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ALL artists!  I am very, VERY happy to announce that IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION is ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS again.  I have been granted a (possibly long-term) stay of execution for my trip to Iraq.  I will still  be traveling all over the U.S., so new issues may be a little less timely, but (as always), we will review your materials as soon as possible after we receive them.  Look at the guidelines for submission below, please:


MUSIC:  All formats accepted.  Snail mail to:  Zzaj Productions, c/o Dick Metcalf, 5308 65th Avenue, Lacey, WA 98513  The only criteria for music you submit is that it MUST HAVE high performance energy... if you submit lacklustre material, it will be reviewed accordingly

POETRY:  Poems are accepted for publication ONLY via e-mail.  Poems submitted in any other fashion will NOT be published.  Poetry that includes some reference to music is granted first priority for publication.

BOOKS:  We will review some books; books about music are PREFERRED.  We will NOT return any books submitted for review.  Snail them to the address listed above for MUSIC.

DIY Announcements:  We will post your (e-mailed) ad about DIY projects, regardless of genre or medium... HOWEVER, this is ONLY for INDEPENDENTS... if you are a corporation, don't even BOTHER sending stuff... it will be marked and reported as SPAM!


     It's been a bit of time since I've been immersed in music... a necessary hiatus, brought on by concerns regarding travel(s) that would have taken me to Iraq... I truly was lined up for such a trek, by th' requirements of the position I accepted (with the 1-25th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, at Fort Lewis) last September.  

     After about 3 months on th' job, I saw an opportunity (through a little MS ACCESS database package I had begun to develop for them) to get myself promoted to a "non-deployable" position as their "System Management Analyst" (just a step or 2 down from the Program Manager for the product).  Won't bore you with all th' detail(s) of what the data capture is, only say that it's information they hadn't been able to retain before.  As I write this, I'm sitting in my computer room heaving a gigantic sigh of relief... I really wasn't committed to the idea of roving through Saddam's dune vistas, so having my (initial) dream turn to reality was MUCH MORE than just a "pleasant surprise".  A part of that whole effort was th' resumption of something that should be near&dear to any improvising musician's heart & soul... there are times in life when the best thing to do is "pull back" & see what comes out of th' ether. 

     What truly amazes me (sometimes) is how often those cycles occur... since I grew up in th' baby boomer generation, where O&H (Ozzie & Harriet) promoted th' image that once you got to a certain stage in life, things would "level out", & no more change would happen.  Steady job, same BBQ's on th' back lawn (with th' same neighbors) & a life of ease that would carry you well into your '70's.  BUT, I find that (even) nearing 60, the element of change/surprise & improvise is th' "real story".  I can't help (anymore) but feel like I don't know what's coming - & that that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  The only way to cope with such diversity IS to "kick back"... keep your mind actively engaged in the well-being of those (immediately) around you, but don't let yourself get so buried in detail(s) that they force you to focus so diligently that you're unable to see opportunities when they come your way.

     One of the things my son complains about (more often these days, as he approaches th' ripe ol' age of 19) is that he can't "determine" what's going to happen next... that he wants to "know" what's coming up.  &, all I can tell him is that (looking back on my life), that's a dilemma that I faced as well... it's often near impossible to "let go" & focus only on th' immediate... knowing that if you do "good" things, then "good" things will come your way (conversely, if you do "bad" things, what do you think will happen?).  Life will ONLY be a "bowl of cherries" if you can enjoy what you have RIGHT NOW, & stop trying to map it all out ahead of time.  In a word - IMPROVISE your life... keep your mind OPEN to change, while spreading POSITIVE thoughts, & life will feel better than you could have imagined.  So, what's th' "moral" of this rant?  Who knows... only tomorrow will tell! 

Till next time...,



Rotcod Zzaj


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'k, alla' you hardcore D.I.Y'er's!  We've added a D.I.Y. forum board!  Simply click on the lil' button below to TELL US wot' you think...


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