<= 2015.01.29

Neko Case, Mountain Winery, 9.4.15

“Thank you for coming to see us at this… mountainside… citadel, brought to you by the cheapest wine from the eighties. No, really, I used to drink so much Paul Masson—I know it's not his winery any more—”

“That was Eric Bachmann. He was a-shreddin. Acoustically. Kind of. He practiced that.”

“John’s laughing at me. I have this picture where I stuck a bunch of tampons in John’s beard. It’s like having a German shepherd around—‘okay, you’re doing that, whatever, just stick a bunch of tampons in my fur.’”

“The beards are back! They’re framing me like I’m the emperor Justinian or some shit. Like lions—it’s called heraldic grouping. That's art history class. We are heraldically grouped for you.”

I wanna sex you up!—that’s one of the melodies that is in my head at all times.”

“I’m doing these two songs one after the other just to prove that I can still tune a guitar. That’s the thing about letting dudes tune your guitar, you look like a total douchebag when you try to do it yourself.” [Starts, stops song.] “Shit.”

“I lost it during that one. ‘I touch, comma, touch you’; only Scott Walker can say that. Seriously, some lines are so cunty, you need this man who looks like the guy from Logan’s Run before the run, holding a tiny, catheter-sized microphone—”

“Dan Hunt, our drummer, is not here. When he joined the band I asked him, so what, are you going to have kids or anything, and he said, I don't want any fuckin’ kids. So, he has a one-month-old baby at home. I reminded him and he said, I knew I had to say that to get in your band. She's very cute. I’m kind of glad he had her.”

We’re tigers. Oh look, I see some prey. It’s a mouse. I bet it’s really juicy. Catch! Mm, juicy. Here you go. Actually we’re leopards. I see… a turtle that is already dead. Pretend our favorite things are mouses and turtles. Mm. Now I’m going to get your coffee boot. Here’s my coffee boot and mama leopard’s coffee boot and daddy leopard’s coffee boot. Can I see the clippers? The chain is so interesting. Okay, can I play with your watch? This is called the… watcheedood. We use it to look at the time and to put more coffee in our coffee boots. It’s exactly seven o’clock. I folded it very nicely. Did you know that it folds like this? Where’s your... what did I say it was? The coffeedood. Watcheeboot. The coffee boot. Here is some more coffee.

My hypothalamus has been trying to cook the rest of my head. This is pausing and thinking of a sort, or it bears the same relation to thinking that undirected noodling bears to actual songs.

Our lemon tree is weathering the drought OK, so far. Half a lemon squeezed into a liter of bubbly water is how I get fighting fit to climb the stairs.

I had notes for a Father’s Day post, on that ceremonial feeling of undesert: you can’t do everything you have to do, and family life, much more than a job, stifles the admitting of it. There is no multitasking, the Pauli exclusion principle, etc.

(Shout from the bathtub: “How do you… make HAM!?”)

Also in that post I would have noted the mourning doves who are nesting on the porch joist outside our back door. I don’t know if they’re the same ones we saw attempting to conceive on the back fence (always awkward, a bird trying to hover-mount long enough to realize the goal), but these are a model couple in their shared incubation. I’ve seen the shift change in the early evening; a wing whistle announces the incoming partner, the outgoing stands and does an old-man shuffle along the joist, head pressed into the corner of the roof, until it finds room to take off. I’m not sure which is which. Male Zenaida macroura are supposed to be larger and “more colorful,” but they all look large and colorful when they’re a foot away on the porch joist, pale blue eye-ring framing that still stare while you go beneath to take out the trash, big dumb groundling that doesn’t see them.


He rests. He has traveled.


Ruby on Rails and Perl on Pails and Java on Jails and SQL on Sails and Android on Ales and Github on Gales and Wordpress on Whales and Homebrew on Hails and Travis on Trails and Bamboo on Bails and LDAP on Llails and xml­Text­Reader­Schema­Validate­Ctxt on Phthails.


