Sunday, August 31, 2008

all dogs go to heaven

My sister just called me and let me know she had to put her dog to sleep. My heart sank in my chest at the sound of her choking and wavering words. Suzie loved her so much, I can only slightly imagine how she is feeling. I can still remember coming home from school, and seeing a tiny waving white tail jutting out from the entrance to the kitchen as I climbed the stairs; I remember the smiles that circulated the room just watching her gobble up some food from a little bowl. She was so tiny then. Holding her in my lap, she fell asleep so hard, breathing and whimpering in some far-off dream, then picking her up without stirring her, her soft body fitting easily in my nine-year-old hands, and gently placing her down on the soft carpet. I remember hours of practicing lacrosse in the backyard, with her so eagerly chasing down and retrieving the ball, or her plowing through the yard after a fresh snowfall, the snow so purely white and deep that the only thing you could see of her was the brown spot on her back, like a brown circle traversing a white sea.

Fifteen years.

Fifteen years she was a part of the family, and now she's gone. I know that we were given dominion over the animals and all that, but I don't think that means they aren't sometimes capable of having dominion over our hearts.

RIP Kaya (1993 - 2008)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

what do you say when someone says

What do you say when someone says,
[but] a lot of people like her

I wonder about that but
if it was there would it change anything,
or does it chalk up to the same statement?
(does it end in the same place?)

yeah, I really like her
- a lot of people like her

I really like her
- but a lot of people like her

(- you’re not special
- you’re not good enough

but then again I’m not sure if the word love
had the right to be used in the first place.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

she's the tear that hangs inside my soul forever

I witnessed the dead rise today, but it was short-lived.

My ipod has been broken for several months... it happened unexpectedly, and for no apparent reason. When it happened, I couldn't understand why. I had taken such good care of her (the thought crossed my mind that she just couldn't handle the weight of so much awesomeness, and decided to take her own life out of shame and feelings of inadequacy). Despite my desperate cries and attempts to revive her, no tunes arose from the beating of her chest (click-wheel), or mouth-to-mouth with her USBport, so with heavy boots I gently placed her in a wooden box beside my desk.

Well, today I opened that box, and saw her, and decided to give an old love a second chance. I plugged her in, at first seeing only the familiar signs - a spinning wheel saying very low battery, followed by a frozen screen - but some glimmer of hope arose in my spirit and I tried one last time at resuscitation. And I don't know whether it was the cool melody of Cat Stevens playing through the nearby speakers, or the sunshine falling just right through the blinds, or the position of the cosmos, but my heart froze as I saw the wonderful spectacle of a flashing DO NOT DISCONNECT sign.

My love came back to me.

And it couldn't have been better timing, because at approximately 7:00pm a loud crack extended through my apartment complex and the image on the television screen abruptly shot to black, and the hum of the AC was replaced by silence. A telephone pole had exploded or something... I don't know, but I was alone, and the sun was setting, and had no power. So after it got too dark to read, I took out my beloved ipod, and sat there in solitude listening to her, and felt immense comfort. She filled my ears and heart and soul until I was completely surrounded by darkness.

And then something horrible happened.

I had to use the bathroom, but by this time (approx. 9pm) it was completely dark, so I took her in with me, and used her as a sort of flashlight. As I lifted up the toilet seat (because having had four sisters I have been conditioned to put it down after every use) something happened: my fingers faltered, my muscles refused to respond quickly enough, she slipped, I flailed, I screamed, she fell. There was a horrific sound of a splash as I saw - as if frozen in time - her beautiful, illuminated being submerged in water. Had it been a foreign bathroom my reaction might not have been so immediate, but as it was I reached right in and pulled her out, wrapping her in a towel and yelling no, no, NO!

I quickly dried her off and returned the headphone plug, and enjoyed about 30 seconds of beauty before she started faltering. Cracks and static came rushing in like high-tide, and then nothing.

The power has come back on now, but no sign of life radiates from my beloved friend. Six months of grieving, only to be taunted by a few hours of her presence... what a cruel joke.
I am - at least slightly - comforted by the fact that she went out in style... her swan song: Jeff Buckley's Lover, You Should've Come Over. (I don't know if you've ever listened to Jeff Buckley Live at SinE in darkness and solitude - preferably while driving - but you should, you really should.)

