this technique was that it left a couple inches of thread sticking out of my arm near my shoulder, and another couple inches sticking out near the inside of my elbow. This just looked kinda creepy to me. He said that when the time came, I could just pull and the thread would slide right out… from inside my arm! There were also a couple of loops where the thread came out about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way down the length of the wound. I was instructed to snip those, and pull it out in three sections… it would have been too long in one piece, i guess.

This all came up at work today, and Esther asked if she could watch. Then Mike asked if he could film it. Then Esther asked if she could actually pull the thread out herself. They seemed fairly serious, the freaks. I asked how much they’d pay, and the initial offer was $20. I didn’t try to talk them up, and though $20 would cover a midrange Las Vegas buffet, I opted out. That was all just a little too reality TV for me. So I decided to do it all by myself tonight.

Could I describe the experience in a word? Unsettling.

If you’re an X-Files fan you may remember several episodes where some character would end up with a worm or something under their skin, and you’d see this stuff moving under their skin and it would give you the heebie-jeebies. Well, that was pretty much how the stitch removal went. Except it was my arm, and I could feel the sucker coming out. It wasn’t painful per se, but uncomfortable yes, and quite unsettling.

Anyways, I put fresh steri-strips on and the whole thing looks pretty okay. If you’re curious, here’s a picture of the finished product (yes, I always have to flex). I’ll keep steri-strips on it for a couple months. The red spots at roughly the 1/3 and 2/3 points are where the little loops were. I think those will heal up pretty well, and the whole thing will just be a thin pink line.

Then, of course, I’ll have another surgery :)

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