Monday, June 30, 2008

Triple Bildungsroman For and After Brad Phillips, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008

Aristotle, Metaphysics, trans. Richard McKeon:

"[A]t the same time we are seeing and have seen, are understanding and have understood, are thinking and have thought (while it is not true that at the same time we are learning and have learnt, or are being cured and have been cured). At the same time we are living well and have lived well, and are happy and have been happy. If not, the process would have had sometimes to cease, as the making of thin ceases: but, as things are, it does not cease; we are living and have lived. Of these processes, then, we must call the one set movements, and the other actualities. For every movement is incomplete -- making thin, learning, walking, building; these are movements and incomplete at that. For it is not true that at the same time a thing is walking and has walked, or is building and has built, or is coming to be and has come to be, or is being moved and has been moved, but what is being moved is different from what has been moved, and what is moving from what has moved. But it is the same thing that at the same time has seen and is seeing, or is thinking and has thought."
Friday, June 27, 2008

Team Cat surveys the Coast Range's heights

Via the Blue Book:

"So it's the end of the Boston show, and I'm waiting for the crowd to thin a bit, I'm standing by the t-shirt shed. Young couple goes by me, the girl holding an Aja shirt. And I hear her say as they pass, 'What does A-J-A stand for?''"

Still picking devil's club spines from the pads of my fingers. Still recovering (shakily) from Habit Lounge's big bowl of stale toast and metallic-tasting mussels that made a violent return trip right at midnight, much to my cab driver's resigned embarassment.

(Image: Marcel Broodthaers, Casserole and Closed Mussels, 1964)
Thursday, June 26, 2008

Public Works Dept.

My pal Vanessa Sorensen (right) reminds all Anodyne regulars that her band, Call The City (above) is playing the recently cleaned-up Biltmore Cabaret (Kingsway @ 12th) tonight in honor of the release of their first CD-EP. $10 cover, free CDs to the first 25 bodies through the door.


A Coat Suspended From a Tree, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Clint Eastwood's Mystic River (2003), based upon Dennis Lehane's excellent novel. Cinematography by Tom Stern. A pallette of cool colors, mostly greens and blues, backgrounds almost always washed or blown out (as above). A grainy texture to the close-up shots that I assocate with some of Stephen Waddell's better photographs; the sense of the picture as alive, swarming with motion. A "molecular energy" that acknowledges the image surface's mediating presence, its non-transparency, what Fried might call its "facingness." Two shots in particular: Sean Penn speaking, backlit by an open window, while a breeze stirs white curtains behind him with red printed roses down their edges, and Penn dictating his daughter's obituary as he stands above her in the funeral home's basement, his face and upper torso (barely) in focus; everything else skewed into bright smears and sprays of light, like Ben Reeves' golfing Smoker (thumbnail on p.2 of the link).
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Squamish River Valley and Mount Garibaldi from "Randy Stoltman Memorial Bench," Sigurd Creek Trail, British Columbia.

Mountain hemlocks, upper Sigurd Creek Valley, British Columbia. Approx. 10' diameter at the base, and 75'+ tall.

Mountain hemlock snag, Sigurd Creek Valley, British Columbia. This 12' diameter tree is only about 40' tall, its crown having snapped off in a violent winter windstorm, but still very much alive. The tree has responded to its premature decapitation by throwing out numerous side branches, which surround it in a sizzling green cloud.

Views from the Sigurd Creek Trail, a mountaineer's route which climbs steeply through an unlogged old growth forest north of Squamish, B.C., leading into a long subalpine valley uninhabited by anyone but grizzly bears (2, at last count), black bears, cougars, deer, birds, wild columbines, mountain hemlocks, douglas firs, and other "local residents." About 1200m. of elevation gain and 20+ km. of hiking, scrambling, fallen tree walking, creek crossing, boulder field hopping, slide alder crossing, etc. A great day out, though probably not to everyone's taste.
Sunday, June 22, 2008

Team Cat & friends are in the Coast Range.
Friday, June 20, 2008

"Absolutely amazing song. Al Stewart hasn't recorded much recently because Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys stole his voice."

