Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tea and Truffle Tuesday

I wanted to post really quick because I feel awash in gratitude. I sit here in a booth in Legacy Chocolates about to get cracking on my writing and I wish I had a camera to capture the beauty that is my weekly ritual of Evening in Missoula hot tea and malibu coconut 85% chocolate truffle. Each Tuesday I bring Owain down to Jay after he's done with work, and they do something - I don't even know what - while I savor some chocolate and type away at this here keyboard, trying to write something worthy. And if that weren't enough, then I get to go to yoga. Tuesdays are pretty much my dream day.

So thanks, baby.

Monday, January 26, 2009


To let you inside my brain this last month, I leave you with set lists of four mix CD's I have recently made.

For Charles:
Tom Sawyer - Bad Plus
Velvet Couch - Stefan Harris
Riding the Nuclear Tiger - Ben Allison
Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square - Bill Mays
The Surrey with the Fringe on Top - Joshua Redman
Quiet Times - Darrel Grant
Free to Be - Donald Harrison
Everybody Wants to Rule the World - Bad Plus
Sweet Georgia Bright - Louis Hayes and the Cannonball Legacy Band
What Goes Around - Dave Holland Big Band

For Myself:
Moon Rays (Silver's Seranade) - Horace Silver
One by One - Art Blakey
Velvet Couch - Stefan Harris
Hammerhead - Art Blakey
Man Sized Safe - Ben Allison
Blakey's Theme - Art Blakey
Juggler's Parade - Dave Holland Quintet
This Guy's In Love With You - Bad Plus
Well!!! - Cyrus Chestnut
Quiet Times - Darrel Grant
Wildflower's Lullaby - Bud Shank
Bolivia - Freddie Hubbard
Mr. Lucky - Jimmy Cobb

For Charis:
Shakespeare in Love (Suite)
O'Sullivan's March from Rob Roy - Chieftans
Elizabeth: Overture
American Beauty
Gladiator: Main Title
Spartacus: Main Title
Spartacus (Love Theme)
Pirates of the Caribbean
Hedwig's Theme
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings

For Owain (Charis with my help):
Single Ladies - Beyonce (Owain calls it "all the single lettuce")
Hey Julie - Fountains of Wayne
Rock Steady - Sting
Me Veulvo Guajira - Tam Tam 2000
Don't Go for the One - Gaelic Storm
Dog Train - Blues Traveler
Every Little Things She Does Is Magic - Police
Stacy's Mom - Fountains of Wayne
Diablo Rojo - Rodrigo y Gabriela
Mambo Yo Yo - Ricardo Lemvo
The Christians and the Pagans - Dar Williams
Morning Nightcap - Lunasa

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Becoming a Wisconsonian

Fifteen minutes into the New Year, I became an official Wisconsinian. I finished 2008 with a fabulous big band gig at The Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls. I played baritone sax that night and as I belted loud low notes, the people danced. There were kick lines, the stage was shaking and I could not hear my own solos. It was a total blast. The gig only went to 10:30, and after hanging out for a bit with the band and a Lienie's (being that we were in Chippewa), I headed home.

When the clock was striking midnight, a local and I saw fireworks off in the distance from somebody's farm. We were both outside in the single digit cold figuring out how to get his car out of the ditch. He had a friend coming with a truck and a shovel, so after the fireworks, I wished him a Happy New Year and traversed the last seven miles home.

I turned the last corner onto our dead end street and going my usual grandma's pace became an official Wisconsinian: I did not even see it coming or have time to put on the brakes. All I saw and heard were four brown legs slam into the front left and then over the hood of the car. Then it was gone, leaving me breathless and the vehicle with a headlight hanging out of its eye socket on one wire.

I went pheasant hunting with a friend. I walked, he shot. I plan on taking Hunter and Safety this fall and with my brother Greg and friend Steve go deer hunting next fall. My brother and friend Paul both know how to dress, skin and butcher the deer, which I want to learn. I am hoping for a freezer full of venison in the fall. I also plan on learning how to fish the Red Cedar for Walleye - hopefully with Owain this summer.

Did I just say "Go Badgers?"


Sunday, January 04, 2009

Happy Birthday Charis

(unashamedly inspired by Dennis)

I got to look into the beautiful blue eyes of Charis today - after a 5 day absence while she was in Hollywood. I spent a glorious time with Owain and my family in Madison. Glorious is not the best word, there isn't one for time with Owain.

BUT, to be back with Charis: inspirational, flutters my heart and makes middle whoozy, creative, life-giving, breathtaking, passionate, driving, unstoppable, sexy as all get out, challenging, and never letting me settle, but encouraging me to be the best man I can be in a way that nobody could dream of or accomplish.

I am turning up many new and great avenues these past few weeks and this year ahead, and it is because of Charis and her unsinkable love.