kind of a recounting of my friday night

January 26, 2013

I went for a walk this evening and it was warmer than its been all month and it almost smelled like spring. And on the way back from marching around I saw the moon and it was almost full. I was thinking — possibilities are every where. I walked with my ipod and ear buds in, which is something I hardly ever do, and I sang along with some of my favorite songs and there was about a block or two where I looked at all the trees and the sky and street lights peeking through the branches, and I felt like “holy fuck,” I’m so lucky to be alive and experiencing this very moment, and I almost cried. I mean my eyes teared up and I couldn’t catch my breath. Later on my walk, I spiraled out into some weird anxiety. But I have been all over the map today, in terms of feelings. MTB said that maybe I was dropping the cage around my heart. I hadn’t thought I’d caged my heart in, but I could see where that could be true, too. Anyway, when I got home, I made a tuna fish sandwich with potato chips on it and looked at cartoons in the New Yorker and then I spent the next 5 hours recording. Oh my god, I had forgot how much I love recording and how fucking insane it is. I recorded my guitar track at least 10 times and there’s still some flubs. At some point I poured a double whiskey, which I couldn’t finish all the way. This is the first time I’ve used this Tascam digital 8 track I bought this fall, meaning there was a new gear learning curve. Process, process, process and practice. Somewhere in the midst of the 8th or 9th guitar take, I became aware of how willing I am to be in the process of practicing when it comes to music and I hoped I’d remember the moment so I could apply to every other part of my life that I want to better at, like writing and running and shooting hoops and being less opinionated and not being sarcastic and being better at holding space for other folks hard times and hard feelings. And now it is 1:30am and I should be asleep.

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weather as metaphor or not

October 29, 2012

I switched out the tires on my Surly (bike) to something a little less wide. It is amazing what a difference its making. I know I’m not riding like the wind, but I feel like it. Which feels amazing. I am almost positive I cut 5 minutes off my commute to work this morning. And I passed everyone on the Hawthorne bridge without much of a sweat. Which made me feel like a badass. Which also feels amazing.

It is strangely warm and I wish it would just stay this way. Warm + rain is soooo much nicer than cold + rain. But nothing is permanent. Right?! So I am just trying to experience it without getting attached. Also, one cannot nurture the weather, which I am only saying because I realized last night how much I’ve blogged about the weather when I mean something else; whether its intentional or not, the weather has often been my go to metaphor. For instance, the first year after my dad died I talked a lot about hating the weather. But I kinda hated everything for a little bit. Anyway, this brief mention of the weather is not a metaphor, although the unexpectedness of warm and sunshine that we’ve had this fall is kinda metaphorical for me. Ha! Maybe I just had the wrong metaphor, which was impermanence, when I started this post, as opposed to the right one, which was surprise, that I’m ending on.

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more weather and music

September 27, 2012

Gloves and headband on the ride in this morning, but my ears get cold super easily.

The sunrise from the tram is always amazing. I know I’ve said this before here, but views from the tram never get old. In my heart, its always “oh my god,” that is so “beautiful” or “amazing” or “stunning.” And that fact is amazing too. That every day I come to work, I get the the chance to be a little blown away.

I have been playing music again. Did I already mention that a little while back? If I did I didn’t stick with actually doing it, as in playing. Sticking with it means actually setting aside time to practice, as opposed to practicing on a whim. I think I’ve been partly inspired by my 14 y.o. neighbor, a pretty talented viola player, who, on warmer days when the the windows are open, I often get to hear practicing, sometimes at 6:30 in the morning. It’s kind of lovely to hear him play, and also just the littlest bit sad because it taps into an ancient memory I didn’t even know I had of hearing my dad practice his cello. My friend, Howie, once asked me to write about my first memory and I tried really hard to of think of what it was, without any luck, but if I had to guess, I would imagine that it likely involves hearing one of my parents practicing. I’m grateful to have grown up in a house with music and to also have music in the genes. Even when I go through long stretches of not playing much, there are almost always songs running through my mind: hymns, jingles, pop and rock from all the years of AM and then FM radio I listened to, and stuff I’ve made up. I make up lots of ridiculous songs on the spur of the moment, songs for the cats, songs about doing the dishes, a song about being a cry baby. One of the most gratifying songs I’ve written, is a song for Lowen, RU’s nephew, because I’ve been singing it to him since he was a baby and now at 2 1/2 he can sing back the last line to me.


like a heat wave (like how it sounds in that song by martha and the vandellas)

August 17, 2012

Holy moly it’s hot. And I’m not complaining, because I have been craving a heat wave, which is maybe both selfish and thoughtless, considering the drought and extreme temps in big chunks of the rest of the country.

