Music Musings: All That Jazz

A Quartet In The StudioI found myself in an interesting mood this morning. Feeling tired and sleepy, I decided to skip the usual morning podcast-listening session in favor of the recently purchased Mulligan Meets Monk record, a Thelonious Monk disc that found the master pianist teaming up with saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. 

mulligan meets monk

 

The experience got me thinking about jazz and my relationship with that musical art form. Growing up, I didn’t hear much of it aside from pieces in commercials, TV shows and movies here and there. It wasn’t until high school that I had my first real exposure to one of the few, truly American art forms.

At the time I had a website — I was very intent on calling it a site and not a blog because I thought the word was silly (it is) — where I would trade bootleg recordings with people. Actually, it’s still up because apparently Angelfire is still a thing. Anyway, out of nowhere I got an email asking if I would be interested in putting a banner ad up on the bootleg trading page in exchange for some swag. I said sure, popped in some code and eventually got a package in the mail from this company I’d never heard of.

It was Blue Note, the biggest jazz label around. I had no idea. Anyway, this happened twice and I wound up getting some records that might not have made it into my regular rotation, but definitely primed the pump for my later love of the genre. I remember getting Soulive’s Doin’ Something, Karl Denson’s Dance Lesson #2 and Charlie Hunter’s Songs From An Analog Playground.

I still listen to these records and am glad that they were the first ones I came across because they opened me up to the idea of new jazz. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, it’s a genre of music that is perceived to be mostly ruled by dead musicians. This is still a vast, evolving art form that new people are doing amazing things with.

I remember being blown away by the way Denson incorporated a DJ (DJ Logic to be specific) into his compositions, Soulive kept things fun and funky and Hunter brought in singers like Mos Def and a pre-fame Norah Jones to help bring his songs to life. There’s a vibrancy to those records that make them worth listening to and also built an interesting foundation for what jazz could be in my mind. This is not a stagnant form and it should not stay static. Art doesn’t work that way, museums do.miles davis bitches brew

The first classic jazz record I ever picked up was Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. That jazz/rock fusion album probably wasn’t the best place to dip my toe in for either the genre or Davis’ fantastic catalog, but one of my favorite magazines at the time Guitar World, did a huge feature on it and I was interested. Unfortunately, the acid washed improvisation wasn’t something I was quite ready for yet so I only listened to the full double album a few times before shelving it.

It wasn’t until my senior year of college at Ohio Wesleyan that I really continued my jazz journey. I’d pretty much nailed down all my required classes to graduate and decided to take it easy on myself both class and schedule wise. That translated into a very relaxed schedule that included Jazz 110 at the music building, a place I’d only been a handful of times in my college career (it was in a completely part of the campus).

The class seemed split between people like myself looking to get an easy credit and others who were legitimately into this kind of music. And, honestly, it was a pretty easy class. The hardest part came when we were played various instruments and had to write down what they were. That’s not my strong suit and I think I bombed that quiz pretty hard. But the rest of it was pretty basic stuff with a mix of history — tracing the music back to New Orleans — and memorization. For the final I remember listening to a long list of songs because we’d have to name them on the test after hearing a snippet. I’ve always been bad at remembering non-obvious song names, so that was tough too.

The songs themselves all came from the Ken Burns Jazz box set, which we had to buy for class. A lot of kids burned or downloaded it, but I got one (well, my parents got me one along with my other text books which I did feel a bit bad about because I was actually excited about the purchase. Still, I got a good deal on a used one). If you’re even remotely interested in jazz, that box is a great place to start because it takes a chronological look at the form going from old school New Orleans brass band stuff all the way up through Weather Report. In other words, it’s a great sampler.jazz the first 100 years

One of the big things I learned from that class were the different subgeneres of jazz. You’ve got everything from New Orleans and bop to blue, swing, acid, fusion and even jazz-rap. There is a ridiculous amount of music out there that, but the nice thing about the Ken Burns set and the Jazz: The First 100 Years textbook we used is that I got an idea of the form’s spectrum. From there I was able to zero in on the elements and subgenres that interested me most. For instance, I remember reading about Cecil Taylor’s crazy piano playing and then gave him a listen on the box set and realized I wanted to listen to more of that. You can do a lot of this with various websites and YouTube these days, but that’s not where my musical journey took me.

