Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shake Rats

Quick trip to the coast last week. Did you know there's a small town in Washington called Aloha? Right next to Pacific Beach. The cloud scene was stunning:

Took the dogs for some much needed running/seagull chasing. Such a regal snout:

And this coastal amanita was just sitting there, all giant and crazy looking, on the path to the beach. As big as a baby's head. Perfectly sized for an oceanic gnome to sit upon..

Cheating the weather; leaving just before the sky filled up with grey.

Back at home, something exciting showed up in the mail!


Live Leaves, a document of the final Unwound tour in 2001. Up for pre-order here. Letterpressed by yours truly at Community Print. Final note: Will someone please buy the Aloha Tavern? Its CHEAP.

'If You're Into Grunge'

You guys, I think I just found the best thing ever, right here on my way to bed. I'm not sure which weird vein of internet boredom and sleuthing led me to this; a review of a 7-inch I recorded in Calvin's basement and put out on K Records when I was 19. Behold: Plastique!

"The LP (ed. note: its actually a 3-song 7-inch) is pretty good... if you're into 90's grunge. The Plastique sound replicates a very stoned Nirvana with a girl lead. Their lyrics are yummy, the sound/quality of the sound sits just where it should, and the  only thing this album leaves me with is a thought of, "I want more." "De-Real" is almost non-existent and unimportant compared to "Xanax, baby" and "the K-I-L-L"... so why they named their album (ed. note: 7-inch!) after it is beyond me. But the songs make up for what "De-Real" lacks: catchy phrases, and upbeat music that makes you pretty sure this band needs some Zoloft."

Polaroid of the artists needing mind drugs? Lucky 7 basement, 1995. 

Perfect review! Yes, perhaps we did need mood help. Also: note to the reviewer.. I did go on to play a song called 'I Want More', so I hope your wishes are satisfied! I do what I can (paint things, play music), with what I have (skills in letterpress, making flyers, goofing around on guitar leads), where I am: Olympia, Washington! (Ok, technically I'm in Kamilche, or Shelton, or Mason County. No matter.)

And today I'll be jamming with two youngsters. Excited to see what happens. My guitar skills are.. rusty? Dormant. Volcano-style.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Because its never too late to be a high school goth kid:

'God! Stop taking my picture. I'm going dancing in Seattle. Whatever'.

Or a gnarly Sound Dude...

Gnarly Sound Dude knows how to party! Look at all of those laminates.

And sweet, dumb Olive is going as a potted cactus. Cat-cus! Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Jazzy Enjoy

Well, well! Look what the internet brought me today.. I've made it onto Thurston's jazzmaster! Tae Won Yu, did you take this picture?

High honor.

Speaking of guitars, someone who likes me very much gave me a Nano Muff pedal for my birthday. It sounds sooooo gooooood with the SG and the Marshall 50Watt. 'Creamy' is one of my least favorite adjectives, particularly in relation to musical instruments, but yeah.. its quite smooth. Super sustain! Now I can really work on my Ron Asheton impersonation, or even 'Who's That Lady'-era Ernie Isley!

And now its off to work. I've pulled six shifts this week! I've muddled through god knows how many pounds of limes. I'm taking next week off: too much jobby-job and not enough art/music gives me a case of the sads. Oh! One more souvenir from this week - my contribution to our community's 40 Days of Kindness campaign for the staff and patrons of downtown Olympia's Planned Parenthood. They have to put up with the moping pro-lifers who park in front of their building w/ the mutilated fetus billboards, so we take turns showering the office with gifts. I made a last dash to the neighborhood flower farm for dahlias:

Thank you Planned Parenthood! Love, Olympia.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hives of Scum and Villainy

Drove around town yesterday trying to track down old punk houses and photograph them before they're all gone/remodled. The infamous Lucky 7 house, where I saw a million great shows in high school and then moved into when I was 20, is boarded up and slated for demolition. Already gone are the Haunted House, House of Doom, and plenty of others. Here's what I've collected so far:

ABC House. Played my first show ever there, in a little band called Skylab. I was 18 or 19.

Lucky 7. This house holds the most memories for me. Shows, friends, craziness. Bangs played our first show in the basement. I think we played with Bikini Kill.. man, my memory is so terrible. 15 years ago!

Lucky 7 1/2, the punk house next door. Now, an empty lot.

Phoenix House. I tumbled down the basement stairs 11 years ago and (upon collecting myself) suggested to J-Tro that he kiss me. He fell for it!

Red House, recently remodeled and up for rent. $1500/month! Here's a pic Tim Green has of the real Red House, in its early-90's prime:

Tim and his brother on the porch, broken cars in the driveway.

Central House. This was a tough one to find.. I followed my old skateboarding path backwards from the Puget Pantry payphone (we had no phone) to the house. I can't believe this place is still standing! It even looks fancy compared to its state of disrepair in the 90's. I lived with six dudes. Plastique played our first show in the basement.

1611 4th Ave. house, still going strong. Best basement!

Ski Lodge house, probably the most stately of the whole bunch, and not just because its right next to the Capitol Building. I can still hear Mike Elvin on the porch shouting 'Hello, Senator!' to any man in a suit and tie who walked by.

