Another year has passed with out little family still all intact and in the same house. We still have a couple of years before The Girl likely wants to look toward heading out on her own and The Boy is still well within our clutches for quite some time yet.
I still work at the same place I have for a decade now. Crazy to think that I’ve worked here for nearly as long as the entire stretch of my life spent in Eugene. Age does funny things to one’s perception of time. Go ahead and try to find someone who disagrees.
There is really no purpose to this post beyond trying to generate enough paragraphs of text to test out a thing I installed and need to see how it works. So that’s that.
“Have I really helped anybody but myself
To believe in the power of song?
To believe in the power of girls?”
Music has always had the power to move me, but since Phenon got sick there are some things that really get to me. When I hear Emily Haines sing these lines in the context of a Metric song that sounds to me like what made me fall in love with her years ago, well let’s just say I feel all fist-pumpy.
Oh, yeah and that one that made me fall in love with her years ago?
Phenon’s middle school chamber choir just performed in Dallas at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Middle School Conference, and they sounded awesome. I wish I could have been there. It really is shocking each time I hear them, how great they sound. Seriously! Listen to this:
It is 8:30am and I am sitting in the jury lounge to see if I will be called to serve as a juror for the District Court of Montgomery County. My stomach is in knots, not only because I have a huge amount of work to do and this is a kind of crummy week to be missing time at the office, though that is definitely part of it. The knots also are not only because today is my 13 year old daughters last day of Chemotherapy for Hodkin’s Lymphoma, though that is certainly a part of it as well. But the elephant in the room – the bloody and incredibly sad elephant – is Patty Rebholtz. I’m thinking of Patty and really, really, not wanting to hear my number called.
I’ve known Brian for nearly as long as I’ve been alive; certainly as long as I can remember. He and my dad worked together at the Topeka Capitol Journal beginning when I was around 4 years old. When Brian and his family moved out to Oregon it was due to his encouraging dad to interview at the Eugene Register Guard that we relocated as well, undoubtedly completely changing the direction my life ended up taking.
Thanksgivings at the Lanker house and Halloween with Brian playing the part of “Mogo” and “terrifying” the many kids that gathered each year at the Newnham’s house remain among the best memories I have. Brian’s eye for beauty and love for life were evident in the art he created and the food he loved. Brian and Lynda’s kitchen is still my favorite I’ve ever been in.
While his book “I Dream a World, Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America” may be his best known work, for me I’ll always treasure the autographed poster of Paulina Porizkova that he gave me after shooting the 1984 swimsuit issue for Sports Illustrated as well as the accompanying story of dinner with she and husband Ric Ocasek (no way!!!). Years later I was able to relay the story back to Ric when I met him at CBGB while on tour with my own band. He remembered the dinner with Brian and laughed when I presented a picture of myself in drag, signed, for him to give his wife as a thank-you from 16-year-old me.
I’m very sad to hear of Brian’s death this past Sunday and would have dearly loved to be able to see him just one more time. Thankfully my own kids got the opportunity to jump all over him (well, Rowan did most of the jumping) five years ago during a trip back to Eugene. My thoughts are with Lynda, Julie, Jackie, and Dustin. Love to you all. Goodbye Brian.
There were five records my parents have had for as long as I can remember: Tommy (The Who), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (The Beatles), Chrysalis (Chrysalis), After the Gold Rush (Neil Young), and Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon and Garfunkel). So here are my favorite songs off each of them:
Dr. Root’s Garden – Chrysalis
Don’t think for a second that these people are not very strange.
Don’t Let it Bring You Down – Neil Young
One of the most beautiful songs ever. Even when I was three I knew that.
A Day in the Life – The Beatles
Fours years and eight albums after their 1963 debut. What the holy hell? My parents bought this just a couple of months before I was born. I’ve never not heard this record.
I’m Free – The Who
First I’d heard of drugs, sex, pinball, and cults. I wonder if two years old was a bit young…nah. Though Uncle Ernie totally freaks my kids out today.
The Boxer – Simon and Garfunkel
I have absolutely no idea what I though this song was about when it was released (I was four). I’m not entirely sure I do now.