From there, I started exploring the greats. I picked up a couple Benny Goodman records — including one that’s a two disc full concert — got more into the biggies like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderly and Charles Mingus. I’ve also branched out into some of the odder stuff like Us3, a hip hop group that only sang over sampled jazz licks.

One aspect of jazz that I fell in love with pretty quickly was  how dramatic and comic book-like the whole scene was for a while. When I got into comics, I just dove in and started learning all I could about these characters. Eventually I built up a pretty solid mental database of who did what and when various characters teamed up. There’s a lot of that in jazz too. All of these people had these big personalities and crazy backstories. They were part of a band (team) for a period of time and then either moved on to another one or started their own. There’s also all kinds of team-ups all over the place. There’s a drama to the whole thing that sparked my imagination and helped me get interested in not just the music, but the people as well. Projects like The Quintet or Duke Ellington recording with Louis Armstrong hold a lot of appeal for me.

Another aspect of the form — at least the stuff I seem to be drawn to — is that it can be listened to on various levels. I can put something like Monk’s Alone In San Francisco and flow in and out of it while I do work or get some writing done. But, I can also sit and really explore these records, noting how they twist, turn and play with the form. I’m not nearly musical enough to get too in depth with this stuff, but I like a record that you could potentially sit in a dark room with and just experience. A lot of the jazz records I’ve listened to can be that.

While I still check out the jazz section of any used record store I find myself at, the main source of recently purchased records comes from Amazon’s MP3 store. Every month they put 100 albums on sale for $5 each and there’s usually a jazz album or two in there. That’s where I got Mulligan Meets Monk and a few others like Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers’ Moanin’, Cannonaball’s Bossa Nova, Miles Davis’ seminal Kind Of Blue and even the Willie Nelson, Winton Marsalis and Norah Jones Ray Charles tribute called Here We Go Again.

It’s kind of wild to think that I’ve only been into this form of music for 8 years or so. Sure there were those first few Blue Note records, but those could have easily turned into outliers in the statistical equation of my music collection, a funny story to tell from my online past. What’s even stranger to think about is how separated this kind of music tends to be in the world of pop culture. Jazz just isn’t out there in the pop world as much as other forms, so it’s possible to completely miss it if you’re not looking for something new and different. Now that I think about it, that’s another common theme between jazz and comic books. Anyway, I’m hoping to remedy that a bit with my kid and expose her to this stuff at an early age. I hope she digs that swing!

The Chronological Spielberg: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

et I don’t think there’s a person my age who doesn’t have some pretty strong feelings about E.T. I was born the year after this movie came out, so it always existed in my brain. Back in my day movies tended to live on in my mind morso because of regular viewings on cable instead of tape rentals. But, I do have two very distinct memories of watching this movie. The first time, I was pretty young, maybe five or six, possibly seven. It was one of the few childhood Christmases I remember where my aunt, uncle and cousins who lived in Indianapolis all came and stayed at our house. Grandma also came in from Cleveland, so her whole family was in one house. That might have been the Christmas I got my Nintendo, but I know that we all sat down together, dimmed the lights and watched E.T. on VHS. That’s a great memory that still lives on in my mind.

The other important viewing of E.T. came in 2002 when the film was re-released to theaters with some extra scenes and all the guns edited out. I was 18 or 19 at the time and had been dating my future wife since early November of 2001, but since neither of us had a car or much money, we tended to just hang out around campus or maybe go out for some coffee. Eventually we decided that we should probably go out an official date, so we hit up one of the local Mexican places, caught the movie at the local, privately owned movie theater and got coffee at The Mean Bean. It was a wonderful date and I think we both really enjoyed watching the movie again.

Even with those two very fond memories, E.T. isn’t the kind of movie I purposefully revisited on a regular basis. I’d see bits and pieces of it on TV and I bought the DVD release of the 20th Anniversary when it came out, but I don’t believe I’ve seen that movie again since that 2002 viewing. The film lives in my brain in a weird, incomplete space where I have pretty solid memories of E.T. appearing, the frog scene and the bike stuff leading up to the end, but not all the doctor and sciencey stuff. I think it bums me out, so I forget it.

