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Posts Tagged ‘Nick Jaina’

Sunday, 17 January 2016

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the event

Again, I reluctantly broke the seclusion of reading time.  Earlier in the week I had thoroughly enjoyed the memoir Get it While You Can by Nick Jaina.  We’ve seen him perform twice before at the Sou’wester so I knew the show would be worthwhile.  I took an old copy of Hardware Wars as a gift to the Sou’wester video library.  (They still have an old VHS machine in play.)

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Allan took most of the photos this evening.

To my delight, Nick not only sang but read from his book.

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Nick Jaina

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musical accompaniment to reading

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Nick and the band

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Stelth Ulvang

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After alternating singing and reading, Nick closed with my favourite song of his.  You can listen to it here.

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chatting with Nick after his set

Stelth then took the lead singer role with Nick playing guitar along with the rest of the band.

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During the intermission, I’d asked Nick if he minded if I used excerpts from his book in a blog post and he assured me it would be fine.  I said on Goodreads that I’d rate Get it While You Can 25 on their scale of 1 to 5.  He asked me to describe to him what the book is about.  I said the life of a traveling musician, science, philosophy, writing, being lovelorn.

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Here are some of my favourite bits:

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I’d like to be able to tell you who Nick is quoting, above, but I’ve lent my copy of the book to J9 so I cannot (yet).

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This speaks to me of where I live, as well. We call ourselves end-of-the-roaders here.

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from a chapter about different kinds of sadness—Melancholy:

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melancholy

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One of my favourites, from a chapter about looking for words for certain things:

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Because I had a dream like that:

Allan and I had just moved into a grey house on a small knoll to the west of an industrial neighborhood in north Seattle.  A two lane road in front seemed like it should be busy but was not.  The simple old house was one story with a front porch and an attic window.  Inside one entered the living room, with the kitchen in back and bathroom and bedroom off to the side. We had just moved in so the living room had just a couch and chair, and the kitchen a table and two chairs.

 

The house looked sort of like this.


or more simple, like this, with an attic window

 

My parents came to the front door with my old labrador dog (Bertie Woofter).  Unlike in his real life, he was well behaved, and unlike in my real life, my parents and I were close. I was in my early 40s in the dream, maybe younger, so my parents were still healthy and vigorous.

We walked around to look at the back yard, a large rough lawn inside a rickety old fence.  It verged onto a meadow which I hoped was also part of the property.  It was a completely blank slate to start a garden.

The view to the south from the front porch was over a couple of blocks of old houses on streets that sloped down to a slow-flowing slough.  I could see a café with a brick exterior on the next block downhill so we all walked there to have a meal.  The charming interior with lots of art and big windows welcomed us and I knew we would go there often.  It was a little bit upscale with nice tablecloths and white dishes.

Someone had told us that the neighbourhood was pretty quiet except when once every two weeks trains arrived at a nearby train yard and made lots of noise coupling and uncoupling cars.  I knew I would not mind.

I LOVE that dream from over a year ago and I think about it often when I need something to soothe my insomnia.  So what IS the word for that?

Moving on:

What Nick wrote about New York sort of reminded me of how I try to describe daily life in this blog:

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Is this feeling possible in Ilwaco?

Below, Nick captures the Columbian Café in Astoria.

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Sorry the end trails off there…and my friend J9 has the book!

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I love this quote by Steinbeck

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coincidences

I used to keep a list of weird coincidences in my life, often things from books.  Here are some I listed in a notebook:

8-28-97 In the morning I read about adders in The Ghost Road by Pat Barker. In the evening, I read about adders in a reference to Precious Bane by Mary Webb.

1-17-98 reference to a poet named Herrick in both a novel and a gardening book (I Capture the Castle and Remembered Gardens) on the same day.

earlier: The poem Troubling a Star is part of a book title.  In the next book I read, by Beverly Nichols, has the poem on its preface page.

2008:  Two books in a row mention Paul Auster (someone previously unknown to me).

2003:  Watching the art documentary series by Sister Wendy.  She shows a painting of Marat killed by Corday.  Had never heard of this before.  Next day “Corday’s victim” is a crossword clue.  Same thing happened when she mentioned Caves of Lescaux.  Next day it was a clue.  We were watching her series on video, not on live tv.

