Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our Digs

Well, just in time for our San Francisco friends to come and stay for a few days, the painting is done. I got a dozen or so bags of bark mulch to lay around the edges of the house and it just looks like a million bucks. It's so fun to see things coming together.

The really cool thing is that it has been cause for celebration among many of the neighbors...and not just folks who live on our street. People swing by who just drive or bike by the house every day, or folks who had considered buying it. It's really cool to see everyone rallying for us.

Click on the below photo to see up close and personal...



Upper left is from 1904 (?) and the upper right is when we first bought the house. You could hardly even see this house from the street! Lower left is when we cut down the trees and trimmed back the others. And bottom right is today.

Wow. Wow. Wow. And now for some rest, friends, hookah, and beer!

Our Hood

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cellist Needed

If anyone knows a good cellist (and/or a good violin player) in the Portland area who would be interested in doing some studio work, please get me their contact info. Stat! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Trees

On Sunday, Holly and I joined the Wilderness Way Community in reflecting on autumn, trees, and what we fear most. After today's walk in Laurelhurst park, I felt this...

Oak
Maple
Ash
Even Pine

Shed their skin
Whether by accident or design
And make
The floor I walk on

Colors...no, more
Essence!
In it's purest state
Death equaling life

The mysterious cycle
Of Summer come Autumn
Prepare for the hibernation
The preservation

Smell changes key
A transposition
From life
To "life"

We say,
"Take it in seasons"
But they do not try
They simply are

Fucking trees
I strive
My whole existence
For their vocation

To be rooted
To protect
To guide
To never need to speak with words

In Time For The Holidays

Day 4 of 5

Backyard

Sunday, October 26, 2008

On Sustainability and Hope

Thanks to Solveig and Joel for these seemingly related links.

Beyond Hope

...and...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Cannot Help It

Bloom

The first app I have bought. I am excited to try out this Brian Eno invention. I'll let you know what it's like.

Well, I gotta say that–while a bit limited in features/tones–this is a cool app. If you dig Music for Airports or any of Eno's ambient stuff, you'll dig making it on your own with this app. Enjoy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friends

I have so many friends that I am really missing right now. I think it's due primarily to it being fall, which is normally a reconnect point for us with so many folks. Missing these friends makes me stalk them virtually on the internet. What a dork.

But I found this video that Mike shot for our album release party earlier this year. I just love watching it. It warms me. And Pax now says his ABCs and sounds much like Ella.

What Our Backporch Actually Looks Like

Since we're painting the exterior of the house, I thought it best to
prune the grapevine early this year. For those of you who have seen
our backporch, you'll hardly recognize it. We will trellace these
vines over the stairs or elsewhere. Their presence over the past 10-15
years caused some severe rot on the backporch.

Oh and Holly shaved her head. Pruning can be a beautiful thing.

Painting and Drywall Today

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh My God. It's My Bad.



Thanks Jason.

This Kinda Stuff Just Makes Me So Sad

I got this in an email this morning...it's part of a larger letter petitioning Christians to pray against Barak Obama. This fear-mongering, so typical this time of year whether it be from right or left, is just plain sad. Just so disappointing that people call God to be on their side.

Maybe McCain on his own cannot defeat Obama, but our God can and He will if we take to our knees in prayer and raise a mighty cry to the heavens. We have the power to change the course of this election and to keep a man as suspect as Barak Obama from leading our country to who knows where with his message of 'change'; a change which I fear will be away from our Christian ideals, and away from Christ, and further away from one nation under God to one nation under Allah.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Guilt

I just killed a rat. Not with poison or a trap. I bludgeoned it with a stone from my back yard. And it took several times before it died. I felt a sort of sick to my stomach, near-crying sensation.

I feel that I kinda need to confess this because I don't know exactly why I did it and that's what scares me. Are rats necessarily bad in the backyard? Was I just protecting my property? But from what? Did I fear them messing with the garden beds or crawling into my house somehow? I dunno.

Can someone give me a reason for why I should have let it live? I just couldn't think of one. And from all I can tell, we're enemies, right?

This feels like a strange thing to blog about, but it just happened and I'm processing in real time.

What do you think? Should I've let it run away? Would you've? Or would you have killed it, too? And why?

AirTap

Google it. My neighbor and I installed one in our basement last night.
Cool.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Longbrake(s)

Josh and Kenz joined us last weekend. Joined? Hell, they came over and made us dinner in our own house! Even treated us to Stumptown. Wow. How's that for hospitality?

Then they went home and made a beautiful video. All the best to our Seattle friends. And enjoy the video below.


Scenes From Portland from Joshua Longbrake on Vimeo.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Signs of Autumn

Landing (Again)

In prepping for an album I'll be producing this fall, I thought I'd get back into the groove and set the studio up, listen to some old tracks, mess with them, etc.

I found this mix of You Might Not Know You're Home 'Till You've Landed, tweaked it, and here it is for your downloading pleasure.

Jared, I hope you dig this mix better than the album one. Cheers.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Multnomah Falls

Aunt Lisa is in town and Pax is loving the excitement.

Mmm

Compost bin? Double check.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Under Construction

Two big days ahead of us. Prepping the basement for the drywall, new windows, etc.

Some pics...



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Swatch Update

We're getting ourselves into all sorts of trouble. Mainly because we get bored with a particular project and move on to a new one. We're getting new windows tomorrow, so we thought we should go ahead and paint the window trim since we can be more sloppy with the current windows. So that made us think that we should really get our shit together as far as colors go. So here is what we're going for...



I have taken great pleasure in home-ownership. It was something I have felt guilty about. It seems like it can be such a drain on life-energy and resources. But the flip-side is that for someone like me, it can be very rewarding and energizing. And we have come to see our home as our primary place of life.

At any rate, things are moving along well. These next 2 weeks are very, very, very full. We're wrapping up a few S7 projects, starting to produce/record a new album for a friend, getting new windows, finishing the basement, painting, getting compost and rain barrels set up for the winter (and really for the spring garden). All that on top of getting to know our neighbors and hang with folks like my sister.

Okay, back to painting!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Exterior Swatch

A Long Day

Man that was some hard work! But the front and back look great. We
moved a good amount of dirt to even out the beds. Then Brad and I
rotorilled several times to get the new compost and the crimson clover
(for winter ground cover and spring nitrogen when we plant veggies)
several inches under the earth. A day of hard work that shows itself
almost immediately.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Up & Down

Life has been oh so full since we set foot in Portland. The house is amazing. But I'm tired and weary.

There's a lot that I'm thinking about. And there's simply very few places of sanity right now. This economic crisis seems like it's happening "out there" because I have zero sense of what it means to me. But it seems big, right? It unsettled me in a general, undefined sort of way.

And then there's the more specific ways I'm feeling unsettled. Namely that we're unsettled in the house. I've spent so long (has it really been so long?) practising exile. Now I want a context that I can feel comfortable in. And of course there's guilt felt with that. Feeling like you're selling out. Not doing enough. Considering 10 grand in windows in a world like ours.

But I'm tired of feeling so bound up by my supposed values and by this information that I thought would set us all free. Tired of judging myself. Tired. I don't need a vacation. I need a brand new story. One to set my mind at peace.

I'm sickfrom spending money and sick from the guilt I feel about spending money. I'm tired of living by someone else's rules, but to lazy to write my own.

I feel stuck and anxious. There's a tightening in my chest when I see the boxes everywhere, when I yell at Holly and Pax because they're closer to me than those who deserve my retaliation.

I need a break. Holly sent me out to get that. And for that I am grateful.

If you're the praying kind, pleases pray that I don't go to a dark place. That I can be happy or joyful. Thanks.