Musings about music, writing, Portland, my new house, my travels, my family, politics, whatever.....

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Youtube and The Jennys

I've been on a bit of a Youtube kick lately, so many things on there that I want to share with everyone. Videos of musicians I love, kids in India, spiritual teachers, all kinds of cool stuff.

For now I'll share one of a band I saw at the Aladdin Theater last Sunday night, one I've promoted in the past: The Wailin' Jennys. They are three singer-songwriters (and now one fiddler). Their show here was stunning, brilliant. I loved it, love them, am grateful to know them. If you get a chance to see them, do it. They'll be at the Sisters (OR) Folk Festival in September, but are touring all over the place until then.

Here they are last month in Kansas, one of the better videos I found. There are also a bunch online of them at the 2006 Pickathon, but one of the band members has changed since then.

Monday, April 21, 2008

David's wedding

My cousin David got married on Saturday night at the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle. Much fun was had.

Lacey and David.

John (my cousin Michael's son), who has lost eight teeth.

My cousin Ben and me.

Two grandmas, Happie and Millie.

My cousins Leah and Ann and me.

John and me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April update

Hi there. Things are lovely in Portland. Last Saturday it was 83 degrees and sunny, my veggie starts are growing fast, I finally got the whole lawn mowed, and summer plans are evolving.

I have seen two great shows this past week and been reminded that I still love Mississippi Studios. The first show was Edie Carey and Canadian artist Rose Cousins (I highly recommend you read my real post about that here), the second was Raina Rose, who has some great new songs and a new album in the works (and should really move back home and forget Austin).

Friday, April 04, 2008

Conversations with kids: part 2

In the car today with Amelia and Josie. Josie is passed out, snoring.

Amelia: "Jess, what do you do for a living?"

Me: "Um, I take care of you, and Josie and River and Willa."

A: "And what else?"

Me: " And I organize concerts for people."

A: "And I thought you were a writer, too?"

Me: "I am a writer, but I don't make any money from it, like your mom. Hopefully I will someday though. I want to."

A: "Oh. Hmm."

Me: "What do YOU do for a living?"

A: She's quiet for a minute, until I think she's blowing off the question because she knows it's silly. And then, "I help people. I help my mom, and I help to do things. That's all so far."

I loved this, because it made me re-examine the phrase, "what do you do for a living?" What we do to live is not just about money, it is clearly about what we do in order to live our lives, which is partly about money, and partly about what we do for ourselves and for other people. Amelia will no doubt be of great service in the world. She already is. And I thank her for seeing me as a writer.

~ ~ ~

Josie and Amelia are painting with watercolors at my dining room table. I'm in the kitchen getting a snack. This is the overheard conversation:

Josie: "Awma, will our momma always be our momma?"

Amelia: "Yes, Josie."

J: "Even when we die?

A: "Yes. She'll be dead then, but she still will always be our mom."

J: " And what will we look like when we die? Even though we're not around?

A: "We'll look like skeletons."

J: "Why will we look like skeletons?"

A: "Because after a long time, all of our body parts will fall off, so we'll look like dead people look."

J: "Oh."

~ ~ ~

The other day I told Willa I was going to have a housewarming party. "What's a housewarming party?"

"It's a party to celebrate your new house."

"Hmm, that doesn't make any sense, Jess. That's dumb. You should call it a house-forming party."

Willa and her latest gap-toothed smile.

River and Josie eating popcorn in the yard.

River, her friend Hunter, and Josie.

Josie with her work of art.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Conversations with kids

Here are a few priceless ones than I had to share. Keep in mind that Amelia is six, and River and Josie are three.


We're in the car and NPR is on softly in the background. "Who are you voting for, Jess?" Asks Amelia.

I'm taken aback. "Who are YOU voting for?"

"Barack Obama, I like him best."

"And why is that?"

"Because he'll change more things. More than Hillary."

"Ah, I see. I agree with you. So, what music do you want to listen to? Tracy, or I got a new kids CD with some really cool people on it. Which do you think?"

"The radio, please." Says Amelia.

"OK, but there's no music on."

"I know, Jess. I want to listen about Barack Obama."

And so we do. A few minutes later, they play a clip of Hillary saying that people keep telling her they wish they could vote for both candidates. "That might be possible someday," she says. I consider discussing it with Amelia, but she's already asleep in her carseat and Josie is talking softly to her little plastic piggy.

~ ~ ~

Josie: "Jess, I will always be your friend."

Me: "Always?"

Josie: "Yes, always. But someday, we'll die."

Me: "Yeah, we will."

Jo: "Because everyone dies someday. After a long long long long long time."

Me: "Yep. When they get really old."

Jo: "And sometimes when they get real sick, right Jess?"

Me: "That's right."

Jo: "Cuz things die and flowers die. And some people are already died."

Me: "Yeah.... How'd you know all that?"

Jo: "I'm just really good at thinkin'."

~ ~ ~

River and I are on my front lawn blowing bubbles in all directions and laughing hysterically. There's a good amount of foot traffic here, it's great people-watching. A punked-out young man with a straight-up mohawk and combat boots walks by. Suddenly River gets really quiet. She beckons to me. "Sshhhh, Jess," she says in a reverential tone. "It's an Indian."