I think I just saw the sun. I’m not sure. It might’ve been just a lighter corner of clouds, like an area in between purple puffs. But it might’ve been the sun, too. I mean it’s almost June. Crazier things have happened, than the sun peeking out, just a little bit, to dry things out.
So I watched Crazy Heart the other night. Have you seen this? So good. It’s terrible to watch at times, and also transcendent. And just like real life—Spoiler Alert!—he doesn’t get the girl. Love, love Jeff Bridges. Due to not having cable, I haven’t seen his Academy/Golden Globes awards acceptance speeches—but heard they were amazing and smart and sweet and all that awesome stuff. He is great.
Also, loved the scenery in this movie. The desert. Between that and watching the recent Georgia O’Keefe biopic, I’m all about going to Santa Fe, soaking in the bone-dry sunlight, and contemplating life amongst the prickly pairs.
Felicitations are order. May, 24, 1941. That’s 69 years ago today that Bob Dylan was born. Not much to say but, you know, Happy Birthday. Not any easy life, surely, but a rich one. He’s the kind of storyteller you wish you could be. Masterful poetry. Quiet intelligence. And a penchant for minding his own damn business. Anyhoo, I leave you with my current fave, written in 1974.
05 You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
So, standard fare for mid-May—torrential pouring rain and bad attitudes. Even the newscasters are complaining about weather. Friday: ladies’ gathering at Mio sushi, then off to watch Skirdoosh, a “video by Steven Reeves.” It was all smith grinds, shots of Jim Beam, skateboarding in the living room. Good stuff.
Saturday: Twilight Rummage Sale at the Elk’s Lodge. Drink a Miller Lite and ping pong around buying .25 cent stuff. Scored the below treasures for only a few bux. Oh, and an old-school recipe box, and the movie Stranger Than Fiction.
And really, that’s all. I promise.
I’ve known for a while now about Portland being the “Rose City,” but until last week, it never meant much to me. Right now, though, I’m sitting on about 100 fat blossoms—that’s counting both the backyard and front. Sweet pale pink. Deep crimson. Yellow. Yellow with juicy peach tips. Fuschia with delicate white centers. Miami Vice electric pink. Et cetera. Due to some mystic alignment of planetary bodies, moisture levels, and soil content, they’ve reached a sort of frenzy of amazingness that I’ve never before witnessed on my plot of land. I have them stuffed in jars and old bottles in every room, as fat as your face and efusing a luscious haze that’s the exact stuff of spring fever.
Drove up to Bellingham and spent a day aboard the Hawaiian Chieftain visiting the cook. He has a nasty case of bronchitis procured from the mold and mildew on the ship, as well as a life-giving upset stomach from the high-strength antibiotics the doctor prescribed. But. Despite all that, I found chilling on a boat in a Northwest harbor to be basically magnificent.
There’s an ineffable stillness to living not just on the water, but in the water, especially in the early mornings and evenings. You wake up in a cramped cubby, bang your head against the ceiling that’s only several inches away, and then scurry out of this damp, dirty-sock-smelling cave to be greeted by chill air, sunshine, and still, still water. The quietness fills you up inside. You walk to the marina bathroom for a shower, while a bald eagle sitting on a buoy gets harangued by a posse of Canadian gulls. A fish flops in the water. Coffee percolates in one of the neighboring boats. The harbor ever-so-slowly comes to life.
The ship’s hold, where unpleasant odors abound.
The cook, about to fix a sweet-potato steak taco feast.
A basil plant with sea legs.
Sunset over Bellingham smokestacks.
A raucous waterfall park near downtown B-ham.
Near Mt. Vernon, WA, where farmers are hip to solar power.
Kelso—a stop on the way.
My family came and stayed with me this weekend. Dad. Mom. Sister. Nephew Patrick. They’re pretty fabulous. I spent about a week beforehand cleaning my house, the deep clean—eradicating dust bunnies from vents and wiping three-year’s worth of greasy palm prints from the walls around the light switches.
Upon their arrival, the house was instantly packed, and much relaxing ensued. We sat on my stoop in the sunshine, we ate wood fired pizza, we went for a drive out to Sauvie Island and then a quiet bird-watching walk, we read aloud from The Celery Stalks At Midnight, we drank much of both wine and coffee, and we toured the city neighborhood by neighborhood pondering the roses and wisteria vines.
Now that everyone’s gone, my place seems pretty vacant. Nothing but empty rooms with a few cat-hair tumbleweeds rolling through. I mean, I’m a big girl, but there’s a sadness left over in the space of a newly empty house, you know?
Me and moms at the gelato spot with little man Patrick.
“The sun was ablaze in the west and the horses shied, and where is that happiness which they write about in the newspapers? I ran and ran through whirlwind and gloom, ripping doors off hinges.”—Venedikt Erofeev
Drove up to Anacortes this weekend and saw Lance off on his summer job as cook aboard a tall ship called the Hawaiian Chieftain. It was only a few hours north but the rain was falling down in icy sheets just like Portland January. We got soaked standing on the docks watching the boat sail slowly into port. I took one peek at the soggy kitchen, cramped quarters, and surly crew and thought to myself, that job ain’t gonna be easy. But then again, there’s the allure of the pirate life to think of. Plus, the ocean.
It was April 30th, a Friday and the eve of one Brandon Nemire’s 30th birthday. Coincidence? I think so. A small gathering was held at the Dude Barn, his place of residence. You knew where the party was because of the high ollie contest going on in the street out front (see below). Also, flat bars in the street, ramps in the back yard. And once it got dark, Dave lit up the fire. The BBQ was Q’in, when suddenly, a hush fell over the crowd, and I heard someone mutter, “The cops are here.” That’s right. 8:45 p.m. and the cops were already at the front door. Kinda funny. I guess everyone was legal ’cause no one scrambled over the back fence or anything.
Steve, not makin’ it.
Saw these crackers out front. The birthday boy is the one on the right.
Lovejoy’s ninja stance on the front smith.
Still life, fire pit and shoe.
We split momentarily and headed to the Copper Rooster. Now, as long as I’ve known Lance, I’ve never witnessed him singing karaoke. He’s more of a quiet fellow. Keeps to himself etc. But. Just when you think you know someone….they turn The Doors’ “When the Music’s Over” into such a maelstrom of Satanic incest ad-lib mumbo jumbo and other stoner-rock-isms that the entire bar, complete with the table full of 70 year olds behind us, just stares slack jawed, too astonished to move. I can’t believe he didn’t get kicked out. It was both awesome and remarkable.
Here he is, not paying any attention to the lyrics at all.