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s the deal with the movie if you’re unfamiliar or don’t remember too much. The film opens with a spaceship landing in the forest. We don’t know why they’re there, but they seem to just be looking around and taking samples. Some folks show up and scare the aliens away, but one of their own gets left behind. That alien, eventually dubbed E.T., finds his way to a house inhabited by Elliot, his older brother Michael, his younger sister Gertie and his recently divorced/separated mother Mary. Elliot and E.T. form a bond as the two become good friends and also form an empathic bond. We soon discover that E.T.’s not doing so great and wants to contact his people, so Elliot, Michael and their friends do what they can to save their new, weird friend.

The beauty of the film is its emotional heart. Every member of Elliot’s family has an emotional center that seems related to the others, but different. Mary loves her children, but also has a broken heart from her husband’s leaving with another woman. Michael is the only one who understands this and wants to protect her. He actually speaks a line that’s kind of the heartstone of the film early on to Elliot when he says something like, “Why don’t you grow up and start thinking of other people for a change,” to Elliot. Gertie does this in a more child-like fashion while Elliot’s entire arc revolves around the idea. That’s really what this film is about: empathy in all forms.

On a quick side note, I just realized something really great about this movie: the older brother isn’t a total jerk. Isn’t that how most of these 80s movies go? There’s always a jerky older brother who gives his brother crap and the two don’t even seen to be related. I don’t have any siblings and I understand that they don’t always get along, but it seems like, especially in movies like these from this time period, that dynamic was never more complicated than “the older brother’s a jerk.” Michael has a lot of depth and it shows in the film. I love the part where he’s so excited to hear about E.T. being okay that he jumps up in excitement and bangs his head on the ceiling. That’s a great bit.

And the movie is jam packed with great bits. I was especially blown away by the first 10 to 15 minutes of this movie which all seemed like a big homage to Spielberg’s previous hits. Of course you start off with a spaceship (Close Encounters Of The Third Kind) that leads into the shadowy introduction of the film’s hero (Raiders Of The Lost Ark) and also something of a chase scene where you don’t really get a good look at the pursuers (Jaws). In fact, I didn’t realize this until I was looking through the film’s IMDb Trivia Page, but you don’t really see an adult’s face aside from Mary’s until the scientists show up. And guess who the villains are? Yup, adults. Spielberg might have stumbled upon the idea of keeping the shark hidden in Jaws because of technical difficulties, but he took that idea and used it in his other films.

Speaking of film connections, E.T. is a really interesting companion piece to Close Encounters because of the similarity of content but looked at from different angles. They’re both about people dealing with the reality of aliens but in very different ways. While Richard Dreyfuss’ Roy practically loses his sanity trying to get to the aliens, which doesn’t happen until the end of the film, Elliot finds his right away and goes from there. Another interesting bit of info I came upon while reading the Trivia page is that E.T. started as more of a horror movie where a family is terrorized by alien creatures. He went the nicer route and wound up using the nefarious elements for Poltergeist which he produced for Tobe Hooper to direct, but the two movies kind of work together as different sides of the same coin. Maybe I’ll give that movie another watch and see how they compare while E.T.‘s still in mind.

Aside from that, I’m going to do my best to get to the next Spielberg film in a more timely fashion. I’m going to watch at least Spielberg’s part of The Twilight Zone movie which I don’t always enjoy watching because I’m constantly comparing every frame to the original episodes in my brain. From there it’s on to my personal favorite Indiana Jones movie, Temple Of Doom. After that, I think I’m going to hit up the two episodes of Amazing Stories that he directed (“Ghost Train” and “The Mission”) before moving on to two movies I’ve never seen: The Color Purple and Empire Of The Sun. Should be a fun ride!