(Nb. 0:00-1:07's great introduction, with its rolling Rubies-esque piano)

(Also, tonight, this terrific gift from Mr. Vidaver)

Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote -- kindred spirit, ridiculous fictional brother, friend:

"Two texts of unequal value inspired [his] undertaking. One is that philological fragment by Novalis--the one numbered 2005 in the Dresden edition--which outlines the theme of a total identification with a given author. The other is one of those parasitic books which situate Christ on a boulevard, Hamlet on La Cannebière or Don Quixote on Wall Street. Like all men of good taste, Menard abhorred these useless carnivals, fit only-- as he would say--to produce the plebeian pleasure of anachronism or (what is worse) to enthrall us with the elementary idea that all epochs are the same or are different. More interesting, though contradictory and superficial of execution, seemed to him the famous plan of Daudet: to conjoin the Ingenious Gentleman and his squire in one figure, which was Tartarin . . . Those who have insinuated that Menard dedicated his life to writing a contemporary Quixote calumniate his illustrious memory.

He did not want to compose another Quixote -- which is easy -- but the Quixote itself . Needless to say, he never contemplated a mechanical transcription of the original; he did not propose to copy it. His admirable intention was to produce a few pages which would coincide -- word for word and line for line -- with those of Miguel de Cervantes.

'My intent is no more than astonishing,' he wrote me the 30th of September, 1934, from Bayonne. 'The final term in a theological or metaphysical demonstration--the objective world, God, causality, the forms of the universe -- is no less previous and common than my famed novel. The only difference is that the philosophers publish the intermediary stages of their labor in pleasant volumes and I have resolved to do away with those stages.' In truth, not one worksheet remains to bear witness to his years of effort."
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tonight's Youtube:

This is your chance to believe -- super high-quality audio and video, from the 2006 tour with Michael McDonald.

And some scarce live footage from the Donald Fagen band tour, same year, performing perennial late-night Pulpfiction Books favorite FM. No static at all!
Working retail for any length of time provides ample evidence of people's endless weirdness, and also makes you instinctively distrust your fellow man-and-woman. Case in point:

GUY WITH BOOKS: Here, I'm giving these to you!

CJB: Hey, thanks.

GWB: Yeah, I bought most of them here, but I don't want anything for them!

CJB: Thank you. Thanks, man.

[GWB disappears into the stacks; CJB examines the windfall]

THE VERDICT: Books originally purchased from us, now totally trashed and unsuitable for anything but the dollar table.

GWB [returning to the counter with a stack of desirable cool stuff]: Say, can I take these? I mean, for that stuff I gave you?

Uncle Zip's back.

"Landscape was the resource of my childhood. I love the light on the world, the look of things. I love any writer who has a sightline on that, even Kipling. To Yeats or Arthur Machen the light on the landscape was a promise of immanence, something more than the world; whereas to Robert Macfarlane the light on the landscape is enough. It doesn’t need to imply anything (although he talks of 'gateways'). We were made to be in light and air. I get excited by other landscapes but I like Britain best. Seaside, moors, mountains, fields. It’s a strength to be able to stand for an hour, watch the light and shadow on the water, let the anger drain away, not be the author of something like Light."

Sylvia Grace Borda checks in from a recent Holiday in Glenrothes

'cause everyone over on the Blue Book's playing "Fantasy Setlist":

Instrumental medley of Everyone's Gone to the Movies, The Fez, The Royal Scam (band only)
Continuation of The Royal Scam, with Walter and Don
Time out of Mind
Everything You Did
What a Shame About Me
Here at the Western World
Babylon Sisters
New Frontier
Gaucho (Walter Becker vocal)
Glamour Profession
The Caves of Altamira
Black Friday
Green Earrings
Don't Take Me Alive
Pretzel Logic
Love is Like an Itching in My Heart /
Band intro


Do It Again
Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me)

Dru says, "You ate what?" and relays this useful information:

"Lysichiton is a member of the Arum family and related to a Polynesian staple food taro. While edible, Lysichiton americanus is high in calcium oxalate which produces stinging or burning in the mouth when chewed raw. And in the digestive tract, it creates a sensation described as 'hundreds of needles being stuck into it.' While bears forage on its roots, which serve as a cathartic after long winter hibernation, humans typically will dry or thoroughly cook the plant before eating it. "

I thought the several leaves I thoroughly sauteed and chewed were tasty, if peppery, but your mileage may vary. Please don't email me from emergency to complain about your acute gastric distress.
Killjoy Cooking With the Dungeons and Dragons Crowd -- via dru

"Posted: 12:42 a.m. by Kathraxis Hey, I have a question! When you preheat the oven, can you start it before you measure out the ingredients, or do you have to do it afterward? Please answer quickly, my friends and I have been arguing about it for four hours and we're getting pretty hungry.