I'll be taking more pictures as my friends help me track down addresses of places that are much more hazy in the recessed synapses of my youth. Bus Stop House, Glass House, Mill House, Taco Bell House...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I Don't Wanna Go

Been listening to this jam. Its a good one.

Friday, September 21, 2012


20 years ago today:

My 17th birthday. First guitar, a bright red cheap-o Yamaha from local music store MUSIC6000. Oversized striped shirt, ankh necklace(!), tight black jeans, and I'm guessing Converse low-tops or fake Doc Martens. We used to drive up to Seattle in Karla's beat-up old Subaru hatchback and hit the University District: high school kids on a mission for records, tshirts, weird jewelry. Blasting Mudhoney's You Got It/Keep It Outta My Face. The best part of this picture? As my friend Adam pointed out.. I didn't even know how to put the strap on the right way. How does this thing work?!

Today, I'm much the same. I almost faltered when someone asked me how old I was: "Twenty-Seven". Ha! I tried the mantra 'Treat Yourself'.. very difficult for a Virgo, I think. So I went into town and bought so much delicious food and bevs for my friends who are coming over for the end-of-summer bbq tomorrow. And then I met up with one of my favorite friends, Michelle, and ate seaweed salad and crab and spicy tuna and sake. I always learn something from Michelle. Tonight? Just bummin' around Kamilche. Feels good.

P.S. Thanks Mom and Dad for the guitar!

Monday, September 17, 2012

They Live By Nightlife

I love my 8-hour-a-week jobby-job. In fact, I'm about to head down there right now.. I will muddle, strain, shake, and garnish just for you. On top of that, I will bring you heaping plates of delicious food. When I got out of the 'service industry' (see: working super cool jobs for my friends that own local businesses.. just got bummed/exhausted by humans along the way) about 8 years ago, I said 'NEVER AGAIN'. And I had a good run! But there is something so special about this little room that I lord over twice a week. It is attached to a bustling and bright restaurant, but over in my tiny area, its all glow-y and sweet. Like a clubhouse? Or a little orb of comfort swathed in dark pink light.

 Oh, hi! Welcome.

Quality Burrito = Land of Fantastic Signage.

And my own scratchy mix of upper and lowercase! Gonna re-do this whole sucker in the next few weeks for fall/winter.

Fresh fruit. Yes! This is a Rose's-Lime-Free-Zone. That little muddler has caused me some grief, but acupuncture and eating basil all the time helps.

QB, built upon the ashes of China Town, a restaurant staple of 4th Ave. since the 60's, and a mysterious/crippling drinking spot for my friends back in the day. Always the last ditch, why not? These little pagoda lights are the last souvenirs.

Pretty sweet. Pretty and sweet.

If you're ever in downtown Oly, come find me. If you happen to land in the QB Lounge during my 8-hour workweek, I promise to treat you right!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Attack of the Tots

Have you ever had sodium-induced vertigo? Its a real weird time. The last big event hit me after a night of reckless gorging on Tater Tots®. I was in Portland, Oregon at a friend's house, and for some reason all of us (normally food-sensible folks in our 30's and 40's) decided to pretend we were 21 and consume ridiculous amounts of the barrel-shaped potato units. And the next morning, I stood up and promptly fell over. The spells came and went for a week or so.

I'm usually pretty careful about food. Things I love the most include wild salmon, mustard greens, brown rice, seaweed, avocado, and yams. I don't dine out too often (I like to cook), and if I do, you'll usually find me at the Casino ingesting magical Dungeness Crab and other shellfish delights. Its what grows around here. I also calculated that I managed to put away 11 pounds of blueberries in the past month. Aside from two berry crisps and two batches of blueberry muffins, I take full responsibility for the execution of so many berries, as the freezer is now devoid of their presence. Kefir + Frozen Bluebs + Blender = my daily breakfast. I'm guessing I'm extremely un-oxidized.

But for all of my good behavior, there are moments of convenience and terrible decisions are made. On friday, in Portland (again! something about PDX makes me stray into dangerous deep-fry territory), I was short on time and tall on hunger and had to cram something into my gullet pre-show. Bar food was had. A tuna melt and fries were my dinner. Breakfast the next morning consisted of a croissant w/ soysage, something I would never, ever, neverever eat at home! Today I looked in the mirror upon rising and I have strangely aged about twenty years. There are puffy sodium bags under my eyes and my skin is all parched. I look, as they say, like shit.

So its back to clean-jeans territory for me. There are touches of vertigo floating around me this morning. Lean my head back and to the right, say, to look at a bird flying by, and the world spins. Its not fun. I guess its a thing? Time to go on a hydration binge.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Meme America

Today I was hanging with my new awesome studio landlady and printmaker extraordinaire, Jami Heinricher, when we somehow landed on the subject of 'business people'. And how we're both artists, highly driven and organized types that lie just outside-the-border of Going For It. (Whatever that means. Its actually a terrible term I picked up from an older, arrogant man when I was 22 years old. "Sarah, I've often wondered, I mean.. why haven't you really gone for it?". This was in relation to my work as a guitar player/frontperson; the man owned a renowned record label and I SUPPOSE was backhanding me some sort of 'compliment'. Complete with awesome age/gender power play = good job dude. I'll always remember that I am Going For It Every Day, on my own terms, thanks to you.) Ok.. sorry, long aside! I really need to start exercising more, it tamps down that sort of thing.