On Voting And Whatnot

I did not vote in the previous presidential election. In the past I had voted for George W. Bush and considered myself a socially liberal conservative (or, as I often say, I’m socially liberal, but financially conservative). I liked JOhn McCain, but his choice of running mate spoke highly of his decision making abilities in a negative way and I was concerned about Barack Obama’s lack of experience. To be honest, I also thought people were just voting for him because they thought he was cool. When it came time to vote I just couldn’t make up my mind (and also wasn’t registered in this state after moving here from Ohio, for what it’s worth). I didn’t want to use my ignorance as an excuse to vote for the wrong guy and thus sat that one out. Some people think this is a travesty. “You must vote, it’s your right as an American!” And that’s true, at least the second half, but I don’t think enough people really contemplate their candidate’s positions on the issues. These choices have meaning and should not be taken lightly. Hit the jump to read the full post or just hold off and wait til I start writing about toys, comics and movies again. You won’t have to wait long, I promise. Continue reading On Voting And Whatnot

Ambitious Reading List: The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake By Aimee Bender (2010)

Well, I finally quit trying to read Devil In The White City. I probably should have stuck with it and charged through, but there was just something about that book that didn’t hook me into coming back for more. I liked what I read, but I kept thinking about finishing this Ambitious Reading List and even starting the next one and just couldn’t sync with it. So, I put it to the side, knowing I’ll return to it some day, and then moved onto Aimee Bender’s The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake, a book I really loved by an author I have a little bit of experience with. You know what that means, story time!

When I was in college at Ohio Wesleyan University, I was part of the English board (or whatever it was called). I think I got involved because my creative writing professor, Robert Olmstead, asked me if I’d be interested so I went with it. I don’t know if it was an election or what, but there I was. We had various authors come to OWU, do readings and sometimes even sit in on our workshop classes. Aimee Bender was one of those authors. For whatever reason Professor Olmstead asked me to write and do an introduction for her, which made me nervous because I get all kinds of anxious when I have to speak in front of a crowd, even if it’s just a handful of my fellow classmates. Anyway, I did my research (I think this was pre-Wikipedia, so I had to go to more than one website), gave the intro and Bender said it was one of the best ones she’d ever heard. I don’t know if she was just being nice, but it was nice and I appreciated it.

I can’t remember if we read any of Bender’s work for my workshop class or if I just listened pretty well during her reading, but I was drawn to her style. It’s very introspective and colorful and usually involves some fantastical elements inserted into normal life (at least the two novels of hers that I read). At the time it was also really inspiring because I felt like I was working towards a style similar to hers. A few years back I finally read her first novel, An Invisible Sign Of My Own, which I remember liking, but don’t remember many details of. Back when all the Borders closed down, I was at one and happened to see her latest novel The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake and had to buy it. Man, I’m glad I did. I had a wonderful experience reading this book.

The idea here is that, a young girl named Rose realizes she has the ability to taste the feelings of people making her food, but it’s really more about Rose, how she deals with this ability while also growing up the world AND dealing with her normal-on-the-surface-but-not-really family. See, Rose’s dad wanted a normal family, likes lists and wants everything simple and normal, but that’s not how life really is, especially the lives of the people in his house. Rose’s mom has this deep longing to find herself and deflects many of those feelings by loving her children intensely. Meanwhile, Rose’s brother is pretty shut off from the world, burying himself in books and science, but also has something odd going on that I won’t spoil, but turns out to be pretty crazy.

The book also deals with normal things like growing to understand the adult world, first loves gone bad and the responsibility many children feel to their parents. The beauty of Bender’s writing is that she can so seamlessly infuse these normal, relateable human moments with some pretty crazy elements. Being a comic book fan, I think I might have been a little more primed for this kind of book which shares a basic premise with John Layman and Rob Guillory’s Chew. I’d be curious to find out if people not in that camp would be able to get into the slightly off kilter world of this book.

Reading this book was a little like looking at a series of mirrors for me. I could relate to pretty much every character in this book on a very personal level that surprised me. It might just be a matter of happenstance, that the fears, insecurities, hopes and dreams running around in my head were so well represented in this book, but it’s there. One character’s desire to just fade away, another’s desire to tackle the world, the mom’s desire to find something outside of her family that fulfills her and even Rose’s appreciation for a simple dishwashing job. All those things are bouncing around my head at any given day, so it was a pleasure to see these things on the page.

I can’t recommend Bender’s work enough. As I mentioned when I wrote about Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, there are a lot of similarities in styles between these two women. It’s funny, while reading Bones I noted that Sebold’s style reminded me of Bender’s and this time, while reading Cake, Bender reminded me of Sebold. If you’re looking for an author who looks at things from a different perspective and explains them deftly with an expert use of language and sense memory, give The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake a read.

