Crown of Trinkets
Wednesday, March 27, 2002
Life is beautiful awards: 1) The presence of free libraries: they want to lend you books! Books, for your asking! I got three books today, including more cool Robert Walser! 2) Completely ridiculous Sega Dreamcast game "Space Channel 5"! The brightest, shiniest, most alive world I've seen in videogames, this game really made me happy. "Dedicated to people who love music, dance, and games," goes the dedication at the end, and that would be me, and that would be my late grandfather Cledis, and the whole thing makes me feel just goofy. 3) The new R4B (Rose For Bohdan?) album _Decoration Monster_, not available yet but blowing my mind all day today. Some wild tape-glurk explosions, a lot of personality, more opinions to come but it's impressive already.email me: email@example.com
Enjoy life more! Enjoy life more! Enjoy life more!
Monday, March 25, 2002
The last couple weeks have seen me kind of crawling into my own navel, looking for ways to pass time, looking to establish a routine in the absence of any other sort of outwardly imposed routine. I have freedom: what have I done with it?email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, not all that much: really, writing a lot of songs, taking walks, going on tour. Diddling around on the computer. Sadly, too much of the last one. But the first three have been more exciting. Today was a beautiful walk day; I unearthed my shorts, said hi to squirrels and birds, trotted down Belmont, looked up at solid blue sky, my legs as white as sheets. It was a fine time. Out of the blue Sean drove up on 39th, yelled "Jake!", which I still respond to, even though 90% of the time, it's someone saying "hey!" or "Dave!" or "snakes!" or some other monosyllabic utterance containing a tense front unrounded diphthong. But it was Sean. We bought a cymbal stand to replace the one I stupidly left in Berkeley (and for more information on that one, refer to the tour diary which I'll be posted fairly soon). So nice: the blue sky, the blue sky, the blue sky.
Today I spent some time cleaning my old Guild B-301 bass. This is the instrument I've had the longest (with the exception of my dad's Alvarez acoustic, which I've pretty much become the common-law owner of at this point) and it is always a joy to remove the grime that I've put on it. How old is this fingerboard grime? What live show did I accumulate this sweat at? Where did this ding in the neck come from? The body of this bass is almost as familiar as my own body, more familiar than some parts of my body (e.g. buttocks [and I only said that because I wanted to type "e.g. buttocks", yes, I know, how juvenile). I am typing this with the bass in my lap, calluses on my fingers, the familiar neck-heaviness of this instrument causing it to veer off to my left. It is a joy to feel my way around something so intimately known and yet so full of possibility, and here of course I need to insert some sort of comment about how this is like love, but I wouldn't really know about that, but I would know my way around a fake Motown bass line!
current joys: 1) Russian rye bread and Turkish figs from Ya Hala's grocery store (SE 80th and Stark); 2) Creepy Crawly Claw's wonderful knotted toy-piano-heavy aggro sounds, I like this a lot better than I ever thought I would, and judging by their live show it's only going to get better; 3) good tea; 4) removing clutter; 5) the bright sound of new bass strings; 6) getting tax refunds; 7) afternoons; 8) the fact that you are reading this!
Monday, March 11, 2002
I am much happier now that I am unemployed! I think when the hammer fell (refer to previous entry for details) I had this feeling that, oh crap, it's time for tumult, but now things seem gentle, peaceful, restful. I feel far more confident, far less like I'm being led around by a nose-ring... Here are summaries of the last four days, because they were eventful:email me: email@example.com
FRIDAY: I do a lot of sleeping, or attempt to do so; as I lie in bed, I think of my old job and the insecure future and my heart beats so hard that I feel I'm going to flip over from the force of its pounding. But then life gets nice. I drink some Yunnan tea (from Upton Tea, their China Yunnan Golden Temple) and it is gorgeously rich; I sit in the forgotten sunbeams of my apartment in late winter, then mail some Tape Mountain orders at the post office. It is beautifully sunny and, to quote the Verlaines' "Joed Out", my head feels sweet again. I head down to the folks' place in Tualatin to eat dinner. We end up eating goat-cheesy pizza and drinking wine in West Linn (and I get the leftovers) and then we put on my old videotape of the Talking Heads, "Stop Making Sense", and my dad watches intently (he loves that video!) and my mom and I dance in the style of David Byrne and the two backup singers/dancers. It is frantic and little weiner-dog Fred steps among us as our feet move; so so fun. I sleep in the spare bed and rest well.
