here in the great pacific northwest people love their old Swedish cars. automobile enthusiasts around the world know this is the place to come should you desire an old volvo or saab. no salt on the roads keeps the rot away and there are many well preserved examples.
apparently unsatisfied with a mere volvo 240 DL wagon… this individual has managed to combine the sporty lines of the venerable saab 96 with the utility and practicality of the classic swedish brick.
keeping #pdx weird…. one ride at a time…
even in my youth i was a loner… introvert… odd… loser… nerd… pick your adjective. i spent a lot of time alone. not just as an only child… but because of the above mentioned adjectives… outcast. outlier. out of luck. whatever.
subsequently, i spent a lot of time reading. especially in the summer. i went to some camp of some sort or another on a few occasions… but mostly i spent my summers at my mother’s childhood home… in the midwest. coming from super liberal new england. basically culture shock every summer for like ten or 11 out of 18 summers. anyway. when i wasn’t in some camp. i was usually in ohio… or in massachusetts… either riding my bike. or reading. i read a lot. a book a day usually. a larger volume might take me two. back then i would force myself to finish books even if i didn’t like them. we’re not talking about anything challenging here. mostly science fiction and detective/crime type shit. but way above my grade level. adult books. no one ever censored what i was reading or told me not to read something. ever. lucky in that my intellectual curiosity has always been encouraged. a benefit of growing up in the super-crunchy-hippie-dippie-free-to-be-you-and-me new england of my youth….
in fact…. that’s the only consistency in my report cards from day 1 in pre-school until i left the school system 12 years later. “reading/reading comprehension beyond grade level” so at least i’ve got that going for me.
anyway… i read a lot. all the way through i’d say high school when somehow i had managed to cobble together some semblance of a social life. then after college… i picked up where i left off… and was a voracious reader. this time mostly non-ficition. i could plow through books. probably not at the one a day clip from my youth… but if i was interested in the subject matter and had good beats rocking in the background… i could read and read and read. didn’t need sleep or food. cigarettes, coca-cola and a bookmark.
somewhere along the line all that went in the toilet. with the rest of my world. and i stopped reading… just done. i didn’t stop accumulating reading material… quite the opposite in fact…. i was building my own personal library @ alexandria…. but i was curating and not actually using any of the materials i was accumulating… when i moved across the country a few years back… i streamlined. reduced 4 full bookshelves down to a few crates in a friends basement.
i moved to pdx sight unseen and went out of my way NOT to study too much about the history or mythology of the city before I got here… when I arrived the city was transitioning away from “drugstore cowboy” era portland but had to morph into “prtlandia.” anyway… i was unprepared for the numbers of brick and mortar bookstores that still existed… and was surprised to find that one of the most revered landmarks in the city is in fact a bookstore. an excellent bookstore i might add…
when i first got to town for a minute… i submerged myself in books again… from the portland public library mostly… which i might add… from what i’ve seen… is probably one of the best lending libraries in the country… but that’s neither here nor there… anyway… i stocked up and probably read about 15 books about oregon, portland and the northwest… in the first few months that i was here….
since then however… (15 years) i’m both embarrassed and saddened to say that my reading has fallen the fuck off… like way off. like…. i can barely finish a comic book. to the point where it’s a major contributing factor to the incredible amount of self loathing i’ve been overcome with of late… i know that within me i possess the power to read a book a day, write a chapter a day… i can barely put the sentences together for a 140 character tweet… the fact that it’s a point of celebration for me to finish a graphic novel… or tweet a complete thought… shows the depths to which i’ve fallen the fuck off… pathetic. despicable. disgusting. i hate my brain.
meanwhile… i digress… all that is a another post for another time… i said all that to say this…. as much as i’m still curating my great library of knowledge… for all intents and purposes…… i just don’t read anymore. not for want of trying. i’ve got bookmarks in about 45 books scattered around my apartment… i’ve sold a bunch of books and most of what’s replaced those are things i’ve been meaning to read. yet, dust and un-cracked spines is what you’ll find. *sigh*
there have been two volumes i’ve discovered quite recently however…. that compelled me to finish them in one sitting… for completely disparate reasons…. but nonetheless i felt an overwhelming drive to ingest them immediately. as if the knowledge they contained was vital to my survival and that i couldn’t continue on with my existence until i finished them… an experience which you might gather from the above i’ve not had in many moons… these are they:
read them both. your life can become nothing but enriched by doing so. what’s left of mine was.
A performer who is part of the West Coast Show performs a stunt that involves pulling an automobile with a a rope that is attached to this eyelids. The man is leaning backwards with his hands on his thighs. He is dressed in a long sleeved shirt, bow tie, vest, and trousers. Behind the stuntman hang four banners painted with illustrations advertising the carnival’s acts. One of the banners depicts a man performing the same stunt and is titled, “The Man With The Iron Eyes”.
image via: University of Oregon Libraries – Special Collections and University Archives