Author Archives: Mallory

the sound of scampering.

It’s not hard to pinpoint reasons
for leaving the back door wide open while showering
Bob Dylan covers
mixing with the backyard bird show
that’s been playing
since a quarter of seven,
when you wanted to call whoever was awake
hold your phone up and hope
they never asked why? and at this hour?
wandering out mostly naked after
to say hello to a fast-acting scaredy cat,
trying again to conjure up a name
for the red flowers exploding on the fence,
each temporary havens to the ants,
hearing squirrels’ feet on branches above,
the sound of scampering,
beauty borrowed for some minutes,
the postcard so few are allowed to see.
 
And they wonder why you daydream
at your desk those hours later
with your wandering heart
as they scurry on with their day,
squirrels on their branches,
words coming out like birdsongs
you wouldn’t open a window to hear.
 
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it’s gonna be a good year.

I enjoy the beginning of a new year, because it gives me an excuse to listen to this on repeat for a few days. Not that I need an excuse.
 
Oh, I’m still living
At the old address
And I’m waiting on the weather
That I know will pass

I know that it’s true
It’s gonna be a good year
Out of the darkness
And into the fire
I tell you I love you
And my heart’s in the strangest place
That’s how it started
And that’s how it ends

Well I know you’re with me
It’s a point of pride
And it’s louder than lightning
In this room of mine

Oh, I’m just like you
I never hear the bad news
And I never will
We won by a landslide
Our troubles are over
My sisters are married to all of my friends
Yeah, that’s how it started

You took your sweet time
And I waited by without complaint
‘Til all the pipe dreams made me insane

So it’s all over
It’s all over anyhow
You took your sweet time
Finally, I opened my eyes

My friends and my family
They all ask me one thing
“How long will you ramble”
How long will you stay with me
The snow is still falling
I’m almost home
I”ll see you in the new year

See you next week, boys.
 
[Posted by Mallory]

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songs i couldn’t stop listening to.

‘Tis (’twas, I guess?) the season of best-of list-making, and having always been one for bandwagons, I’m jumping on the bandwagon. I’ve been stupid lucky to enjoy a lot of great new music this year, much of it live, and it’s a nice year-end activity to reflect on what songs hit me hardest. Because I’m not a real music person and don’t pay attention to things like release dates, this is not intended to be a list of the best songs that came out in 2011; rather, it’s a list of the songs I couldn’t stop listening to last year. And with that, in alphabetical order…

ON REPEAT, ALL YEAR

Blind Pilot, “Keep You Right”

The stars wash over me, so far away that I can barely breathe from where I lay

I could have chosen a number of songs from Blind Pilot’s We Are The Tide (“We Are the Tide” and “New York” were contenders), but this one stands out. Start to finish, it highlights Israel Nebeker’s gorgeous voice and makes me happy and sad in all the best ways.

Cataldo, “Deep Cuts”

Let’s begin at the end of a bad year / With bad things at my back

Eric Anderson of Cataldo puts together perfect short songs that say a hell of a lot with every line. I love the way this one builds up such that by the second verse, you can’t not dance in your seat.  Maracas of all sorts, they get me every time.

Dawes, “A Little Bit of Everything”

It’s not some message written in the dark / Or some truth that no one’s seen / It’s a little bit of everything

The each-verse-tells-a-story style of this song could be trite, except that it’s not. It’s holy-shit powerful, and for me, pretty nicely sums up what this life thing is all about. I’ve loved this song from first listen, but loved it even more after hearing it live. Dawes sounds like an entirely different band when you’re watching them in a quiet room from a few yards away, and if you get the chance to see them in 2012, you should.

 Grouplove, “Naked Kids”

Raise your glasses, here’s to living out our dreams

This song IS summer. So joyful, so fun. Makes me want to go skinny dipping then drink whiskey at a beach bar.

The Head and the Heart, “Rivers and Roads”

Nothing is as it has been / And I miss your face like hell / And I guess it’s just as well / But I miss your face like hell

A lot of people I know have loved this song for a while, and though I’ve been a huge fan of THATH for the better part of the year (and the name of my Tumblr is inspired by one of their concerts), I was late in learning to love this song. Maybe it was the bare bones nature of it; maybe it was that I didn’t listen hard enough to the lyrics. Either way, I’m glad I learned to love it, because it speaks so accurately about this exact time in my life.

Mountain Goats, “Dance Music”

So this is what the volume knob’s for…

This song choice is kind of a cop out. I fell hard for the Mountain Goats this year (way later than everyone else) and I could have picked almost any of their songs. This one wins because for me, it sums up why we need music. And John Darnielle.

Radical Face, “Always Gold”

But I am fine with where I am now / This home is home and all that I need

I know I love a song when I consider it a running song even though no one else would. Meaning: though not necessarily pump-up-y, the song transfixes me such that I forgot about how much I hate running, which is no easy feat. This song is one of those songs.

Sarah Jaffe, “Clementine”

I wish I was a little more delicate

Dude, violins and kick-ass female singers and those little brush-like things that people use to play the drums? I’m so into them.

Typhoon, “CPR/Claws Pt. 2”

Then the suffering, one way or another, it will go away

Typhoon is a big band to begin with, and when you add in an entire cello group, the effect could be sloppy and overwhelming. Instead, this song becomes bigger and better with the addition of the Portland Cello Project, making you want to listen to it on repeat for weeks, which is exactly what you do.

Walk the Moon, “Anna Sun”

We got no money, but we got heart

I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about music videos, but videos like this one make me hope bands keep making ‘em. This one-shot video captures the sentiment of the song perfectly, and it just looks like so damn much fun. Plus, lead singer Nick Petricca’s dance moves? Can’t be beat.

