Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sarah Vowell and Louis Armstrong

Sarah Vowell and Eric Bogosian came to the Bywater this week to teach some master classes at NOCCA. They did this for free, to show their support for the city, and for the school, which after the hurricane was in danger of being shut down.

During the Q and A after their public reading, most of the questions were strangly not questions at all. Or they displayed how desperate we're all feeling down here: "What should we do? What will you tell people about us?"

Toward the end though, Sarah started talking about how she had started out as a trumpet player in her youth, and spent her evenings listening to Louis Armstrong thinking that eventually she would figure out how to play better. Instead, what she remembers is this: the way Armstrong altered the lyrics to one song. "We'll sip a little glass of wine; I'll gaze into your eyes divine; I'll feel the touch of your lips pressing on mine." After singing the lyrics unaltered, he goes back them and changes "your lips" to "your chops." Even then, she says, she understood that "your chops" was better writing. So her advice is always "less lips, more chops."

Afterwards, my friend Richard Read introduced me to Eric and Sarah. "...and this is world famous author Ken Foster," he said, which is the neighborhood dog run joke. Sarah and Eric looked confused.

If anyone knows Brian Pederson, please urge him to get some help (and stop emailing me)

I've gotten a lot of terrific letters regarding The Dogs Who Found Me. And then I got this email, which I mistakenly responded to. Now the guy won't leave me alone. If anyone knows a Brian Pederson in Nevada, this is what he spends him time with. And for those who may not have read my book, I actually say that all dogs bite, not that pit bulls don't. UGH:

Date: Jun 5, 2006 6:30 PM
Subject: you're TOO into dogs!

Ken Foster, I just finished reading The Dogs Who Found Me. Gee, you are SO into dogs. I half expected you to write that you'd rather be a dog than a person so you could have sex with your dog. You gush so much about loving dogs, you celebrate "anniversaries", they sleep in your bed. If you love dogs so much, why don't you marry one????

You wrote that your life would fall apart if you were ever dogless. Seriously?? Get a wife and kids, man, and you'll see how trivial dogs really are!

You wrote that when a pitbull bites a person and tastes human blood, it automatically knows it's doing wrong. Well please explain why a pair of loose pitbulls mauled the ears and face off a little boy who was out riding his new bicycle. Please explain another case of death by pitbulls when the animals KILLED the owner's boy. Apparently the stupid beasts were mating and they attacked the poor boy when he happened to enter the room. Of course, bleeding hearted pitbull saps rallied around the vicious beasts.

All this time you spend being concerned about dogs and wasting money at places like Three Dog Bakery could be spent helping people. You could be a Big Brother to a needy child. You could help kids to read, or teach illiterate adults to read. You could volunteer your time helping your own kind instead of these lower species, ugly dogs. Are you a misanthrope?

Did you know that a dog couldn't care less who its owner is? A trainer told a dog owner who thought the animal would pine away in his absence that the dog would forget he walked the earth in under a week if given sausage and steak by a new owner.