Thursday, March 07, 2002
No more dissatisfied rants about my crappy Legacy job ever again: I was shown the door! A list of charges was levelled against me, most of them basically the result of me buckling under the enormous workload and poor management of the department, come on! But enough news, let's go to nature for a little explanation.email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Funny story: Look at the archive page and you'll notice on the January 5th entry that I told myself and you-all: "If I'm still there in two months, please email me and remind me to wake up." And now, almost exactly two months afterwards (remember that February was a short month, a total of 61 days have elapsed): here I am, awake at last.
Sunday, March 03, 2002
Oh boy! Another joint Minmae/Celesteville Update!email me: email@example.com
Last night Minmae played at "Shantytown State U.", this thing that Sam Red76 Gould and some other people set up on the campus of Reed; lots of found corrugated aluminum, 55-gallon drums blazing stinky bonfires, art workshops all week long, very interesting. There were people there that I knew and it was nice to leisurely set up under the fading night sky and the huge leafless trees in the quad. Michael from Mome Raths showed me this tubing-and-melodica contraption he had, and then we got into a long conversation about linguistics; it turns out he has the International Phonetic Alphabet tattooed on his chest, which I must say now eclipses Kelly Martin (formerly of the Four Skulls, I'm not sure what ever happened to her)'s tattoo of Krazy Kat on her ankle with the caption "S/He" as the coolest tattoo ever, if just for sheer audacity. Unbelievable.
We took forever to set up as DJ's blasted music through a guitar amplifier from a thrown-together corrugated-aluminum shack. It was slow, deliciously slow, and Colleen from Mome Raths was cooking jambalaya and veggie-kabobs on a tiny portable grill. So nice. The night sky faded and the light's color changed: red-and-yellow bonfire, student-union lighting, slide-projector cycling through slides of graffiti.
Minmae took the stage around 8 and I felt inspired. We started off with an ever-more-epic version of "Pebble Shoe" that lasted probably twelve minutes? I'm not sure; time stood still and I was lost in frenetic yet peaceful drumming. So graceful. I looked up while playing drums and the stars were filtering through the trees' branches, and I made lots of inter-song comments about the beauty of the night sky. People must have thought I was crazy. Maybe people already do. The show was nice and Reedies started showing up for the "Masq'erade Ball" next door, all adorned in increasingly bizarre costumes, lots of thrown-together chopper-bikes, silver lame', very accomplished costumers those Reed types. A very white-sounding funk band started soundchecking next door during our set, which actually sounded kind of good during "The Sound of One Hand Clapping." Sarah and Rochelle from Bronwyn (a newish band that Sean is drumming for and who sound intriguing) videotaped the set and would later videotape us in the middle of drunken early-Beatlesesque tomfoolery for some future music video; it should be pretty great and pretty embarrassing.
Then we finished and the next band was nowhere to be found, so I asked Sean, hey, do you want to play an impromptu Celesteville set? We did, 4 songs in the new pop flavor and attitude, me on astounding new-acquisition Guild S-60 guitar (my god is it nice! both sumptuous and scathing!) and Sean on unrehearsed but deeply known drums. Some people didn't leave, and that was appreciated.
The evening wound down and we headed back to Sean/Lizzy/Jennifer's house, where we ended up talking about all sorts of stuff, from "hot Carls" (yuk) to my love for bookish females to the way we were arranged; easy hexagons, pentagons; at one point segregated into three groups--boys, talking about music, in one corner; girls, talking about something else, in another; and then me, third-sexish, in another corner. We drove off to some intensely crappy party over underneath some freeway in Southwest and then I slowly, methodically, soberly, speed-limit-followingly dropped Dan, Angelo, Jennifer off at home. It was strangely delicious to fall asleep sober after an evening of revelry and wake smiling up to birds chirping this morning in bright Sunday sun.
Saturday, March 02, 2002
(3/1/02, 9:21 am, at work)email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
This morning as I was walking from the Oversleepers' Bus Terminus at SW 18th