Thievery Corporation was... massive. You know when you get an album (is that still what we're calling a series of tracks purchased together? That sounds so quaint and archaic now...) and the opening track just sort of grabs you by certain bits, and you go "I bet you they'll open the show with that." Yeah, they did...

The stage set was a very cool minimalist approach. The front of Rob & Eric's decks was a panel of LED's, as was the entire stage-spanning back-drop and side-panels stage left & right. When the air-horn for "Sound The Alarm" went off, the house went black, the panels all went to white (initially blinding the audience, but not painfully so) then as your eves adjusted and the beat dropped on you, all you could see were Rob & Eric as black silhouettes moving to the beat behind the decks. It was a very cool effect. You soon saw that the LED banks were not merely LED's, but video arrays, and before the end of the track, the entire stage set was transformed into a moving video image. Again, it may have been simple and at times understated, but was more often that not visually striking.

Ashish Vyas was a monster on the bass as always. What a feel player he is. It was very cool to actually hear his bass over the back-tracks. So often sample-driven artists go for the bass from their recording as a groove anchor for the audience because it's so familiar. It was a treat to actually feel the groove from Vyas. He was even doing a few different things from the album. The entire night was excellent, with no less than seven different live vocalists, live sitar, two live percussionists, live horns and a crowd that was both massive (the show was sold-out) and exceptionally friendly. The grove just grabbed you up and made you move. Honestly, if you didn't dance, you looked out of place.

It was also very cool to see such a varied crowd. Young dreaded-out neo-hippie chiqs, cap-wearing college dudes, 50-60-something beach-people, Arcata travelers, and us 40-somethings who wanted to move to the beat. It was as eclectic a crowd as the music. That was inspiring. The girl and I had a great time dancing (the best aerobic work-out bar-none), and only escaped the show about 20min early, watching the rest from the CCTV feed to the projector down-stairs in the bar. I even got to hear a few tracks that I didn't expect them to do at all, like The Heart's a Lonely Hunter (with vocals handled by
Frank Orrall [a founding member of Poi Dog Pondering, and one of Thievery Corporation’s touring percussionists] singing David Byrne's part). That one left me a bit flat, but not for his lack of effort, but just the difference in approach. One gets used to hearing David Byrne sing David Byrne. We also got Warning Shots, which I was only mildly disappointed to be down in the bar for.

Over-all, this really was a tour-de-force for Rob & Eric, and was probably the best show I've seen in the past calendar year. Admittedly, the Sisters of Mercy show was old-school fun, but their smoke-machines didn't make me feel quite as good as a nice, live hit of Lebanese Blonde...

Well, this has been a rather interesting few weeks to say the very least. Where to begin...?

The move is almost fully completed. I still have a few things to manage at my old residence. As far as answering my commitment to my ex-wife on getting things handled asap, I did the very best I could. The legacy of nearly ten years together leaves quite a mess, but I really did give it my all as far as getting stuff dealt with in a timely fashion. But being disabled and depressed is a rather considerable double-whammy, and I'm sure in a number of ways I didn't measure up. Shifting sands under my feet aside, I really did try and honor our special relationship by doing my best.

These past two weeks have been ones of countless boxes being sorted through. Going from a 1500 sq ft house with a large garage for storage down to a 500 sq ft studio has meant downsizing on a heretofore unknown-to-me level. But seriously; if I haven't used it since I moved to Portland from Milwaukee in 2000, do I really need this (fill-in-the-blank)? The thrifts have been making out on me in a big way.

The flat ("D-Flat", as my kid and I affectionately refer to it) is taking shape. It's been challenging, as I said with the box of boxes in boxes. I've been forced to do something that I've not been all that good at in the past, and that's dealing with everything immediately, as in as-it-arrives fashion. I don't have the luxury of bringing a box or two back, and then letting it sit without being processed down into the smallest amount of stuff possible. If I bring a crate of stuff home, and don't process it, there's a better than zero chance that I won't be able to get into my bathroom! This was a big bone of contention between my ex and I (and rightly so). We had a garage packed full of stuff/whatnot/crap/treasure and it stayed that way in various states of disarray since we bought the house in 2006. I cop to that being mostly my fault. I would just look at it all and get completely overwhelmed. Good news is, there's a lot less in it now than there was!

