Monthly Archives: June 2012

Penny the Destroyer.

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YOU GUYS. I have to tell you about something absolutely crazy that happened this morning. So I’ve mentioned Penny, Nate and his housemates’ dog, and how awesome she is and how much I adore her, right? Well, this morning Nate and Sean, one of his old housemates that is back in Seattle for the weekend, and I all took Penny to the park and were having a grand old time playing fetch with her. They have this little contraption called a Chuck-It, which has a cupping mechanism on the end so that you can use it to pick up and throw a rubber ball instead of getting dog slobber all over your hands, and we were throwing lots of long tosses to try to tire Penny out, to no avail. We were getting ready to pack up and head home when a man and his five-year-old daughter and their dog started walking toward us, and the man asked if his dog could play fetch with Penny too. We try to encourage Penny to make friends, even though her interest lies solely in the Chuck-It the majority of the time she’s around other dogs, so we said sure. The other dog’s name was Clover, and he appeared to be about three years old and just as fast as Penny. Once the game of fetch got under way, the man and his daughter started walking toward the playground within the park and eventually disappeared from sight. We kept throwing long balls and because Penny was already tuckered out, Clover kept beating her on the retrieval. In an attempt to throw Penny a bone (no pun intended), Nate chucked the ball down hard so that it would bounce only a short distance, but high so that Penny could jump for it. But Clover was determined to get it, and when they both went for it, they ended up colliding face-first into each other. The sound of their heads knocking together made a sickeningly audible sound, and we all gasped in horror.

Both dogs looked shaken and paused for a moment like they were trying to collect themselves, but then they both trotted back toward us like nothing had happened. We were ready to resume the game of fetch until we realized that Clover’s mouth was bleeding profusely, so we went and found his owner and explained what happened. We thought that he must have just bitten his tongue or something, but then Sean and I both noticed that Clover’s bottom right canine appeared to be missing. As Clover’s owner and his horrified daughter started walking away to take Clover home and clean him up, Sean walked out to the scene of the collision and started looking around. When he came back, he was holding Clover’s tooth in his palm. The tooth had been ripped clean out, roots and all, and was like three or four inches long. After showing it to us, Sean ran to catch up with the owner to show him the tooth so that he knew what he was dealing with and could take the dog to the vet immediately, all while trying to keep it out of sight of the already-traumatized five-year-old. The owner took the tooth and continued back to his home, and we three and Penny left the park shortly thereafter, but we haven’t been able to stop talking about how crazy the whole thing was all afternoon.

A few things I found interesting about this chance encounter: one, poor Clover. That dog had to have been in so much pain to have his canine knocked clean out of his head, but he didn’t yelp or lie down or even so much as whimper. He came back ready for another round! Which brings me to two: the level of power that ball held over these two dogs is somewhat disturbing. Dogs are not known to be super-rational creatures, but most know better than to blindly and voluntarily crash full-force into another dog, or anything for that matter. That ball was an object of such desire for both Penny and Clover that they would stop at nothing, not even personal injury, to have it. Kind of scary. And three: Penny has no concept of what she did to Clover. Penny walked away without a scratch on her and Clover is going to be disabled by the loss of that tooth for the rest of his life, but to Penny, it was as simple as “We were both running after the ball and I won.” Even though what happened to Clover was ultimately an accident and not anyone’s fault, Sean and Nate and I all felt a degree of guilt over what had happened; as a dog, Penny doesn’t really have the capacity to feel guilt over Clover’s tooth, and now that I think about it, Clover probably doesn’t have the capacity to feel angry about his tooth, either. But it’s interesting, nonetheless, to consider the limited range of concepts and emotions that can be understood or felt by dogs in comparison to humans, and to think about the lack of complexity in Penny’s feelings toward most things, not least of all us, her human companions.

All of which is to say: we’re really glad that physical injury did not befall Penny, and still kind of shocked at the damage our sweet girl accidentally inflicted on another pup. It’s already become a joke, though: we’ve been calling her Penny the Destroyer all afternoon, and I kind of hope that’s a nickname that sticks.