Jami and I talked about our mutual love for the making of things, and not for the 'business', i.e. the promoting, selling, shipping, organizing, databasing, whole dry world of being in charge of one's own product. And how, as intelligent self-made people, we are acutely aware of what a foolish biz decision it is. To just be the artist. To be a slave to nothing except your own free time, and your own perfectionistic worry of wasting any minute of it.

And she pointed out how I kind-of accidentally invented a proto-meme. With Reading is Sexy, an enigma that I am so, so grateful for (and major props to my business loving, savvy, awesome pals at for making it happen for me since 2005!). These pictures are just a small, small sampling of the bootleggery that is available all aboard the S.S. World Wide Web. I used to care a lot. Don't anymore. Just happy that I get to paint pictures of owls and listen to music and play music and run my time on my own terms. I think that's GOING FOR IT, at least it is in my book

ed note: I actually went as an 'Artist' for Halloween in 5th grade. I wore weird tights, a giant paint-splattered shirt AND a beret. I've been dedicated to my craft for years!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


We did it! The surfboard SOLD! Last week in Malibu. Nobody told me! During a late-night email sweep before bed, I scrolled down to find a blurb tacked onto an entirely different message. A brief dance of joy and glass of wine were had. Victory!

This TOTALLY makes up for me having to call the cops on Angry Bicycle Man tazing (twice!) Hopped-Up Shirtless Bro at the artesian well a few nights ago.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yacht Club

This is no time to hide out indoors. Even as I write this I am nervously looking out the window, typing as fast as I can. Every minute left of summer counts! Yesterday I FINALLY got to go sailing. I've never been on a sailboat, despite a small pocket of sailors sprinkled throughout my family tree. The wind was whipping, the skies were blue, so I called my pal Pete and it was ON:

The Vagabond 14', docked in Nikki's front yard.

Cap'n Pete and first mate J-Tro, preparing for our voyage.

And then, sails up, we were at sea. The wind was crazy, I was nervous, but luckily Pete grew up in New England and is an expert seaman!

Perfect, perfect day.

Pete checking the clouds for squalls.

I got put in the 'Splash Seat'. Absolutely soaked, head-to-toe, after our maiden voyage!

The Savage Sailors of the Salish Sea! My friends are so inspiring. So Pete can sail and build beautiful houses and rip on guitar, J-Tro can climb mountains and identify trees and rip on guitar, Nikki can cut pieces of black paper into beautiful imagery, Greg (the Vagabond's owner) can rappel from giant maple trees with a chainsaw and ALSO paint crazy paintings. NW punks = ruling it.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Deep Thoughts

Today I met a fuzzy caterpillar in the forest. I said 'Hello, caterpillar friend'. Then, I paused to wonder:

(not my photo. forgot my camera.)

Can caterpillars hear? I leaned in and shouted 'HELLO FRIEND!', and still, nothing. So upon my return home I asked the magic oracle, aka Professor Google, what the deal was. Here's the deal: It is difficult to tell if a caterpillar can hear a sound or not, and we know of no caterpillars that make any noise other than chewing. The small article I found also goes on to say that once they transform into moths, studies of nerve responses have shown that they can 'perceive sound'. What does that mean? And who is doing these nerve response tests on moths??

So many questions today.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Manifest Fondue Pots

This summer in Kamilche has been, without a doubt, K-I-L-L-E-R. Refer to earlier posts in June and July to hear me complain about our region's late bloom of blue skies/sunny paradise.. but once summer finally started here in mid-August, its just been a show-stopping/no-holds-barred heaven. Allow me to illustrate:

The Wild Wolves of Kamilche, Washington! Our daily woods-walk meditation.

And Dear Sweet Universe, thank you for gifting me this new art studio. Absurdly dreamy.

Today: Front yard Puget Sound magic!

Last night: Ringo the Destroyer yawning at the Magic Hour. He could care less!

Oh.. sorry! ANOTHER CRAZY STUDIO SHOT! (its just too perfect).

Wednesday: This was so fun. Fed X killed it. I was rather Sloppy Joe on bass, but 4 brand new songs and one practice for a show? C'mon, cut me some slack.

And when I tilt my head skyward, its all an infinite sea of crushing blue, framed by the just-bitten pre-autumn leaves, preparing for their all-too-soon (at least to this 'adult' lover of summer; as a kid/teen/early adult I had nothing but love for dark dark winter) fall descent. It gives me all sorts of confusing feelings. When the seasons change. My skin is sensitive and I well-up at day-to-day sights like the subtle shifting of afternoon light.

*good news! Ian the Spiv and Chain + the Gang are coming out here monday morning to film a music video aboard our canoe, set out to sea in Totten Inlet. Scene Report to be filed soon!