Here’s to a lot more of this goodness in 2012. Happy New Year, kids!

[Posted by Mallory]

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six words to run the world.

Back when we used to blog semi-regularly, when we disappeared for a while, we’d usually apologize by starting our next post with “OH HAHA HEY REMEMBER US?” But at this point it’s been nearly a year, so fuck that. Sorry we’re not sorry. We’ve been off doing, like, really important things. (No, that’s not true. But we both did start Tumblr bloggies, because, frankly, they’re easier to keep up with because all you have to do is reblog other people’s photos and nice quotes and YouTube videos and you’re under no obligation to even write six words about them. We never formally admitted that here because then it would be like Six Words was over, and I don’t ever want it to be over. WE CAN’T QUIT YOU, SIX WORDS. Now that I’ve mentioned it, though: Kathleeny can be found at everythingisavesselforgoatcheese.tumblr.com and I’m at playingthedrumswithamaraca.tumblr.com. Only one of us has a Tumblr with a six-word title, and it’s me, so I win.)

I’ve been thinking about this here neglected bloggy lately for two reasons:

  1. On Thanksgiving, I randomly read a bunch of my old Thanksgiving posts, and then I felt all emo and missed it here.
  2. Kathleen and I are MAJOR runners now, and when naming our team (read: just the two of us) for an upcoming race, she offered “Six Words to Run the World” as an option, and then I felt all emo and missed it here.

Now that the obligatory re-introduction part is over, let me tell you about how Kathleen and I run now. First, you should probably know that in college, Kathleen and I did a lot of powerwalking (as in we powerwalked like six times total over the course of four years) because we really hated running. We called it our P-Dubs club, and talked about making t-shirts with hilarious sayings like “Running Is for Cowards” and “Runners Find the Dead Bodies.”

Fast forward a few years, and we started running because Kathleen found a Women in Politics 5K and obviously we had to participate. An important thing happened during this run. While neither of us experienced some bullshit like a runner’s high, the race organizer people (or one of the organizers’ boyfriends who had a digital camera, because this run took place on a college campus and wasn’t very legitimate) took an epic photograph of Kathleen and me, wearing matching t-shirts and holding hands as we triumphantly crossed the finish line. (Keep in mind, this was a 5K. Kathleen’s boyfriend ran more than a 5K, uphill, to watch us run ours.)

In theory, this photo was really fucking adorable. In practice, Kathleen looks adorable and I look like a man. Two people who knew it was me said “Holy shit, you look like a dude” upon seeing the photo, and one person who saw the photo and didn’t know the back story thought it was an unattractive male acquaintance we had just been discussing. Naturally, that shit had to get FatBoothed. In all her pixelated glory, here she blows:

If a FatBoothed photo of the ugliest photo ever taken of you doesn’t keep you running, nothing will.

I know what you’re thinking, and no, you cannot have my number, and no, this is not about to become a running blog. I mostly just wanted to show you this photo and say hello. I’ve missed you.

[Posted by Mallory]

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and the best beard goes to…

The Oscars were on last night. Blah blah, Colin Firth is my soulmate, James Franco was probably stoned, Melissa Leo said “fuck,” etc. Can we talk about the two epic beards of the night? I obviously couldn’t pick just one.

First, I have to give some love and recognition to my boyfriend, Jeff Bridges:

I understand that his beard is not exactly new (which I just spelled “knew” on the first try…embarrassing), but I still love it lots. Also, I wish he could narrate my life.

And then holy Christian Bale beard! Some darkness on the top, a whole lot of ginger on the face…and while I know that many of you (Kelsey) will disagree, I think he kind of rocks it:

I’d also like to take this opportunity to mention that not a single person I was watching with knew that Christian Bale was Welsh. We thought he was faking his accent when he first started talking. And then he cried about his wife. SWOON.

Kathleen and I have a lot to tell you (hint: we are NOT pregnant…yet), but for now, I have to go eat some microwaveable Indian food.

In the meantime, here’s a throwback link that I found while searching the ol’ bloggy for my Jeff Bridges references. Really, Mal, with the Jamiroquai dream?

[Posted by Mallory]

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youtube clip of today: bad pictures.

Words cannot express how much I love this video (WHICH WILL NOT EMBED, little punk). And the second lady is totally smoking some Canadian crack, no?

I have some photos that could give these a run for their money. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see them one day…

[Posted by Mallory]

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nyt: how many deaths are enough?

I loved Bob Herbert’s op-ed in today’s NYT. Here’s an excerpt:

The slaughter of college students — or anyone else — has never served as a deterrent to the gun fetishists. They want guns on campuses, in bars and taverns and churches, in parks and in the workplace, in cars and in the home. Ammunition everywhere — the deadlier, the better. A couple of years ago, a state legislator in Arizona, Karen Johnson, argued that adults needed to be able to carry guns in all schools, from elementary on up. “I feel like our kindergartners are sitting there like sitting ducks,” she said.

Can we get a grip?

The contention of those who would like college kids and just about everybody else to be armed to the teeth is that the good guys can shoot back whenever the bad guys show up to do harm. An important study published in 2009 by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine estimated that people in possession of a gun at the time of an assault were 4.5 times more likely to be shot during the assault than someone in a comparable situation without a gun.

“On average,” the researchers said, “guns did not seem to protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. Although successful defensive gun uses can and do occur, the findings of this study do not support the perception that such successes are likely.”

Now go read the whole thing.

[Posted by Mallory]

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