The tough part of all this, really, is going through years of stuff and finding old love-notes and cards. Yeah; gut-wrenching stuff. One more exercise in impermanence. I'm dealing. Better than I thought, actually.

Being polyamorous, I think one of the things that helps with the feelings of abandonment (and there are some, to be sure) is that I'm still in a romantic relationship. I've been seeing my current girlfriend for almost two years now. We see other people, but we've been getting better at making time for each-other. We both don't think our relationship would work as a long-term monogamous pairing, but we're awfully close friends, and we love each-other very much in our own way. It's not an effortless relationship by any stretch of the imagination, but we make it work rather well for the most part. I treated her to seeing Thievery Corporation last Monday evening (pictured above--smokin' show, btw; literally!) and last night she surprised me by suddenly being available. We had a great night, and a nice, languid morning of coffee, breakfast and company. Felt nice. At least with poly, this isn't some stop-gap rebound meaningless sex thing; this is our relationship, and it's been in place for a while. But it is nice to spend time with someone who values me for me, and responds to who I am.

In other news, the kid's doing really well. Six months free of her daemon. I like being able to be proud of her again, and told her so. She turned 19 yesterday. Nineteen! That makes me... uh... old. As a gift for her 6mo anniversary, I'm doing what all responsible parental units would do to reward sobriety:

Taking her to see The Crystal Method!

These past few weeks have been tough. It's made me think a lot about who I was, who I perported to be, who I am now, and who I want to be in the future. I know one thing; I want to get back to doing a number of things I used to do regularly in the past. More on that in another post, but suffice it to say that I'm getting back to being more of the man I used to be every day. Personally, I think that's a good thing.

So anyway, there's your update, webs! More later. I need to sort a few more boxes, then get to sanzen...

A dish so nice I made it twice, then once again! I knew I could improve on the Bolly Burger itself. This is the same poutien, but the masala burger patty is on garlic naan, and topped with a bunch of micro-greens, vegan quik-raita (Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream + MDH Dahivada Raita masala) and mango-ginger chutney. The warmed naan is perfect for a non-bun delivery vehicle, and in my opinion, the raita was what was missing from last night. I was going to offer this to my land lady (her hubby's hunting and she was busting a move in her garden all day) but she declined, saying her son and his girlfriend were there and she was making spaghetti w/ meat sauce. Then when I was next outside, she said "You know, Bobby's girlfriend is a vegetarian, and I'm making meat sauce. Can you make her one?" to which I set about doing. I made one large serving of fries, and two burgers. Sent them both up, to rather astonished faces and rave reviews. Dirty secret: this is 80% Trader Joe's... (UK and stateside unexposed friends, substitute your mid-level alternative grocery here.)

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"Punjab poutine" of seasoned fries tossed with hot curry powder, chèvre crumbles under piping hot pav bhaji, along-side a vegie masala patty on a toasted onion roll, topped with mango/ginger chutney, diced sweet onion and shredded letuce.

Yes, it was very, very good.

Why do you think I'm blogging about it?

All my desi friends may now comense laughing at me...

...until you break down an make one yourself.

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You know, endings get a bad rep...
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We'll be right back once ZT reattaches his a**...
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So briefly;

A premonition I had came true (as nearly all mine do, and have done throughout my life) and I smacked up the truck. I'll write more on this later, but suffice it to say that I'm okay, my kid's okay, the other drivers are okay, and the truck is still rolling. All the important bits covered there.

Plus, it looks like the kid got an apartment. Bonus.

And as far as that Obama rant regarding his town-hall anti-cannabis swipe, someone else wrote it for me. WILL WILKINSON's good stuff. Thank you, Will. Seriously, I couldn't have said it better.

Life will settle down soon. Meanwhile, I gotta go...

So here's the bed deck for the sleeper-nook. Damn pleased if I do say so. I did the framing and my carpenter-landlord did the deck (as he has access to a full table-saw shop). Talked to the foam folks today, and it looks like the custom mattress with memory-foam will run about $300. I'm off to the hardware store to get paint for the whole thing. Note the storage crate to the bottom left: this bed will accommodate eight of those perfectly. This flat will be all about clever and maximized storage space...

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