Saturday, June 30, 2007

10 year anniversary

Folks and this week's news have been reminding me that it is coming up on the 10 year anniversary of both the release of the Mutton Birds' Envy of Angels and "the Handover" of Hong Kong back to China from the Brits. Both are so intertwined for me, with Envy providing a soundtrack to that whole marvelous, emotional, special year spent with such special people.

The other week, before the Phoenix Foundation show, I put on my headphones and went out into the garden to tend the tomatoes. I had my own "best of" Mutton Birds compilation on. I nearly wept from hearing those songs together again. (The last time must have been when I went into labor.) I'd almost forgotten how deeply I loved those songs, that band.

Friday, June 29, 2007

It's been on my mind lately

From Ian Wedde's The Commonplace Odes

To my sons

Home's where you're always going, it's the place you've just
Left, where your father takes all the photographs
In the unfinished dwelling of the tribe. Tomorrow when it rains
He'll fix the roof, dinner's over and music
Still follows you into the street as night falls

Across the face of the brooding, neighbourhood hillside.
Hair falls across the faces of young
Musicians. They're dancing, their paws are running and running
In the dream chase, their hearts are broken and they cross
The world for love and then they come home

Again, these flaneurs &endash; they have eaten the meats of strange
Lands and heard the call to prayer startle
Doves from the battlements of seaside resorts where the gasoline
Was cheaper than at home. They've been where bear hunters
In the cold mountains make toys in the off-season.

They bring the toys back for us to look at.
There's a painted doll that fits inside another,
And so on, until the story disappears. The tall
Stories of the tall boys. They come back
Like their great-great-grandfathers before them, lacquer-

Ware in their seachest, blue plates with unicorns
On the back, postcards of copulating gods,
T-shirts in languages not yet spoken,
An amulet, a faraway look. It's great to be home
Again, say our wandering sons, as they wave goodbye.

[Tricia's musings: I think about our folks taking the news that we'd be somewhere in the Pacific for approximately 9 months and marvel. Will Matty and I be so gracious when it's Wyatt's turn? I would not have traded 1998 for anything: Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Pakistan, Kashgar, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, New Zealand, Australia, Bishop. We were truly blessed with safe journeys and wonderful discoveries. We ate the meats of strange lands and heard the calls to prayer that startled, indeed, and we shared a bit with our folks. All that wandering marked us and in a good way.]

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hot Springs potluck

There is a bachelorette potlock at Benton Hot Springs tonight for Genevieve. I am looking forward to this.

Dad has Wyatt today and Matt is sailing Crowley with Ray.

I hope to have a quiet rest of the week with a good book or backlog of New Yorker magazines. Joe Boyd's account of folk/rock in the 1960s, White Bicycles, is coming in the mail.

I feel a bit stressed and I'm not sure why.

my morning sunshine

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Houston, we have fruitset

Even with this 100 degree, 2 percent humidity, high wind weather we've been having, I am getting some fruitset on my 30someodd tomato plants. I've been diligent about misting and watering regularly. I also have a lot of paste and cherry varieties, which tend to perform better in the Valley.

Going to use Matty's custom stainless icechest as a solar oven to roast the tomatoes, which will start appearing in all their ripe glory (inshallah) in about 2 weeks.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Babbo, Party Boy

I asked Wyatt if he wanted to go to the rodeo tonight (the State high school championships are in town), and he said, "No, party."

Yes, Bishop is still the land of a thousand potlucks. We went to one celebrating the Solstice last night. There was another one celebrating the Solstice, but with African drumming until late.

Wyatt was rather well behaved in the mostly adult crowd. He doled out lovely hugs and greetings to his favorite aunts and uncles and to Baby Maximo, who was there for a few minutes.

When we explained that there would be jumping cows and horses at the rodeo, Babbo got interested.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

White Trash Version of Bougie Yuppie Scum

It's the Solstice and what are we doing? Stacking our two plus cords of almond, walnut, and locust firewood for the coming winter. We're rich I tells ya, rich. We bought it early because it was on sale (2 cords unstacked $750), and we were given some because Grandpa Walt can't stand the thought of his underweight heir freezing his wee baws off.

It is nearly 100 degrees today.

Having burnt firewood since moving here in '98, I can tell that this is good stuff. It's dry, split, and comes in different shapes and sizes. We've got enough that I can keep a fire going 24/7 if I want.

