Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Time in Oregon

Played a really interesting space Monday night. I was at the Last Stand Coffee House in Eugene, Oregon, in the historic and off-center Whiteaker Neighborhood. The proprietor roasts coffee in mini batches (like five pounds) rolling the beans in a human powered roaster bin. The whole thing looks incredibly steam-punk, built, with suitable metalwork, on the frame of a hundred year old sewing machine. There's a free-form bar, and a piano, a washtub bass and some rasty guitars in a corner so people can just play.

  This place is on the north end of the diagonal Blair Boulevard. Used to be a bike shop called Revolution Cycles (a name that gets better the more you think about it). It's right next to Eugene's only Eastern Orthodox Tea Room / Reading Room. "The Way of the Pilgrim" and "Franny and Zooey." Just a block or two from the J.E.S.C.O. Club, a Recovery social club. Block or so from the Ninkasi operation. My world is small but infinitely detailed.

  I was there for an art class. These folks, some regulars, some drop-ins, get together once a month and chip in to hire a musician to be a model-in-motion. They're not only drawing/painting/pasteling the musician, but drawing in real time with the music being played. And you won't ever get a more focused audience. At the break it was fun to go around and see what I sound like looks like, if you know what I mean.

  My electricity bill came the other day. It's been cold lately and it was higher than I thought it would be. I'm thinking I should write back and tell them that their plan has been changed (by me) and now there's a deductible and I won't pay the first $2000 I agreed to pay them. If that's such an outrageous suggestion, how come my insurance company can do that?

  It's spring time in Oregon. Hailstones among the daffodils. They say if you don't like the weather, wait a minute, it'll change. But my buddy Sean says the opposite: if you LIKE the weather, DON'T WAIT -- go for a walk, jump on your bike. The time is now.

ETA 3-21-12:
  Well, hailstones among the daffodils has turned to forsythia-in-the-snowbank. The second day of spring dawned to six inches of snow in the usually snow-free Valley.  Power lines down all over and thousands without electricity. (Why don't we bury the power lines like they do in Scandinavia? -- because we're cheap!) Schools are closed, finals cancelled at the University, meeting postponed. Here I am, snowed in with all these musical instruments! Dang.