Favorites 12.18.14

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Sitting in nooks: The dog lays under the coffee table. The cat climbs into any empty box on the premises. And I sip coffee in my breakfast nook. Why? Because everyone just wants to feel contained.

Forgetting things that need forgetting: An act of will, yes, but possible.

Coconut flakes: Raw, carved straight from the mother ship. I like how the flavor is subtle, coming in at the end there like the fog moving in off the water.

“New Partner”: Bonnie Prince Billy does himself doing Palace Music doing this song. Pow!

Electric

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If you live here in the North then you know that it stormed last week. Copious rains and a big wind storm, which started when apocalyptic gusts blew tin cans past me while I was on my afternoon walk. The fence? The fence simply did not make it. It had been on the last of very many legs, and in the face of such wind, it keeled over and gave up the ghost. Under cover of darkness, I sat on the front porch and watched pale clouds scoot quickly across a larger, blacker backdrop. The air was electric.

As a homeowner, storms like this make gray hairs grow out of my head. As a human on planet earth, I love these storms for the wild energy that they bring.

Luckily, I have very lovely friends who came and helped me fix said fence with their magical tools. Also luckily, the sun came out on Sunday and I did naught but ride my skateboard. Take a peek at that backyard setup pictured below and ponder what it might be like to have a tiny skatepark in YOUR yard instead of those handful of rose bushes and that patch of grass for the dog to pee on.

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What I Want To Watch

20,000 Days On Earth: Nick Cave is a go for me. This movie depicting a fictional day in the life of Nick Cave? I’ll bite. Maybe it’ll lift us to a more perfect understanding of the kind of brain that gives birth to albums like A Boatman’s Call, to books like And The Ass Saw The Angel, and to movies like The Proposition. (If you haven’t yet, then obvi listen, read, and watch all these things immediately.)

 

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True Detective, Season 2:  As said elsewhere, this is a worthy show repping dark, heady shit like Twin Peaks and Nietzsche. For Season 2 cast, we get Vince Vaughn and Collin Ferrell. The latter is kinda a pinhead, but the former, well, to the former I profess my undying adoration. Love you, Vince!

 

St. Vincent: I don’t know too much about this movie but I can imagine that the director was just like, let’s put Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy in the same movie and let ’em just dial up the magic.

Old Portland

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I’m not from-from Portland. I grew up like a little pine cone in the mountains of Colorado. But I’ve lived here for a minute. A decade, to be honest. Perhaps you’re the same? A long-term foundling of the North country? It’s nice to have a nice place to live, and to love.

Change, though—change fucking happens!

“Portland is expected to see a population growth of 725,000 in the next 20 years,” says, like, everyone. Property prices are poppin’, and all the old business are going away.

This weekend I went to an art show commemorating a passing Portland icon—the Magic Garden. If you know it, then you know it’s a dirty hipster strip club, magnificent in an “old-Portland” way, which is a term I keep using lately. Old Portland. Cheap and scummy, but with a heart of gold. Tarnished gold. Maybe brass.

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The strippers donned clothes and gave all their $1s back—a move, I’m told, that portends the coming of the apocalypse.

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Also, a line out the door for the Slammer? Mind. Boggling.

For Patti

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Something I’ve been re-reading lately.

“I escaped into daydreams as I did my piecework. I longed to enter the fraternity of the artist: their hunger, their manner of dress, their process and prayers. I’d brag that I was going to be an artist’s mistress one day. Nothing seemed more romantic to my young mind. I imagined myself as Frida to Diego, both muse and maker. I dreamed of meeting an artist to love and support and work with side by side.”

Yes.

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Reprieve

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It’s the first of December, the 11th hour of this weird, wild year. I traversed the long holiday weekend drinking, eating, dancing, shivering, watching the sun rise and fall quicker than I ever remember it doing.

Thanksgiving was had at the Bracewell residence with some of my very favorite dogs and people. Everyone arrived with a bottle of wine and a casserole dish, so that when all the food was out, no inch of surface wasn’t supporting a bottle or steaming bowl. Mountains of food. The dogs played for hours, slobber-mouthed and wrestling in the middle of the floor and providing grand entertainment to a room full of people who wanted to be entertained and yet to move very little.

Sunday was so bright and ferociously cold that the mere act of living burned up all your calories. Skating in it tore teardrops from my eyes. I was exhausted by 7:30 p.m.

Really, these long black nights are a gift—a reprieve. See, I’ll take a potent allergy pill (doctor’s orders—I’m not an abuser) and sleep the sleep of the dead, or of the very innocent. Of which I am neither.

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Brrrrrrr.

Favorites 11.24.14

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Waterfalls: Hiking to them, specifically. In the rain, specifically. I don’t even wear a rain jacket—just get my clothes wet all the time. It’s senseless. Except, it’s not. Because you become one with the water at some point. Lightening flashes. Thunder booms. The dogs’ ears go back. And then around a corner, there it is: magnificent whitewater pounding forth and turning the dark pool pale green.

Macadamia nuts: The most extravagant of all the nuts. Say you’re eating them for their selenium and essential fatty acids. Ignore how much they cost.

The Moth, in person: Sitting in a bar listening to people tell 6-minute true stories in front of a microphone. Laughing if they’re funny. Misting up if they’re sad. Allowing the entire evening to shame your own fear of public speaking.

Begin Again: I did not hate this rom-com with Kiera Knightly and Mark Ruffalo. And Catherine Keener. And Mos Def. And Ceelo. And guitar music. And a non-typical Hollywood ending. Plus, my old pal Josh Zickert randomly riding a BMX bike past the camera. Hi, Josh!

Cold Crusade

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For a mind clogged with the debris of life, a few clear, cold days are all you could hope for. On dog walks, for instance, the wind rakes everything away, mentally speaking. The sky is either azure or, if it’s past 5 p.m., especially starry. “Every walk is a sort of crusade,” says Thoreau. And it’s true.

Also, the Christmas cactus is blooming. Just when one needs it. When one might go out and buy oneself flowers. Thanks, plant. Sorry I never watered you.

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Cold Wind

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A poem, today. For you—and for me.

Cold Wind, by Jim Harrison 

“I like those old movies where tires and wheels run backwards on
horse-drawn carriages pursued by indians, or Model As driven by
thugs leaning out windows with tommy guns ablaze. Of late I feel a
cold blue wind through my life and need to go backwards myself to
the outback I once knew so well where there were too many mosqui-
toes, blackflies, curious bears, flowering berry trees of sugar plum
and chokeberry, and where sodden and hot with salty sweat I’d slide
into a cold river and drift along until I floated against a warm sandbar,
thinking of driving again the gravel backroads of America at
thirty-five miles per hour in order to see the ditches and gulleys, the
birds in the fields, the mountains and rivers, the skies that hold our
10,000 generations of mothers in the clouds waiting for us to fall
back into their arms again.”

The Weekend Report

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Attended: Birthday party at the Bracewell residence. A fire pit crackled. Rock bands played. Then everyone hung out in the kitchen.

Saw: Boyhood, by Richard Linklater (the guy behind the great Dazed And Confused). A meandering assemblage of moments in the life of a family—all strung together in a way that’s just very, very REAL.

Drank: Americanos with honey—a more delicious, more manageable, more healthful cocaine of sorts.

Read: This sentence by Heidi Swanson: “There’s a lot to be said about doing the work you want to be doing. And chipping away at it, regularly, as a practice, has the potential to help show you the way.” Thank god for work. Sometimes. You know?