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Music Video Monday #50: Fiona Apple’s “Every Single Night.”

“I told [director] Joey [Cahill] just to come up with a bunch of things and just do things to me and put me in situations and surprise me. One thing I wanted to have happen was to be covered in snails. I laid in a bed of soil and they put snails all over me. And then they brought in shit that I would not have asked for. He put a dead squid on my head.
I used to love to put snails on my arm– I have a bunch of pictures. I used to put half a watermelon out in my yard overnight and then go out there in the middle of the night and take pictures of them, like macro pictures of the snails sipping the watermelon. I would love to sit there and put them on my arm. I don’t know, it just helped me think. I really like snails a lot.” – Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple is one of my favorite musicians of all time, and thus it goes without saying that I’m pee-my-pants-excited for the release of her new album tomorrow. When I was a senior in high school and Ms. Apple had just released Extraordinary Machine, I saw her perform in Portland, which was the maiden performance of her U.S. tour and, Ms. Apple made sure to point out, her first performance in five years. It was an incredible and fascinating performance, but not because she’s a gifted performer; quite the opposite, in fact. She seemed wholly uncomfortable being on stage, kept her eyes closed and remained largely still while she sang, and spoke maybe twenty words to the crowd. And yet, there was so much raw power and emotion in her songs and the way she sang them that I (and my three girlfriends I was with) were moved to tears.

I read a recent profile of Ms. Apple in the New York Times, and while I’ve always suspected that she was a bit imbalanced, this profile portrays her as incredibly eccentric. And not, like, cool eccentric… CRAZY eccentric. She talks about how she’s alone all the time and even walks her dog at dawn so as to avoid interaction with other people, and how she climbed a hill near her house for eight hours a day, every day, until she literally could not walk anymore and needed months of rehabilitation on her knees, because she saw the constant climbing as a way to work out all the anger that had built up inside of her. I don’t want to join in on the chorus of crazy-callers, but there’s no denying that most people wouldn’t classify that type of thing as normal. It brings to mind that image of the tortured artist, the type whose music I’ve always been fascinated by because it seems to be less a voluntary creation of art and more an involuntary outpouring of something beyond themselves, an inner movement that will burst if not allowed a release. And that’s why I love this video: there’s a sense of stream-of-consciousness that’s unchecked, a lack of control over which thoughts and images bubble to the surface. It’s glimpses into a singular and unusual mind where the imagined takes a physical form and creates a reality where few things make sense but it all feels strangely resonant. And that whisper of a line, “I just want to feel everything”… so powerful.

Happy Monday!

Upd8 Time.

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Oh hey, you probably noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet on the ol’ blog this past week. It wasn’t intentional, I promise. I started a new job this week (all I’m really at liberty to say about it is that I have to wear pantyhose every day, and it totally blows) which has quickly taken me from zero to hella busy on the free time spectrum. The blog posts will probably continue to be a little sparse as I readjust to the world of 9 to 5 employment, but with time I’m sure I’ll be blogging with some regularity once more. Another new development: I’ve been interning with Mooreal Seal for about a month, learning the ins and outs of owning your own business and the art of jewelry design, and as part of my internship I’m contributing a weekly music post to her blog for the rest of the summer. My first post, an album review of Simian Ghost’s Youth, went up on Friday and people seemed to enjoy the recommendation, so I was pretty pleased. You can read the post here, and keep an eye out for future posts on Fridays!

Here’s what else I’ve been up to:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppMy homies and I met some German travelers named Heiko and Toni whilst at Linda’s Tavern last weekend, so we decided to show them some American hospitality by taking them to Seattle’s finest gay club, then inviting them over for dinner the next day and showing them the view of Seattle from our rooftop. They were diggin’ it.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppGetting existential every time I walk past this tagged dumpster on my way to Moorea’s studio space. So deep.