Does the weather out here make me  meteorologically privileged? If so it seems like a temporary state, given the relentless nature of Portland springs (which last at least 5 months) and the fact that I was wearing a wool sweater a little more than a month ago. During so much of the year, I dream of this kind of crazy summer heat weather. Day dream about it, to be more specific. I’ll be riding my bike wearing gloves and a rain jacket and a headband over my ears, and I’ll fantasize about the impossibility of riding my bike wearing just a t-shirt and shorts. Every year it seems unreal that it ever happened — that it was this hot, that I slept under only a thin sheet, that I put a fan in the window, that I watered my garden wearing my boxers, that I didn’t have to always carry rain gear and extra ear warmers in my pannier. And last year it kinda didn’t happen. It got warm, but there wasn’t an actual heat wave. I think the same is true of the summer before. But I get desperate for it.

I think I talk about the weather much more than I did when I lived in Indiana. I said something to a friend a couple weeks ago about being bummed when we were having all this overcast grey bullshit and he said “you do know we live in a rain forest.” I think he meant it as a be here now statement, and I am open to that reminder. But he’s also from Alaska and he will probably never long for midwest summer heat or small country roads or little clumps of trees or all the things I’ve gone on and on about over the last several years. Sometimes when I talk about the weather I am talking about something else deeper or more poignant but I don’t want to appear vulnerable or silly or expose whatever is going on the inside, so I go on about rain or cloudy skies or sunshine. I want to meet someone named Sunshine so I can say her name over and over and trick myself into feeling better when all it does it spit and rain.

I listened to Bill McKibben last night.  I was driving some where, which made me feel kinda jerkish given it was McKibben talking, and it was getting near dusk and it was really beautiful out and he was talking about the end of the world as we know it, more or less.. And part of me wanted to turn him off, not because I don’t believe him, but because I really wish it weren’t true, i.e. global warming and impending catastrophe; plus I have a strong ass streak of avoidance. Also, it was so beautiful out and thinking that this beauty won’t exist anymore was absolutely-please make it impossible-heartbreaking. It made me think that turning back global warming is like fighting human nature, not just because its hard to get people to change and big oil has more money than God and politics are corrupt and China and India are buying our coal and we’re always trying to figure out how to add more lanes to our highways and we fly every where and there’s whole herds of people chanting “drill, baby, drill.” Not just because of all that and all the other variations of things like that, that are causing the world to irreversibly heat up, but because global warming is pretty much like death and us humans aren’t so good at dealing with death. We have an intellectual understanding of it, at best, or at least that’s true for the vast majority of people, and even with an intellectual understanding, it’s still pretty abstract and something that happens in the future. Death, and the finality and changeableness of it, doesn’t seem to really sink in until we are actually dying or dead. Even as we are drowning it’s unbelievable that we will actually drown; so even as the globe warms up, it’s unreal that it will actually get fried. Sometimes I think the problem with common naysayers (common meaning folks who aren’t big oil or auto lobbyists or work for big oil or the auto industry or similar kinds of people) is that that they have a much deeper streak avoidance that I do and they are just super entrenched in the unreality that we can kill the planet.

All this to say I don’t know to love this heat wave and not feel sad about what all these hot temperatures mean.

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thank you sunshine

September 14, 2009

The weather was insanely beautiful Friday and Saturday. Everyone kept saying it was like summer, but I thought it felt like fall. A stunning fall. But still fall. It has to do with the timing of dusk an dawn and the shorter days. God I love the sun. I really do. Make me wonder if I should move to LA, or the Dalles.

I should not be up. Not now at 1am on Sunday night. I don’t even know why I’m doing this to myself except that I can, which seems very 14 of me. Especially because I’m staying up in spite of the things I know I gotta do tomorrow and I’m doing things like watching the Beyonce video from the MTV music awards.  I hate that Single Ladies song, but Jesus, Beyonce can dance. She can dance like a mother fucker. Last time I saw a woman dance like that — dance all powerful and hot at the same time was Rosie Perez in the opening credits for Do the Right Thing, which is one of my favorite movies. Rosie did the whole shadow boxing thing to Fight the Power. She killed.

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