Ahhh.. yes! Found this one today. A print I made for an auction a while back. Thanks to the always inspiring Pat R. for the quote:
So many things going on lately. Stuff. Remnants. This n' Thats. Our last WH show is Friday:
New record in the can, not sure if it will see the light of day. The always tasteful Matt Buscher twiddled the knobs and I clocked in at the Oh Factory. Meaning I basically just sang 'Oh', 'Nah Nah Nah', and 'Lalalalalala' for a few hours, fine by me. And then the Huge Colossal Project happened:
WE DID IT!
WE PLAYED FOR TWO HOURS STRAIGHT TO THIS SOVIET MASTERPIECE! 'October: Ten Days That Shook The World', dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1928. Dave, Rachel, Joaquin, Reuben and myself wearing our crazed 1973 commie freakazoid 'roller personas. Most fun I've had in a couple of years, honestly.
There's a whale in our inlet. Again. The last time was a real bad bummer, an injured whale that flopped around dying in front of our house, in the water, for a spell. Heartbreaking. This one is possibly a grey whale, and so might just be a little off course. Still, its eerie. I went out on the deck tonight and could hear it breathing. About every 45 seconds or so, the breath/blowhole/gasp would travel, thousands of feet to the north, until it was out of hearing range, just the shriek of angry seagulls to track its course. This is a map of the Puget Sound, and where we live. We live at the red arrow. Its the end, the end of the Sound, and so when whales come here, its worrisome.
Yesterday: Michelle, Stephie, Jennyrose and myself piled into the tiny silver Hyundai and hightailed it to Redmond, Washington. The skies were dumping rain all over Olympia when we left, we huddled in the open door of the record store in trepidation. Stephie: "This is, like, Biblical!". We brought plastic sacks for our shoes, and a shower curtain for.. a picnic blanket? Blasting Dusty Springfield and Subway Sect ("Life.. Is.. Chain.. Smoking") on the ride up. I think maybe we all stepped through a little rip in the time/space continuim, becoming 15 again. The skies cleared, the moon rose over a friendly, grassy little park in NE Seattle, and then she appeared:
Though I was excited to spend an evening being a goofball with my friends, I didn't really have any expectation for this show. X and Blondie. A great pal gave me 4 free front row tickets! I took a chance on 'reunions'. It payed off, big time. Besides Clem Burke KILLING it, destroying the drum kit and all drummers to come before and after him, Debbie Harry is so COOOOOOOOOOOOOL. I don't think there is enough room for me here to draw out that 'cool' into an apt description of this woman. If I have one shred, one speck of that at age 68, I'll be happy. Oh, and she came out wearing this robe and a black dunce cap? Setting the bar, setting the bar.
We tailgated it after the show, eating chevre and figs like all punks do in the parking lot. We waited until everyone left, why not? I don't think any of us wanted to go home just yet. And tonight, I'm doing it all over again, going to Seattle with JT for Neko Case. Its a full moon and I have a raging case of emotional vulnerability (aka 'pms'), so I'm listening to her music today and practicing holding back tears, because I hate crying in public, and its going to be a challenge. If you flex the muscles under your eyeballs and squint up and to the right, it staves them off a bit. Pro tip.
I haven't found the inspiration to post on here in a while, but all of a sudden tons of exciting things are happening! First and foremost, over a year ago I sent a plea into the Universe for a Mustang bass, and left it at that: revisit here. Tomorrow she shall be mine! From a friend, for a very very very decent price. And why do I need a solid bass, since Western Hymn is breaking up and I'm actually a guitar player? Because I have signed up for an insane project:
I'm not a regular follower of my horoscope, but I gave it a glance the other day. It said something along the lines of 'an older man will offer you an interesting opportunity, and you should say yes'. Hmmmm, says me. And what do you know: the following morning I received a message from my old pal Dave, asking me to join a 5-piece band, on bass, for the sole purpose of playing a live soundtrack to an amazing 1920's silent Soviet film, October: Ten Days That Shook The World. 90 minutes of music, mostly original (but some apt glam covers thrown in when the revolution really gets going), on stage at the Capitol Theater during the Olympia Film Fest. November 10th. YIKES. Bonus: we will be wearing sparkly Soviet-influenced outfits. Joaquin, the singer, wears hot pants. So there's that.
Couple of quick graphics jobs, a flyer for the Broho and this letterpressed jobby for a fest called OOPS:
It definitely needs some red on the left to balance, but I only had time to do two passes and if you're a printmaking nerd you'll know how the yellow sun and the capitol building occupied all of that space on the Vandercook with their big square linoleum block dimensions. But if I could, I would do one more layer with some red seagulls floating around the dome. And it was a volunteer gig, but I did score about 300 pieces of chipboard for future projects.
Also, my friend and bandmate Craig is moving to Los Angeles in November, so we're playing a string of final Western Hymn shows in late October/early November.. and recording an album! Best to get everything documented. The little band that could. J-Tro gave us a nice shout-out in this post.
