Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

A jug of wine, a pizza, and … a book

Posted by jonesey on Wednesday, 25 July 2012, 17:12

Behold, Sylvan and his friend Olivia, hanging out after devouring the best pizza in Eugene at Hideaway Bakery’s weekly pizza night. Olivia just happened to have brought two books. Usually at this time of the evening, Sylvan is running around whacking things with sticks and mixing up dirt/mud/ice/flower/snake/snail/puppy-dog-tail concoctions in the alley behind the bakery. Olivia proved to be a civilizing influence, at least for fifteen or twenty minutes.

That's Sylvan's music teacher from kindergarten in the background. She plays the accordion, changes flat tires on cars by herself, runs trail ultramarathons, and knows Finnish folk songs. And teaches music to elementary school students.

Some Things to Do Before I Go

Posted by julie on Sunday, 17 April 2011, 1:17

I’m in no rush, because I plan to last a century, but I might as well get started. My ongoing “bucket list” has some overlap with the Top Ten Natural Places I Want to Visit. In brainstorming order, my undoubtedly incomplete list:

  1. Learn to surf (someplace warm, without sharks)
  2. Learn to play at least a dozen songs on the guitar and participate in a campfire sing-along
  3. Learn to skateboard (maybe from my daughter or son)
  4. Visit Machu Picchu
  5. Get a nice digital SLR and be proud of my photographs again Accomplished with a Sony Nex5, August 2011. No one paid me anything to say, “Get this camera. You won’t regret it.”
  6. Publish some of my writing in a real magazine
  7. Dance with Ghanaians in Ghana
  8. Make a video that is good enough to give away
  9. See elephants and lions where they live
  10. Spend more than two weeks enjoying/relaxing in Bali (or someplace equally buoyant, warm, and surrounded by ocean)
  11. Climb to the highest point in each of the 50 states (continental 48?): Gannett Peak in WY, Mt. Washington in NH, Mt. Marcy in NY down; that leaves 47! (Oh, gosh, does this really mean I have to go back to Florida?) November 2011 update: Frissell in CT, Graylock in MA, Ebright Azimuth in DE, Jerimoth Hill in RI (This one doesn’t really count, since I only made it to the highway near the high point, which is a couple of feet higher and a few hundred feet from the road. We arrived at 4:45, and it closes at 4.). June 2013: Hood in Oregon. August 2014: Mansfield in Vermont.
  12. Visit each of the 50 states: only Michigan, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Nebraska left
  13. Become a better listener
  14. Live in the Dolomites for at least a school year
  15. Hike the Continental Divide Trail
  16. Live near the beach and spend each morning walking with the waves
  17. Climb in Yosemite
  18. Finish a quilt
  19. Catch fireflies with my grandchildren (or someone else’s grandchildren)
  20. Learn another language well enough to have a conversation on the phone
  21. Hike the 52-mile Torres del Paine circuit in Patagonia
  22. Go on an epic bike trip, maybe in Sweden
  23. Lead a multi-pitch, maybe the Beckey route on Liberty Bell
  24. Visit Rocky Mountain National Park. August 2014: The cousins reunion was just outside RMNP this August, so we hiked there nearly every day. I’ll have to go back to climb Longs Peak, though. Anyone interested?
  25. Backpack in the Brooks Range
  26. Run a marathon in under 4 hours November 2011 update: I’m signed up for the Eugene Marathon in April. This is the one!; April 2012 update: 3:58:46 at April 30, 2012 Eugene Marathon
  27. Read Moby-Dick
  28. Take my kids to a drive-in, maybe at the Spud in Driggs. August 2014: Mom and I took the kids to see Popeye, in honor of Robin Williams, at the new and decidedly awesome drive-in in Amenia, just blocks from where I went to elementary school (my kids particularly liked how the bathrooms were designated with a moustache and some pouty lips). We also passed three(!) working drive-ins on the drive back from Washington last week—one somewhere north of Coupeville on Whidbey Island, one south of Port Townsend, and one northwest of Olympia. So many possibilities…
  29. Introduce my children to drinking milk through a Tim Tam (I learned it with red wine, but that’s a few years down the road)
  30. Teach my nephew something naughty but benign
  31. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
  32. Go horsepacking
  33. Visit Walden Pond
  34. Ride a rollercoaster with my children and eventually with my grandchildren (my Gram set a high standard)
  35. Go on a women’s only yoga/canyoneering retreat (or meditation/surfing, or some equally active and calm combo)
  36. Write every day for a year
  37. Draw every day for a year
  38. Take my children to see a meteor shower in Arizona, Montana, Kiribati, or someplace equally dark. Lie in the road and see 60 or more shooting stars in an hour.
  39. Go to the top of the Rifle Tower (okay, Eiffel, but Sylvan said this the other day and it made me smile)
  40. Climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty
  41. Take a Valium and take my kids to Disney Land. No Valium required. I couldn’t believe how much fun I had, and, at 6 and 9, the kids were really great ages to both take in the magic and appreciate the thrill rides. After Space Mountain, Elena said, “Let’s go again!” When it’s not even 9 a.m., and there’s not much of a line, we could say, “Why not?” Halloween 2014.
  42. Take my Mom and daughter to a fancy tea somewhere
  43. Sell my silkscreened stuff
  44. Learn to play chess from Sylvan April 2012 update: Sylvan’s taught me how to play, and he reminds me every time we play of how each piece can move. We are currently similarly matched; he will be beating me in just a few months.
  45. Sing karaoke in front of people (this one scares me more than any other, I think)

