reunited and it feels so good


yay, Yay, YAY! They're back. Danny, Max, Nils, Roy, Clarence, Bruce, Patti, Stevie, and Garry. Together. As they should always be. And the new single is FREE AT iTUNES. GO! NOW!

And if you haven't heard--pick up Born to Run immediately. Preferably on vinyl. Then roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair. Cause the night's bustin' open and these two lanes can take us anywhere.

Postcard: Philadelphia


There are over 2,500 murals throughout the city--more than any other place in the world.

These murals were painted mostly by locals.

They have an even more practical purpose than beautification or attracting tourism: they're an anticrime initiative.

In 1984 mayor W. Wilson Good made a fateful decision: instead of declaring war on the city's graffiti problem and its vandals, he offered them amnesty.

Goode gave Jan Golden--a petite, white, high-energy, Stanford-educated muralist--a six-week trial period to persuade the black and Latino youths who made up the Bronx Bombers, the High Class Lunatics and other graffiti gangs to channel their creative energy into muralmaking.

Driven by her evangelical belief that art can not only beautify but also pacify, Golden, now 51, has spent the past 20 years enlisting as many communities as possible--mostly schoolkids teamed with artists but at times other groups, like cops or prisoners--in planning and painting the murals.

"Race, crime and violence, immigration, gentrification--I think it's our responsibility to help people grapple with these different issues," says Golden, whose group holds community meetings to decide on each mural project.

In the late 1990s, the Grays Ferry neighborhood suffered an outbreak of racial violence. Golden believed the divisiveness called for a multiracial mural. Not everyone agreed. "It was a mess, a real mess," recalls Jim Helman, a white neighborhood activist. "And along comes this diminutive little thing [Golden] who promises to do this ridiculous project that turns out to be anything but ridiculous."

The community rallied around the project, and Helman says the resulting mural, called The Peace Wall, is "an icon."

Story courtesy of Time magazine.

the girl who lived


I survived Hood to Coast. Barely!

Total miles of the race: 197

Number of U.S. states with participating runners: 49 (Arkansas was lame)

Size: largest relay in the world

My Best time: 9 min. and 44 sec. miles on my first leg of 5.76 miles

New love: Tropical citrus Vitamin water

Biggest reminder of childhood: bumper cars and ski-ball in Seaside, and then taking our tickets to buy prizes like erasers that say "God Made Me Special" above a picture of a pig.

Pet peeve: competitive people who sign up to be on non-competitive teams.

Most frequent insecurity: that if there was an award for person-on-our-team-with-the-largest-ass, I would be the hands-down winner.

Most awe-inspiring moment: how encouraging and thoughtful people can be--even (and sometimes especially) perfect strangers.

Saddest moments: a tie between running through Oregon and realizing how much I miss it and love it, and the day after the race when it really hit me that I won't see my sister again until Christmas.

Sorest area of my body: varies between soles of my feet, quads, gluts, calves, and joints.

Current wish: that I was married to a massage therapist.

Best part of it all: the people--those I ran with, those who yelled at me from their cars, and those who told me how proud they were when it was all over and gave me lots of food and advil.

Love you, Madeleine


My favorite author does it again, expressing many of my current feelings. It's nice to know you're not the only person feeling what you are.

Sometimes in this groping dark of knowing my not-knowing
I am exhausted with the struggle to believe in you, O God.
Your ways are not our ways. You sent evil angels to the Egyptians
and killed countless babies in order that Pharoah--
whose heart was hardened by
you (that worries me, Lord)
might be slow to let the Hebrew children go.
You turned back the waters of the Red Sea
and your Chosen people went through on dry land
and the Egyptians were drowned, men with wives and children,
young men with mothers and fathers (your ways are not our ways),
and there was much rejoicing, and the angels laughed and sang
and you stopped them saying, "How can you laugh when my children are drowning?"
When your people reached Mount Sinai you warned Moses
not to let any of them near you lest you break forth and kill them.
You are love--if you are God--and you command us to love,
and yet you yourself turn men to evil, and you wipe out nations
with one sweep of the hand--the Amorites and the Hittites and the
gone, gone, all gone. Sometimes it seems that any means will do.
And yet--all these things are but stories told about you by fallen man,
and they are part of the story--for your ways are not our ways--
but they are not the whole story. You are our author,
and we try to listen and set down what you say, but we all suffer
from faulty hearing and we get the words wrong.
One small enormous thing--you came to us as one of us
and lived with us and died for us and descended into hell for us
and burst out into life for us--:
and now do you hold Pharoah in your arms?

-Madeleine L'Engle

Michael Palin:


"To be honest, I was never quite convinced of the existence of the Potala Palace. Because its size and shape was so unlike anything I'd ever seen in the West, I always assumed that it was something mythical, an ambitious piece of artistic license."

Warning: a little cartoon nudity


I recently rediscovered Craig Thompson, author of one of the best books I read last year, a graphic novel called Blankets. It's a precious, precious book with incredible drawings coupled with the author's own memoir of reevaluating his Christian faith, dealing with his family, and finding his first love.

I just finished Thompson's first graphic novel Goodbye, Chunky Rice and am currently reading his sketchbook journal from his three month trip to France, Spain, and Morocco called Carnet de Voyage.

Here's a sample of his work, I recommend any of his three books (he's working on his fourth, Habibi, due out in 2009) and hope to purchase them all when I can. Oh! And he lives in Portland.

P.S. Our library has Blankets and Summit has the other two.

(click on this one for its full glory.)