With Bender’s book crossed off the list, I’ve now moved on to Please Kill Me and am about 150 pages into this 430 page beast. I’m learning all kinds of stuff, some pretty crazy things and keeping track of records I want to check out. What a wild time. And after that? Well, I’ve already got my next Ambitious Reading List read to roll. It’s another dozen books of all different shapes, sizes and topics. I’m pretty excited, should be fun.

The Write Stuff: Developing Drive

My biggest regret in life — so far — is not having more drive when it comes to my writing. I’ve wanted to be a writer of books, comics, movies and whathaveyou ever since I can remember and used to spend my days coming up with characters and writing stories in notebooks. When I got to college, I started taking creative writing courses and was forced to actually sit down and create full stories from beginning to end. That was great because it actually made me finish things, something I’ve had difficulty with since.

I think the reason I stopped focusing on my creative writing so much was because I got the job at Wizard a few months after graduating from college. That was a dream job of mine for quite a while, even before I scored the internship there the summer previous. Attaining a long-time dream like that so young was such a great thing, but also kind of slowed me down in other ways. I lost a lot of because-I-had-to work ethic I had from college and just let it slip away a bit, focusing more on my job, new friends and picking up whatever freelance writing I could score in the magazines.

Essentially, I lacked drive. I hear stories about directors, actors or writers who spent their childhoods making films with their friends or writing plays (like the kid in the wonderful Son Of Rambow).  I never did that aside from drawing and creating random superheroes here and there. I didn’t even THINK about doing it. Part of that is because I’ve always been more of an internal person. I keep most of my ideas and thoughts to myself (or did before I started blogging) and didn’t think other people would be interested in what I was coming up with. I think that’s one of the reasons I leaned towards writing, because you can do it all on your own while still creating anything you can dream up.

Now that I’m married and have a kid, I wish I could go back in time and kick my younger self in the butt and say, “Take advantage of this time and get working!” Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I love my wife and daughter and the fact that I get to stay home, take care of her and write for a living. That’s all very rad, but I wish I had just been more organized and smart with my time back then because it feels like I have so much less of it these days.

Actually, my daughter helped kick my butt into gear before she was even born. When we found out my wife was pregnant, I had an internal clock ticking away that told me I should finish something by the time she was born. I can’t remember if I succeeded in that exact time frame, but I did write a horror script that had been kicking around in my head, something I’m hoping to read through and edit this weekend. I’ve also written an entire crime/action novel, a short comic story, an outline for the first arc of a a comic book series and am currently working on a horror novel that I really hope to finish the first draft of by the end of the year. I’ve been surprisingly creative and productive and it’s because I know how limited my time is now.

So, I’ve got a better handle on my drive to write, but I still haven’t mastered it. I’m still lazy more times than I should be. Hell, instead of blogging about writing, I should be taking this time to write, right? I feel the same way every time I decompress in front of the TV or with a comic, book or video game, but I think it’s also important to give yourself time to relax. I like to think that if I had all the time in the world and money wasn’t an issue, I’d spend the average work day writing and researching, but that’s not in the cards for me right now as other responsibilities take precedence.

It’s cool though. I may lack over-drive, but I still have hope, which is equally important. I try to be realistic about things. I don’t want to be a guy who wants to be a writer for the next ten years, I want to become a writer and more importantly, I want people to actually read my stuff. What’s the point otherwise? I take some comfort in the stories of writers like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling who both worked until they hit it big with books, the former working at it for a long time and the latter turning the stories she told her children into books for everyone.

At the end of the day, it’s a delicate balance between allowing myself to decompress and forcing myself to write. Sometimes the latter wins out, sometimes the former, but I keep getting things done. Now it’s just a matter of reading through them, editing and making sure their worth putting out there.

The Write Stuff: The Formative Years

What’s this, you might be wondering, another post about writing? How is this any different than Adventures In Freelancing? Well The Write Stuff will focus on my attempts at writing fiction and other works that I’m not getting paid for (yet). Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to create things. When I was a kid, I made up all these little superhero characters like Birdman (an actual bluejay with all the weapons of the Ninja Turtles, not the popular Hanna Barbera creation) or White Out Man. My superhero universe might have been a legal nightmare, but I had a lot of fun drawing them and coming up with their origin stories. Even before that I would stage these epic, intricate battles with my action figures. I’d continue this habit into high school (the writing, not the toy playing, though I was still collecting them), coming up with all kinds of different characters and giving them the Marvel Handbook or DC Who’s Who treatment with run-downs of their powers, abilities, weapons and whatnot.

