Saturday, September 29, 2007


Alfa Hellenic Beer, a Pale Lager by Athenian Brewery (Heineken)

12 ounce bottle. I was at Seattle's Saint Demetrios Greek Festival and decided to drink the native brew. I am not especially fond of lagers, but this was pretty good for what it was. Slightly sweeter than Heineken, with a better overall taste.

I would never seek this out again, but would have it at another Greek festival if my other options are Budweiser and Bud Light. The excellent roasted lamb sandwich that I had helped to slightly elevate its flavor.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Saturday night the wife, the child, and I wandered up to Seattle for the forty-seventh annual Saint Demetrios Greek Festival. The friend D. was celebrating his fifty-first annual celebration of his birth into the world. The overlap of the two events and many worlds they encompass—Greek, non-Greek, terrestrial, celestial, and so many more—made for an interesting evening.

We had Greek food—gyros, Greek fries, roast lamb sandwiches, Alfa lager, loukoumades, baklava. We watched Greek dancers. We watched the child dance on stage with other children. We listened to live Greek music—vocals, clarinet, accordion, drums, guitar. We helped look for chairs that were becoming available, in order to commandeer them for our table. We watched the friend D. open his various gifts, mostly books—The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders, The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald, Our Ecstatic Lives by Steve Erickson.

We wandered as our group of people grew to twenty or so, a small enclave in the midst of hundreds. We encountered and chatted with a person with which I attended high school. We marveled at stained glass windows of the four Gospel writers. We viewed ikons of Mary and Jesus and the various saints. We smelled the scents of souvlaki and moussaka as it wafted through the church grounds.

We returned to the table of the friend D.'s birthday celebration and bid him farewell, as we headed back to the car for our drive home, the mystical space and time of Saint Demetrios Greek Festival still echoing in our very beings.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


[1] An opening video with a message from General Boy
[2] "That's Good"
[3] "Going Under"
[4] "Peek-a-boo"
[5] "Girl U Want"
[6] "Whip It"
[7] "Secret Agent Man" sung by Bob 1
[8] "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
[9] "Uncontrollable Urge"
[10] "Mongoloid" sung by Jerry and Bob 1
[11] "Blockhead"
[12] "Jocko Homo"
[13] "Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA"
[14] "Gates of Steel"

[15] "DEVO Corporate Anthem" with band off stage
[16] "Freedom of Choice" with "Star Spangled Banner" introduction
[17] "Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy"

[18] "Beautiful World" sung by Booji Boy


"I just love the smell of a Krusty Pup!"
—Booji Boy

DEVO visited the Puyallup Fair. I'm not quite sure how that came to fruition, but I'm definitely not complaining. The wife surprised me with tickets to see DEVO in concert in celebration of the wedding anniversary. Needless to say, the concert was spectacular. DEVO really know how to put on a show. They entertain.

Mark Mothersbaugh was all over the stage. He and Jerry Casale played call and response with many of the vocals. Bob 1 (Mothersbaugh) and Bob 2 (Casale) played guitars and keyboards with abandon. Josh Freese tore up his drumkit. And, Booji Boy (pronounced "Boogie Boy") "was brought out of hibernation" to end the show with a ten-minute version of "Beautiful World" sung in his falsetto. It truly was a beautiful world.

View the set list...

Friday, September 21, 2007


"If the commodity was a fetish, then Grandville was the tribal sorcerer."
—page 186 [G7, 2], The Arcades Project by Walter Benjamin

These are rediscovered and/or restored advertisements on the sides of brick buildings in the Museum and Theater districts of downtown Tacoma.

My favorite is below. "Omar Cigarettes. The joy of life."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Yes or No: A Game, 2007 by The Child, an original sketch, inspired by Tacoma Art Museum's Sparkle Then Fade exhibit.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Table with Chairs, 2007 by The Child, an original sketch, inspired by Tacoma Art Museum's Sparkle Then Fade exhibit.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


The child's interpretation of Even So, 2003 by Anya Gallacio.


One of my least favorite pieces of the Sparkle Then Fade exhibition. It consisted of some kind of varnished and preserved twig with faux berries attached to it. The child seemed to enjoy it.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


The child's interpretation of Big Round Flat, 2001 by Oliver Herring.


Big Round Flat is a five-foot diameter soft "globe" with sequins attached to it. The child's sketch captures it perfectly—silver light reflected from the surface, with an occasional other color, depending upon what nearby work or light was being reflected.

Friday, September 14, 2007


The child's interpretation of Inflatable Balloon Flower (Yellow), 1997–2000 by Jeff Koons.


