American Kid

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I’ve included her on some of the Memorial Day albums in the past, but Patty Griffin has a new album out today.  I found a link to a streaming version of it, and wanted to share it with you all.  Her songs grow on me — she’s the best type of songwriter in that her songs aren’t a “one-listen and discard” type.  It takes some long, attentive listens and road trips across Kansas to really become embedded in my life experience, giving a voice to bunch of emotions I didn’t even know I had until her songs came along.

Hope you enjoy this….

Moby Dick, or the card game

cardgame

I’ve been haunting Kick Start for the last couple of months and I caught wind of this today. I’ve never been much for roll play games but I might give this one a try. Though I can’t think of who I would play it with save for you clowns.

I’m glad to see they’ve made their goal already.

This Hit Me of Late

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In the Attic by Seamus Heaney

1.

Like Jim Hawkins aloft in the crosstrees

Of Hispaniola, nothing underneath him

But still green water and clean bottom sand,

The ship aground, the canted mast far out

Above a seafloor where striped fish pass in shoals—

And when they’ve passed, the face of Israel Hands

That rose in the shrouds before Jim shot him dead

Appears to rise again . . . “But he was dead enough,”

The story says, “being both shot and drowned.”

2.

A birch tree planted twenty years ago

Comes between the Irish Sea and me

At the attic skylight, a man marooned

In his own loft, a boy

Shipshaped in the crow’s nest of a life,

Airbrushed to and fro, wind-drunk, braced

By all that’s thrumming up from keel to masthead,

Rubbing his eyes to believe them and this most

Buoyant, billowy, topgallant birch.

3.

Ghost-footing what was then the terra firma

Of hallway linoleum, Grandfather now appears

Above me just back from the matinée,

His voice awaver like the draft-prone screen

They’d set up in the Club Rooms earlier.

“And Isaac Hands,” he asks, “was Isaac in it?”

His memory of the name awaver, too,

His mistake perpetual, once and for all,

Like the single splash when Israel’s body fell.

4.

As I age and blank on names,

As my uncertainty on stairs

Is more and more the light-headedness

Of a cabin boy’s first time on the rigging,

As the memorable bottoms out

Into the irretrievable,

It’s not that I can’t imagine still

That slight untoward rupture and world-tilt

As a wind freshened and the anchor weighed.

Illustration

ThomTenery_GethenRising

I was showing a student this artist’s work today to talk about atmospheric perspective, and it occurred to me that Toby and others might enjoy it.

Lock, Stock and Pickpocket

Pickpocketing

Another interesting article from the New Yorker.  It’s really amazing how good one can get, almost to the point of it being magical, when you solely focus on one skill for your entire life.

And here’s a video of his talent on display:

You Existing As You

What are the chances of you coming into being?

Let’s Evoke, Not Provoke

As I’ve been sharing things on the blog, I’ve wondered why I’ve kept things unserious after all the pressures, concerns, and nightmares of the past week.  Perhaps I need a place for respite from the typical news flow across the internet.  I felt I’ve needed evocation, rather than provocation.

Here’s a series of photos that evokes something inextricably Kansas out of me, and thought I’d share.

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Just Because I Love It

I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
And a few lilies blow.
And I have asked to be
Where no storms come,
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
And out of the swing of the sea.

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Best Autocorrect of Last Year

Below the fold to keep a modicum of suspense alive — Steph and I laughed for a full half hour about this one.  And we still laugh whenever we bring it up (which is more often than I like to admit, but never in public :) ).

Read more…

List of Lists

I have a folder of links I collected to share with the blog over the past half year, with the hopes of making a triumphant return to posting.  I’m not sure it’s triumphant but it’s a return.

Hopefully I can keep pace for a little while and release these to you all over time.  When the odometer rolled over to 2013 in this A.D. world, I was thinking about lists and found the following: List of Top 100 Lists.

list-of-lists

On the Subject of 2012…

Another link I found in early 2013, was a series of videos an auteur named Matt Shapiro has put together for the last seven years called The Cinescape.  It’s pretty amazing craftsmanship, and even though none of the films he spliced together are original works, the way he did it is.  It’s masterful and brings to mind how movies, even in their most mundane form, can be filled with wonderful images and themes.  Sometimes I feel as if there’s a boredom of abundance.  There’s just so much high-quality filmmaking these days, that even the worst of the Hollywood dreck can be filled with amazing facets.

The Cinescape above also reminds me of how movies feature variations on a theme, and that the tropes can get tedious after a while.  So, there’s a sense of wonder and disappointment as I flip through all seven of these and start to see some of the tricks filmmakers use to emotionally and visually connect.

This Just In…

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Thanks, Shotts…

Every time I think of Coca-Cola, I think of The Blinks.

I'd Like to Buy the World...

Click on the image to go to the article.

I do find this article fascinating, however, and am reminded how surrounded we are my technological marvels.  Collective miracles, since no one person holds the key to delivering a can of Coke.  There’s also a part of me that wonders if all this effort is worth it, too.  And what pittance I pay for a Coke…it seems like it is “worth” more — even if I’ve come to expect it cheaper than water, in some cases.

This Could Have Been Us

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I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like this article could have been written about us, in a mirror universe. Where instead of Thanksgiving, we resorted to a heinous act to fill our idle time. It’s the work of the devil, I tell you. Thank goodness for our Hollow Men meetings, on the heights of Coronado, for keeping us out of trouble.

Click on the photo to get to the article.

It’s Been a Long Time MT

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MT can stand for Music Tuesday, too, you know….

The National is one band I keep coming back to, although I like High Violet, Boxer is the one on my steady-repeat list.

They’re releasing a new album in May, but I managed to snag one of the tracks and thought I’d share.

Demons

I hope this is a return to the blog for me.  I feel like I have things to say here that I don’t really feel like saying “in the crowd” on Facebook.