Hey there – the untimely passing of pro skateboarder Dylan Rieder hit me hard and I just about damn near wept later that day listening to his Jenkem playlist featured a few months ago. I kept the playlist rolling for a couple of days ensuring interruption free listening by keeping the continuous loop setting activated on my player. After awhile I started to loop particular songs on the playlist. Pitseleh by Elliott Smith was one of them. Elliott Smith I thought. Never heard of him.
Historically- the last two decades of alternative music make a lot more sense to me now. Death Cab for Cutie makes more sense to me. The National. Bright Eyes. The list grows and continues as I pick through my music collection.
Elliott Smith’s heyday was the 90s. Music was generally shared and discovered through mixtapes gifted by friends. It would be easy to miss someone as influential as Elliott. Still easy to do so now.
I think of the gifts that Dylan gave to skateboarding. His power, speed and style were undeniable. You felt good about life when you watched him skateboard. The fast and strong lines of kickflips over tall stair sets followed by Smith grinds on the tops of picnic tables. I also think about the music Dylan listened to and shared with people. Like a good friend saying, “You need to listen to this. You’ll thank me later.”
Broody songs by Elliott Smith flutter into my ears as I walk through the remaining days of my 43rd autumn. The spent leaves crunch under my feet. The air unseasonably warm and lush with decay. The days are darker, quicker. I feel quieter. Elliott Smith lulling in my background as I think about growing older and what I’ve gained and lost. One thing I still know. I am thankful for the people that still share and open their arms to the life around them. My family. My friends. Skateboarding by Dylan. Songs by Elliott.
(A draft from January 23, 2009 that I never published for some reason)
My Mills Brothers 78 was pretty shot when my mom bought it for me but I still got a lot of use out of it.
We found the album over the summer hanging out with Rhen in the back room trying to stay cool. It quickly became our favorite album.
I think Rhen might of bounced it off the floor a couple of times. It’s just about cracked in half.
I’m not even sure if a 78 is technically vinyl. It is much more brittle than a 33 or 45.
Anyway, Mr. Jobs comes to the rescue and I’m instantly reunited with them within minutes of purchasing the two mp3s at the Apple music store. The 78 still plays but it is just about shot. The charming hiss and pop is more frantic now and I no longer feel comfortable putting our record player through the task of playing it.
Background information on the Mills Brothers is right here:
About a week of skateboarding and this is what I have learned (again):
Don’t over tighten your wheels. Tighter wheels means harder pushing, harder pushing leads to a sore ankle. Wheels need a little bit of play on the truck. Enough to hear a light ‘clack’ when moved back and forth by hand.
Board slides on finished parking stops are fast. Very very fast. Be ready for it otherwise you’ll end up on your back. I challenge anyone to fall as gracefully as I did.
You will sweat profusely if you skate all out on your lunch break. Bring deodorant if you do.
Skating in the morning sucks. Night time is the right time.
Be very impressed by anyone in their 40s doing rail slides like this one:
Experimenting with film cameras as of late – mostly 35mm. I’ve been using a Polaroid 210, Minolta x-700 and the school’s Pentax. Also picked up a bunch of expired bulk film which of course needs a bulk film loader, happily purchased for $5 on eBay. The Minolta (50mm lens) is loaded with Portra 160 NC. It’s a C-41 color negative film which I’m excited to use because any photo lab should be able to develop as oppposed to the obsolete E6 process for slide film that you have to send to KANSAS. Jeez. Anyway, enough big fun film nerdery. Here’s the list:
Felt so bad cutting down our Cherry Blossom tree today. A frickin’ crime against nature. It caught some sort of blight last spring and it wasted away. Dead all the way through. The bark falling off. We should have called a naturalist or my dad. I’m of the opinion that Coonhound killed it. The tree was his own personal toilet. The rest of today’s lawn work involved picking up Autumn’s leaves and scratching the ground for new grass seed.
The Coonhound (nervous!) woke me up early this morning because of a passing thunderstorm. He kept ramming the gate with his head and of course, it eventually woke me up. Coonhound is unpredictable (he’s a bit of an ass!) so we keep him downstairs at night in case Rhen decides to use the bathroom or come to our room.
Hey, but what am I talking about? It’s Friday! Sure can’t complain about that.