Posted: 1:52 a.m. by IAmEd As I have pointed out MANY TIMES, several of these recipes contain raisins, and I, like most people, am ALLERGIC to raisins! And before you tell me to substitute dried cranberries, I will reiterate that I am discussing the recipes AS WRITTEN. I do not appreciate your ATTACKING ME with helpful suggestions!

Posted: 1:08 a.m. by jvmkanelly Where are the recipes for chatting with friends while cooking? Where are the recipes for conversation over the meal? When I throw a dinner party, I want it to be a PARTY. I guess the idiots who use the Better Joy Cookbook just cook and eat in stony silence, never saying a word or even looking each other in the eye."

Lysichiton americanus, aka dinner. Lots of these guys up the Mamquam. Spurred by a (dim) memory of one of my native plant books describing them as edible, I took the Seabus over to North Vancouver and harvested a few leaves from the Mosquito Creek watershed. Back home, I chopped the greens into chunks and briefly sauteed them with olive oil, garlic, and cracked black pepper. Surprisingly good; kind of like a mustard-spinach cross, with definite bite. As it turns out, the native plant book recommends eating the roots and using the leaves for food storage. Also on last night's menu: radish tops, spurred by feeling guilty about putting 90% of the plant into the compost heap. These guys benefit from finer chopping and longer sauteeing, but they're perfectly edible, and equally peppery.

Q: Don't you eat real food any more?

A: Sure! Bunch of chopped kale, two big leeks. Olive oil, cracked black pepper. New "Yukon Golds," roughly chopped into quarters. Three cups organic chicken stock, one cup water. Dried red chile seeds. Forty-five minutes with the lid on. Sea salt, garnish of finely diced inner, spicy, lime-colored leek leaves. "We make money by buying food, fixing it up and serving it," Bill Buford quotes Mario Batali as saying, rummaging through Babbo's kitchen trash for edible gold. "Not by throwing it away."

Upper Mamquam River Valley, British Columbia. Photographs courtesy Mick Range.

"Wanderer overlooking a sea of fog," upper Mamquam River Valley, British Columbia. Photograph courtesy Mick Range. Roughly eighteen miles east of Squamish, just west of the Mamquam/Pitt divide. Mr. Range and I drove up from Vancouver through the steadily growing gloom with the hopeful and somewhat naive plan of climbing Pinecone Peak, just east of here. Rain began to fall about the same time we parked beside a totally overgrown spur road. I could actually hear the drops sizzling in the dust as I wiggled into my boots and gaiters and psyched myself up to get wet. Piles of fresh bear and cougar scat everywhere. Ten minutes up in the bush, rain still falling, we determined we were on the wrong road. Down to the car, fifteen minutes' drive, back up another, even more completely overgrown road. Twenty minutes later, pushing through an alder sea, we heard a deep glottal rumble that we took at first for thunder. But thunder comes from the sky, and this growl was coming from the bushes. . . .

They call them "apex predators" for a reason, and the ursus-to-English translation was unmistakable: "Get the fuck out of my yard!" We hoofed it back down the road, and the growler saw no reason to pursue us, or to even put in an appearance. But that sound, deep and Dolby-bass grumbly, will stay with me for a while.

Up the logging road again, wiggling my two-wheel drive Taurus back and forth over a series of water bars. Then up a side road, rain coming down harder now, into a clearcut. We headed up to the top of the cut, then bushwhacked straight down to the car. The most prolific cut I have ever hiked through, bursting with flowering plants and mushrooms. Mick's photographs (above) look like they were taken with a polarizing filter; the plants' green is unearthly, unnaturally bright. But these are the colors we actually saw. A weird conjunction of deep black duff; productive rainfall; the peculiar microclimate of the upper valley's south-facing slope.
Friday, June 13, 2008

PHONE: Ring!

CJB: Good evening, Pulpfiction.

YOUNG WOMAN: Do you have the Feeldo?

CJB: The which?

YW: The Feeldo.

CJB: What is the Feeldo?

YW: I thought I maybe read online that your bookstore sells sex toys?

CJB: Uh, no. Maybe try Womyn's Ware on the Drive.

YW: 'kay thanks bye!

"Garden Defense Owl, Has Head Motion Via An Electronic Mechanical System [???] & The Digitally Recreated Sounds Of The Fearsome Predator The Great Horned Owl."
NASA Engineers Inspect Floating Object Near Space Shuttle, Protrusion on Rudder

"THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HOUSTON - NASA engineers are trying to identify an object seen floating away from the Discovery on Friday, a day before the space shuttle is scheduled to return to Earth.