And this very month: Two novels set in the Isthmus neighborhood of Madison, Wisconsin and a third, a memoir, by someone who taught college there. (The memoir doesn’t feature Madison itself.) I’ve never given a thought to that city before. Now it seems so appealing. 

I have a feeling Nick is talking about coincidences more real life than literary; maybe I spend too much time at home to have real life ones.

  I hope you are inspired to read his book.  What attracted me to it was the promised chapter in which he asked women he’d written love songs to just how those songs had affected them.  I was curious to know how they answered. The whole book was entrancing beyond my expectations.

Next post: we get back to a gardening theme.

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It certainly is a difficult time of year to find time to just read!  There is so much to do in our beachy towns over the holidays.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

I seemed to find all sorts of little chores to do (and presents to wrap) over the afternoon of Thursday.  I even took a short walk as I have not been getting any gardening exercise due to rainy and windy weather.

When I turned the corner on Pearl Avenue, half a block away, the wind from the south was so strong that my walk became a brief one.

at the meander line, looking west

at the meander line, looking west

and east toward our bogsy woods

and east toward our bogsy woods

The same photo, with painted photo effect by Waterlogue.

The same photo, with painted photo effect by Waterlogue.

I hope this winter to do a post on my other blog about the meander line, the irregular imaginary line that runs east-west between the town and the port.

I made it as far as Don Nisbett’s Art Gallery on Waterfront Way (because I knew there would be cookies).

Don was talking enthusiastically to some high school students who wanted internships.

Don was talking enthusiastically to some high school students who wanted internships.

marina view from the gallery windows

marina view from the gallery windows

I returned home to snoozing cats, who continued to lack a lap to sit on as Allan and I were off out to a watercolor art show just round the block at Grays Harbor Community College’s local annex.

Miss Mary, snoozing

Miss Mary, snoozing

Calvin

Calvin

We found the block long trip, at dusk, to be so wet and wild that we got thoroughly drenched.

Looking west on Lake Street...

Looking west on Lake Street…with Allan just leaving our gate.

Allan's photo, looking east

Allan’s photo, looking east

The watercolours by instructor and students were displayed in the hallway of the college.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

mingling, with art instructor Carol Couch on left

Allan’s photo:  mingling, with art instructor Carol Couch on left

We were pleased that our friend from Seaview, Patti, was at the event, as well.  You might recall that Carol Couch’s studio was one of the venues on the recent studio tour, where we had bought a couple of her prints.  I am hoping to take a class from her, perhaps this winter.  She assured me that she takes rank beginners. Even though I have been enjoying creating, well, fake watercolours from photos with the Waterlogue app, I still would like to learn to create the real thing.

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Patti wisely had her high water pants on.

Some cookies, crackers and cheese had been laid out in the student lounge.

Some cookies, crackers and cheese had been laid out in the student lounge of the small college building.

The outdoor seating area, shieded from wind, shows how damp the weather was at dusk.

The outdoor seating area, shieded from wind, shows how damp the weather was at dusk…looking southwest across the port parking lots.

Since it was Thursday, we went out again later to the Cove Restaurant’s fish taco night (where Allan actually got a tasty $2 fish taco to go with the rest of his meal; I’ve been sidetracked every time  by the ahi tuna dish).  The roads were like lakes, with sheets of rain water driven sideways by the wind.

Allan's photo: looking in the front window of the Cove.

Allan’s photo: looking in the front window of the Cove.

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The restaurant had a musician playing and was so busy that we sat at the counter, an excellent spot for watching the kitchen and getting to have quick chats with Wendy and Sondra when they get a moment to rest.

at the counter

at the counter, with restaurateur Sondra and her sister Wendy at work

view from our counter seats into the busy dining room

view from our counter seats into the busy dining room

George Coleman skillfully entertained with seasonal tunes.

George Coleman skillfully entertained with seasonal tunes.

I’d been craving Chef Jason Lancaster’s food as we had not been in for three weeks.  (Last Thursday’s storm had closed the restaurant down, and the previous Thursday it had been full to overflowing.)

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We shared Prawns Solo and Allan had a fish taco and the udon noodle bowl.

We shared Prawns Solo and Allan had a fish taco and the udon noodle bowl.

Chef Jason says that the sauce in a noodle bowl is better absorbed and enhanced by udon noodles than by yakisoba noodles.

I was thrilled that his delectably prepared ahi tuna was on tonight's menu.

