heavy rotation in 2007

January 22, 2008

On a big ass freelance project this week so I’ll be keeping things short here for the next several days. I think mostly posting lists and today it’s about what songs made it onto my 2007 end of year play list:

  • Peter Bjorn and John – Up Against the Wall
  • Beirut – A Call to Arms/Nantes
  • St Vincent – Marry Me
  • Spoon – The Ghost of Your Lingers
  • Radiohead – Reckoner
  • Lykke Li – Little Bit (This video is so damn sexy it makes me really wish I had someone to make out with.)
  • LCD Sound System – Someone Great
  • New Young Pony Club – Ice Cream
  • Shout Out Louds – Impossible
  • The National – Slow Show
  • New Pornographers –Myriad Harbour
  • M.I.A. – Paper Planes
  • Rilo Kiley – The Moneymaker
  • Okkervil River – Our Life is not a Movie or Maybe
  • Jens Lekman – Postcard to Nina
  • PJ Harvey – Silence
  • Panda Bear – Comfy in Nautica
  • Shocking Pinks – How am I not Myself
  • Andrew Bird – Heretics
  • Yeasayer – 2080
  • Lucinda Williams – Are You Alright
  • The Sharp Things – Cruel Thing
  • Iron and Wine – Flightless Bird, American Mouth
  • Caribou (Four Tet Remix) – Melody Day
  • Apples in Stereo – Same Old Drag
  • Hot Chip – Ready for the Floor
  • Glass Candy – Beatific
  • Calvin Harris – Merrymaking at My Place
  • Sleeping States – Rivers
  • Feist – Limit to Your Love
  • Wilco – On and On and On
  • Radiohead – Nude
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short list of thanks

January 18, 2008

A few things I’m grateful for this week:

  • My friend Toby for helping me get my clipless pedals and shoes set up on bike, and then helping me replace a bunch of watch batteries.
  • The woman who opened up a checkout line for me last night at Fred Meyer.
  • An accessible and approachable CEO.
  • My work cubicle being improved by the addition of 3 extra feet and a new space heater.
  • Losing about 10 lbs since the beginning of December 07.
  • Friends who get hold of me to see movies.
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thinking about things

January 16, 2008

Last night I went with my friend, A., to a Colson Whitehead talk, sponsored by a really wonderful local non-profit, Literary Arts. This winter our book group read Whitehead’s latest, Apex Hides the Hurt. It was thin on plot, but there was some brilliant writing, just brilliant, and interesting commentary on race.

My thoughts in reflection of the evening:

  • After the talk, A. and I saw Whitehead in the restaurant next door. He was shorter than I thought he looked from where we sitting in the balcony.
  • Whitehead is a very entertaining speaker. His talk was accompanied by lots of laughter. He began with quoting the beginning of Steve martin’s ‘The Jerk’.
  • Looking around the audience I couldn’t help but be reminded I live in one of the whitest cities in the US (I hate this fact). Later I wondered if the ease of laughter in response to Whitehead’s race related jokes was because there were less than a handful of African American’s in the crowd and thus no reason for all us whities to feel self-conscious.
  • A. and I sat behind a group of about 7 women who’d I’d guess were in their mid to late 60’s, maybe 70’s. At least 3 of them were futzing around with their iPhones before the talk. I would love to make something a 70 year old could use without thinking about it.
  • I don’t much like riding my bike in this cold weather, but I’m rocking on my clipless shoes, even if I look like a complete dork when I’m at a restaurant, passing Colson Whitehead in the hallway and saying ‘wonderful talk’.
  • I really wish Portland were much more intellectually stimulating and/or I could meet more New York transplants who are bored by the sleepy and outdoorsy nature of the city’s populace.

the old gang

January 15, 2008

It’s nice to see a number of Tanque folks back at their blogs, or back at them more regularly.  Shout outs to Pat, Jim, Hope and Licia.  Blog on.

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shoulda never said clipped

January 15, 2008

Ok, I’m being dramatic. I didn’t really almost get clipped on the way home, but I had a guy try to turn right on me from my left side as I was moving into the left lane and a woman on her fucking cell phone abruptly swerve in and out of the bike lane about 6 feet in front of me. This was after getting my 5th flat since October, leaving me to walk about 16 blocks in the pouring rain to spend another $50 on a better tire and a new tube, something I just did that yesterday for the back tire. Oh, and I wiped out on some train tracks where DOT has diverted the multi-use path I use to go back and forth to work.

On the very soggy walk to REI to fix my flat, I was indulging in anger and indignation, but I did try for a moment to empathize with all the folks who were out there in this miserable shit, without any raingear or a bike they could afford to get fixed and ride back to their homes. Homeless folks, runaways and addicts trying to score. I had about 2 minutes of compassion.