This is the least representative of the child's Sparkle Then Fade sketches. The piece is a chair-sized, translucent yellow, inflatable plastic flower. The child's sketch contains no yellow and encompasses the entire sheet of paper, with no clear chair figure. Perhaps the child sketched the light that was reflected off the "skin" of the balloon. Perhaps the child sketched the various pieces of the entire exhibit from the child's vantage point on the floor in front of Inflatable Balloon Flower.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


The child's interpretation of Ma Chihuly's Floats, 2006 by Dale Chihuly.


A great joy is watching the child, sprawled upon the floor of the Tacoma Art Museum, colored pencil in hand, sketching. Other adults, including the museum docents, seem intrigued to see what the child is doing. They try to get closer to the child so that they can sneak peeks at the child's work, without trying to be obvious about it. The child is oblivious to such machinations since the moment revolves around a particular piece of art.

Our most recent visit was to view the Sparkle Then Fade exhibit. The above sketch is of a piece that was not part of Sparkle Then Fade, but intrigued the child as soon as it was seen. The inner "courtyard" of the museum, consisting of a "stone wave sculpture" by Richard Rhodes, was "littered" with thirty-nine glass floats from Dale Chihuly's Niijima Floats series. The floats and stone flooring can be viewed from all four sides of the building. The child sketched a landscape of overlapping circles, representing the most fascinating and colorful floats—as far as the child was concerned—and perfectly captured the Cubist effect of viewing them from all four windows.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


"It's frightening to think of the hours—soon distant and forgotten, yet so slow and negligible while they're going by—during which our friends and relatives think we're alive when in fact we are dead, and they sleep peacefully, dreaming their primitive dreams, or watch television or laugh or curse or fuck instead of dropping everything and running belatedly to meet us and make phone calls and attend to formalities and not believe it, and grieve and despair, to whatever degree."
—page 179, Dark Back of Time by Javier Marías

My reading of Javier Marías's Dark Back of Time has been as fragmented yet cohesive as the novel itself. I have tried to fit time in for the book between doctor's visits, bouts of pain, lack of concentration, the need to rest, and in the wee hours of the night when I cannot sleep even though I need to. I am as equally defined by the novel right now as I am by my current ill health.

In its own strange way, the novel has become a running commentary on my life. I don't see myself in the characters or find myself represented by the plot, such as there is. Rather, I am defined by the tone and subject matter—funereal, elegiac, wondering about lives or moments not lived, but, then, not really concerned about those unlived moments after all. My own mortality rears its ugly head; the novel challenges its own creation and existence, as well as that of literary characters, and authors, and a brother of the novel's author.

Fragmentation finds a theme in both novel and my life. I become fiction, fiction becomes my life.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Bunny Monkey Giraffe Lion, 2007
by the child
wooden letters, plastic stacking rings and base

Those visits to the art museums and galleries are influencing someone...

Friday, September 07, 2007


The child had a lot of fun at the fair. We saw pygmy goats, draft horses, newly hatched chicks, roosters, running ducks, fat people, skinny people, old people, young people, people in wheelchairs, people in strollers, scones, cotton candy, elephant ears, hot tubs, at least three roller coasters, carnies, barkers, clowns, "live action" animated characters, fire engines, barbecued meat, a fountain, cows, rabbits, pigeons, massage chairs, giant massage hands, the Ferris wheel, the merry-go-round, trains, tractors, cow manure, horse manure, personal hobby collections, a junk-noise contraption, fuzzy hats, bird marionettes, "Spongebob-on-a-stick" inflatables, eggplants, giant pumpkins, honeybees, homemade wine, vinyl siding, KZOK stickers, fair burgers, bottled water, the Extreme Shot, police officers, cats, 4-H kids, bleachers, and much more.

In the midst of all of our wandering and observing and absorbing, we stopped to eat. We ordered an adult Krusty Pup meal—consisting of a Krusty Pup, curly fries, and a drink—and a Krusty Puppy. Here is what $11.15 of fair food looks like:

(And, that didn't include ketchup for the fries, because there wasn't any available!)


The child also rode some rides alone for the first time. This seemed to be the highlight of the day, at least until Troy's Work Table suggested we ride a slightly more "adventurous" ride. It scared the child and left TWT feeling nauseated for a few minutes. But, we soon regained our composure and went on our way, wandering about through the sights and sounds and smells of the fair.


There is nothing like standing on the sidewalk next to the main street of town and watching a bunch of bands and horses march past.

The best part, however, was the "stampede" of twenty or so cows that began the parade and officially opened the fair. Someone said they were expecting a stampede of cows akin to the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, rather than the "small town feel" that they got. It worked for the child and I.