Category Archives: farnsworth


Anne Farnsworth session

I came home from a Saturday night gig to hear that my beloved friend, Ndugu Chancler, had passed away from the illness he had been battling for several years. An immeasurable loss, not only for the industry, but for all the friends, loved ones, students and everyone he touched with his kindness, joy and positive outlook.

When people asked me about Ndugu’s work, my answer by way of description was, ‘He’s played with everyone from Miles to Michael Jackson.’ And pretty much everyone in between, to be honest. That’s Ndugu playing that iconic intro on Jackson’s “Billie Jean” on the Thriller album, the biggest selling pop album in history. For a deeper, yet still incomplete, outline of some of the people he recorded and toured with, see his obituary in the New York Times. Speaking of which, how many drummers get obituaries in the New York Times?

I went to NAMM with him once and it was like being with the President, we couldn’t walk more than five feet without being stopped by someone – colleagues, fans and swarms of pic-snapping Japanese who surrounded him at every turn. At a pre-JEN Jazz Educator’s Convention held during a frigid January in Manhattan, we’d be strolling to dinner with Ndugu wearing a full length white mink coat. Yes, he was fly.

I was his little buddy and he was my big, cool friend. We met when he came to the University of Southern California to advocate for the admission of one of his private students. I was finishing my masters degree and running the Jazz Studies office. We had a nice chat and I asked him if he would ever consider teaching in our department. He said yes and after he left I ran to my Chair’s office to give him the news.

Our chair at that time, Thom Mason, followed up with an official offer. There was a lot of excitement about this big of a get for the department and several of the male faculty were slapping each other on the back in celebration while I watched from my desk. To this day, I think they think they were the ones who thought of asking Ndugu to join us.


Ndugu never stopped giving his gifts to his students. Even toward the end,  he traveled the world to meet with them in workshops, clinics and one-on-one. He was a towering industry figure who still got together for weekly lunches with friends from his youth. As well as I knew him, I never learned about his accomplishments from him, only from other people. He was a beautiful soul who will be sorely missed and never forgotten.



Second Life – The Noob Experience

Noob Avatar                                                               A freshly minted noob


The virtual world of Second Life is exciting, scary and utterly confusing to first-timers. Unless you’ve been brought in by a RL friend who leans over your shoulder from your first login, you learned the ropes as we all did – by falling down stairs, watching the interactions of the established avatars and occasionally getting our coats pulled  by an exasperated veteran (Get off the damn landing zone!)

I’ve asked friends to recall their early noob experiences, to confess their confusion. Here are their responses.


…I thought you had to wear ALL the layer options of an outfit at once – shirt, jacket, undershirt.
Miss Cast

…I didn’t know what copy meant so I would buy two, three or four of the same thing.
Molly Bloom

…I would wear the box I tried to open and didn’t know how to get it off me.
Dianna Granville

…when I bought boxed objects, I thought I had been ripped off. I didn’t know the object was inside.

…I clicked on everything I saw hoping it would do something.
Amanda Magick

…for the first couple of weeks I didn’t realize there was sound. I thought the difference from one club to the next was the way people dressed.
Calli Glenfadden

…when I fell in the water, I thought I was going to drown (game over, man.)
Ladywhite Falcon

…I didn’t leave my house for the first week because I couldn’t figure out how to change clothes.
Jazzlyn Riptyde

…I thought I could exist on freebies and dressed accordingly, like a spotty teenager in ill-fitting clothes. No one will dance with you.
Sput TheRadishSlayer

… I spent 2 days trapped in a wall trying to figure out how to get out.
Titania Harbour

…I didn’t know about sandboxes so I would go around rezzing boxes everywhere. Then I’d leave them in random stores and streets.
Marie Sorbet

…. I thought everyone was cool and I was fascinated by my AV. Not so much any more.

…I couldn’t figure out how to leave the welcome center.
Led Frenzy

…the first thing I thought upon entering Welcome Island was, ‘Where am I?’ Second was, ‘How do I get out of here?!?’

…when I tried to click on myself to go into appearance mode I’d end up detaching all my clothes and having to start all over.

…I thought i was trapped in a cage once. Like I can’t click the x?

…for at least a week after I first arrived I had no idea I could fly or tp so I walked endlessly over the mainland.
Laetitia Vella

…I couldn’t find doorknobs to open doors so asked people to TP me out.
Chef Lew

…I spent my entire first day with a motorcycle attached to my hand, swinging it around as I walked. I couldn’t figure out how to get it off! I walked up to the first person I could find to ask how to get it off.
THAT person turned out to be a prostitute and wanted me to pay her for sex. “You gotta be kidding me, people have sex here?” That was in ’07.
Arthur Earl Dexler

…The nice man invited me to click on the pink ball. I was very surprised by what happened next.
Lorelei Firehawk

…I went shopping for new skin at JOMO, dropping L3500 before I realized those weren’t demos I was selecting.

