November 30th, 2006

Whale fluke

A sort-of work post (but mostly walking)

Another person from my company is on-site at the hospital this week and next. Interesting woman: grandmother who also served in the Army and who owns a Playstation 2. And who Moves With A Purpose. I've walked with her to lunch the last two days, and I helped her get off Pill Hill last night, and all of those times I had to work to keep up with her. And I have a pretty fast walk.

Wound up being an invigorating commute last night: we went to the lobby level of the Kohler Pavilion, the building the new tram station connects to, and hopped a shuttle to the first OHSU building on South Waterfront. We then walked the construction zone between that building (just south of the Ross Island Bridge) and her hotel (just north of the Marquam Bridge). Glad to see her enter her hotel, I backtracked back to OHSU South Waterfront, walked up various paths and ramps to get to the Ross Island Bridge, and bussed home. "That was an invigorating walk," she said to me this morning. I can vouch; I was asleep before 9:30. (Last night, not this morning. I've never fallen asleep at this job...) I was tired. Not quite tarred tired (as I've said before, the way you may say "tired" when you're too tired to pronounce two syllables in a row), but I needed my sleep.

It doesn't feel like it should be Thursday, by the way; it seems earlier, for some reason. Anyone else feeling this?
Whale fluke

Allow me to be sad for a restaurant.

Filed under News That Sucks: A fire has destroyed the 33-year-old Dory Cove Restaurant in Road's End, Lincoln City, Oregon.

No people were hurt, but the restaurant was a good place, and a landmark, and was home to many fish in fish tanks, pets that are now lost.

I'm fond of the place; I and my family have been to it several times. I still remember going there summer 1990, after my dad's parents had had their 50th wedding anniversary, which our extended family had followed up by renting a Lincoln City beach house for a week. (That was also the week we introduced my then-7-year-old cousin Jeff to the film Field of Dreams, which he kept calling "that weird movie," but he later asked "Can we watch that weird movie again?," so we knew the film had worked for him.) At Dory Cove we had cheese fries that I still remember, 16 years later.

Who knows if it can be rebuilt. Who knows if the family owners want, or are able, to rebuild it. I miss it already.

But in News That Could've Been Much Worse Than It Was, a pilot ejected safely from his F/A-18 Hornet before it crashed near Miramar Marine Air Station in San Diego. No one was hurt; it crashed in a field.
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Whale fluke

Shirley Walker 1945-2006

Shit. Brain aneurysm. Because of a brain aneurysm, we lose someone good.

Even if you've never heard Shirley Walker's name, you've heard her work: she orchestrated and conducted the scores to the first Danny Elfman Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Hans Zimmer's Backdraft, and many others. She scored all three Final Destination movies, the remake of Willard (for which the director asked her to write "nerdy" music), and John Carpenter's Escape From L.A. and Memoirs of An Invisible Man. She also was one of the most distinctive television composers of the past two decades, scoring and supervising Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, The Flash, and the SF actioner Space: Above and Beyond, among many others. (That's the second time I've written "Many others." She was all over the place. She was prolific.)

Her composing career never reached the level I felt she was capable of reaching; Film Score Monthly's Lukas Kendall sometimes vented on her behalf that Walker wouldn't get assignments because her music sounded (as at least one producer she worked for said) "just like what a man would write!" Yeah, Mr. Producer Man, and your point is? People missed out by not hiring her; she was (by all accounts) a happy, geeky person. And a wife and mother; I don't want to imagine what her family is feeling now.

While writing this, I listened to Shirley's score to the animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Waiting on the CD turntable is Memoirs of an Invisible Man. Waiting on my CD rack is Escape From L.A., a score I especially love.

Damnit. World? Forces That Be? Stop so much death. Please.

Edited To Add: I found a Film Score Monthly piece (Feb. '03) by Jeff Bond about the recording of Shirley Walker's score to Willard, and I wanted to share a moment from it:
Shirley Walker has just finished listening to six accordions rip through their parts in the main-title cue... She takes a large, black rubber rat from her conductor's stand and waves it over the surrounding orchestra musicians. "Excellent playing, excellent playing," she says. "Ben is happy."
Second Edit: How could I forget these? She was a session musician on Apocalypse Now. She orchestrated and co-composed The Black Stallion. Oh yeah, you've been hearing her music and her touch since the Seventies.
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