Wednesday, January 29, 2014

INTERVIEW : Henry Miller - The Paris Review Interview | September, 1961

..."Who writes the great books? It isn’t we who sign our names. What is an artist? He’s a man who has antennae, who knows how to hook up to the currents which are in the atmosphere, in the cosmos; he merely has the facility for hooking on, as it were. Who is original? Everything that we are doing, everything that we think, exists already, and we are only intermediaries, that’s all, who make use of what is in the air. Why do ideas, why do great scientific discoveries often occur in different parts of the world at the same time? The same is true of the elements that go to make up a poem or a great novel or any work of art. They are already in the air, they have not been given voice, that’s all. They need theman, the interpreter, to bring them forth. Well, and it’s true too, of course, that some men are ahead of their time. But today, I don’t think it’s the artist who is so much ahead of his time as the man of science. The artist is lagging behind, his imagination is not keeping pace with the men of science."

His first novel was published when he was 42 and living in Paris.  It was not published in the United States until 1961.  He was 70.  In September of 1961, the Paris Review interviewed him.  I felt it worth sharing...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

SPORTING : Top Five New Years Resolutions for 2014

Sporting Life Edition

On January 2nd the gym will be full, the Pressed Juicer will have a line around the corner, and the Whole Foods will be sold out of cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and lemons... Here are some Sporting resolutions that will actually improve your quality of life.   

  • Bend Me Your Ear - "Expand Your Musical Horizons" I think of music as the soundtrack to my life, and thus use it to match or set my mood.  The most revolutionary change to the way I experience and explore music was the invention of Pandora.  It has exposed me to more new music than any other resource, including my neighbor Mike who introduced me to KISS in the first grade.  I spend the $39.95/year for the better quality stream and uninterrupted music.  My favorite stations are Astrud Gilberto, Paul Desmond, Chet Baker, and Steely Dan.
  • The Skillz To Pay The Billz - "Learn A New Skill" When I was a lovely lad of 15, I thought I knew everything, and then I took a cooking class at 38 and learned proper knife work from a master French changed my life!  Seriously!  Pick something you've always wanted to do and put it on the schedule.  This year I want to learn how to defend myself from would-be kidnappers that I may encounter while down Mexico way, so I'm taking Krav Maga classes. 
  • Expand Your Horizons - "Go!"  Find a place on the map that you've never been and GET!  Make a plan and go!  It doesn't have to be Bhutan or Burmuda...get in the car and drive to Fresno...  Bring a camera, bring a note pad, bring a bag for items you collect, bring a few granola bars. 
  • Push Your Pallete - "Eat, Drink, And Be Merry!" Try a new cuisine, try a new cocktail...try the dry-rubbed ribs at PF Chang's for all I care...just try something you've never had before! I remember when my Texas cousins visited me in San Francisco....I took them to China Town and they refused to eat everything but the white rice...we had to stop at a Subway so they could get a sandwich.  Seriously!  This is important!  This year I'm going to try a Tom Collins and anything from the Paula Dean cookbook.
  • Be A Dandy - "Does This Ascot Make My Ass Look Big?" Add something new to your wardrobe, out of your normal comfort zone, a little piece of flair...a pocket square, a bear claw necklace given to you by a Native American shaman, put a crow feather in your cowboy hat...something, anything!  I'm getting a scarf.  Yep...
And if your looking for some physical improvement ideas...Here's a good plan to start with.

100 push ups
100 sit ups
100 squats
20 minute jog

Cut back on the booze, the weed, the ciggys, the Cheetos...

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

INTERVIEW : Bill Thomas-Bills Khakis

Back in ’90, when I was in college at Santa Cruz, I decided I’d start wearing khakis.  In retrospect, I’m not sure what prompted the decision, but it probably had something to do with my tendency to rebel against whatever they were doing on the hill.  And, as I have a tendency to make life more complicated than it needs to be, I set out on a mission to find original vintage American GI khakis.  At about the same time, on the other side of the country, Bill Thomas was on a similar mission, but rather than scouring the Army-Navy surplus stores, he set out to “save this small but symbolic piece of Americana.”

Friday, May 24, 2013

MUSIC : Garota de Ipanema

The men sat in the Bar Veloso listening to the football match on the radio, sipping their whiskey and watching the women walk past. One girl held their attention like a siren, her long black hair, bright eyes, tan skin, and carefree-sway as she walked, enchanted them. She would pass the bar on her way to school or to the beach, sometimes stopping in to buy cigarettes for her mother. Some of the men would call after her, or whistle, while others were more eloquent and civilized in expressing their approval… Vincius de Maraes wrote of her, "the paradigm of the young Carioca: a golden teenage girl, a mixture of flower and mermaid, full of light and grace, the sight of whom is also sad, in that she carries with her, on her route to the sea, the feeling of youth that fades, of the beauty that is not ours alone—it is a gift of life in its beautiful and melancholic constant ebb and flow."

Friday, May 3, 2013

CULTURE: Hunter S. Thompson - "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent & Depraved"

Hunter S. Thompson premiered his "GONZO" journalism style with this piece on the Kentucky Derby for Scanlan's Monthly, vol. 1, no.4, June 1970...

Friday, April 5, 2013

GEAR : New West Knife Works - Fusionwood 2.0 Chef's Knife

From the plows we used to put grain in the silo to the knives we used to prepare our food for the table, I was raised with a great reverence for the implements that make life livable. We bought the best we could afford, and cared for them as if our livelihood depended upon it…and it often did.

Monday, January 7, 2013

INTERVIEW : Susan Carter Hall - Painter

I met Susan a lifetime ago at a party in the Hollywood Hills.  She was the first peer I'd met in my "adult" life that when asked what they do, replied "I am a painter."  There was no wavering,  no feeble attempts at justification, no dancing around it.  It was a declaration that stuck in my head and inspired me.  She knew what she was and was brave enough to announce it to the world long before I could.  

Fifteen years later she walked into church.  She didn't remember me, but I knew her in an instant.  We've since become friends, and she continues to inspire me.  She was kind enough to share a glimpse of her Sporting Life with us...