So this is my ipod's obituary:
She was faithful, she was filled with greatness, and these were her last words:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

his eyes shining with unutterable love

My last entry said something about writing more when things wind down - that was two weeks ago. The things I was talking about in that entry have been replaced by other things, which are winding up, but they aren't wound in the same chaotic, moving around the country kind of way. I'm back in FL. There was a very brief, albeit stressful, period of not knowing where I was going to live, but have since moved into an apartment with a dear friend. It's wonderful; the apartment, living with a dear friend, and the swift provision from the Provider.

I mentioned something a few entries back about feeling God's hand on my shoulder. Well, He has moved it to my back and is shoving me. It's not a bad thing at all, the opposite actually... except that I feel like I can't see ahead of me, so it's as if I'm being shoved down a really dark hallway. There's a spotlight, aimed down, so I can see about three feet of floor ahead, but that's all. It's not that I don't want to move forward, it's just that the hallway is really wide - I can tell because I can feel the air, it's spacious and has current, tiny pieces of debris are illuminated in the spotlight, and I see them, briefly, hoping them to be from wreckage behind me before they are carried away by the soft wind - and I know this hallway splinters into several hallways, and I don't know if I can feel my way through and still choose the right path. And I'm wondering if there is a right path, because I know they all end in the same place, but they diverge, at least momentarily, before running parallel, and I fear the difference could be everything. But contrary to what you might believe, the creaking of the floorboards as my feet move blindly forward is not accompanied by terror, but by awe.

It just occurred to me that something I read two days ago seems to be the perfect ending for this:

"A modern example may be found (if we are not too proud to seek it there) in The Wind in the Willows where Rat and Mole approach Pan on the island.
'Rat,' he found breath to whisper, shaking, 'are you afraid?'
'Afraid?' murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love. 'Afraid of Him? O, never, never. And yet--and yet--O mole, I am afraid"
-C.S Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Thursday, August 7, 2008

goonies never say die

I am staying in a condo on the coast of Oregon for my sisters wedding (which is tomorrow!), directly across from this scene. It is so beautiful. The Goonies was filmed here, enough said. Last night my sister Jen and I sat out on the beach until 4am, around a small fire, feeling the cool mist linger on our skin, and listening to the waves crash down out there in the darkness in between conversations. I've never seen anything like this place... and I do not have a good enough vocabulary to do it justice, so I will not attempt it. Perhaps when things wind down I will write more about this wonderful getaway. In the meantime, a simple list of current pleasures:

1. The city of Portland
2. The coast outside of Portland
3. The way my sis Danielle makes me laugh until I cry
4. The Eddie Vedder solo show bootleg I downloaded
5. My little niece Harper

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"With half-damp eyes I stared to the room
where my friends and I spent many an afternoon
where we together weathered many a storm
laughing and singing 'till the early hours of the morn

With hungry hearts though the heat and cold
we never much thought we could get very old
we thought we could sit forever in fun
but our chances, really, was a million to one

As easy it was to tell black from white
it was all that easy to tell wrong from right
and our choices, they were few, so the thought never hit
that the one road we traveled would ever shatter or split

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
that we could sit simply in that room again
ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat
I'd give it all gladly if our lives could be like that"
-Bob Dylan

I said goodbye to a handful of my best-friends tonight, for the first time not knowing when we will see each other again. Although for the past few years we have all been in different places, experiencing different things, there has always been the knowledge that we would all see each other again; there was always the anchor of a soon-to-be-summer spent together on the streets where we all learned a bit about the world surrounding us, ourselves, and each-other - basements and bars where time seemed to cease, and the degrees of separation between us melted away, leaving us with that nostalgic feeling of congeniality... which was more than enough for the time being - stories and subsequent laughter, congratulations, or tears that was not-at-all unnatural even if our voices had not been heard in months. I have gathered from my experiences with people after high-school that this level of camaraderie is a very rare thing; people often drift apart, lose interest, or cease to relate, and that friendships formulated in high-school (or even earlier, as is the case here) are more-often-than-not paltry and superficial. I am forever grateful that our experience has been an exception.

Some of the best parts of myself were born in the simple atmosphere of friendship - youth and naivety colliding, without restraint, shattering preconceptions, and causing considerable fall-out, but never destroying that hope and beauty that moved our hands to pick up all the pieces.

But time has caught up with us, and our ventures homeward are diminishing. We are scattering throughout the country, this time without the regular visits home so conducive to collegiate life. I know that it is not goodbye. I know that my children will know many "uncles" and "aunts" that are not of their bloodline, but all the same... I will miss them in-between. I am constantly moving forward, embracing change, relishing in it even, but not without lasting sentimentality for what has come before.