I’m a bit distressed by the amount of fossil fuel that the travel on my list would consume. I have considered biking to the base of the highest points in each of the 50 states, then hiking…


A Few Things I’ve Already Done That Would Be On My Bucket List Otherwise

  1. Hot air ballooned (a stroke of absolute genius on my Mom’s part; this was the world’s best high school graduation present)
  2. SCUBA dived at the Great Barrier Reef
  3. Swum with dolphins in New Zealand
  4. Become a NOLS instructor
  5. Danced in a semi-professional company
  6. Studied abroad
  7. Fallen in love, more than once (More than once wasn’t on my list, but those people have made my life richer.)
  8. Run into a grizzly. Or two. (This wasn’t on my list either, but I’m glad it happened.)
  9. Run a marathon. Or three. Four actually, as of April 2012.
  10. Ridden in a helicopter. Or two.
  11. Been to a concert at Carnegie Hall
  12. Been on TV (a few times)
  13. Climbed at least 10 of Oregon’s volcanoes: South Sister, Bachelor, McLoughlin, Bailey, Cowhorn, Diamond Peak, Washington, Maiden Peak, Lava Butte, Mt. Scott November 2011 update: Thielsen. Summer 2012: Three-Fingered Jack, Broken Top. Summer 2013: Hood, Black Crater, Little Belknap.

Indigo Girls, 10 May 2009

Posted by julie on Monday, 11 May 2009, 0:44

We don’t have their last four albums. And we wore earplugs because we know that leaving a concert with our ears ringing bodes poorly for our hearing – and because we’re old. But Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are older than we are by about a decade, and that hasn’t slowed them down (much. Emily sang at least one song down an octave, either to protect her voice or because she couldn’t get there). We were four people back from the stage, after showing up 45 minutes late and missing the whole opening act because we were eating salad rolls (they were tasty and we were hungry, but, apparently, Matt Morris was great). The women in front of us made sure I could see for the whole concert. I love Eugene.

Amy referenced their opening for the Grateful Dead in Eugene and seeing Jerry standing in the wings when the Girls were on, so this, Eugene, is “sacred ground” for them. Because many bands think of Eugene this way, they keep coming back, and I appreciate that I don’t have to live in a big city to see Ani Difranco and the Indigo Girls every year or two.

Anyway, when you haven’t bought a new Indigo Girls album in nearly a decade, most of the set list is new stuff. But nearly all of it was either beautifully harmonized or rockin’, and all of it was well-performed. And they ended their set with Closer to Fine and their encore with Galileo. I bought my first concert T-shirt since Billy Joel’s Storm Front, and it’s a much classier shirt, made of bamboo and organic cotton, for either exactly the same price or five bucks less, nineteen years later. A fan couldn’t really ask for more. Thanks, y’all.

Indigo Girls at the McDonald Theater in Eugene, Oregon, May 10, 2009.

Indigo Girls at the McDonald Theater in Eugene, Oregon, May 10, 2009. Shot with Chris's overrated iPhone camera.

5/12 note from JP: Oh, that’s funny. I didn’t realize my husband was one of those concert-goers, since he was behind me the whole time (me being barely over five feet and all). I mean, look at this guy with the shaved head in the plaid shirt. He looked like that pretty much the entire time we stood behind him. You’re at a concert, dude; put the camera/cellphone in your pocket and enjoy the show!