Sunday, December 21, 2008

crazy cold!

We had the worst ice storm in the last eight years I've lived here on Friday and it sucks. All day I listened to the trees in my yard and in the park across the street fall apart and hit the earth like . . . like tree bombs. They sound louder than you think. But they don't explode like bombs.

We have enough limbs down that the bonfire we have in the spring is going to be the best ever. The city only allows small fires, but they won't let me have chickens either, so I think I get to choose to have at least one of them.

It was windy today, so ice has been flinging off the trees. It's like the trees in Wizard of Oz that throw apples except today they are chucking ice at our windows. Trees!!

But see, not all trees are evil. Lookit this cute Doug Fir behind me. Best tree we've had in a long time. Only $35, which is good for these parts. And look at my hands, too: total blur! I had no idea I was that fast! Really, though, I'm terrible.
Saddest Christmas dog ever. Cath: "Put your ears up, Smokey! Put your ears up!"

And garden Buddha just takes it all in. Nothing fazes him.

Oh, and the house I lived in during law school burned down. Thanks to Travis for sending me the cell phone snap here. Cath hated that place, but it was my last bachelor pad, and I loved it, even though it rained in the bedroom. Seriously. My landlord's house was worse, so I didn't think it was my place to complain. One of the great bathtubs was in there, too. I took a lot of baths in there one summer on account of breaking my wrist during (well, actually before) a mtn bike race, and I always swore "I am going to keep taking baths after my cast comes off" and I haven't taken one since. Maybe it's time to start listing resolutions for 2009 . . .

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yay, my favorite music from this year!

Ok, my ten favorite records that I first heard in 2008:

10. Volume 1, She and Him. One of the cutest videos of the year is for their single off this record. I was surprised just how nice a listen this whole thing is.

9. Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel, Atlas Sound. Even when I am trying to be quiet and calm and push all distracting thoughts out of my mind, the song "Quarantined" from this album is still playing in my head, and that's so cool.

8. Vivian Girls, s/t. I really need to listen to this record more often. It gives me pep. It's only like 30 minutes or whatever, so maybe I could get through it every day, like a yoga routine.
Beach House!
7. Devotion, Beach House. I didn't pick this one up at first because, to be honest, I thought to myself "you only really need one Beach House album." And then I saw them sing a few songs on the "Juan's Basement" show on and realized that you only really need two Beach House albums. Fortunately, they have two albums.

6. For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver. Somewhere I read that this is a 2007 release. But I held out until late 2008 when I was at a party and they just played this album over and over on repeat. By like the fourth time, I said "hey, is this Bon Iver? They're good." That's how quick I am.

The woman who is Grouper. I forget her name.

5. Dragging a Dead Deer up a Hill, Grouper. There are a couple of tracks on here I skip but that's more because the good tracks are so lovely.

4. Microcastles, Deerhunter. They don't do much of anything that feels new here, but they wear a lot of different hats and look dashing in all of them.
Department of Eagles: record cover of the year

3. In Ear Park, Dept. of Eagles. What a crime that this album is getting almost no attention. I think it's as likable as the Fleet Foxes thing. They need a tie-in on Gossip Girl or something.

2. The Fleet Foxes record, I forget what it's called. It's that record that sounds so good but that you are sure is going to wear out through repeated listens but then doesn't. It's almost a guilty pleasure because so many people like it so easily--I'm used to only liking music that requires some effort to like, but these songs seem too easy. I'm so surprised how little backlash there is against this band--usually there would be a hipster uprising against such sweet-sounding and accessible stuff, but no one has the heart, I guess.

Animal Collective!

1. Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective. It won't be out until January, and I've only heard three leaked tracks from it, but still. It's so good, it has already dominated 2008 for me. To be honest, I'm putting it here because I'm worried the album is going to be a let-down. The live versions of all the songs are so good and I played them so much this last year, but the leaked songs seem de-fanged or something. But the songs, I can't explain it. It's the closest thing to Loveless I've ever had since Loveless.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jim Harrison

Handed in my final essay for my class in Surrealism today. I can't think of any two classes I've taken yet that, combined, had as much work: (1) half-hour presentation; (2) 6 page essay on Aime Cesaire; (3) a tiny book of poetry; (4) 13 page essay on Frank Stanford; and (5) 13 page essay on Jim Harrison. That's a lot of weekends of sending the family somewhere fun while I sit in the library. But that was fun, too--just a lonely kind of fun.
Aime Cesaire

For posterity, then, the titles of my written output this semester:

1) Found Mythologies: The Imaginative Unity of Aime Cesaire's "Lost Body"
2) Le Petit Surrealiste: Poesie et les Amusements de Beaute Convulsive Pour l'Enfant Sensible
3) The Blackest Joke: Frank Stanford's Surreal Ontology
4) Surrounding Nothing: Zen Dialogue with the Deep Image in the Poetry of Jim Harrison

Tough class, but so cool that stuff, that Surreal stuff.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

When Teachers Party

A small gathering of English teachers (with a few select teachers of other subjects) holding a holiday gathering at one of our city's finer/ only used book stores.

Mr. Jankowski, rising guitar phenom.

Ms. Valencic, not the easiest photo to get.

Ms. Venderly, fitting as much Peru into her head as will fit before December 21.

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