So it was my birthday yesterday, and a bunch of people were crammed into my coffee shop to celebrate me being born. Not only were my good friends from the neighborhood there, but Rich was there, bearing belated gifts from the jam in Easton, PA, Brad and Drew from the Vault came down and gave me an Inkspots record (“The Incomparable Inkspots”, if you wanted to know), Luke and Alexis stopped by and gave me some of the finest coffee available in the country world, the folks from Beaver Falls C&T stopped in and would have brought me some triple roasted Kenya blend (!!!) if it weren’t for the now-notoriously finicky Anfim. People made some drinks, many records were played, including some of my alltime faves. And a bean-bag toss? And vegan mini-cupcakes with beer in the cake and coffee in the frosting? My friends are great.

People asked me to make a speech after they presented me with my half-eaten birthday cake, and I said something like “I’m really glad you’re all here; it’s great to imagine what we can all do and are doing, so thanks for coming to my birthday party.”

So everybody out there who came to my birthday and who wished me well-wishes on the telephone and internet, thanks a whole heap of a ton.

It’s good to know that when one is uncertain of one’s utility, direction, purpose, or any other thing associated with mid-twenties self-definition nonsense, one’s friends are around to emphasize the importance of one’s self. That sentence is terrible. All I want to say is a thank you to this community for thinking I’m pretty OK at doing stuff. It means a lot.

More posts later this week? If you’re lucky. But I promise pictures next time.

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Thursday of the Living Dead

December 20, 2007

Peoples is wanting to hang out because everyone’s leaving for the holidays or coming home for the holidays. I haven’t been home before 11p in what seems like ages. I has gots to get more sleep. Observe:

Flattering self-portraits are one of my many secret gifts.

But it was nice to run into Rich and Jon and Ryan at the Sharp Edge; I’m already brainstorming about the next Jam and how many machines we could get running at our space in the showroom here at La Prima. Hey Pittsburgh! Let’s do more coffee stuff! Coffee is pretty fun! Don’t you like fun! Coffee things! With coffee! Let’s think about how coffee has the potential to engage people in dialogue about larger issues. Christmas resolution(?): I will not be a grumpy bastard when I am dealing with walk-ins at the roastery.

Also, where is my Harrar? Is it still in Jersey? Is it on the turnpike? Is the driver eating lunch?

Also, what do you do when you buy a warped record? Do you take it back or just live with it? Anybody?

He asked me to write it. This is a good thing.

Three things that make me go weak in the knees.shortofbreath:
1) Honey balls from the Greek Food Festival down the street.
2) Austin, Texas’ Stars of the Lid. Latter era.
3) A Softer World. Because he says things like this:

“But I love writing notes to strangers: ‘You have the best laugh I have ever heard. The only thing I know about you is that you work with maps and you always take the second straw from the dispenser – I do that too!'”

That kind of talk makes me wonder why I’m so cold to strangers sometimes. “I never imagined myself this way,” everyone says, but here we are, all being cold to one another more often than not. Knowingly leaving each other outside, and nobody’s knocking because being rejected is worse than standing by yourself, hoping someone will open the door. Two people came into work today, two! And I wasn’t very friendly, and I didn’t ask them how they liked the coffee and I didn’t ask how they were, what they really, really deep down wanted to do. Or what they wanted to do most of all while drinking this coffee. Did they want to be in a cabin, with their cat on their knees? Did they want to be making coffee for their grandmother? It’s like during the day I forget how to dream beyond my social role. Seems like night time, when I’m alone, listening to records, that’s when I remember I’m supposed to bring that magic insanity into the day.

Moving on.

Was e-dialoguing with an industry compatriot (compatriot? we met through this modern wonder called “intar-webs”) about several things, and he mentioned something that I’ve been sort of obsessed with lately: making sure you’re doing all you can where you are. Because it’s so easy to just assume that people aren’t helping you be full or pushing you to fullness, but in reality, we all know 73.6% of the problem is that we are not doing enough for God knows why. Not to say that leaving where you are is not a viable option, even if only for a time, but let’s all be sure to give our lives and what we are doing more than the old college try, eh? Isn’t life’s viscera about odd coincidences and things that are juxtaposed and pushing yourself and pushing your friends and being a little crazy? I once wrote something in which I declared myself in opposition to the world’s sanity, because that sanity seemed false and hollow. When I find it, I will post it.

How to remind ourselves to live even just a little bit more fully? How to embrace paradoxes without losing our minds? Is losing one’s mind really all that bad?

Thinking about life changes and being 25 and not being married or owning a home. Thinking about Portland and Minnesota, coffee and farming, guitar loops and drums and nap parties where I will be DJ Lullaby. Thinking about work and flexibility, commitment and freedom. These are things I need help with.

a deliciously rainy monday

August 20, 2007

It’s going to be great when I get home and listen to this

and maybe this