I live in a town with approximately 12783 really great places to eat. Most of them are comfortable, reasonably-priced, and apart from the occasional line-around-the-block-for-brunch scenario, they are welcoming and easy to access.  Even with all that being true, I tend to eat at one of the same dozen or so restaurants over and over and over.

I suppose it could be said I am a creature of habit, though I bridle at classifying myself that way since it seems to imply I am a stick in the mud with no sense of adventure. More, I think it is that by the time I want something to eat, my adventurousness is eclipsed by my need to be sure that what I am about to consume will be tasty and satisfying. This impulse can and is frequently overridden at the urging of almost any dining companion apart from my child who is even worse than I am when it comes to new food ideas.

It occurs to me that the best way to overcome this tendency is to schedule into my restaurant circuit the introduction of at least one new option per month. Considering how often I eat out, this would still represent a small fraction of the opportunities I could be taking. And though I think about doing this pretty regularly, it happens most often that I leave the house with good intentions, see the Casa Del Matador come into view and think, “Fuck it, I’m getting some flautas.”

This is also the pose I tend to adopt most when it comes to music. Though I know that both as a lover of the medium and an artist I should be listening to new material in the service of broadening my experience and inspiring my craft. For the first time in years, I can listen to music at work, which means I have hours every day where I can access streaming music in several formats. Not only do I function better with a melody in the background, I am afforded a huge swath of time in which I may now experiment with hearing new artists at my leisure. The trick here is not to get sucked into the Simon & Garfunkel vortex that is my Pandora…

To that end, last week I plugged The Head & The Heart into the algorithm to see what it would come up with. To the discovery of TH&TH – and many other favorites besides – I am forever indebted to friend Les. As much as her direct recommendations, the benefit of lazy post-run mornings at Naramore Acres listening to “College Rock” on her Direct TV feed has yielded a wealth of recent discoveries; Broods, Beach House, Goshen97, and James Bay to name just a few. I could just follow her around and discover new music with near constant success, but she is inconveniently located for such and I must content myself instead with a semi-monthly inundation instead.

Pandora, when presented with the morsel of my favorite band in recent memory, produced some stellar things in response. First to the plate was The Lone Bellow, which is perfectly characterized by the band as “Brooklyn Country” Though I’m vaguely irritated by their hipstertorian affectations, I have always been a fan of the kind of vocally driven, melodically opulent and emotive style they embrace. I was at first completely convinced that the vocalist was the lead singer from The Black Keys, but apparently he’s in The National (who I also love) instead. I probably listened to their track “Marietta” on repeat for about 4 days straight. Poor Hodie.


Why isn’t SHE wearing a vest?


Next in the mix was a band I had heard recommended on NPR, but failed to follow up on; a pair who performed under the name The Civil Wars. Her voice, utterly luminous coupled with lyrics that found an echoing place in my heart to take up residence. His musical presence lending foundation and nuance to places she could only light. Together they created some of the most compelling music I have heard in as long as I can recall. That they are no longer making music together is poignant in the way that only discovering a band after it has broken up can be. So much the better to cherish what is there to enjoy, I suppose.


If we never look at each other, maybe we can keep the band together a little longer…


Their EP “Bare Bones” is one of the most singularly nourishing experiences I have had musically in a good long time. Stripped down to acoustic essentials, this records is truly bare. Speaking for myself, it settled in under my skin. This music feels resonant and familiar and mine. Hozier had a similar effect on me, but what The Civil Wars made is so much exactly the kind of music I do and want to make I think it’s impact is naturally more profound.

Clementine came with me to Bend, and though I was so completely without my voice I wasn’t able to do the kind of songwriting I’ve felt inspired to, holding her in my hands and simply playing other music that touches me seems to have an electric effect. By opening myself to something out of the routine, I am confronted by new horizons within.

Too bad there isn’t a Pandora for restaurants…

[hahy-ey-tuh s]
noun, plural hiatuses, hiatus.
1. A break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.
2. A missing part; gap or lacuna: Scholars attempted to account for the hiatus in the medieval manuscript.
3. Any gap or opening.
4. Grammar, Prosody. the coming together, with or without break or slight pause, and without contraction, of two vowels in successive words or syllables, as in see easily.
5. Anatomy. a natural fissure, cleft, or foramen in a bone or other structure.

It seems to be an unintentional but reliable tendency of mine to periodically cease all efforts at creative output. The tides and vagaries of life being what they are, it is perhaps understandable, but considering I know self-expression to be high on the list of happiness-making items, I’ll admit to the occasional exasperated sigh heaved in my own direction in the face of a lapse in industry.

Distractions abound and certainly, it’s been an eventful year, but to have some more tangible record of all that passed in the last twelvemonth would be gratifying. Even if occasionally difficult, it would afford me the opportunity to review the time with a more objective eye. The material changes being only the most apparent products of events unfolded and played through, they are substantial. Internal conditions have undergone even more radical alteration; a veritable revolution, that.

So I stand on this shore, with previously unbeheld vistas to consider; the far landscape hinting of a familiar but departed past. At my feet a collection of belongings, intentions, and dreams I held dear enough to retain, some all newly acquired. Sunk into the sea over the horizon, a host of ways and means cast onto the water to sink away into darkness, having far outlived whatever usefulness it once demonstrated.
So all unburdened and newly equipped, I set out again, for the first time.

That sounds way more erotic than it actually is…


If you are interested in the recipe for this amazing taste-gasm-o-rama, click on the photo and you’ll be redirected to Les’ website for a step-by-step.


