Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sigur Rós

Muzzle of Bees had a Sigur Rós post with more videos and mp3s. I just experienced listening to their latest album cranked up while going through a car wash. It felt like a stoner move.

"Feelin' Minnesota..."

I ganked the picture of the Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens off of Wikipedia. We didn't actually go here on this trip. Also this was coincidentally a postcard I just mailed to Doolittle back in New England. I'll see if I get some photos tonight.

At the last minute I got pulled into a road trip to Minnesota. We stopped off at mutual friend's house here in Rochester last night and are heading into the Twin Cities to see the band Sigur Ros tonight. Should be fun even if I don't know the music all that well. This will be a short turn around as my friend has to fly out of Iowa tomorrow so we head back right after show. Not looking forward to that drive.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Spain- On the Road Again

I left house today to return books and videos to library after watching the Red Sox win, all but clinching a playoff spot. I also wanted to avoid the updates crawling across the bottom of the television screen indicating that the Patriots were being drubbed by the heretofore hapless Dolphins. To add ineptitude to insult, I find myself mired in last place in my inaugural fantasy football season and it doesn't look like I will be climbing out of the cellar this week or in the near future.

Spain would be a good place to escape to. The clip above is from a show on PBS I lucked into finding. It was the first episode of a new series with Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, Gweneth Paltrow. and Claudia Bassols eating there way around Spain. (Guest appearances by Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.) I enjoyed it and look forward to the rest of the series. He is promoting a companion cookbook. Batali, not Quixote.

Speaking of Spain, I am also hooked on the cooking/travelogue series by Chef José Andrés, Made in Spain. I really want the soundtrack! I should ask the public library to order them.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

North Korea

High-level North Korean officials take part in a mass meeting celebrating the country's 60th birthday in this picture distributed by North Korea's official news agency KCNA in Pyongyang September 8, 2008. The portrait in the huge North Korean national flag is the state founder and "Great Leader" Kim-Il Sung. The right side letters read, "Celebrate 60th birthday". North Korea's foundation day falls on September 9, 2008. (REUTERS/KCNA)

I saw this link from Boston Globe's website on the photography blog Conscientious. I would love to visit North Korea and it's been almost twenty years since I was stationed in South Korea it would be great to return as a civilian.

Sarah Vowell's book led to me check out the Broadway recording of the musical she referred to in the preface that I quoted. (Assassins!). I also found a DVD copy of 1776 which Vowell attended at Ford's Theater which she prefaces by saying,"Going to Ford's Theater to watch the play is like going to Hooters for the food.'' But then she gets hooked on the musical despite her obsession with Lincoln's seat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


photo ©2008 tim carpenter from File Magazine

I was in the middle of a late night poker session Saturday night when someone phoned another player with the news that the writer David Foster Wallace had killed himself. We were unable to confirm it at the time and I did not hear all the details until Sunday night. He will be missed. I never finished his novel Infinite Jest but I really enjoyed his essays and his erudition. His review of Garner's Modern American Usage is a classic example. Wallace also had several entries in The Writer's Thesaurus that are worth looking up.

On a more positive note, my friend Dolittle sent me a copy of Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation. It fits in perfectly with my Teddy Roosevelt obsession.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Some days dance in the bracken"

Glen Uig

Believe in this couple this day who come
to picnic in the Faery Glen. They pay rain
no matter, or wind. They spread their picnic
under a gale-stunted rowan. Believe they grew tired
of giants and heroes and know they believe
in wise tiny creatures who live under the rocks.

Believe these odd mounds, the geologic joke
played by those wise tiny creatures far from
the world's pitiful demands: make money, stay sane.
Believe the couple, by now soaked to the skin,
sing their day as if dry, as if sheltered inside
Castle Ewen. Be glad Castle Ewen's only a rock
that looks like a castle. Be glad for no real king.

These wise tiny creatures, you'd better believe,
have lived through it all: the Viking occupation,
clan torturing clan, the Clearances, the World War
II bomber gone down, a fiery boom
on Beinn Edra. They saw it from here. They heard
the sobs of last century's crofters trail off below
where every day the Conon sets out determined for Uig.
They remember the Viking who wandered off course,
under the hazelnut tree hating aloud all he'd done.

Some days dance in the bracken. Some days go out
wide and warm on bad roads to collect the dispossessed
and offer them homes. Some days celebrate addicts
sweet in their dreams and hope to share with them
a personal spectrum. The loch here's only a pond,
the monster is in it small as a wren.

Believe the couple who have finished their picnic
and make wet love in the grass, the tiny wise creatures
cheering them on. Believe in milestones, the day
you left home forever and the cold open way
a world wouldn't let you come in. Believe you
and I are that couple. Believe you and I sing tiny
and wise and could if we had to eat stone and go on.

by Richard Hugo

I have been revisiting all the detective novels of James Crumley this week. Which always refers me back to Richard Hugo from whose poem the title of Crumley's The Last Good Kiss and this blog are taken from. A collected works is out , Making Certain It Goes On: The Collected Poems of Richard Hugo.

Monday, September 08, 2008


It's going to be a long season.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008



I have not been in the mood to post much of late. That attitude combined with a lack of regular internet access and a proclivity to procrastinate is not good for regular posting. So I figured it was at least time for some more cat pictures. Lately they have been a bit surly as their rations have been cut per doctors orders.

The holiday weekend was relaxing. I spent a portion of it down towards Kalona at a cookout. It was fun evening of good food (smoked salmon) and good music (local singer Dave Moore) which turned into an early morning of good company (friends that live near the cookout). Sunday afternoon I drove home and saw some Mennonite (or Amish) girls wearing their tell-tale bandannas and roller blading past the cheese factory. There was a blood orange sun setting in my rear view. I wished I had brought my camera. This was the best August weather wise we have had in Iowa since I moved here nine years ago.