Pop Punk Stories

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Divers. Also known as a Portland rock band I’ve been listening to lately. Saw them play at The Know last night, and it was great. They’ve got a wild energy and a raw pop-punk charisma. Sometimes they play quiet. Sometimes they play loud. It simmers and simmers until it boils over. I stood atop a bench so I could actually see the band over the tall people’s heads, and thus I can confirm firsthand that they shredded their instruments into tatters up there.

August 27th

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I took this picture of Justin years ago. Shitty quality, but I still love it so. Mainly because it sums up my feelings about skateboarding in the fall. How great it is. How empty the parks are. How the air’s all crisp and alive. How you can skate for a few hours and get really tired, and then as the last light and warmth disappear from the day, you can go eat some grand, savory meal at a place like Dots (the Gentle Ben with fries) or Free House (the mac and cheese, obvi) and not even feel bad because, like, hey, you’re stock-piling calories for winter and stuff.

Anyway, yeah, I’m ready for that.

 

Up In Smoke On A Saturday

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Oh hi. It’s Monday. You already knew that. I’m sore from this weekend, because there were friends in town from New York and we all skated a bunch and fell down. I like how visitors can revive the squad. A new excuse to come out and hang out—to not be lazy when it’s late August and 90 plus and you’d otherwise be inclined to stay home laying around pant-less in front of the fan.

Anyway, every second of Saturday was spent slashing and swimming. The extended posse came through. Everyone was smiling and no one complained. Clips were stacked. Cliffs were jumped. Copious wildfire smoke was inhaled. Beers were cracked and quickly made to disappear. It was fun—more fun than I’ve had in a while.

As mentioned elsewhere, your friends are your family, and I feel really lucky that I know all of these cool, creative humans. I feel lucky that, on a daily basis, I get do something I like very much with a bunch of people that I like very much. As a sort-of-adult with a job and other responsibilities, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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JT at Glen. Pic by George Cutright.

Three Things

Love & Mercy: The genius and madness of Brian Wilson. You get to watch Pet Sounds come alive in his mind and in the studio. You get to comprehend, finally, why all those songs are so pretty and yet so sad.

Homemade pizza dough: I’m not gonna go into great depth about pizza. We all know it. We all like it. But let’s talk pizza dough! When you or someone you know makes it from scratch—makes it light and toasty and soft and flakey and crunchy all at once—well, it’s pretty much a game changer.

Sorry Jamal Williams for running into you at vans and sorry for liberating the background noiseA Beatrice Domond video. “A largely self-filmed montage of non-spot tricks,” as it’s called in the interview with her I first saw it on. This chick does WTF she wants, in life and on her skateboard. Should we all be more like her and like that?

Jeff & The Brotherhood

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Jeff And The Brotherhood laced up a set at the Doug Fir on Friday night. Do you y’all know them? Two lads from Nashville who happen to be brothers who also happen to play these grand stoney riffs for your listening pleasure. Of course, they used to sound a little more punk-y, like Weezer meets The Ramones. Now they’re more sludgey, more unlaced. Anyway, they’re just dudes. In jeans and tee shirts. One playing the drums, the other a guitar. It’s almost too simple to work, and yet it does. More than works. It’s fucking rock and roll!

Not Doing

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I’m not good at doing nothing, but I want to be. I’m a fidgeter, a toe tapper, a person with checklists written down in little books. Busy is good. I like it when I work—even if “work” is doing laundry, clipping rose bushes, calling my mom—but I don’t know if a human being’s only purpose is to get stuff done.

Lately I’ve been trying to do absolutely nothing now and then. Not reading. Not texting. Not tidying. Not watching anything or listening to anything. It’s really hard—the hardest! Which must mean it’s good for me. Nourishing somehow. To be quiet and look at things. Consider things. Sit and breathe. I want to be confident in the face of simplicity. I want to lay in a tube in the middle of a lake and do nothing more than look at the place where the trees meet the sky.

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What I Want To Watch

The End Of The Tour: RIP David Foster Wallace. He was a soldier on the battlefields of existential loneliness. He put into words what we’re all feeling. The gift of articulation—it’s no small thing.

Straight Outta Compton: An NWA biopic. No, wait—THE NWA biopic. “Speak a little truth and people lose their minds … ”

The Wolfpack: My world. Your world. Their world. They’re all just constructions of a little thing called the human mind … aren’t they?????

Blue Moon

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As you may know, there was a so-called “blue moon” this weekend. Despite its astrological implications—its deep cosmic portend of high and wild emotion—this rare second full moon of July looked much like other full moons.

I think it was the heat, though, the moon combined with the heat on Friday night, that really stirred together like a stiff cocktail and made everyone summer drunk. No one wanted to stay inside. No one wanted to be alone. Everyone was out doing something, wearing shorts and shirtsleeves—sometimes less, everyone was sweating, talking, laughing, and acting disorderly.

I stayed up late. I drank cold drinks with limes perched on the rim. I rode my bike all the way to Lombard Street and back, winding down the quiet boulevards under the grand ole pine trees as their limbs reached out like elephant trunks and pumped oxygen up into the stars.

To August

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August has its very own feeling. It’s quieter than June and July. The summer ends softly, like a feather floating to the ground.

I am looking forward to the calm in which to read, to walk, to wonder, to do nothing at all. There’s ripe tomatoes in my garden and I’ll make a galette. Work-life balance will flow naturally. Contentment will be achieved. This is my plan for August. I wouldn’t be me, though, if I didn’t know that plans, like rules, have a way of getting broken …

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Favorites 7.27.15

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Summer rain when you’re tired: Rain—it’s only water. But when you wake up sore and tired, the sound of it falling can be the best noise on earth. Stay in bed … just stay.

Coconut oil in my coffee: I used to take milk in my coffee. Now I like it like I like my men—straight up and strong. However. A little coconut oil makes black coffee really smooth, gives it substance, takes the edge off. As a rule, I’m okay with edges, though.

Grilled “cheese” at the Bye And Bye: Grilled cheese—I love it, you love it, we all love it. This one’s vegan, though—made with a swashbuckling amount of Daiya cheddar. You can’t not eat the entire thing.

Ex Machina: Creepy. Haunting. Gripping. Beautiful. A Blade Runner for the new era. If you haven’t seen it, do.