It's been a while since a debaucherous evening singing and swaying to this one, but this goes out to you, my friends.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

but we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies

I have a real blog now. Exciting stuff. The entire process of creating this thing was slightly overwhelming - too much going on, if you ask me, but on the bright side it allowed me to fully absorb a new album: Thao - We Brave Bee Stings and All. It's pretty darn good, too.

I only have two days left in New York, which is sad, I'm going to miss it, but I'm very excited about my sister's wedding in Portland, and I'm actually looking forward to getting back down to FL, believe it or not. It's my last semester of college. Yikes. Let's not talk about that.
I'm ready to jump back into academic mode, and ready to see how these next few months will transform my life (as it most certainly will); there are a lot of decisions to make, some of which I'm not quite ready for, but God is good, and I know everything will fall into place. He has been preparing me for some major changes; it's frustrating to not know what they are, and terrifying to guess, but I have felt His hand on my shoulder lately. I can't really ask for much more than that, although I do, I really do, I ask for a lot more than that, because sometimes I'm like Kerouac: "mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, and desirous of everything at the same time." We learn by very slow degrees, sometimes without even realizing it. I've been praying to become the person He wants me to be for years, and I'm feeling myself approaching that threshold - that is not to say I haven't been where I should have been along the way, or that this journey is coming to an end, but somehow things feel different. This might sound morbid, but my entire life I was convinced I was to die at an early age (it didn't depress me, and I never dwelled on it, it was simply something I held in the back of my mind). I don't have that feeling any more. That is the best way I can explain this. I can see the future somewhere off in the distance, intangible and without definition, but it's there. This is new. This is good.

picture in a frame

Last night I watched Pearl Jam: Imagine in Cornice. It was breathtaking. Go out and buy it, pronto.

this shirt is dry-clean only, which means it's dirty

It's been great being home. I'm sitting at Uncommon Grounds, drinking an irish cream italian soda and watching the sun break through the rain clouds outside the window facing Broadway, and although since the reconstruction last year this place is less hippie and more yuppie, I still love it. They always play good music, and I'm grateful for that since I forgot my headphones.

Tonight I will be heading to Binghamton, NY for a few days to support my father in something called the Empire State Games where he will be a pole-vaulting, javelin-throwing, shot-putting, long-jumping madman. Apparently marathons, triathlons, and 100-mile foot races through the hills of VT (yes, that's right 100 miles, on foot, through the woods - I don't really understand it either) became mundane to him. So I arrived home to find him practicing up on this track-and-field stuff, taking me out to the backyard to show me the long-jump pit he made, and showing me the correct way to hold a javelin. He's so excited it's hilarious. He's like a little kid. I love it. It's kind of sad that a sixty-six-year-old man could slaughter his twenty-four-year-old son in nearly every physical activity. I can barely run a mile without seriously considering calling for an ambulance. I did, however, beat him in the long-jump... but then again, I think afterwards I complained about getting sand in my shoes and went back to my book. Oh the shame he must feel.

purposely scholarly and pretentious

This evening, for whatever reason, I am reminiscent of my days of having a facebook account, particularly the required fields of "Gender" and "Looking For." I always found the latter to be ridiculous, especially in terms of the limited options of responses; those being only what was offered in the former. So although I waved goodbye to that silly social-networking site long ago (for reasons that were very much the same as the reason I deactivated my 'myspace' months prior, and for which I have absolutely no excuse for reactivating except for boredom), I will now present in a rather unorthodox (and completely stupid) manner what I believe to be an appropriate response to what facebook in all of its glorious simplicity asks of its users; that being the question "What Are You Looking For?"

My previous, and for lack of a better option, response to facebook's question was "Women." But this was, I understand, a paltry response, insofar as this term is such an asinine generality - and also, I should add, all of this might very well stem from the fact that I have recently been watching 'Mad Men': a show aired on AMC and recently released on DVD which has been a staple of the television set viewed by me and my prestigious colleagues Dave and George, whom the latter purchased from BestBuy, subsequently his workplace, and which depicts "The American Dream" through the dramatization of the 1950-1960's advertising agencies in NYC, the characters of which view women merely as objects; possessions, sex-toys, dinner-cooking-diaper-changing-sun-dress-wearing-"how-was-your-day-honey-and-I'll-be-waiting-in-the-bedroom-when-the-baseball-game-is-over"-mannequins, but which by no means perpetuates this ideal, but rather reveals the absolute grotesque nature of such a way of life, and which is also a fairly engaging drama that I highly recommend to all - and so I now feel the need to amend my previous response as to "What I am Looking For"

Lest my purpose here be clouded by reviews of television shows, I will get to the point.
Submitted for your approval is a series of videos of one of my favorite females who occupy the grand province of the popular media, and whose self-created record company's slogan is "FOLKing you up since 1990", which I love, but which is entirely besides the point, because what she truly sloganizes is something much greater: that individuality trumps gender, and that all the fools who misunderstand the book of Genesis can stick it.