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Playing with Penny and forming lots of small cuddle puddles with her and Nate. She’s such a lover and a snuggler.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppHanging out at The Sloop, a fisherman’s tavern turned hipster haven, to celebrate a housemate’s birthday and cheer on my peeps on as they attempted a three-Slooper evening (above) and kicked ass at Big Buck Safari (below).

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Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppLusting after this amazing sofa at the Fremont Vintage Mall. Tufting and crushed green velvet? Yep, I’m in love.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppIndulging at Yogurtland. I’ve found the perfect combination: dulce de leche frozen yogurt, Reese’s pieces crumbles, fresh strawberries, and chocolate syrup. #NOMNOMNOM

PS. If you’re on Instagram, my username is kendallgoodwin. You’re welcome to follow me if you like! But no pressure, dude.

Your Laughter.

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Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.

Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.

– Pablo Neruda

Summer Reading List.

Today is June 1st, which means today is also the beginning of summer! In theory, at least. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that today is the beginning of the summer months… yeah, let’s go with that.

I get excited about summer for a lot of reasons, among the most prominent being the opportunity to plan out what I’ll be reading during the summer months. Who has two thumbs and is still an English major book nerd? This girl! During college I would always make a reading list for myself for each school break, and while I don’t get a winter break or spring break anymore, summer still always feels like a break season even when I’m working and thus I keep making summer reading lists. I’ll probably add more books to this list later, but for now, here are five books I’m excited to dive into this summer.

PhotobucketThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
I just started reading this a couple days ago, and it’s absolutely enthralling. Skloot digs into the history of HeLa cells, the cells responsible for some of the biggest breakthroughs in medicine, by examining the life of Henrietta Lacks, the young black woman whose cells were taken by doctors without permission and later became the immortal HeLa cells. The craziest part? Henrietta’s family didn’t find out about her immortal cells until twenty-five years after her death, and haven’t seen a dime from the multi-million dollar human biological materials industry that Henrietta’s cells helped create. It’s a story that’s stranger than fiction and one that is set to pose some serious questions about race, class and bioethics that I’m really interested to read about.

PhotobucketThe Complete Works of Lewis Carroll by Lewis Carroll
Would you believe that I’ve never read any of Lewis Carroll’s work? Sad, but true. My brother bought me Carroll’s collected works a couple Christmases ago and I’m really excited to finally read Alice in Wonderland (one of my favorite Disney films) and Through The Looking Glass as well as some of his lesser-known works. Summer is a time for magic and whimsy, and The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll should provide just that.

 

PhotobucketRilke & Andreas-Salome: A Love Story in Letters (translated by Edward Snow and Michael Winkler)
This collection of letters between poet Rainer Maria Rilke and writer Lou Andreas-Salome spans more than twenty-five years and sheds a nuanced light on a relationship that is part friendship, part literary mentorship, and part love affair. I love epistles (letter-writing is a lost art!) and these letters already hold a special place in my heart because a piece of one of Rilke’s letters to Andreas-Salome served as a cornerstone of the early days of mine and Nate’s relationship, so needless to say, I’m looking forward to reading all of their correspondence.

PhotobucketBringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman
From Amazon.com: “With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman – a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal – sets out to learn the secrets to raising a society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and reasonably relaxed parents. She discovers that French parents are extremely strict about some things and strikingly permissive about others. And she realizes that to be a different kind of parent, you don’t just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is.” Though I’m not a parent and have no designs on being a parent anytime soon, I do find different parenting techniques really fascinating (especially after being an au pair for badly behaved children) and am interested to see if there’s anything revolutionary that we Americans can learn from the French about parenting.

PhotobucketFreedom by Jonathan Franzen
Aside from being one of the most buzzed-about works of fiction in recent memory, everyone I know who has read this book has truly raved about how excellent it is. In what has been described as a blue-collar American epic, Franzen “comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire.” Intrigued? Because I sure am! I’ve only ever read Franzen’s non-fiction work, but I’m excited to read his fiction that has garnered him a place among the most revered contemporary American writers of our time. Go Franzen!