Hardlikealgebrarchive

The archive of the old hardlikealgebra.com

Month: April, 2013

An update of sorts

Thirty days is still happening!

It is happening as a tinyletter, and as a rock poet, and in other places as well. [1]

It is not as hard core as it once was.

Neither am I.


  1. Some of those places are just in your heart. ?
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Kathy, I’m lost, I said

I feel like a good rule, when I don’t know what to do because I am feeling all of the feelings, is to write it out. At the very least, I will have another blog post at the end of it, right? *

I just saw a really great looking article about places to eat in PDX on twitter. I mean, it’s got a bit of “I was there first, so I am better” b.s. feel to it, but it also has my favorite ever music venue and my favorite ever donut shop so it’s not all bad.

And of course am stupid and when I saw them mention a coffee shopI didn’t know about–lilkely because it is new–I googled for it, grabbed the street view, and felt my guts hit my throat because of this:

map

click here to embiggen

This is a pretty innocuous photo, really. Right? Just a sunny day, and…a huge line for a donut shop. Okay.

But I cannot tell you how many times I have been on that street, in that place.

It was part of my life before full-time work when I would camp out all day at Stumptown and pay $1 on the counter and skip the line since I was there for drip coffee and sometimes get props from the cute midwestern barista that recognized my slapstick t-shirts.

After I got the full-time job it was a place I would go during my lunch breaks for donuts for my team or to get an americano for me (and maybe a coworker) in order to help fuel the dark afternoons of playing catch up.

Half a block away I’d wait for the 12 to take me to 57th and Sandy or, later, the 12/19/20 to get me back to 18th and E Burnside.

We had boys and beers at Berbatis, which used to have a music venue entrance where VooDoo is now. And when I left the full-time job behind, I became very acquainted with Johnny Walker Black because of some the best coworkers a man could ask for.

I think maybe this place–not the corner, but the city–might be where I became a man, if that’s what I am now, at thirty-five.

It is certainly where I became my own man.

I miss it in my gut the way I used to pine for it–before I moved there–and feel in my bones that I belonged there.

I so did. And I still do.


I’ve been doing the April 30 days stuff! But the results are not all here–they are scattered on PDX Rock Poet and some other places. Hooray though!

*I used to never ever ever call this site a blog. It was my “music site.” But this post? No music, and maybe a blog post.

Everything, in no particular order

I’m an avid Spotify listener. I have told people, multiple times, that if needed to cut back on my subscriptions, Spotify would be the last to go (sorry, Erin). It really has changed the way that I listen to music.

In the past, if I wanted to explore something random—say, for instance, a jazzy track that I heard on the NBA 2k13 soundtrack—I could do a few things:

  • Google it, and try to find a copy that I could buy
  • Google it for .mp3’s I might be able to download (a bit sketchy)
  • Use a torrent search to try and download it (pretty sketchy)
  • Add it to the mental list of albums to try and buy someday in a record store (legit, except, hello, memory)
  • Get it on eMusic, a service which was great until they began systematically limiting downloads more and more.

And so I ended up either getting things in a sketchy way or, basically, forgetting about it.

Now, I can just find it on Spotify. This was possible with Rhapsody, but Spotify’s professed love for amping up their servers so that it seems like the files are all local really works.

Over the course of this site’s existence, I wrote a draft of a post that talked about bands giving music away (a la Radiohead and the The Depreciation Guild ), and I think that a looong time ago I wrote about how my musical taste was, like many of us, shifting to the single, because of my Kubrickian iPod.

Well, Spotify changed the game again for me, and maybe this is another snapshot of that. I have enough gadgets—and Android is popular enough now—that I can pretty much listen not to just to my music, but all of the music I can think of all the time (as long as I have a connection)(pro-tip: as long as you plan ahead, you can also download songs from Spotify. No connection needed!).

Oddly, this is leading to me moving more towards built in Spotify apps (to help me discover bands) or—get this—album listens.

I still don’t know the answer to my Guided By Voices question. Maybe the act of flipping the record, instead of searching in a text box, really does get me to be able to get into GBV more.

Or maybe I would never have bothered if I hadn’t decided to pay $10/month for all of the things.