Santa brought Jawbreaker, Dear You on vinyl this year. I was reading the song lyrics in the liner notes and taking a little trip back in time this morning. Remember “Bad Scene, Everyone’s Fault”? I can’t be entirely certain, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been to a party exactly like this. Maybe even recently.
Two weeks of traveling and now I’m back home again. There is nothing better than your own bed. That’s the truth. But I’m already missing the road a little bit. And missing my family. And missing the snow—that kinda cold makes you feel alive. Anyway, a few snapshots of a Colorado Christmas—lots of snowboarding, wine, sugar in all its forms, and Dexter on Netflix.
Christmas day was extra sparkly this year.
Nephew Patrick and his army of dragons. Seen How To Train Your Dragon? So good—that’s no joke.
We went hotdoggin’ every single day.
Playing. It’s good for ya.
Arches National Park is my new favorite spot. We camped out in the snow and went on all the hikes—and I’m being truthful when I say that we saw every goddamn arch in the whole place. The nights were bitter cold though, and so you’d sit as close as possible to the fire, so that your face and the front of your legs were almost burning, but your back would still have to face the icy night.
Now I’m in Colorado in the middle of a snowglobe and it’s quiet and lovely, too.
Slim ridge rocks like rows of teeth.
Look very closely and you’ll see a tiny creature in black and white striped tie-dye. That’s me.
Petroglyphs. Ironically, they very closely resemble nephew Patrick’s kindergarten drawings.
Hole in the wall.
Nerds on a mission.
Canyonlands was lost in the fog, but you still felt the enormity of the place.
Less of a hike, more of a scramble.
Merry Christmas from Arches. Brrrr….
It’s almost Christmas and we decided not go to the airport this year. Angry crowds and body scanners and other afronts to basic personal freedom … who needs it? Instead, we’re driving to Colorado by way of the American Southwest. As you know, I’ve long loved the desert, and it looks equally magnificent in the winter as the summer—maybe even more so, actually, because the season renders it empty and austere.
An early morning in the Columbia Gorge on our way to Salt Lake.
Salt Lake looks most lovely from afar—Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. I kept thinking of Frank Black for some reason, and “Palace of the Brine.”
Stay tuned for more, much more….
When it comes to magazines, sometimes you wonder, do people really read the articles? Especially the kids? I mean, my Kyrgyzstan story isn’t written in text message form so I wasn’t sure if it could possibly hold a teenager’s attention. But as it turns out, at least one little homey read it and got stoked (see below for the email that was sent my way the other day). Awesome!
“Hey transworld!! After reading the article of Kyrgystan, i was just outright mezmorized. Articles like these are so inspiring to me, I live in shitty Houston Texas where snow is rare and the summers are hotter than the devils dick. I am a very fortunate kid having been able to travel to places like Switzerland and France to live up just a fraction of what you guys get to have, but the articles of traveling to places on the far corners of the earth where people have never even heard of really gets to me. After reading January’s issue i just had to pull out all of my old boxes of mags and find those stories of crazy ass trips to some of the sketchiest places. This is the reason i am so drawn to your magazine, its not everyday that i get to hear about people going to the most remote places, nevertheless being able to have a history lesson while connecting to my life of snowboarding!”—R… P…
Sometimes bands come through town that I really do want to see, but I know myself and realize that on these bleak, murky nights when it gets dark at 4:30, I realistically won’t be awake when they hit the stage at Berbati’s around midnight. All is not lost, though, because the good ones play at Music Millennium beforehand—for free! Aside from how rad it is to see a band fully plugged in and ripping holes in the airspace, this acoustic set by the Greenhornes was very warm and intimate. I just leaned up against the L-R section of cd racks and soaked it in.
Listen to this and see what I mean: My Sparrow
Afterwards, food at Dots, which, bedecked with ghostly colored lights, is looking very lovely at this time of year.
Leonard Cohen played last night at the Rosegarden. I didn’t go see him, but I should have. Instead, I’m having a Leonard Cohen day inside my headphones, shuffling my feet under my desk and letting the soft, tattered ribbon of song take me where it may.
In other news, I heard this on the radio this morning, and it got me fired up: Chaplains Worry About Careers If “Don’t Ask” Is Lifted. The story begins: “While most military personnel see no problem serving with openly gay comrades, some military chaplains are bristling. Many of the 3,000 chaplains are evangelical and believe repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy may affect how they do their jobs…”
Not to get too political here, but … WTF?! Poor guys, they’re worried about their careers. What about the soldiers? The ones out there fighting and at the same time dealing with hate, shame and secrecy. And why are we worried about teaching the Bible to the troops, anyway? This is not a moral argument, people, it’s a civil rights issue. Okay, I’m done.
But wait, one last thing, and it’s related. Did you see this story in the Portland Mercury?
It’s a story about recent Portland gaybashings, and it prominently features our beloved Brooklyn spot. Crazy, sad stuff.
Before The 40 Year Old Virgin and Superbad, Judd Apatow made this magnificent TV show about awkward teens in the early 80s. I was an awkward teen in the early 90s, so I can attest to the show being a nearly perfect depiction. None of the characters are cool, most especially the cool kids, and yet even the most hideous geeks are noble in a way.
Acne, braces, low self esteem, general lostness and pissedoffedness at your parents, bad decisions and bad lies that get you caught, pier pressure, life-giving crushes on people who are later revealed to be total dweebs. Yep, let it bring you back.
December in Portland—bright and cold with that tear-wrenching wind. I like it, but I’m excited to get into real winter. The sparkle and bite of the high country. Soon. Only days now.
Anyhoo, to pass the time until then, we went to Dee Dee’s art show on Thursday, and it was staggeringly beautiful. Strange animals roaming foreign lands, and mystic shapes that swirl and swirl, becoming something else entirely. A blanket becomes a bird, a woman’s flowing tresses grow into a pair of pack animals trudging across the desert. Rare and inspiring, all of it.