I was thrilled that his delectably prepared ahi tuna was on tonight’s menu.

schmoozing with Jason about food (Allan's photo)

schmoozing with Jason about food (Allan’s photo)

the dining room, still aglow as we were among the last diners to depart.

the dining room, still aglow as we were among the last diners to depart.

After the evening of Thursday, January 1st, the restaurant will be closed for the rest of January.  We hear they will be open for feasting on New Year’s Eve (but won’t be staying open till midnight!)

Friday, 19 December 2014

Friday was a much needed reading day…

I read this and China Bayles mystery.

I read this and China Bayles mystery.

One Perfect Day was written in the droll style of the New Yorker, and made me glad that the wedding I attended last summer was a true home made garden wedding, untouched by the wedding industry.

excerpt

excerpt

Saturday, 20 December 2014

After a Friday of just reading (pure delight), we devoted Saturday to holiday errands.

We had had a pineapple express of rain overnight, as the view of our back garden shows.

We had had a pineapple express of rain overnight, as the view of our back garden shows.

When we went down to the Saturday Market, we heard that the water had been up over the Jessie’s Fish Co loading docks.

We came just after high tide.

We came just after high tide.

It would have looked like this photo from a 2011 edition of the Chinook Observer:

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Inside the Saturday Christmas Market, our mission was to buy a few gifts and to stock up on some frosted cookies from Pink Poppy Bakery.

Pink Poppy owner Madeline Moore

Pink Poppy owner Madeline Moore

lemony frosted cookies

lemony frosted cookies

Local potter Karen Brownlee had a booth today.

Local potter Karen Brownlee had a booth today.

shopping at Lisa Gillespie's booth

shopping at Lisa Gillespie’s booth (Allan’s photo)

double storm flag (Allan's photo)

double storm flag (Allan’s photo)

a delivery to and a present from Don Nisbett (Allan's photo)

a delivery to and a present from Don Nisbett (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo by Don's gallery

Allan’s photo by Don’s gallery

On the way north on a present-delivery run, we popped into NIVA green for reasons we cannot specify here (as our reason had to do with Christmas shopping).

inside NIVA green

inside NIVA green

Heather asked me if I would help out with the NIVA green Facebook page.  She actually asked “How much do you charge?” which is a novel question indeed and one that I much appreciated!  I told her that I had just read that book about the wedding industry in which one wedding planner would not name a price but would wait till the immediate afterglow of a perfectly beautiful wedding and then ask the mother of the bride “How much was it worth to you?”  Anyway, I look forward to being able to add some photo content to the page, as Heather herself is busy creating and acquiring objects of art.

Heather Ramsay sets the world on fire.

Heather Ramsay sets the world on fire.

Heather Ramsay table lamps

Heather Ramsay table lamps and faux heater (Oh how I love them, especially the “heater”)

all sorts of charming little gifties

all sorts of charming little gifties

We left NIVA green to deliver presents to the hydrangea house, Andersen’s RV Park, and Klipsan Beach Cottages.

a mossy wall at the hydrangea house.

a mossy wall at the hydrangea house

the footprints of homeowner Lisa and Buzz's dog, Maddie (Allan's photo)

the footprints of homeowner Lisa and Buzz’s dog, Maddie (Allan’s photo)

I am pretty sure that the owner of Andersen’s doesn’t read this blog; if she does, she is going to see just one day early what her Christmas present is: a delightful history book about trailer life.

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Onward we drove to Klipsan Beach Cottages, where the garden was well decorated for the season by owners Mary and Denny.

the view west from Mary and Denny's house showing the road to the cottages on the ridge.

the view west from Mary and Denny’s house showing the road to the cottages on the ridge.

KBC

KBC

view in the east gate of the fenced garden

view in the east gate of the fenced garden

photo enhancement by Waterlogue

photo enhancement by Waterlogue

in the garden

in the garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

by the office door

by the office door

inside the office

inside the office

Mary and Denny's tree

Mary and Denny’s tree

flowers

 

Allan's photo: Bella, me, Mary

Allan’s photo: Bella, me, Mary

some pets for Bella

some pets for Bella

We did not linger long as three of Mary’s sisters were there and bustling preparations were underway for more family to arrive.