I'm not looking for a label, I'm looking for something unique, but if we are categorizing, here's what I think of when I think of the term "woman."

[Disclaimer: This first one isn't great, but its a bootleg taken at one of the two shows that two of my beautiful sisters (Suzie and Danielle) and I attended in NYC, so I found it somewhat appropriate...she was eight months pregnant, and still kicked butt]

i fear you are walking the walks of dreams

I found this folded up in a journal that has sat on my bookshelf for over a year, collecting dust, empty and lonely, but not forgotten... certainly not forgotten.
In fact, since receiving it I have been haunted by feelings of insecurity, whispering words incessantly telling me that nothing I could ever put on its pages would ever be worthy of their placement. It was (is) a gift from a friend, both the journal and the bit of Whitman folded up into it.
My esteem for this particular person is so great that I foolishly believed the pages deserved writing that measured at least as great as that of her friendship. But I finally realized that nothing measures to this. On one end of a scale you can place a pile of poems by Neruda, compile the complete works of Poe, stack a Schiele painting or two, and even toss on a few Bob Dylan records for good measure, but it will be no use so long as love, in whatever capacity, rests on the other end. The scale will always be tipped, because nothing weighs so heavy as love.

And so I dusted off the journal, and cracked it open to find this, and my world got a little bit brighter. I broke the seal, wrote in something silly, knowing that true greatness rests entirely in the realm of love. But I did leave the first page blank, because try as I might, I couldn't transcribe my gratitude.

for life's not a paragraph

Amy, George, and I watched this wonderful film this evening. I've seen it several times, and it just keeps on getting better. I'm not sure why I love it so much. There is the obvious aesthetic reasonings; the way Gondry makes dream life come alive on screen, the unsynchronized sound and lip movements, the silent wind that blows, the confusions and transformations, the beautiful mixtures of reality and falsification. But something much deeper resonates within me while I watch the story unfold. I think I identify with Stephane in a way that hits much too close to home. It's almost embarrassing. The way he is in a state of constant doubt is almost too much. Dream vs reality has always been a problem for me, even before I started reading Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault, who have made my pathology grow at an exponential level, but whom I am forever grateful, because without them I might very well have settled into a comfortable position of ignorance, which as we all know may very well be the root of all evil (perhaps we don't all know this, but I think we should). Confusion begets questioning, which begets reasoning, if one is willing to go that far. And there may never be an end, since (I think) we can never (truly) have a corner on God's Truth, but (I think) the search - that is genuine searching; not conforming to what is easy, or comfortable, or spoken plainly from the pulpit, but what echoes beyond that plain message, and what stretches down to our own lives and therefore becomes somewhat tangible - is the point after all.

Eh. But I'm no theologian, so let me digress... I love the way that Gondry does not present love in a way that is easy, or comfortable; it is not sappy (though I am also a sucker for sappy endings, just come look at my movie collection and you will be easily convinced of this fact), and the walk-off-into-the-distance-together scene that appears in the end is only a dream, the reality of their love is not guaranteed in the viewer's mind, though they (we, to those who have seen it) all know it should be. This is because there is a disconnect in the character's perceptions, of one another and of themselves. And this may be the point: there will always be a disconnect, because as much as you think someone else can understand you, or is similar to you, you will never be that person, and they never you, so you will forever need to step outside of yourself and into their shoes, and I think that's where love really comes into play.

I do not have a problem stepping out of myself, into someone else, but I do fear that that step will not be understood, or perhaps taken for granted. I fear stepping for someone whose feet merely flirt with forward movement, but only want to retreat. Yep, I've seen that happen before, and... well... I guess my feet have become timid, but in my dreams they move endlessly forward... I'd move along one path forever if I believed it would be reciprocated


since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a far better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for eachother: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis
-ee cummings

robots in love has never been cuter

I just got back from the midnight showing of WALL-E and I'm wishing there was a 2:00 showing so that I could watch it again, it was that good. It far exceeded all of my expectations. Aside from the group of immature teenage boys sitting behind me who have not yet realized that loud and obnoxious does not equal cool (and who were all lucky that I am a pacifist) it was easily the most enjoyable movie experience I have had in a very, very long time. Go see it. It's worth the ticket price just to see the short that plays before the film. My hat is off to you once again, PIXAR, well done.