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now for something much less personal, aka clipped

January 14, 2008

I really should say clipless even if it doesn’t make sense to the lay person, because the bike shoes that actually clip into the their pedals are called clipless shoes. I think it has something to do with distinguishing this technology from the old toe clips and straps. Anyway, I’m now attaching my feet to my bike and I rode around a bunch yesterday without falling over. Looks like I’m off to a good start. This is all part of my intention to extend my riding from work days to at least one day on the weekend.

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anything could happen

January 13, 2008

Just got back from taking RU to the airport. It’s too early to be up on a Sunday morning, but here I am at 6:45am, headphones on so as not to disturb my neighbors, and lights off as a nod to the dark and misty beginning of another winter morning in Portland. Being awake in this dark feels like I’m cheating on the daylight a little, but sometimes I feel so vulnerable these days that I need some cover to go about the business of really being alive.

Something happened or started happening a couple months ago, maybe this summer, probably longer, that revealed to me I can travel down a different path than the one I’ve been on, which feels incredibly corny to say, and I immediately want to edit that out, but I think the point is to leave it in. It’s about the intention to wake up in the morning and say, “I wonder what’s going to happen today?” To be aware of my longings and desires and insecurities and indignations and fears without being attached to doing anything about them. To not feel threatened when nothing is happening in my life. To see my being uncomfortable in the world as invitation to be open and free and loving and compassionate.

But I’m afraid the rug’s gonna have to get pulled out from under my feet to really try out this whole path, and I’m very afraid that rug pulling out thing means RU and I really have to end our relationship. I know I said we broke up about a year ago, and while that’s true, the fact is we’re still in love. And even if we’re not technically together, we are still very much involved. And it’s very possible that we may finally be at the point of either committing or ending. Really ending. Ending, ending. Over.

I would be at a loss over that ending.

I was talking to a friend about falling in love, a topic that’s hard enough to tackle without lapsing into cliche or cynicism, but may be even harder for me to do right now without risking revealing my heartbreak. And half the time I’m not even sure I’m willing to admit my heart is broken, let alone allow even a friend to see that tenderness.

But I want to take that risk here. Falling in love with RU was such a joy and still being in love with RU, with all of its blemishes, makes for a richer experience of the world. For us, love was this process of self revelation (still is), but neither one of us may have been up for it. Nor did we have had lots of practice to rely on when revelation got uncomfortable. But that didn’t matter – I think because we had so much yearning. The funny thing is that after that first year we both started discovering self awareness is not particularly sexy or exciting, and it has the potential to bring up lots of fucking insecurity, which is hard not to hate and hard not to want to crush, and such urges are hard on a relationship. RU and I had a pretty imperfect relationship, but I love how ambitious we were about love. Ambitious in the way a record or book or movie can be, even if its deeply flawed.

So, I see this path and I’m reluctantly on it because none of the old distractions work any more, even if I keep trying some of them. And I want to say out loud, so to speak, I wish I could be on this path with RU as my partner, not because it would be safer, but because I love knowing her and being known by her. And I would rather know my life with her in it.

There it is. All the things I’ve been holding on to so tightly but not wanted to say out loud for the last year.

I remember so many mornings waking up early with RU and she would say, “Are you ready to greet the day?” Well, the sun’s out now and I’m not done in by all this. Just sad and scared and tired. Good morning, Sunday.

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silver screen

January 11, 2008

I’m going to check out some of these flicks, although calling a a film the best experience you’ve ever had at a movie in your entire life (see the last line of Grindhouse) leaves this reader a little suspect of the writer’s reviews. I mean what about the experience of seeing a movie with a date you’re smitten with, and you touch legs, or hold hands, or she whispers something in your ear. I like that experience a lot. Exaggerated commentary almost always hits a nerve for me. Also, I’d remove Talk to Me from the list. Forgettable and predictable.

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free music thursday

January 11, 2008

This week is a track from an electronic project, called Canary Prince, that Matt and I spent a little time on about 5 years ago. The working title for the track is called song 8.

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making even a small difference

January 9, 2008

Following up on my so many questions post . . . last year in an effort to create a little meaning in my life I decided to explore volunteer and service opportunities. I did some set up and strike at PICA’s Time Based Art Festival and learned about theater geeks, I did some data entry for NARAL and mostly learned about the lives of the two women who’s office I happened to be sitting outside of, and then I landed on my regular gig, a monthly envelope stuffing for the BTA. Besides being a cause near and dear to my heart, I like this gig because the activity is super organized and the group always gets things done; plus it gets me on my bike on Saturdays, which is a struggle in this weather.

Tomorrow I’m participating for the first time in one of my company’s days of service. We’ll be contributing to the flood relief effort for the folks of Vernonia. Guess I’m getting my onus on. Hello onus.

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