As we arrived back in Ilwaco, we saw that a large Santa had arrived two blocks west.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

In the evening, our friend J9 joined us at the Sou’wester for a musical play performed by Nick Jaina.  We had been quite taken with him when we saw him on another stormy weekend over a year ago.

Sou'wester Lodge, Allan's photo

Sou’wester Lodge, Allan’s photo

I always love the glow of the vintage trailer court at night.

I always love the glow of the vintage trailer court at night.

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Sou'wester sunporch, Allan's photo

Sou’wester sunporch, Allan’s photo

tonight's event

tonight’s event

Innkeepers and guests were just finishing their dinner in the lodge kitchen.  (Allan's photo)

Innkeepers and guests were just finishing their dinner in the lodge kitchen. (Allan’s photo)

We were offered clam chowder; Allan accepted and said it was delicious.

Allan noticed the "how it works" sign on the living room turntable.

Allan noticed the “how it works” sign on the living room turntable.

With J9, we sat on a couch and waited for a few minutes..

With J9, we sat on a couch and waited for a few minutes.

photo courtesy Sou'wester

photo courtesy Sou’wester

From the Sou’wester event description:  With Nick Jaina “recently back from New Orleans, we have a rare opportunity to witness this thought-provoking performance from one of our favorite artists-in-residence and performers. Please be in your seats by 8 pm.

The Hole in the Coffin is a 50-minute story told through words and music by Nick Jaina about a strange experience he had in New Orleans of going to the funeral of his hero and ending up inside the coffin with a gun and a bible. He tries to unravel the information he is given, reconnect with his former love, and piece together the perfect love song.”

Nick Jaina sang and spoke of mysterious happenings on a visit to New Orleans.

Nick Jaina sang and spoke of mysterious happenings on a visit to New Orleans.

While I am not big on New Year’s resolutions, after this riveting performance I resolved to further my efforts to get out to more Sou’wester events in the future, even though it is so hard to leave the house in the evening once one gets settled in.

The performance inspired a thoughtful mood that distracted me from purchasing a copy of Nick’s book.  I must find out if the Sou’wester has it for sale or else order it online.

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Since I was so impressed last year with a song he wrote about lost love, I am particularly interested in his survey on “the ability of love songs to woo anyone, featuring interviews with people [he’s] written love songs about.”

At home, we added some one more photo to our collection of Ilwaco’s homes for the holidays.

our house (Allan's photo)

our house (Allan’s photo)

We would now have four days to relax before the next round of holiday events.

 

 

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

gale warning

gale warning

In the late morning, I wanted to get a telephoto of how the two flags at the port office (signifying a gale warning, 39-54 mph winds) had slipped halfway down the flagpole.  It came out rather blurry, but there it is.  The wind, while strong (I later learned it had been 61 mph at Cape Disappointment, the backside of which I can see from my window) was not a cold wind.  So during a lull in the rain, I went out to take a video of the windy bogsy wood with my phone.  You may be able to view it here.

I became thoroughly occupied with a new Facebook page that will be a repository for my non-Ilwaco photos of the Long Beach Peninsula.  I had no intention of going to Olde Towne in the bad weather…until I get a message from Luanne who sounded kind of lonely!  So we went, and I was glad we did as our friend Kelly was there and, with no other customers except for her niece, Luanne was able to sit and visit with us.

almost empty on a stormy day

almost empty on a stormy day

I was also glad that I had not walked there as the rain was absolutely sheeting down beyond any amount I have seen so far this year.  (I later learned that Astoria had something like three inches of rain.)

In case of a power outage, Olde Towne has a good stock of oil lamps for sale.

In case of a power outage, Olde Towne has a good stock of oil lamps for sale.

Amazingly the rain stopped for awhile after we returned home.  The Danger Tree was still standing and had not lost a limb.

stubborn old thing

stubborn old thing

In a lull with no wind, I took a walk through the bogsy wood.  It had been completely devoid of any standing water the evening before.

The bogsy wood is bogsy now.

The bogsy wood is bogsy now.

Path next to the Danger Tree:  The water came almost over my shoes.

Path next to the Danger Tree: The water came almost over my shoes.

It’s rare to see the water standing this deep on the lawn to the north of the bogsy wood.

between danger tree and bogsy wood

between danger tree and bogsy wood

the swale by the bridge

The swale under the bridge was overflowing.

deep

I’ve never seen the bridge swale this deep this early in the year.