And while I'm making recommendations, I finished reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being today, and although I disagree with some of the positions the author seems to take, it slipped into my ever-growing list of favorites.

"For there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one's own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes."

ny state of mind

I'll be back in NY in a little over a week, and I must say that I cannot wait. Sorry Florida, but your summers just don't compare. Three and a half weeks of relaxation, trips to Vermont, quality time with old friends/family, and then out to the west coast for my sister's wedding in Portland. Sounds like good times to me.

I am currently burning CDs for Kinard Dean Marshall. He gave me 10 blank CDs and said he wanted 10 must-own albums... so many compromises.


I really can't get enough of this. Thanks Sara Yousif.

every time i blink i have a tiny dream

You know that scene in High Fidelity where Rob comes home to find Laura at the kitchen table reading his list of "Top 5 Dream Jobs" where qualifications and time and history and salary were no object? Number five was Architect, which he said he wasn't even really sure if he'd want to be, so asking him if he'd rather own a record store than be an architect, she crosses it out, saying "There you go then. Dream job number five: record store owner" and smiles.

I think we all have such lists; perhaps not pertaining to careers, or top five records to listen to on a Monday morning, and maybe they aren't written out, or are merely abstract thoughts, but somewhere folded up in the corners of our minds don't we list out our aspirations? Maybe not, but I know I do, and I think sometimes I'm guilty of being like Rob Gordon - squeezing in unnegotiated settlements, number fives that don't quite match, fillers, really, that bump reality out of position. What is it that makes the past and the future sometimes seem more appealing than the present? Eh...who knows.
I've never been much of a carpe diem kind of guy, but I'm thinking lately that there is a time and a place for that kind of attitude. Don't get me wrong here... dreams/aspirations are essential, and I will be clutching onto my own with reckless ambition until they either come true or dissolve, but in the meantime, let's cross out our number fives and write in something here and now, what do you say? After all, you have to make room for surprises, because life is going to throw them at you either way.

In other news I'm finally reading 'Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour an Introduction' by JD Salinger. I've been putting it off for so long because I don't want it to be finished. Why did he stop writing for publication? It angers me that he's still alive and has probably been writing some crazy masterpiece during the past forty-some-odd years he's been in seclusion, and he's crazy enough to burn it before he dies. At any rate, I feel a little bit like Desmond with his Dicken's novel, except there was no heartfelt letter from Penny hidden inside mine. (Yes, sometimes I talk like Lost characters are real people... what of it?)

PS - Happy Birthday, Janice.

not bad, dad, not bad

by Jan Heller Levi

I think you are most yourself when you're swimming;
slicing the water with each stroke,
the funny way you breathe, your mouth cocked
as though you're yawning.

You're neither fantastic nor miserable
at getting from here to there.
You wouldn't win any medals, Dad,
but you wouldn't drown.

I think how differently everything might have been
had I judged your loving
like I judge your sidestroke, your butterfly
your Australian crawl.

But I always thought I was drowning
in that icy ocean between us,
I always thought you were moving too slowly to save me,
when you were moving as fast as you can.

happy father's day

i'll put their jam on my toast any day

This evening I had the pleasure attending a Pearl Jam concert. This was my sixth time seeing them; and just like the wine that Eddie Vedder drinks straight out of the bottle on stage, I think it just gets better as time goes on. Kings of Leon opened for them, so not only was I able to see one of my all-time favorite bands, but I saw one of my new favorite bands at the same show. It was absolutely incredible - only one thing was missing, really, but I won't get into that. I am still reeling from the experience, and have very little to say, actually, but somehow feel like sharing the experience. So the following is merely the set-list for the show, lined with marginal notes/lyrics/etc.

First off: Kings of Leon. amazing. They played Fans (my favorite) and On Call (which I think sounded even better live) amongst a few other wonderful tunes. Some of which were new. They did not play Charmer, which both Dave and I were desperately hoping they would, but still, we couldn't complain. They were great.

Main Act:

Sometimes - "Seek my part. Devote myself. My small self... like a book amongst the many on a shelf. Sometimes I know. Sometimes I rise. Sometimes I fall. Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I cringe. Sometimes I live. Sometimes I walk. Sometimes I kneel. Sometimes I speak of nothing at all. Sometimes I reach to myself. Dear God." It was a brilliant opening: calming but laced with anticipatory awesomeness.