For the longest time I focused my creative energies on characters that could be found in comics. It wasn’t until maybe high school that I realized I could write something other than comic book characters. Like a lot of kids, I wound up writing some shitty poetry that I scrawled in all manner of notebooks, with those marble composition ones being a favorite, of course. I wound up always carrying a notebook around with me and still have the majority of them. I’d like to scan them all for posterity’s sake, but who has the time? I also took a few stabs at short story writing, including a pretty fun little vampire tale which was published in my high school’s literary magazine. I was part of a group that helped restart the mag at the end of my sophomore year and wound up being a co-editor my senior year, a distinction made because four of us had been around for the same amount of time and all wanted to be editor.

I mostly wrote things as they came to me, never really sitting down with the intention of writing. If I was at home, I’d grab a pen and paper, maybe hop on the computer, but I’d also write in school a lot. I was generally a good student, but if a good idea popped into my head I’d spend most of a class writing it in the margins of the notebook or on a different page all together, flipping back and forth between notes and story. I know what you’re thinking and yes, my school notebooks looked like the kind of thing you’d find in a serial killer’s house after he’s brought to justice. Most of that stuff is laughably melodramatic. I’ve groaned a LOT while flipping through those notebooks, but some of my longest gestating ideas were born in those bored days sitting in Latin or geometry class.

With an eye towards learning more about writing–whatever that means–I focused on colleges with strong creative writing programs. I started out looking at big schools like Ohio State and Miami of Ohio, but realized those would be way too huge for me and then narrowed the search down to a trio of small liberal arts schools in Ohio: Ohio Northern, Ohio Wesleyan and Kenyon. There’s a much bigger story in here, but I wound up going to OWU, where I studied both creative writing and literature as well as humanities (defined as literature originally written not in English). As such, I read a lot of books and did a fair amount of writing of all kinds.

I’m sure I don’t remember all the classes I took, many of which were in Sturges hall, but all of them involved writing of one kind or another, even the science classes. Here’s what I do remember. I took an essay writing class with the wonderful Rebecca Steinitz where I not only learned the benefits of editing (something I never bothered to do before out of sheer laziness) but also some tricks that have helped me write these very blog posts. I took a Journalism 110 (OWU’s equivalent of a 101) class and realized I hated that basic, boring kind of newspaper writing. There was a screenwriting class I took with Robert Flanagan who not only taught me the basics of the form, but also how cutthroat and by-the-rules the movie business can be. Plus, he’s from my hometown of Toledo, so that was awesome. I was far too shy and nervous to talk to him, or any of my professors really, more than was required which I regret. I took two or three creative writing classes with Robert Olmstead, another professor I wish I still talked to. I always liked the meetings I had with him, assuming I was doing alright in class. Him telling me my writing had jumped up a level one day is one of my all time academic highlights. The Roberts were very different, with Flanagan more realistic and brutal and Olmstead more dreamy at times, but both had a good deal of experience and helped us learn the craft. Having class with both really balanced me out, I think. I also became a member of the English board and wrote a few things for The OWL, our college literary magazine.

Depending on the class, there was always something creative I had to work on and, as far as I can remember, I liked it. Sure it was tough at times to balance writing a 20 page script while also reading Invisible Man and studying for an astronomy test, but I did it. I definitely miss that structure and schedule nowadays. Since graduating college, I still write, but there’s no immediacy to it. I’ll start writing something, get distracted by another idea and then move on to that one. I have a million unfinished and half-started files on my computer and even more notes written on scraps of paper and, of course, in notebooks around the house. I really do miss having the creative structure that my classes gave me. Being pushed and forced to write might not sound good to a lot of people, but that pressure kept me on top of things.

I’m going to stop here and focus the next post on my attempts to stay focused when it comes to various stories or scripts I work on and how the birth of my daughter acted as it’s own deadline.