Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Resurrection Fern
Words and music by Iron And Wine

In our days we will live
Like our ghosts will live:
Pitching glass at the cornfield crows
And folding clothes

Like stubborn boys across the road
We'll keep everything:
Grandma's gun and the black bear claw
That took her dog

When sister Laurie says, "Amen"
We won't hear anything:
The ten-car trains will take that word
That fledgling bird

And the fallen house across the way
It'll keep everything:
The baby's breath
Our bravery wasted and our shame

And we'll undress beside the ashes of the fire
Both our tender bellies wound in baling wire
All the more a pair of underwater pearls
Than the oak tree and its resurrection fern

In our days we will say
What our ghosts will say:
We gave the world what it saw fit
And what'd we get?

Like stubborn boys with big green eyes
We'll see everything:
In the tender shade of the autumn leaves
And the buzzard's wing

And we'll undress beside the ashes of the fire
Our tender bellies are wound around in baling wire
All the more a pair of underwater pearls
Than the oak tree and its resurrection fern
Friday, November 02, 2007
Via Craigslist:


A shout out to Pulp Fiction Books on Main Street for selling their books at US prices. They are a small company but they clearly love their customers. Pay attention Chapters."
Thursday, November 01, 2007
"My despair has long since been ground up fine and is no more than the daily salt and pepper of my life."
“If You Want to be an Icon of Virtue, This is the Moment Because You’ll Stand Out"

(via Jen)

"I am bored with giant cibachrome photographs of three Germans standing behind a mailbox."
Tonight's Youtube:

Everyone's Gone to the Movies


Both live in '96 at Manassas, VA. Lots of other high-quality clips available from the same user.
Tenants, 2007; War Game, 2007; Cold Storage, Vancouver, 2007

Melting Glacier Reveals Ancient Tree Stumps

"Melting glaciers in Western Canada are revealing tree stumps up to 7,000 years old where the region's rivers of ice have retreated to a historic minimum, a geologist said today.

Johannes Koch of The College of Wooster in Ohio found the fresh-looking, intact tree stumps beside retreating glaciers in Garibaldi Provincial Park, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) north of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Radiocarbon dating of the wood from the stumps revealed the wood was far from fresh—some of it dated back to within a few thousand years of the end of the last ice age.

'The stumps were in very good condition, sometimes with bark preserved,' said Koch, who conducted the work as part of his doctoral thesis at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Koch will present his results on Oct. 31 at the Geological Society of America annual meeting in Denver.

The pristine condition of the wood, he said, can best be explained by the stumps having spent all of the last seven millennia under tens to hundreds of meters of ice. All stumps were still rooted to their original soil and location.

'Thus they really indicate when the glaciers overrode them, and their kill date gives the age of the glacier advance,' Koch said. The age of the newly revealed ancient trees also indicates how long the glaciers have covered this region."
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Anodyne Inc.

All Hallow's Eve distribution:

Dominion Citrus Income Fund (DOM.UN): 12,346 units x .01/unit = $123.46

Cash balance, $2080.73

Someone asks what the procedure is for the portfolio's (infrequent) trades. Trades are made in the market when the market's open, at whatever the going market price is. I don't trade off end-of-day values.

Someone else asks if I manage money. Yes: my own. I'm not licensed to provide investment advice and have not completed any professional course of study or licensing exam. Anyone interested in having money managed for them should consult a professional advisor, not me.

Cat Bowling -- 2006's favorite seasonal diversion storms back for a second year

Edition no. 41, Jeff Wall, Searcher, 2007 (thanks to PV)

nb. ghost!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing):

Tonight's Youtube:

That fears'come excavation

No Hidden Path (#1)

No Hidden Path (#2)

Cortez The Killer (live '76, Hammersmith London, a song that only improves each time I hear it)
" Of the four new photographs in Jeff Wall: Exposure, three take a cinematographic approach. Each composition realistically depicts people in familiar circumstances: a group of unemployed workers hoping to be selected for temporary jobs; a woman returning to her dreary apartment building, presumably after a hard day trying to make a living; and a group of boys playing a game with toy guns in an empty lot. The fourth work in this group of new photographs is a documentary image that does not include figures. This magnificent picture depicts a frigid cold storage facility, a desolate environment that quite literally threatens exposure for those who work there."
Next transaction:

Q: Skinny Legs and All...that's a classic, right?

CJB: That's one of Robbins' better-known books, yep.

Q: How about this one? [holding up Villa Incognito] Have you read it?

CJB: No, I haven't.

Q: Why not?

CJB [totally honest]: Tom Robbins isn't really the kind of writer I enjoy.

Q: Why not?

Only half an hour left to go!
Blindness Girl finally settled on Eggers' Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Q: Have you read this one? Is it good?

CJB: We only have good books here!

And then registering BG's flat, unhappy, totally humorless expression:

CJB: It's Eggers' best book. I'd say.

Q: What about Running With Scissors? Did you like that one?

