Monday, January 31, 2011

James Blake, "Limit to Your Love"

St. Paul Cathedral

"Only our pronouns compromise her.  She may not be she at all."  
                                                                    --David Hamilton

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This used to be a little independent music store in my home town, Mankato, MN, called "Ernie November".  I worked there for about 5 years during college and grad school.  I met some amazing people during that time and had some great experiences.  Much of it was complete monotony, straightening shelves, shooing out hoodlums and street people, smoking cigarettes and staring at the same fucking rock posters day after day.  I never appreciated much in that time of my life--always wanting to get to the next part.  But looking back, there were lots of stories to tell, lots of free shows at First Avenue and the like, and the best part, some juicy secrets to keep.  

Book Exchange, Mankato, MN

Coffee Hag, Mankato, MN

Red Jacket Bridge
What happened to the Red Jacket Bridge?  When I lived in Mankato I used to go for long runs and bike rides along this trail that ran from my neighborhood to a little sneeze of a town called Rapidan Township.  It was about 10 miles out and 10 back if I took the long loop.  I would always stop and get a grape soda from the Rapidan soda machine, otherwise called a "pop" machine here in MN.   Rapidan consisted of a main street, a clump of houses, one old school, and a gas station with no pumps.  It was a town you breezed through, a town for getting somewhere.  If you had to stop you suddenly felt alone.  Maybe that's why no one ever stayed.

Mount Kato, Mankato, MN
Site of high school debauchery.

Friday, January 21, 2011

If you're alone,
it must be you that wants to be apart.   
  --Elliott Smith, "Alameda:

Antic Hay

“There are quiet places also in the mind”, he said meditatively. “But we build bandstands and factories on them. Deliberately - to put a stop to the quietness. All the thoughts, all the preoccupations in my head - round and round, continually… What is it for? What is it all for? To put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost that it isn’t there. Ah, but it is; it is there, in spite of everything, at the back of everything. Lying awake at night - not restlessly, but serenely, waiting for sleep - the quiet re-establishes itself, piece by piece; all the broken bits we’ve been so busily dispersing all day long. It re-establishes itself, an inward quiet, like the outward quiet of grass and trees. It fills one, it grows - a crystal quiet, a growing, expanding crystal. It grows, it becomes more perfect; it is beautiful and terrifying… For one’s alone in the crystal, and there’s no support from the outside, there is nothing external and important, nothing external and trivial to pull oneself up by or stand on. There is nothing to laugh at or feel enthusiast about. But the quiet grows and grows. Beautifully and unbearably. And at last you are conscious of something approaching; it is almost a faint sound of footsteps. Something inexpressively lovely and wonderful advances through the crystal, nearer, nearer. And it’s inexpressively terrifying. For if it were to touch you, if it were to seize you and engulf you, you’d die; all the regular, habitual daily part of you would die… One would have to begin living arduously in the quiet, arduously in some strange, unheard of manner.”

Aldous Huxley
The Drunkard's Garden

You could place but never name
the ache for the thing that wasn't
gone, but could be sometime soon.
Not summer exactly, more
the cusp between, when the spider
grows too large.  To ache is to push against
his thread so far but fail
to break it.  To pluck it 
might sound like a harp string.
Then to pull bac, duck under,
leaving it still intact, tight.
Between the time when the light,
because it's lost all its heat,
feels like some cruel joke, 
and the time when the whole day
was meant to just lay down 
in the sun-sticky grass and sleep it off.

I planted this because I don't want to see
one more ugly thing.  Because to stop 
now would be unnatural,
would mean a constant refusal.

Because even the winter onions,
every tiny pearl is a yes.

--Daneen Bergland

Red Wings and This Wicked Life

I've had these Red Wing boots for about 16 years.  I bought them when I was in graduate school.  And I paid a pretty penny for them which has proved to be a worthwhile investment considering they've been through the mill with me and have survived with nary a scratch or scuff.  In fact, I wish they were a little more worn looking.  In many ways they've held up better than I have. I would like for these boots to look like I've kicked some ass in them.  But alas I'm a lover not an ass-kicker.  Nonetheless I wanna look the part.  

Minnehaha Creek

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Roan is so happy to have her best buddy back to snuggle with.  When he was at his worst she laid quietly beside him and rested her head on his belly.  Riley has always been so good with the little ones.  He was the same with Emma, patient and gentle.  He's such a big boy, pure muscle and sinew, but the most gentle dog I've ever known.

Riley is nine-years-old, but I swear he looks like such a puppy here.  He's just got that innocent kind of face, full of wonder and trust, the only thing giving away his age, his bit of white beard.

We are just overjoyed at how well he's doing since his surgery.  The vets at the University of Minnesota are our heroes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Riley Is Home and Doing So Well!!!

Riley was doing so well at the University of Minnesota that he got to come home today!  I was walking down the paw-printed hallway of the U with his wonderful vet, Heidi, and there he came zooming around the corner (with support in the way of a sling under his pelvis), his back legs moving like gangbusters.  What a happy thing to see him improving so amazingly every day!  He will need walking support for awhile, but considering how he's making such great strides, I don't imagine he will need it for long.  His health and bodily functions are normal in every other way, which is great news.  And I have a feeling he's going to be a handful for me until he's fully recovered.  He loves to go outside, which means I follow him around with a towel underneath his hips for back leg support.  It also means I stand around while he scratches at the snow, sniffing at whatever interests him, and stand around while he just enjoys standing around.  And I'm so happy to do it.  I'm just glad it's a bit warmer here in MN.  Our other dogs are giving him his space and being gentle with him.  So all is good and happy with us.  Thank god for the expertise and kindness of those at the U of M.  And a special shout out goes to Heidi, who has been an angel to us throughout this ordeal.  Lastly, a prayer for the Great Dane pup who wasn't doing very well, and a prayer for all the animals in need.

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