I don’t know if the cotton is high, but our hedge sure is

Posted: May 30, 2016 in Miscellaneous, music, Record reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

As I write this here in the United States, we’re nearing the end of the three-day weekend devoted to Memorial Day. This is my favorite holiday, the holiday with an entire summer up its sleeve. The weather has been abfab and the house projects ended well, without the traditional two extra trips to the hardware store. The writing flowed, the dog charmed everyone at the beach, and as always the music is the best.

We trimmed two of the hedges that border our yard. Whenever I hack my way into these walls of vines, leaves, branches, and the mysterious dark spaces loved by raccoons I remember again why the Germans hid behind them on D-Day.

We sorted through shoeboxes of old photo prints, slides, and negatives. (What can you do with negatives today? Sew them into a Victoria’s Secret sarong?) Here’s a photo I found that stands in for my mood this afternoon. It’s Emma, our first dog, on a hike called West Cady Ridge in the Central Cascades of Washington, probably in late spring 1995:

The joy of being a dog
The joy of being a dog.

Of course, what’s a holiday weekend without a box from my Dad? Among the treasures I don’t know how I ever lived without were four spindles of string from the 1960s:

Spindle City
Free to good home, moldy atmo included.

All this string (one spindle holds twine) comes from an age when packages were routinely strung up. Pies, cakes, and donuts from a bakery always arrived in a flimsy cardboard box tied with string. Packages from department stores and even supermarkets were often hog-tied as if they might bolt if they had a chance. Four spindles of string – nothing’s getting away from me now.

If you live in the United States, I hope your Memorial Day weekend has gone at least as well as mine. I mean that sincerely, whether you support Donald Trump or a rational human being. Thanks for reading along, and welcome to: Big Week!

Random Pick of the Day
Miles Davis, trumpet, Gil Evans, arranger and conductor, Porgy and Bess (1959)
The highlights are what you’d expect – “Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So” – but the whole album is grand. Do you believe in heaven? If there is one and you end up there, you’ll be hearing this disc a lot.

Random Pan of the Day
Bad Religion, 80-85 (1991)
These Southern California political punks are harder-hitting than The Ramones, but 30 years on both bands have the same problem: Every song sounds the same. Thirty years have turned Bad Religion into a Weird Al parody of themselves. It doesn’t help that the drumming reminds me of Fred Flintstone’s feet slapping against the pavement to make his car go.

If you had lived in SoCal in 1980 through ’85, these 28 tracks would fill you with nostalgia; you’d be back on the streets in no time, though you might not remember what it was you used to do there. I couldn’t get all the way through them, but I must honor Bad Religion for the title of their 1983 debut: How Could Hell Be Any Worse?


  1. seasidedave says:

    Your twine would go well with my skeins of antique rope (50-100 years old?) from a time when if you didn’t tie it down it would disappear. Come to think of it, the way stuff has been disappearing in my neighborhood as of late we could use even more rope…and some twine might come in handy, at times, as well.

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