Monday, December 28, 2009

Vic Chesnutt

I have listened to his songs, off one record in particular (West of Rome), probably once a week since my friend Jason gave it to me in college in 1992. Of all the musicians I love, he was the most poetic and hard working on his songcraft. Very sorry to hear he died.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Xmas Adventures

I am having a very Christmasy Christmas so far, albeit without family or any religious observation whatsoever. Somehow not longing for my Texas childhood of having to sit at the feet of a gasbag to hear the book of Matthew read aloud so that the next morning I could open gifts purchased at the Christian bookstore at the mall.

No, this holiday season is something altogether different. I got to go to a cabin up on Mt. Hood for a the solstice and hang out in a hot tub surrounded by spectacularly tall Douglas Fir trees. I got my scrabble on. I went snowshoeing around Trillium Lake. I nearly missed my train to Seattle to see my friends but re-arranged my ticket (I love Amtrak) and got to go to Wilf's for excellent old-school holiday drinks. The train to Seattle was significantly delayed. The conductor came on the loud speaker midway in Kelso to apologize for the late hour, but that "we had to stop to eject an intoxicated passenger" and in case anyone else got any ideas "we do notice when intoxication levels are bothering other riders."

I arrived safely, eventually, at the destination.

And on that note, here's a vintage clip of a very intoxicated Judy Garland pleading that you not break up with her despite the fact that she can't stay away from booze and pills, or get out of her chair to sing while on Johnny Carson. Ho Ho Ho.

Not to be missed bonus feature. Judy Garland drunken tirade:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bowling Night

When I was 16 years old, my most prized possession was a vintage black bowling shirt that I got on a trip to New York City at the Antique Boutique. The name "Stan" is stitched above the pocket, it identifies the wearer as an "alley master" and I have kept it with me over the course of about 27 different closets. On Thursday night, it saw the light of day again. I'm pretty sure I hadn't worn it in 10 years. But dammit, I had an occasion. My upstairs neighbor is in a bowling league and a few of the members were tragically unable to attend that night's match. I was the filler. The ringer. The right girl at the right place in the right shirt.

I am not much of a bowler and I'm pretty sure I have never scored more than 100 in a game. That's okay though because the people watching was ON FIRE at the bowling alley! How about guys in denim shorts? (it is really cold out). What if those same guys had their cellphones attached to special carrying cases on the belts of those jean shorts? That's great because you know that those guys are reachable, even if they are bowling. The phone is right there. You can call whenever. They might say yellow instead of hello when they answer.

One of the players on my team was nicknamed The Heat (so stated on the computerized bowling scorecard). He had bright red hair and threw the ball down the lane with insane velocity. Each time he did this I screamed, "THE HEAT!!!" whether he guttered or not. Another guy in the league was bowling in a viking helmet but I did not get to talk to him.

The particular team I was playing on was said to be the goat of the league: last place, the Montreal Expos of thursday night bowling teams. This meant that we were not able to earn enough strikes to get a coupon for free tater tots at the snack bar. We had to buy our own, which was humiliating. None the less, we had spirit. Over the course of the evening, I got the impression that this bowling league wasn't so much about becoming the next Dick Weber. The bowling was a thin charade masking a heterosexual mating ritual and hence the reason the teams needed the right ratios of men and women. So I hope I wasn't annoying anyone when I pointed out that everyone was just talking and people forgot to go when it was their turn.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


My fun and exciting weekend included traveling to Bend, OR to see the National Cyclocross championships. Here, pictured above, is a photo I took of the women's collegiate race. I think this rider is Ashley James. And that's the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers behind her, playing their hearts out in the cold and keeping the beat for all the racers.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Staying tuned...

There's something stirring in Yellow Springs. Hoping it isn't a psych out.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


This is what the Willamette River looks like right now. This is waiting-for-the-L-in-Chicago cold. Bitter, windy where-is-my-hat-dammit cold. And so I am hibernating and planning to cook stew and just not doing a lot of the exciting things that you may have come to expect from me. Because it is too dark and blustery for that.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Honey, I'm home.

Okay well sorry for that extended absence. A whole hell of a lot has been going on, a little travel to the midwest, and this and that. Okay, well, then let's sally forth.