And finally, I'll be celebrating turning 38 this weekend with my virtual Sept. 21st birthday buds. An eclectic mix, no? Early revelry begins tonight at Blondie/X in Seattle, and tomorrow at Neko Case. Busy times! Oh yeah, and I just took on a painting commission with a tight deadline. COFFEEEEEE.
Played a show last night. Returned home to this scene:
Guitars snuggling on the guest bed. Cute. I've been working out on guitar lately.. trying to play at least one hour a day by myself. What have I been doing playing bass these past few years? Whoever said playing bass is easier than guitar (and that's why girls always play bass, blah blah blah) is crazy. Bass is way harder. Guitar is just easy breezy funtimes.
Speaking of funtimes, I have this giant surfboard-thing, its a 'paddleboard'. Because have you ever tried canoeing by yourself? Ridiculous! Hours and hours of paddling for a few inches of movement. And kayaks scare me.. that whole rolling thing. But, a paddleboard is just like piloting a (more aerodynamically shaped) raft. Huck Finn style. You can really cruise.
And so on the eve of the Supermoon, I plopped the board into Totten Inlet (my front yard, dreamy) and paddled to nowhere in particular. Somewhere along the way, I had the feeling I was being watched:
Acres of jellies! This photo doesn't really do the scene justice.. thousands of gelatinous umbrella-shaped animals, all out to worship the moon. I was hoping not to fall in.
So I just layed down for a while and floated around in the silence. Not a soul in sight. I made it back to the dock eventually, and walked home, and then read this depressing article. But then i read this fascinating article! And finally, I wondered what life would be like if your job title was 'Jellyfish Expert'.
Saw this on the interwebs tonight, cool time capsule:
One of my first official graphic design jobs (meaning I made the layers on the copy machine, and the offset printers figured out the rest) in 1995. Project Echo, a 7-inch compilation on cd for K Records. Calvin had some sort of idea that I should be let loose in the graphic room for a while. And then -- poof! -- 18 years later:
Couple of new posters for the Brotherhood, land of adult beverages and shuffleboard! Weights and grains. I'm still trapped in the luddite world of copy machines, but I kind-of love the limitations. I have so many of these now, the black and white jobbies for the Broho.. thinking about making a very limited edition zine compiling the past four years worth of show flyers. I've lost a few along the way, but I'm guessing Pit archived them all in his office cavern. Cheers to Olympia for giving me so many fun weird odd jobs! Old Part-Time Utter.
*was just thinking about how often the circle comes up in imagery for me.. most of my paintings have a ton. prints too. its an attractive shape to me, apparently more captivating than the square or triangle. a quick search gleans this information: "Circles are often seen as protective symbols. Standing within a circle
shields a person from supernatural dangers or influences outside of the
circle. Conversely, a circle can also be containing, keeping that which
is inside from been released" or, in sacred geometry, "recurrence, solar cycles, all cyclic motion, dynamism, endless movement, completion and fulfillment." Oooooooo. O. Oh, also: MOVIETIME!
I haven't written on here in a while, not sure why. But today (a glorious sunny spring day in Kamilche) it feels important to write. To remember all the beautiful moments, all the special things about little Olive. A sweet, funny, beautiful girl. My Olive.
I found her when she was a kitten. We were both kittens, really.. I was 22 years old and going through a difficult breakup. My ex and I still spent time together, grieving the relationship I suppose. We went garage sale-ing one day. I can't remember if I came home with anything else of note, but I did return with a furry little creature. A young girl was with her mother, watching over their yard sale. She stood next to a box of kittens, maybe 10 or 12 weeks old. We fawned over how cute they were, and the girl convinced me to pick one out. I still remember her words when I asked her which one I should take home. 'The girl ones are smarter. Get a girl'. She pointed to a little black-and-white tuxedo baby, and I chose Olive. The child had made birth certificates for each one (I still have Olive's, somewhere in a box of old things). Her name on the birth certificate was 'Mittens Jr.'. Mittens was her mother.
Olive was different, even for a cat. She was the yin to Ringo's yang. Ringo does cat stuff-- he hunts and grooms and demands attention with his loud half-siamese yowl. Olive was always mute. She never learned to meow. If she needed anything, she would use her little white paws to make jazz hands on the door. She had a powerful purr of contentment, like a motorboat. She wasn't a lap cat, she preferred to snooze somewhere near me. She loved sleeping. She loved tranquility. She embodied a sort of zen-like peace throughout 99% of her life.
Olive loved lights. Justin and I often joked that she was on some sort of long, strange drug trip. When I lived in a ground-floor apartment on a busy street, she would follow the arc of passing headlights as they played on the walls. Another joke was that she was either enlightened, like a buddha, or dumb as a box of rocks. My mom, who often took care of my cats when I was away on tour, said that Olive's role in this world was to be peaceful and beautiful. And she was.
She had black velvety fur and was always formally dressed. She didn't care much for grooming, and Ringo often picked up the slack, giving her tongue baths until it ultimately, usually, ended in a slight catfight. She seemed to tolerate it for a bit until he really went to town, lording over her, aggressively licking her head and ears. Then, a low growl would come out and I would break it up. So I guess she wasn't quite mute, she just chose to remain quiet and still most of the time.