I would love it if this were full of water all year.

I would love it if this were full of water all year.

more standing water beyond the deer fence

from the bridge:  more standing water beyond the deer fence

next to the bridge

next to the bridge

the big swale in the middle of the bogsy wood

the big swale in the middle of the bogsy wood

looking north to the house

looking north to the house

Sad though it is, I think I must admit that the cosmos in the garden boat are goners.  Some years they bloom into bulb planting time.

maybe if I cut them halfway back....

maybe if I cut them halfway back….

I’m not much for going out in the evening (except for dinner) anymore.  Something certainly changed in me along the way because in my twenties and thirties I was out clubbing two or more nights a week.  (Some of those evenings turned out so boring that I would have been better off staying  in and reading a book, although many excellent bands were seen back in the day.)  However, after our recent daytime visit to The Sou’wester, where I lived for a year in 1993, I resolved to go out to more of their musical events…for old times’ sake.  It was an effort to leave home comforts to go out the door at almost 8 PM to hear a concert opening their Artist Residency program!

Once we were there, the living room felt so familiar.

At the Sou'wester

At the Sou’wester

We talked with a teacher and mechanic couple who were visiting from Portland.  She had fallen in love with the Sou’wester much as I had in 1991.  I warned her how I had come on vacation in fall of ’92, a vacation that got longer and longer until I suddenly upped stakes and moved here.  She loves her job in Portland, but don’t underestimate the lure of Seaview.  While we talked, I absorbed the familiar details of the room.

the glow of light on the beamed ceiling

the glow of light on the beamed ceiling

The sound of guests in the four upstairs suites going up and down the stairs took me back twenty years.

before the performance...looking to the south windows of the lodge

before the performance…looking to the south windows of the lodge living room

Many an hour I had spent in the office just to the left in the above photo.

New owner Thandi has a staff of friends to help her run the place.  Back in our time, Robert and I were the only staff to do all the cleaning, repairs, office work, lawn mowing to help the previous owners who were in their mid 60s at the time.  With the staff who were there that evening, and a few guests who attended the performance, listening to songwriter Nick Jaina was a quiet and personal experience.

Allan took this photo just as the show started.

Nick Jaina at the Sou'wester

Nick Jaina at the Sou’wester

I wanted to get a photo that captured how I felt being surrounded by Sou’westerness again and listening to the songs at the same time.

I think I got it.

I think I got it.

He told us the story of having stayed in one of the vintage trailers to write twenty songs in one day.  In his article about that experience is a photo of the exact trailer (I think) that Robert and I lived in for several months in ’93 (unless the resort has acquired another Spartan RV with curved front windows like that).

I remembered so many things while sitting in the living room listening to Nick’s excellent songs.  How I knew that the previous owners had bought the Sou’wester (in a state of great disrepair) when they were fifty.  I moved there when I was thirty seven, and ever since I have thought that age 50 was the benchmark for starting a big new thing and after age 50 it would be too late.  Now I am 58 and that is a disturbing thought.

Then I thought about age for quite a few minutes.  A lot of the people at the Sou’wester now look to be in their 20s and 30s.  I thought, Do they realize we are pretty much the same?  I know I did not realize that about “older people” until I became an older person.

Nick closed with the most amazing song…something like “I’m in the middle of a story that is breaking my heart; I won’t be with you when our plans finally come apart.”  It certainly brought back memories of assorted heartbreaks.  As I said, I have not been to a concert of this sort for a very very long time.  I bought Nick’s CD.  The song is called  “I’ll Become Everything.”   Give it a listen for some angsty memories.

Upon departing, the sight of the lodge with its windows aglow reminded me of evenings walking back from the beach at dusk and seeing these lights, and then the light in the window of the old Spartan Manor trailer that I stayed in.

Sou'wester by night from K Place

Sou’wester by night from K Place

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rain.  Wind.  Blogging.  Did not set one toe outside.  Deleted over 2000 extra photos from iPhoto and got the “Our Long Beach Peninsula’ page well stocked with photos.  I want to leave some history behind, but it is all based on the hope that WordPress and Facebook will linger on long after me.

Allan pointed out that our dinner was 75% food from the garden:  three different kinds of peppers and garlic sauteed with baby red potatoes, and tomatoes, and Cox’s Orange Pippin apples all next to some fish.

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