Going to a dark bed there was a map onto a space of sets of loops in groups of the night of all open and closed loops over groups in the map onto space of Expressionable the Nth.


The 1973 Disney Robin Hood left R. prostrate over the rhinoceros follies, and made her ask about the Crusades.

—There was a particular special city called Jerusalem;

—I have to poop right now.

This led to questions about God, which we define as a “powerful spirit” since the concept is familiar from Amulet.

―There were lots of things people didn’t know, so they’d ask “Why are there earthquakes?” and say “Maybe the spirit is angry,” and “Why does rain fall our gardens? Maybe the spirit is helping us,” and “Why is there a world? Why are there any people at all? Where did the first―”

―This is way more mindblowing than my version; I just talked about history.

She has a scooter, but the quickest entertainment is to take her anywhere at all on public transit.

—Caltrain sounds like California! I never even realized that!

Sleater-Kinney, Nob Hill Masonic, 2015.05.02

Man, I would have been less picky about The Woods ten years ago if I had known how little of its sort was coming after, and how well those songs would age in an empty field. I know they’ve been busy with television and such in this long interim; still they seemed to have popped right out of a time capsule, sharp as ever, from a time when we were hungrier in order to ask why we’d stopped being hungry.

“Let’s Call It Love” still isn’t my favorite, but this is just something about me and blues-rock. I remember when MC5: A True Testimonial had a showing in Portland and Corin went ape over it; it’s a mode. They did make the guitar solo jump around more than I remembered. Everything pounded. Anyway, Greil Marcus continues to have been right about “Start Together,” and they are my Joey Ramone.

I can’t hold attention all the way through these recent Swans double-deckers, but I do love the backing vocals that come into this one at 4:10.

I also remember above all else an occasion—I bring it up because there is something of an engineer’s touch to it—in which during an entire dinner [Benet] torturously held me in suspense over the issue of how to tell me with the most flair that he had enjoyed one of my novels. And on that occasion—on which I remember that Blanca Andreu was present, as well as another friend—he began by telling me “Well then, this novel, yes, it is fine, what’s happened is that you’ve committed a tremendous, truly unpardonable error in this book and, you see, well the book isn’t what it might have been.” I became terrified, because when someone is your mentor and you take his opinion as the most important response to the appearance of your new book, well, you take in every word; and I began to think that he was going to raise an objection to its structure, or its very conception, that he was going to tell me that its style was horrendous, and he said, “There is a serious problem because there is a moment when you talk about a railway bridge”—and that was the only thing he had written down on the note he had in front of him—“a railway bridge, and you go on to describe it in the following way: ‘The wide river of blue waters, broken by the long bridge of diagonally crossed iron’”; he said, “and of course, that cannot be, because, how could you not have realized that this bridge is,” and I am very sorry, I don’t remember exactly what he said, but he said something that was completely incomprehensible to me, let’s say that he said that the bridge was a bridge of policated beams of blecarian misipication, “And of course if you had said that it was a bridge of policated beams of blecarian misipication [un puente de vigas pudeladas de mispiquel a leberquisa], well, then the novel would have been quite different, how great indeed would your novel have been if you had said this.”

—Javier Marías, “Acto de homenaje a Juan Benet,” tr. Benjamin Fraser in Understanding Juan Benet

I started reading the latest from James Salter and had one of these complete failures of cross-generational sympathy; it was Virginia Woolf trying to get through Hilda Lessways all over again.

Myrmecophily for the perplexed

At J.’s job a discussion ran aground on whether to put full stops in the web copy, and her Dutch coworker brought up the word mierenneuker, meaning “ant-fucker,” which I’ve since been delighted to spread around. As Ray points out, it’s a better word than “nitpicker” because picking nits actually serves a purpose.

The punchline is that people get corrected for spelling the word incorrectly, with a single ‘n.’

<= 2015.01.29

What goes on