The engineers are also analyzing a protrusion sighted on the shuttle's rudder."
All Aboard the Carib Cannibal

"DONALD FAGEN: I actually suggested to Walter that we start doing little critical monographs on other directors but he thought it would be too repetitive. And I understand; I don’t like format either. Once you start getting into a format you get stuck sometimes. But I was ready to start giving advice out all over the place to various artists."

"WALTER BECKER: When we first started to do this kind of stuff, and when Donald and I were writing songs and showing them to people, I sang a lot of the songs because I sang much louder. I liked to sing. Donald was sort of playing the piano and hunched over the piano and didn’t sing as loud. It was only when we actually really got in the studio and I heard his voice and heard my voice that I realized what a great singer he was and what a shitty, out-of-tune singer I was. Now, at that time I was smoking two or three packs of Camels a day. Not to say that I still don’t have problems with that, but I just didn’t have that pitch thing down. And when you get to the point of recording, that really counts. And I saw that Donald had a really cool style, and that he could do all kinds of fancy intervallic things, and as we later discovered a little further down the line, he could create these stacks of harmonies that really added a lot to what we were doing. And not everybody can do that; he can do it partially because of the precision and repeatability of what he does. He can double his own voice because he basically sings the song the same way every time: He has a perfect picture in his mind of what the song is going to be."

A Carwash at Dusk, Chilliwack, B.C., 2008

Mount Fromme's summit, 12 June 2008. Nb. 8+ feet of snow!

The author and his garden, 12 June 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

K. says, "I want a shirt that says that!" (I HOOT AND MY HEAD TURNS)
Set List Alphareatta, GA 6/11

Gaucho (Walter Becker vocal) (!!!!)

So maybe by the time the Duo reach Woodinville, WA for their two-night stand we'll hear (in addition to Glamor Profession, already well worth the drive):

Do It Again
Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me)
Razor Boy
Tomorrow's Girls


Donald Fagen sings:

You and I
the world
can't be
like this--

I'll be 38 in the morning. Pulpfiction will be 8 as of 11am. I'll be on a North Shore trail with the cats, gone to show an internets friend some big trees.

A pleasant day mostly spent repotting tomatoes and reading (qv. above) on the balcony, surrounded by small living things and the not-unpleasant smells of fish fertilizer and rock phosphate. A bit of a surprise to the pigeons who showed up, mid-afternoon, in search of a quiet place to nest.

And, for the record, 'cause I won't be around tomorrow: thanks to all of you from difficult me, for your love and friendship. I don't know if you know that it makes a difference to me -- given my odd touchy head, it's always hard to tell -- but it does: the net-chats; beers; the fine examples of your art(s); the walking; photographs; mountain climbing; music; business-building; companionship; and (last but never least) the cats. So, thanks from me to all of you who sustain me and lift my hard but never unrewarding days. Thanks!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I Can Has Job?

Today's entry baldly plagarized from Mr. James Nadiger's Livejournal. I've been wanting to write an entry like this for ages, but JN has done a far, far better job of it.

"It's the beginning of summer and rank, desperate capitalism is in the air: It's resume season!

Wave after wave of young men and women descend upon us like destitute lemmings, eager to find employment for the summer, and bring us their carefully typed sheets of paper, filled to the brim with poems and songs of their heroic exploits of jobliness.

So far, my favourite was the kid who, under 'Skills' said: 'Fashionable: I add Style to the work place.' The kid was like, fourteen years old, and had previously added style to Buy-Low Foods.

Today, another hopeful stepped up to the plate:

Are you guys hiring? No.

Is it worth my while to leave a resume? Not really, unless you have bookstore experience, or some kind of retail equivalent. Do you?

No, but I'd really like to work here, all I've applied to are bookstores, and I'm a pretty smart guy. Well, go ahead.

Here is the best part of his cover letter (bold is mine), which proves, without fail, that most people don't understand bookstore life:

Hello Hiring Manger of Small Interesting Business,

I am hoping to find a calm and friendly atmosphere in which to work. Having a penchant for sound, music and filmmaking, I have determined that working outside of those industries is the best way to remain enthusiastic and passionate for them. With a coolheaded and lively demeanor, interacting with customers and co-workers is always a pleasure. I take pride in my ability to trust and be trusted, and am excited to dedicate myself as a reliable employee to your business.