…I went skin shopping and walked around for weeks with ‘Demo’ plastered all over me before someone pointed it out to me.
Jenisen Danick

…for the first month I was so afraid that if anyone talked to me, I TP’d away or just logged off.
Calli Glenfadden

…I jumped on poses balls thinking, Now what?

… I wouldn’t change unless I was in an SL dressing room because I felt I had privacy.
RFB Morpork

…I would hide in a corner to change clothes.
Scarlett Luv

…I closed the blinds of my house when I wanted to change clothes.
Eachan Branagh

…a friend spent two hours teaching me how to find and move an object.
Dearest Myrtle

…I was convinced everyone needed excite body parts (not sure why you need emoting nipples.) I rented a furnished skybox and was only allowed 10 extra prim. I’d dropped my nipples and was hundreds of prim over. My landlord was furious.

…after a few days stumbling around, a kind girl advised me I was gender neutral and had to buy my bits. BUY my bits!! Still have traumatic flashbacks of that moment.
Warn Dragovar

…I think I am forever a noob. I still fly into walls and fall in the water.
Daffney Anne Bellic

…I kept all the boxes from everything I got or bought. I didn’t know you could delete them until 6 months later.
Amanda Magick

…I fell in the water and got stuck for hours until a guy showed me how to get back on land. Funny and frustrating at the same time.

Jazzlyn Riptyde

…I lost control of my new motorbike and crashed it through the bar at Crossroads during a DJ’s set – twice. I also crashed into their no-tell motel, half sticking through the wall. Really freaked out the couple in the room.
Marie Sorbet

…I desperately had to look up the meaning of “AFK” “LMAO” “BRB” and such like.
Tarjiman Ort

…I thought IKR was short for I Kan Relate.
Miss Cast

… I found a wonderful place called “camping” something- back then, camping was where you got paid LL to hang out. I thought it was fantastic, there were so many people. I didn’t notice they were all afk.
Alice Bardenboar

…. I couldn’t cam for a long time and just walked to things I wanted to look at.
Elwood Zanetti

…I accepted friend offers from many ladies, all of whom seemed to need lindens to buy clothes or pay rent. So many tragic stories!

…I didn’t know how to sit so I kept walking.
Impress Allen

…I couldn’t figure out why my halo, wings, being on fire and riding a slug made people mock me. I thought I was the coolest person in the room.
Molly Bloom

…I got stuck in a koala bear avatar for three days.
Jaici Fairport

…I would get naked and dress in a shopping mall without a care in the world. It was like dressing a Barbie doll. Now it’s ME!
AprilShowers Becloud

…. I wondered how the women got their real shapes into SL.
Zeus Michalski

…I thought poofers were the ‘in thing’ and loved to use them. Got banned at a few sims and pissed off a good many folks.
Piffy Difference

…. I got my first piece of land and wondered what the hell prims were.
Saraya Starr

…I thought everyone shared the truth about their RL. Problem is, I still do!
Fabio Lazuli

…I stayed logged into SL for five days straight. My dreams, first life and SL all melded into one.
Clyde Barrow

… I didn’t realize there were club dance balls and I only had one stupid dance. I wondered why everyone was so much better at dancing than I was.                                                                        Samstar64

…a 12-year-old boy avatar gave me a “school girl” outfit to wear – little plaid skirt, open white shirt…

… I took to fishing. I had fish all over the sim – in the sky, on the ground, everywhere. My friends were very patient.
Attilio Mersand

…I decided to change clothes at a club and ended up bare ass naked in the middle of the dance floor.
Ulrick Storm

…I looked awful on the first day. On the 2nd day I got turned into a vampire and got a makeover. [ED: Now she’s a model]
Nicci Winsmore

…I had no idea what SL time was. I live on the west coast and thought the little clock in the corner was a courtesy clock.
Miss Cast

…. I was standing in the front row at a Creed tribute concert when everyone was asked to remove excess prims. My skirt was very prim heavy so I went to detach it, accidentally hit Shirt and flashed the band. One of the band members passed me a tee shirt and asked if I was trying to get backstage.
Veronica Weksler

… I had no idea I could place an item parallel to a wall by using rotation. Cost me hours and hours of my time.
Lorelai Bonetto

…none of the above.
Edith Halderman

Got one for the list? Tell us in comments.