Nothing but snake eyes today, evidently. It's days like these that feed my desire to permanently retire from customer service. And, before anyone fires off email claiming I'm just a curmudgeonly old man, please consider that I've thought this through. I ask for help all the time when I reach the limits of my retail competence:

CJB [to mechanic]: Should I get new plugs? Or a new battery?

CJB [to produce clerk]: Will this firm persimmon taste good? Or should I get a ripe one?

CJB [to climbing-store clerk]: Will this harness fit over my heavy winter pants?

As opposed to:

CJB: Do you like these plugs?

CJB: Have you ever eaten this?

CJB: Do you wear this brand?

I sympathize with the quandry of the person who honestly doesn't read much, and wants my help in picking out something they'll enjoy. But asking me for something I've read and enjoyed is exactly the wrong way to go about it. In the early days, I used to freely dispense books I'd enjoyed: Adorno, de Duve, Coetzee, Ross MacDonald, Maureen McHugh, etc. etc. etc. The books would inevitably return a day or two later, along with a host of depressing labels: dense, unreadable, sad, pretentious, elitist. Putting me in the unhappy position of not only issuing a refund to a pissed-off and unhappy customer, but also receiving an earful about my disappointing taste.

And, of course, just as I was finishing up that last entry:

Q: Have you read this? [holding Saramago's Blindness]

CJB: Would it make a difference if I had?

Q [long thoughtful pause]: No.
And while I'm warming to the subject of more books than patience:

Q: Have you read this? [holding Jonathan Livingston Seagull]

CJB: A long time ago, yes.

Q: Remember when...[long detailed description of moving, life-affirming conversation between two talking seagulls]

CJB: No.

Q: I thought you said you read it!



CJB: Do you have receipts for these?

GWOBB: What the fuck are you asking me, man?

CJB: Never mind. Grab your stuff and fuck off out of here. Don't come back.

GWOBB [to equally junk-sick girlfriend]: Fucking prejudice! Just 'cause I'm using!
A dumbness bomb apparently detonated this morning at Main and Broadway, because I've spent my entire day fielding unsmiling questions like the following:

Q: Are these used or new books?

CJB: Those books over there [pointing] are new. Everything else in the store is used.

Q: What's that supposed to mean?

CJB: We order those books [pointing] from new book suppliers. All the other books in the store are used.

Q: So are your books new or used?

CJB [deep breath]: As I've just explained, we have both.

Q: Why?


Q: Boy, these new book prices must be killing you!

CJB: Actually our new book sales have gone up. We're carrying more titles, and, with our everyday "20% off" pricing, a lot of our prices are already at US par.

Q: Do you have this used? [holding Steve Colbert's new book, which just came out on Friday]

CJB: That book's four days old!

Q: No, huh? Well, guess I'll go buy the softcover at Chapters.

CJB: That title doesn't exist in softcover. It just came out last week. There won't be a softcover until this time next year.

Q: Chapters'll have the softcover for 30% off, too!

CJB: Maybe. Next year.

Q: Chapters must be killing you! [repeat ad infinitum]


Q: I'll just ask you because I don't know where to look! Do you have Stranger in a Strange Land?

CJB: We should...on the blue wall.

Q: That blue wall? Or that one?

CJB: Only one of those walls has books on it.

Only an hour and a half left to go!

To a forest in a Vancouver suburb. Goretex jacket, nylon rain pants, old beat-up sneakers and "Port Townsend Food Co-op" ball cap. Grey sky, intermittent light rain.

Down a bank through salmonberry and devil's club. Over fallen logs and around rotting stumps. Mist in the air, gentle patter of falling rain. Hebeloma crustuliniforme poking up everywhere through the floor duff.

Aminata fulvas upthrust in the hollows around conifer roots. Deeply striate margins, gleaming grey-brown caps, volvic sac remnants visible upon careful excavation.

Cantharellus cibarius, the fragrant and exceptionally tasty Pacific Golden Chanterelle, gleaming yolkishly yellow-orange like a blinking neon EAT ME sign visible twenty feet away through the bushes.

Boletus zelleri everywhere. I collected approximately fifteen pounds in four hours, including a foot and a half high specimen whose stem was as thick as an English cucumber. Back home, the 'shrooms went into a hot cast iron frying pan along with some scallions, butter, and a heathy dollop of '05 merlot. (Boletes are mostly water, so the mushrooms need to dry-sautee in nothing but their own juices and a sprinkling of kosher salt for five or six minutes before the other ingredients are added. Otherwise, the 'shrooms cook up slimy, like okra). In another pan, an organic steak acquainted itself with cracked black peppercorns.

'shrooms on steak, steak on plate. Simple! And after dinner and washing-up the Incredible Talking Cats helped string the remaining boletes from fishing line, to hang them up to dry.

(Image: Boletus zelleri, courtesy George Barron's Website on Fungi)
Sunday, October 28, 2007

Special Guest Blogger Alison Yip attended last week's big VAG photography panel and files this visual report
One more:

May-December (for D.)

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