Monday, November 28, 2011

ADVENT


Riverwalk Trail, Puyallup, Washington.

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"But nevertheless something shines in the dark ahead that is alive and makes no sound. We saw it once before, but that was a long time ago, or maybe our ancestors did. Or we did as small children. It spoke to us and directed and educated us then; now perhaps it does so again. It sought us out, in the climax of peril. There was no way we could find it; we had to wait for it to come to us."

—page 21, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick by Philip K. Dick, edited by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem.

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Thank you to JNQ and KSB for nudging me to see Advent in the above quote, when I could only see the monsters lurking in the shadows.

Friday, November 25, 2011

SUMNER BRIDGE LIGHTING


10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...


More than 100,000 white Christmas lights come to life on Sumner's Stuck River Bridge.

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2008.

2007.

2006.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

DUVEL


Five years ago, I had my first bottle of Duvel for Thanksgiving. I wasn't fond of it then. This Thanksgiving, I once again sipped on my annual holiday bottle with turkey and cranberries. It's grown on me. It still isn't my favorite, but I can appreciate it in ways that I couldn't half a decade past. And, now it's a tradition.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

FALL


Grayland Park, Puyallup, Washington.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

FALL


Meridian Avenue, Puyallup, Washington.

Monday, November 21, 2011

FALL


Puyallup Public Library, Puyallup, Washington.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

FALL


Fourth Street Northeast, Puyallup, Washington.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

BEOWULF

Robert Zemeckis, along with accomplices Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, has made a horrible mockery of an epic poem. He has taken communal, ritualized violence and transformed it into individualized hypersexuality. He has given Beowulf Freudian legs, three of them, as one of his cross-eyed wenches attests. He has transformed a tale of heroism into a narcissistic Dungeons and Dragons fantasy, trying to hang it on the lyrics of the original text. Unfortunately, this is animated action film and I am the worse for having watched it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

OBSOLETE

"I have to somehow come to terms with the fact that so much of what has informed me, inspired me, and driven me is becoming, for lack of a better word, obsolete. Wait. Let me re-write that. Not inherently obsolete. Obsolete in the eyes of a free market that values frictionless shopping, portability, and digital content over everything else."
—Matt Kish, from his blog "Canst thou draw out Leviathan with a hook?" ("Nothing is the same: What will happen" on Wednesday 09 November 2011)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FALL COLOR

A WIDOW'S STORY


"Too late, this is a sinkhole I have blundered into—the kissing, the hugs, the bright exclamatory voices—I am plunged in to a blackness ten times black—as Melville would have said the blackness of the soul without hope—staggering away seeing again with such hallucinatory vividness it’s as if I am there, again—I have never left..."
—page 351, A Widow's Story by Joyce Carol Oates.

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Plain and simple, this memoir is sad. I found myself reading it slow and steady, absorbing it in small chunks and at a constant, consistent pace. I found myself meditating not only on the death of Ray Smith and the grief of Joyce Carol Oates as she mourns the loss of her husband, but of my own mortality. I fear losing The Wife should she die first, but fear more for her should I be the one to depart before her.

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Joyce Carol Oates spares us none of the madness, terror, suicidal thoughts, moments of remembrance and brief respite from the pain experienced during her journey through grief. She does leave us with a bit of hope toward the end of the book, although it is a strange and tarnished hope. She isn't done grieving.

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This book feels cathartic. As she writes down the darkness upon the page, I can almost feel a healing on the other side of the writing. This is what keeps me reading it. This is perhaps part of the slouching, trembling, less-than-perfect hope that shuffles along toward the book's conclusion. This act of writing, of defiance, of exploration and experience, is what keeps me engaged as a reader, even through the difficult passages, the pain of another.

Like Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, which covers similar terrain, you need to journey within this book's words and sentences, to learn from a fellow wanderer on this world, and to reflect upon your own life and love and death.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

HE'BREW GENESIS 15:15


As for yourself, you shall go to your ancestors in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age.
—Genesis 15:15

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He'Brew Genesis 15:15, a Barleywine by Schmaltz Brewing Company.

8 ounces served on tap in a tulip glass at The Red Hot.

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This is not exactly a "hot dog" beer, but was excellent anyway.

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I've had a couple of the Jewbelation ales over the past few years, so I knew that Genesis 15:15 would be a treat. Looking at the beer board in The Red Hot, I also knew that it packed a 13.4% alcohol-by-volume punch. I was hoping that it would be served in a smaller glass since I would be driving after lunch. It was, which was a good thing because it was potent brew.

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It arrived with a black body and a sturdy, lasting, finger-thick light brown head. Intricate lacing was left behind.

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The nose is dark chocolate, malts, rye bread, dark fruits, and a wee bit of funk (yay!). The flavor builds upon these base aromas and expands—raisin, figs, dark chocolate, brown sugar, rum, as well as hints of lacquer, campfire, tobacco leaf, and broth.

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This ale is rich, rich, rich! It is dense and chewy. The mouthfeel is thick and dense, coating the tongue and palate, and leading to a slow, warm burn in the mouth and esophagus. The finish is long and sweet. This is an awesome barleywine.

The 13.4% abv isn't overwhelming. Instead, it sits in the background, peeking through here and there. However, its effects can definitely be felt at the end of the glass.

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As it warms, this ale smooths out, becomes more silky, mellows, and blends. I can only imagine what a cellared bottle of this holy nectar would taste like. My guess is that it would make it's ancestors proud in its "good old age," just as Abraham was promised by Yahweh.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

ART AT WORK


As part of Tacoma Arts Month, TWT and The Child headed out to visit a few artists in their natural habitats: their home studios. We packed up sandwiches (TWT's in the Weekly Volcano's Art at Work cover and The Child's in a fabric wrap) and began to wander.


First, we stopped off at Holistic Forge Works and Ms. Darcy's Woolly Cakes Studio, where The Child actually placed a quarter in the donation box. Then we went inside...


...where we encountered local political cartoonist wunderkind R.R. Anderson amongst his tools, toys, inventions, haunted machinery, artwork, Tacomic cartoons, and assorted curiosities.


Afterwards, The Child and TWT stopped by Tacoma's Wright Park for a picnic...


...and the W. W. Seymour Conservatory to warm up and look at flowers.


Then it was off to the studios of Springtide Press, Holly A. Senn, 2 Ravens, and Hilltop Artists. The Child had to eventually be dragged away from viewing the glass blowing of the youth of Hilltop Artists, exhibiting a patience rarely seen unless someone has a passion for what they are experiencing.

After a long day of being immersed in art and wandering, it was time for some brief napping before dinner.