Instead of SKILLS, he had a SPECIAL ABILITIES section, which I thought was cool, in a super-hero trading card kind of way, and one of this guy's special abilities is 'beatboxing.' He can also play the jaw harp, penny whistle, and didgeridoo."

Seven o'clock, black sky, (empty) parking lot of World's Largest Garden Centre puddled, reflecting the sky. Big dark heaps of Garden Soil, Garden Rock, Bark Mulch, Manure, Decorative Patio Rock lonely at the edge of the lot. Bedraggled homeless guy fine-sorting the dumpster beside them, transferring several hundred black plastic pots into his equally raggedy-assed shopping cart.

Eight or ten staff slope around, clipping branches, watering, re-sorting the seed displays. Vigilant Battery-Powered Garden Defense Owl tracks them with its sensors: Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Monday, June 09, 2008

The Steely Dan Show

2008's first setlist:

Instrumental medley of Everyone's Gone to the Movies, The Fez, Royal Scam (without DF and WB)

Continuation (with vocals, as DF and WB enter stage) of Royal Scam

I Got The News

Show Biz Kids

Everything You Did

Two Against Nature

Hey Nineteen (with WB "story")


Babylon Sisters

Cousin Dupree

What A Shame About Me (sung by Jeff Young)

Glamor Profession (!!!!!)

Parker's Band (sung by the girls)

Black Friday

Green Earrings

New Frontier

Don't Take Me Alive

WB band intro, over a cover of the Supremes' Love Is Like an Itching In My Heart



Kid Charlemagne
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Just Some Little Shit in Love With Your Eyes

Rain overnight, the brisk west wind whipping and teasing long trellisses of cloud all out across the harbor and the southern tip of Bowen Island. Raindrops on the deep green leaves of the big maple tree on the corner. Laying my hand against its thick gnarled trunk. Moss-bearded, russet and lime. Sunday's empty streets: scattered applause from the triathalon crowd with its Pentaxes and slick black Gor-Tex "shells." Cell cameras capturing all the action: lathered cyclists rounding the tight corner onto Davie, tires slipping on the wet pavement.
Friday, June 06, 2008

"The tape is tough to hear—cars, trains and, at one point, an ice cream truck interfere. But it rewards the careful listener."
Via Pete:

"Your retrieved Catbus ad caused great amusement in NYC to my friends Lee Ann & Tony--he proposed to her on the Catbus at Burning Man!"
Thursday, June 05, 2008

FREE: Approx 30 white 6" x 6" used tiles

"For your art project or whatever."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Notes From the Field

Rock phosphate comes in a big white plastic bucket, pelleted with molasses. A dark, crumbly, fine, sweet-smelling substance, with the texture and consistancy of smashed-up lava rock. Application consists of sprinkling it around the base of your fruits, vegetables, and native perennials. Repeated watering wears away the molasses "coat," and the phosphate is taken up and absorbed by the soil.

Rock phosphate's 0-3-0 profile had me confused at first. Why use a weird, expensive, and hard-to-find organic substance when 20-20-20 is readily available at Home Depot? Hell, if phosphorous is required, why not just buy a box of triple super phosphate (0-45-0) and be done with it?

A1: Any fertilizer number above 10 indicates the probable refinement of a natural source, with all the additional energy costs and pollution that the refining process implies.

A2: Highly refined fertilizers "flush" through humus really fast. Most of your expensive 0-45-0 ends up sitting in the drain saucer underneath your tomatoes, instead of lingering in the soil.

A3: Chemical fertilizers kill beneficial microorganisms that are otherwise present in the soil, making fruits and veggies fed on them more susceptible to disease.

A4: Plants aren't meant to be glow-in-the-dark green and freakishly elongated. Organic fertilizers, composts, and carefully built-up soils are better in the long run than the "quick fix" of chemicals meant to accelerate a single growing season.

I didn't really set out to be a strident organic gardener, but the logic justifying organic fertilizers' use is pretty unassailable. Plus, fish fertilizer (5-1-1), bone meal (1-11-0) and liquid kelp (1-1-5) look and smell way better than 20-20-20's icy blue poisonous crystals.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
To rural Delta, to collect a package of heirloom kale seeds and a 2 kg. bucket of rock phosphate.

Grey light.

Torrential rain.

The glaring yellow eye of a coal train departing the Deltaport, far off down the tracks.
+49° 12' 24.48", -123° 4' 40.08"

+49° 16' 13.75", -123° 1' 7.55"
Sunday, June 01, 2008

One Hundred Famous Ghosts (68), 2008

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