Friday, May 30, 2008

Through the Backyards

One of the many benefits of having moms and or dads in the house is that they all love landscaping. While I've been closing the next issue of Wax Poetics all week, among other projects, my mom has spent some of her vacation time in the yard, mowing, edging, and raking. It's looking great.

Our yard has come a long way since we moved in over four years ago, and I hauled out several gigantic bags of trash—including several dead rats and a fully intact rat skeleton—plus chunks of concrete, fence remnants, and rotten lumber. More on the yard in a future post.

Au Revoir Simone Through the Backyards mp3

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Sun Comes Through

My good bud and fellow Northwest native Lily Raskind—proprietor of Sunshine & Shadow—got a great little write-up on recently. I know it was a tough decision for her to take a step back and only do hats and scarves for Fall 2008, but it was definitely the right one.

In my experience, both with myself and with people I'm close to, there are times when you have a lot of momentum built up but your gut tells you to take a step back—and it almost always works out for the best if you do. I can't wait to see what Lily does next.

Check out the article at
Visit to see Lily's spring/summer line, in stores now.

Sunshine & Shadow Fall/Winter 2008 posters, pictured above: Photography by Exu, Graphics by me

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Miniature Birds

About six projects have converged into a cyclone of deadlines bearing down on me this week. Unfortunately this means the blog will have to suffer a little. Just to let'cha know I'm still around, here's my favorite find from the flea market last Sunday—a little tin of old phonograph needles, for a whopping $3.

The record selection has been a little shoddy lately but I got some really cool books that I'll have to post later, when stuff settles down.

My mom is in town and went to the market with us, which was pretty fun, considering she is partially responsible for my interest in digging through other people's trash.

Now is the time for you to stride

Today is my mom's birthday and she's with us in Brooklyn for a week. Last year at this time she and I were driving across the country, celebrating her 60th. She was going to go alone but since I am pretty much able to work from anywhere, I flew out to Seattle with my laptop and we hit the road. Here are some of the photos (you can see the rest in sequence on my Flickr page).

We figured we should start at the Pacific, so we drove to Cape Disappointment.
We spent her birthday in Missoula, MT, at the Missoula Club and the Oxford, which has an impressive display of firearms above the bar, and the sweetest bartender and kitchen staff on the planet.

We did a little camping along the way. At Yellowstone it was sunny during the day but got down to the teens at night. One morning we woke up with a quarter-inch of ice coating the tent.

The Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota was one of the highlights of the trip. This looked like a major road on the map but turned out to be 40+ miles of dirt, and a great way to see some parts of the res that we would normally have missed. Having read so much about Pine Ridge I was happy to be there and see it first-hand.

I'm leaving a lot out here, you should really check out the whole thing on Flickr if you care one little bit about me. This is in the Ozark National Riverways, in Missouri.

Emily met us in Pittsburgh and we hit up a bunch of thrift and record stores—and of course we couldn't miss Primanti Bros., home of the sandwich with fries inside. Emily and I loved Pittsburgh and thought we could happily live there. The thing is, you can't just move around all the time—there's a hundred cities I would like to live in for awhile but it's just not realistic. I feel lucky to have been able to try out both coasts.

The next day we went down to Fallingwater, and then on to Gettysburg, and back to Brooklyn the following day.

We ended the trip at the Atlantic (well, sort of: New York Harbor) on the dock at Red Hook.

I have been to Europe a few times, and it's great—I've had a lot of fun over there. But there is nothing better than a roadtrip through the United States. I don't mean there's not a better vacation—I mean that I don't know of an activity of any kind that is more fun than a roadtrip. That's especially true when you go coast to coast. You feel like you're in the middle of American history—you feel like what you're doing is epic, even though the minute-by-minute action of it is not always riveting. That's how life is anyway—all the little moments add up to something pretty fucking epic.

Junior Mama Used to Say MP3