It being close to the end of June, my thoughts turn to our annual holiday. We're going to Europe. It'll be 2 nights Amsterdam, 4 nights Brussels (for the Belgian Beer Weekend, baby!), 6 nights Paris, and 4 nights in Banyuls (on the Spanish border, Mediterranean side) with Paul and Sheila Doherty. Paul and Sheila are retired English friends whom we met in Hong Kong. They are the parents of Mark, one of our Hong Kong gang. We had the miles for all of us to fly free. Matt REALLY DID NOT want to do the Ride Across Iowa (you cycle through all these small towns and town folk feed you food sold from their front porches), so he lobbied for finally getting to the Beer Festival.

Considering that I will probably be on my ass for a fair bit of this early winter recouping from whatever surgery is coming, Europe will be a bit of a last hurrah for 2007. Stinky cheese and and tripe and geuze and lambics here I come! I'm hoping to pick up the last William Boyd novel for the trip.

The hostels, flats, and hotels are booked (Jesus God, Amsterdam is expensive. Our double room in a houseboat hostel is running 120 euros). The true sign that we've hit middle age and middle class is that I bought travel insurance. Bloody hell. End of an era.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

From the Department of Shameless Self-Promotion

Michelle has taught me heaps about PR. Okay, the Inyo Register is not quite the New York Times. We nevertheless created the press release so that things could go smoothly the next time, if there's a next time. I really want to work on the venues in Mammoth and Tahoe. Despite the mighty unfortunate caption, the gist is there.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cause for joy

Wyatt is engaged, kind, and happy. He is using his words. He is delighting in having friends like Auntie Karen and Uncle Skandar and his Gung Gung (Chinese Grandpa).
We couldn't ask for more.

I went to the emergency room yesterday morning. I had a gnarly headache that lasted for over 27 hours. I don't normally get headaches. I was afraid that I was having a stroke or aneurysm. In the end, it took 3 Vitamin I (ibuprofin), 2 acetomenaphin (sp) and massive doses of caffeine to make it go away.

The 2007 tomatoes are setting fruit beautifully and no signs of disease, yet.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Exhaustion Taketh Over

Spent the weekend at Fallen Leaf Lake en famille for a work conference of mine. I have the greatest employer in the world, and it lets me bring my husband and son to what is a great setting in Lake Tahoe.

Hung out with 150 folks at the conference. Caught something viral. Still went ahead with my scheduled CT Scan and MRI in Truckee. Slept through the whole MRI. Came home to some gnarly winds.

Exhausted. There is a potluck/poker night here tonight. Jen is leaving town. After her student teaching gig at the high school, she found a fulltime gig down south. Tonight's is a special going away edition in her honor.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Horsepower is out now!

The new and improved Horsepower on Young American is out now!
It's got a new version of "Blue Summer," which features prominently in Taika Waititi's highly acclaimed "Eagle vs. Shark," "The Drinker," and the video for "Going Fishing."

You can buy it here.

Wow, I guess it was a fantasy come true

A year to the week after I started scheming about bringing the Phoenix Foundation to Bishop, it came true - and beautifully to boot!

The band came, they saw, they conquered.

We got the extendo disco remix 2 hour long set, the dancing fools in wigs and boas, the heartfelt "It's a Lie!" singalong, the "give me a C-A-R-N-I-T-A-S!" spellout, the high quality New Zealand style meatpies, the mixed age turnout, the Paiute (the American Indians who settled the area) turnout (THANK YOU FOR COMING. THIS WAS A HIGHLIGHT FOR ME), the cancer fighter turnout (my conga line partner, a crazy hero of mine), the baying for "MORE!", the rare "This Charming Van," "The Drinker," the fabulous new "Bright Grey" AND "Purple Rain" encore....In short, we got everything.

You have never met a kinder, lovelier band of men who could sing and rock. Everyone, men included, flirted with Conga playing Will, and everyone, even grizzled old desert rats, now hold court and tell anyone who'll listen what a great band the Phoenix Foundation are.

I've seen this time and time again. The band start playing to a room of strangers and end the night being feted like good mates done bloody effing fantastically good. I know that's how I joined "the army."

Nearly 150 Owens Valleyites showed their generous, beautifully tan, fit, and manic natures and the band responded by giving us a party like we haven't seen in a while.

We're predicting that couples who were at the show went home and got it on casually.