She had the most glorious moustache of white whiskers, almost like a walrus. And beautiful yellow eyes that often seemed to be staring off into some blissful otherworldly view. She spent hours and hours occupying her favorite sleeping spaces. She would change these up every month or two. Sometimes it was the guest bed, sometimes the chair in the living room. For a while she decided that snoozing on top of a cardboard box full of records was the best. She thoroughly basked in wonderful cat laziness. While Ringo would go in and out, in and out, in and out all day long, she slept.
Maybe even more than sleeping, Olive loved food. She was somewhat of a glutton with the belly to prove it. She was a petite girl in build, with a round little head like an apple. But her belly swung from side to side when she ran -- and the only time she ran was when it was food time. She preferred the junkiest of cat foods, Friskies. Canned for breakfast and dinner, and dry crunchies for all day and night snacking. I made a feeble attempt to convert her to higher-quality cat food from the fancy pet store. She protested, and I gave in. The cheap food (always 'sliced in gravy', her favorite) made her incredibly happy. Aside from the gravy, she had an obsession with dairy. No matter where she was sleeping in the house, if I opened a tub of yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese -- anything made of dairy-- she instantly materialized. 'The Dairy Detective'. She would sit in front of me, make her eyes big and wet, and purr, begging for a bit. I usually gave in. After all, she was one of the world's cutest cats. Hard to resist.
For a long period of time, she preferred drinking out of the toilet. It still makes me laugh. We tried to discourage it and eventually she committed to the assigned water dish. I would see her sometimes dipping her tiny white paw in, and then licking the water from her paw. Adorable would be an understatement. She also liked to drink rainwater that had pooled in tarps outside, or dribbles that had collected on the frame of an outdoor folding chair after a downpour. And she purred.
She loved the fireplace. In the last weeks of hospice care, I tried to make fires for her every night. I failed a few times, but mostly upheld my end of the bargain. She would curl up-- or stretch out-- on a pile of blankets and I would sit next to her, us both staring into the fire, her purring when I scratched behind her ears or under her chin. I took time to tell her she was beautiful and that I was lucky to have her. That she was the best cat in the world. That she brought peace, and that I loved her.
When the end came, we buried her body in her favorite sunny spot. Under the fallen maple leaves, between two stands of flowers, overlooking the water. She loved new age guitar music (Alex DeGrassi) and strangely, Aphex Twin. This might be related to her aformentioned long, strange drug trip. I once remarked that if she had thumbs, she'd be happily flipping through a sailboat catalogue, fire roaring, listening to her music, blissed out.
Olive taught me about peace, about tranquility, about beauty and about feasting and resting. To languish in all the things that bring pleasure. To exist as a quiet soul and watch the world. I hope I did right by her. She had the best life a cat could ask for, and I love her deeply for growing up with me.
I am often shuffling around an idea of my Top Ten Albums of All Time. Though it has morphed and changed over the years, there are a few constants, and The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society is always on there. Nearly every track is golden. Not on the record is one of their biggest hits, Waterloo Sunset.. its sometimes hard for me to hear that song with fresh ears, just because its been a radio standby since I was a kid. But the lyrics, oh man, I love them. And they particularly resonated with me last night, as I sat in the front room watching the moonrise over Kamilche:
As long as I gaze on/ Puget Sound sunset/ I am in paradise.
These arrived in the mail! New stickers for the shop.. a low-cost version of the letterpress print that I crank out by hand. They'll be up on my Buyolympia page in a few days. 'Hey man, spontaneous music happens'. I SAY NO.
8 1/2 years, going strong. The Lumberjackal, aka the most confusing feral beast I've ever met. I think, though not completely sure, that she might love me. But she's a cool customer.
I can't write at all when I'm super stressed, which is why I deleted the last post: it read like a eulogy for this animal who (obviously) is gonna live to 100. Long live the couch potato hound, she of the bum back leg. Big ears, Roman nose, pastrami lips. Love her.
Haven't been updating this thing regularly, apologies! It comes in spurts and fits (my ability/discipline to write/document the day-to-day). New Years was nice.. quiet, a few good friends trekked out Kamilche, and we rang in 2013 with some dice-rolling and cheese-feasting. Today the skies are crisp and blue with the occasional adolescent bald eagle cruising by; Totten Inlet is calm, serene. Mason County life! Its a beautiful place.
There is something very, very exciting coming up in my life in 2013. I'm going to Africa! Kenya, to be specific, and Nairobi/Mombasa to be even more specific. Jt and I are traveling halfway around the world to visit old friends from Olympia that are living the dream in Africa. I'm most excited to see wildlife, and to taste crazy food, and to visit a continent that I have not step foot upon. What will swimming in the Indian Ocean feel like? I've missed the Southern Hemisphere, haven't been down that way since 2001! Wild.
So that's the gist of it. More art, hopefully more music, and definitely more traveling!