Here in Muskegon with Mike and Les, we’ve spent some time lamenting about how much we miss food in Portland. Though, I have to admit, being fed by Mrs. Naramore, I don’t miss much. Yesterday she whipped up what were inarguably the best pancakes I’ve had in my life. They were light, fluffy, delicate, and strongly reminiscent of donuts.

While sitting in a post-donut/pancake bliss I started wandering around in a culinary cloud talking about all the other things that could be delicious, in theory. Somehow, perhaps inevitably, we came around to the subject of pie.

Me: You know what would be good? Make an apple pie… throw some bacon on top. Weave it through a crust lattice.

She: Ooooh. That would  be good. It might not be easy to execute. Putting it inside would make more sense. Add some bourbon to the mixture, too.

Me: And then, maybe like some pecans in there.

She: I think the bite of a walnut would be better. Hold up better in the mixture too.

Me: How about, when you plate it… some blue cheese with it?

She: Fuck it. We are making this pie.

And so we did.

My spastic food based imagination + her unparalleled cooking smarts and flawless execution = Amazing taste-gasm-o-rama. Today talking about pie again, some more, we ended up coming up with the idea of a coconut creme pie with a pear compote. Clearly, we are a devestating team. Our Pie Empire is just waiting to rise up and smite all pretenders.


I had no notion of it at the time, but when I was a child my parents were in the habit of making up words. It is true that every family has it’s own vocabulary, but most of the time it will not jump the confines of words that actually exist. No such constraints seemed to occur to us, and occasionally as an adult, I will find myself trotting out some expression of the created sort and receive anything from mild confusion to utter consternation in return.

The most famous and important (in the humble opinion of this author) example of this is:

Hodie: While it was generally used in a much broader context to mean anyone meddlesome or vexing but still pretty cute, I have over time co-opted this appellation to particular use as the main Nom-de-Plume for my child. However, it can and is still applied in the wider framework mentioned before. Should I spy a particularly charming little mischief, I will remark

“Oh, lookit the little hodie.”

but other examples of the concocted language of my life abound. Also in the pantheon we find:

Phlegmbot: This one requires no translation, but is a colorful example of the created lexicon.

“You ate the last of the Doritos? God, but you are a phlegmbot.”

Yucky Grawdoo: Signifying anything odious or vile; particularly if in reference to something moist, damp, or viscous.

“This bathroom is not clean; there is yucky grawdoo all between the tiles.”

Having had a hodie of my own, it turns out this manipulation of language continues, spurred by the inevitable mispronunciation or misapprehension of words already existing:

Attackative: To imply an aggressive or unnecessarily harsh response:

“I am sorry that I ate all of the Doritos, but why do you have to be so attackative?”

Niblings: The children of one’s siblings, irrespective of their gender:

“All of the niblings will be in the pool, and one of them will probably poop in it.”

Duplica: A replica or duplicate of something else:

“My iPod got stolen by some pigdog* so I had to get a duplica.”

Packack: Something in which to tote and carry one’s belongings:

“Didn’t you make sure you put your sunscreen in your packack?”

Dudes: Sunglasses

“I am jealous of your styley-fresh Ray-Ban dudes.”

Mazagine & Nakmin: Magazine and napkin:

I saw this super hot babe in the mazagine and then I needed a nakmin to clean up the yucky grawdoo.”


It is of course, my fondest wish, to spread these linguistic gems as far and wide as I can. You know, V.D.


Vernacular Dispersion.






*The provenance of Pigdog is unclear, somehow I doubt we made that up.

i went into the studio today and recorded this song. i don’t think it’s my best work. i had a bit of a sore throat and a scatterbrain. my playing, which isn’t my strong point anyway, was a little less accurate than average, and my singing, which is usually my saving grace, wasn’t.

which is too bad because i think the song itself IS some of my best work, and getting to the studio is tough. hopefully next time i’ll feel a bit better about the outcome.

How You Don’t

(if you click on the song title, it should play for you)

but it’s a good thing. livingston has been sitting untended all too long. been plucking away at him a bit lately. i forget how good it is for me.

i can’t remember the last time i wrote a song though…

i’m practicing for an open mic night on wednesday. which is the most ambitious thing i’ve done in some time. i mean hell, you should see the state of my bedroom.


The Archtype

All Fall Through


Tuesday Thingers

Today’s topic: Recommendations. Do you use LT’s recommendations feature? Have you found any good books by using it? Do you use the anti-recommendations, or the “special sauce” recommendations? How do you find out about books you want to read?
i will say, i wanted this to be a feature i would get a lot of use out of. i liked the idea that i could access this list at the library and pick up things i might not otherwise know about. i alternate between knowing exactly what i’m looking for when selecting books, or being totally paralizyed by indecision and overwhelm.
but despite this, i’ve not yet gotten anything on the list of recommendations. i think i tried to find some that looked interesting based on the critera they listed for mentioning it; “Why this is recommended” but the ones i was primarily intrigued by weren’t available at my library at the time.
also, lately i’ve been toying with various book-selection methods that are almost a psychological experement of sorts. i’m interested in what makes me want to read a particular book. so far i’ve tried:
  • jacket/cover art- i don’t read any of the reviews or synopsis, just let the title and the cover art speak for the book.
  • taking out random books and reading the first chapter.
  • going to the shelf where my favorite books are and turning 180 degrees and taking something from the shelf opposite
  • selecting subjects at which i am terrible and trying to find a humanizing book about it.

my results have been hit or miss, but to some extent i find the time spelunking in the library as much a worthwhile pursuit as the payoff of an excellent read. and i have found a few gems this way…

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