1. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to get to do a little writing work for the design ninjas at Downstream. A small part of my small part of that project is now etched in glass in the recently remodeled Schembechler Hall on the ol’ alma mater’s campus. 

    Paired with the words on tradition that made it into the Crisler Center remodel (not to mention the amount of money on tuition and student loan interest) and I can feel pretty good about dodging the fundraising calls from Ann Arbor this year.

    Thanks to Colin Fowler for the Schembechler Hall photo. I took the Crisler one.

  2. 'Once you grab 'em by the pride their hearts are bound to follow …'

    Sanity break: The new Drive-By Truckers record, English Oceans.

  3. 21:35 22nd Jan 2014

    Notes: 1

    An Oral History of Billboards I Passed Today on I-75 Between Ocala and Gainesville

    Retirement Community
    Don’t Get Abortions
    Buy guns
    Don’t Start Wild Fires
    Buy Some Big Fking Fireworks
    Naked Girls Next Exit
    Citrus Center (WITH BABY ALLIGATORS)
    Naked Girls THIS EXIT
    Big Fking Guns
  4. 'What's never mind?' Or: When 3 year olds attack

    "Never mind."

    "What’s never mind?"

    "It means don’t worry about it."

    "What’s don’t worry about it mean?"

    "It means don’t think at all about it."

    "What’s don’t think at all mean?"

    "It means forget about it."

    "What’s forget about it mean?"

    "Never mind."

    "What’s never mind?"

    "A Nirvana album."

    "No it’s not."

  5. 11:18 26th Oct 2013

    Notes: 1

    Check out Live Wire’s Fancy Pants

    39,000 FEET — There are things in this world you have to do, things you want to do, and things you’re lucky enough to get to do. I was excited to be asked to write about my love of Live Wire for a big fundraising party they’re throwing tonight. And I was bummed when I realized it was tonight, and while they’ll be at the Imago Theater, I’ll be in Las Vegas digging around for the threads that’ll make a book proposal that I assume will make me, my agent, and everyone I know obscenely rich. Or I’m going to be the severance. Nothing could go wrong with either plan.

    As such, I didn’t write anything. But here I am, and I paid for the wifi on the plane so …

    I’ve been lucky enough to contribute to a couple of episodes of Live Wire. OSU basketball coach Craig Robinson told us all a hilarious story about his sister (who’s kind of a big deal, being the First Lady and all) and the secret service. Channing Frye and I talked people farting on airplanes, Chuck Thompson regaled us with stories of dirty rivers. And I worked up an essay about almost dying alone atop a horse in the middle of Eastern Oregon ranch country.

    Some of my favorite Portland people make Live Wire one of my favorite Portland things. I leave Live Wire inspired. Every time. No bullshit. It’s a home for smart people doing smart work and it’s getting harder and harder to find places like that. I’m going to meet a writer or a filmmaker I didn’t know. I’m going to see a band I dig. I’m going to laugh. I’m probably going to get a little drunk.

    So if you’re free, get your fancy pants on. It’ll be fun. And you’ll be lending a hand to good people who work their asses off to make funny.


  6. TaleG8: Let’s argue about paying college players

    This photo kind of works for everything in the column, but it’s of Star Anna. Read on.

    Let’s argue about paying college players. I’m serious. Let’s roll up the sleeves and get at it. Or continue getting at it, because we’ve been getting at it pretty good for a while now as is. You bring the ragged old sweatshirt you wore in college. I’ll bring the budget sheets. We’ll weigh nostalgia against a obscene pile of money — and that’s just the head coach’s salary.

    Read More

  7. 'The jerky kings of the Western Hemisphere'

    "The word "buccaneer" originated in a native people’s term for smokehouse, which the French pronounced boucan. The original boucaniers didn’t board ships and steal treasure; they were the jerky kings of the Western Hemisphere.” — The Black Count, by Tom Reiss

  8. TaleG8: F—- your circumstances; go see Ray Wylie Hubbard on Sunday

    I used to have this little column in the sports section of a local publication. We called it the Tailgate. It was fun. As I clack away this Springsteen book, I thought it’d be fun to give myself something to do outside of raiding Bruce’s work. I also worry the local publication might have the rights to Tailgate. So this isn’t that. It’s the TaleG8, which works because it’s on the Internet and everything on the Internet has a stupid name. I’ll try and do this each Friday. A little sports. A little music. A little whatever.

    Went to see the Zac Brown Band with a buddy Jack last week. Jack’s a Nebraska alum, and he made quick sport of pointing out other Nebraska fans in the crowd. There were many, and they were easily spotted because they were wearing Nebraska hats and were wrapped in Nebraska blankets.

    Read More

  9. News from England about the Springsteen book I’m working on.

  10. The Rules of Soccer as Dictated By My 3-Year-Old Daughter

    Upon finding her soccer ball and carrying it to the park tonight, my daughter set down the rules for our soccer game — held on softball diamond.

    1. “You sit over there* until I call you.”

    (*"On the bench?" Yes. "You’re benching me again?" Yes.)

    2. “I kick the ball to that base.”

    3. “When I call you, you go to that base*.”

    (*A different base than the one she would be at.)

    4. “Then run and kick the ball to me.”

    5. “Then go back to your seat.”

    6. “And cheer for me.”

    7. “Also, keep your eyes on the ball.”

    8. “And cheer for me.”

    9. “Now go sit over there.”

    (Can’t we just pass it back and forth?)

    10. “No.”