Corduroy - During this little ditty Eddie changed the lyrics from "can't buy what I want because it's free" to "can't buy what I want because PEACE IS FREE" And I remembered why I loved him. He also danced all over the place, which didn't end after this song. He danced a lot tonight. It was great.

Why Go - Any song off 'Ten' will elicit great appreciation from the crowd and this was no exception. I loved watching the crowd's hands flow up and down during this one.

Severed Hand - I'm pretty sure this song is about dropping acid or something, but it's still great.

Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town - Before this song Eddie said (more or less verbatim): "I thought we were in Tampa, but doesn't the name of this place include something about St. Petersburg? And look, there's a Canadian flag (points to back). Where the fuck are we?"

Marker In The Sand - "There is a sickness, a sickness coming over me. Like watching freedom, being sucked straight out to sea. And the solution? Well, from me far would let it be. But the delusion is feeling dangerous to me."

Light Years - "With heavy breath, awakened regrets, back pages and days alone that could have been spent together. But we were miles apart. Every inch between us becomes light years now. And wherever you've gone, and wherever we might go, it don't seem fair. You seemed to like it here. Your light's reflected now, reflected from afar: we were but stones, your light made us stars"

Down - Just an all-around fun song.

Wishlist - "I wish I was the souvenir you kept your house key on. I wish I was the pedal break that you depended on. I wish I was the verb 'to trust' and I never let you down." Beautiful, as always, plus he changed the lyrics and said "I wish I was the sight of 50 million Floridian's hands upraised and open towards the sky." which was great, especially because everyone had their hands up as the lights danced across the crowd.

Given To Fly - He dedicated this song to his favorite baseball player who was in the audience. There was a great story involved, but I won't be sharing that.

Daughter - They DID NOT go into a cover song here, which kind of disappointed me, because they always do. C'est la vie.

Even Flow - Crowd pleaser. Eddie left the stage for like 5 minutes and let the rest of the band go crazy. McCready went nuts. It was cool.

Present Tense - It makes much more sense to live in the present tense

Insignificance - Charlie asked that I call him during this if they played it. I did. He texted me shortly afterwards. It said: that was better than sex. He might have been right.

Better Man - Classic.

Do The Evolution - I saw them perform this at Madison Square Garden and afterwards Eddie came out and told the crowd that the stage was bumping up and down during the song and that it "scared the shit out of them", and then said he was just informed that the stage only shook like that for three other people: Greatful Dead, Iron Maiden, and Bruce Springsteen. And then said "And we're really happy to be a part of that crowd." So it was pretty hard to top that one, but it was good anyway.

ENCORE BREAK 1 - I went to the bathroom, and spoke briefly to Mr. Cory Lovell and Ms. Sara Yousif, which was cool in and of itself.

Nothingman - "Somethings when spoken can't be taken back"

Black - "I know someday you'll have a beautiful life. I know you'll be a star; in somebody else's sky. Why oh why can't it be mine?" I've heard this song a million times, but still gets me every time.

Life Wasted -They kicked it up on this one. It was great. The lights were amazing.

Porch - By far the best performance of Porch I have ever seen.

ENCORE BREAK 2 - I sat down for the first time... for about 2 minutes.

You've Got To Hide Your Love Away - Eddie came out by himself and played a beatles cover. First he mentioned something political. Some dude in front of me was very, VERY angry, he was flipping off the stage with both hands. I laughed. Poor bastard. But then again I liked what he said. Politics are funny that way. "Gather 'round all you clowns, let me hear you say: HEY! you've got to hide your love away."

Alive - All the house lights went up for these last two songs. It was surreal. You could watch everyone in the entire stadium dance around with Pearl Jam. Hah. I was in all my glory.

Yellow Ledbetter - Since this song differs so much every time they play it in terms of lyrical content and attitude/overall tone, I have a hard time explaining it, except to say it was a beautiful ending. I am including two youtube videos of the performance, for your viewing pleasure. A mix between these two versions is somewhere where they landed this evening.

The first is from their show at Madison Square Garden, which I already explained that I was at, and which is also on DVD, and also which I highly recommend you watch, unless you've ever been over to my house, because in that case I have probably already forced you to watch it.

And the second is them playing the song with a crying fan on stage. Eddie is sitting down, holding her hand, singing the song. It's beautiful. You can see the compassion. I love it. This is why I love Eddie Vedder. I think he'd hold my hand if I was crying.

"Cheers. We love you. Peace. Be Good to one another. Muah! Goodnight. Goodbye."

What a great night.