31 October 2010

Just Dance

Urban Surfing

Yes Kyle, of course there's urban surfing on Miles Island--everywhere you look there's surfing!

28 October 2010

26 October 2010

Music Tuesday: K-OS and Shad

 Today we feature the rapper K-OS direct from Canada.  Saw his show last week in Denver and it rocked the house.  Opener Shad was also fantastic.  I love how K-OS uses real instruments live--including a tabla!  Check out the K-OS Sunday Morning video for a tasting of the dancing that ensued. (Also look around for his song Zambony--on the microphone like this, on the microphone like that)

Shad and his spot-on MC.

Pumpkin Carving Party

 This weekend I was lucky to get invited by a couple friends to a pumpkin carving party.  The evening would have probably been even more hilarious if we were ALL in costumes (only my friends were) but suffice it to say it was a fun time.  I think the last time I carved a pumpkin was maybe 15 years ago, and we sure weren't carving like they are now.  The host had laid out dozens (hundreds?) of paper patterns organized by category, such as popular cartoon characters, Hollywood, etc.  The garage was also tripped out with tables, bags to catch seeds and scooped pumpkin, a surgeon's array of tools, floodlights, and some great local brew.  As it was my first time carving more than triangle eyes, I stuck to Wallace from Wallace and Gromit fame.  My friend Paul went for a slightly more advanced design, as you'll see below... enjoy!  (and thanks Paul, Adrienne,  Geneva and hosts for letting me come along!)

25 October 2010

Farmers' Market Puppet Show

 There's a cute little farmers' market that happens a few blocks from our house every Tuesday.  There's even a puppet show for the kids--and big kids too!  I believe when I took this shot, Mr. Frog was extolling the benefits of eating carrots... "And they're full of vitamin A, fiber, they're orange-- yum yum yum yum yum yum yum!!"  After each show the puppeteer comes out and plays guitar and invites the kids to play on a bunch of random percussion instruments he's made.  Vegetables are cool!
Another heirloom from our neighbor. 

24 October 2010

Common Good Books

Last week we went to Common Good Books in St. Paul.   It is of course Garrison Keillor's book store, and one of the best I've ever been in.  Lots of helpful notes placed around the store, a new poem by Garrison on the white board behind the checkout (frequently updated), and lots of books that are hard to find elsewhere.  I bought a book by Bill Holm, which I'll talk about soon...

Garrison's typewriter from the 50s.

23 October 2010


 Zoba the brave.

Happy Weekend!

Happy weekend everyone, hope you can get out and enjoy fall!  I'm down in North Carolina for the next several days, but I'll update when I can.  Any tips for enjoying Chapel Hill?  (Above, street art in Paris)

22 October 2010

Flamenco caves

Above, flamenco in the caves of Granada, entirely spontaneous.  Below, a flamenco dance to start the weekend off with duende.  (film by Nicholas Reid and Andreas Holm)


Pop!Tech is happening today, Friday and Saturday in Camden, Maine.  It's kind of like TED only a little more out of the box and eclectic--"world changing people, projects, and ideas."  The theme this year is "Brilliant Accidents, Necessary Failures, and Improbable Breakthroughs" which I'm sure we've all experienced.  They're actually webcasting most of the conference here -- plan your viewing based on the schedule and check out the full roster of speakers here.

Yesterday I watched a few of the presentations, the highlights being Reggie Watts' creative and hilarious 'disinformationist' improvisations (see the videos) and Alan Rabinowitz's moving story of overcoming stuttering and standing up for the rights of tigers and leopards throughout the world.  I can't wait for today's lineup... keep an eye on the website for archived presentations.

21 October 2010

Human Flight

By Brendan Nicholson

A beautiful short film documenting how us islanders occasionally get around from place to place... be sure to watch in full screen mode!

20 October 2010

On the street........ Les Tuileries, Paris

                      That skirt!

Autumn in Vermont

 Photo by Sarah Leaman

Photo by Sarah Leaman

Photo by Sarah Leaman

19 October 2010

Music Tuesday: jónsi (stream concert until Oct 21!)

press photo by lilja birgisdóttir

Some of you probably know that I'm rather infatuated with Iceland.  More on that in the future.  Suffice it to say, Miles Island is largely inspired by real and magical (is)lands that are out there for anyone to explore and be humbled by.  But on to the music!

This week's featured musician is jón þór birgisson (aka jónsi), who heralds from Iceland and is the lead singer of Sigur Rós.  His solo project came out this year and it's fantastic.  I've heard his live show is incredible, and I can't wait to catch him when he plays Chicago in a couple weeks.  See jónsi's show for yourself here (NPR Music's first video simulcast) until Oct 21st--after that date, NPR will archive a few clips.

Check out the tour trailer...

And stream his album Go below:


Choreografy: Suzanne Cleary & Peter Harding
Film by Jonny Reed
Music: Yolanda Be Cool & D Cup ft. Cleary & Harding

 One of the popular dances you're sure to observe on Miles Island is finger dancing.
Thanks for the find, Lia!

18 October 2010

Visions (Happy Monday!)

 Above, near La Push, Washington.  Below, somewhere in Puget Sound. 

14 October 2010


Little Gidding © Bruce Herman, 2009, Oil on wood panel, 60” x 70”. 
NOTE: The title is taken from the fourth section of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, also inspired by Cape Ann.

 Bruce Herman was one of my favorite professors, even though I never took a class from him.  I loved his reflections on art, theology, and literature.  These paintings are from his exhibit "Presence/Absence: New Work by Bruce Herman" which is being shown at the Cape Ann Museum October 9 through December 12.  The exhibit features his Great Ledge Series which is inspired by Cape Ann.  For those of you in the Boston area, consider joining Bruce Herman for a guided walk of Great Ledge in West Gloucester on November 20th.  Bruce Herman's website is here, and check out this article and this article from the journal Image.
Tide at Walker Creek (from Great Ledge Series), © Bruce Herman, 2009, oil on wood. Private collection.

A Magical Forest

Don't you just want to run around through these trees?

13 October 2010

Breakdance - A Traditional Island Dance

Suddenly the street was filled with hiphop, and all eyes turned to the magic unfolding.
 And then the shirts came off...
And then they were gone, the street returned to its evening calm.

12 October 2010

On the street...Suit and Dog, Miles Island

That suit, that dog!  This is island style...

Music Tuesday: Taken by Trees

Taken by Trees is a project by Victoria Bergsman, a Swedish singer/songwriter who used to be in The Concretes.  Her song 'My Boys' is a riff on Animal Collective's 'My Girls', which is one of my favorites.  On her latest album 'East of Eden', she traveled to Pakistan and collaborated with local musicians. Hope you enjoy!

Taken by Trees - Watch The Waves by ieatcatlitter

Anna - Taken by Trees by musicmanners

More songs on her Myspace...

What are you reading?

I'm reading Virginia Woolf's masterpiece Mrs. Dalloway.  It takes place over the period of a single day and Woolf explorations of consciousness and human thought are absolutely spot on.  It's a wonderful read...what do you recommend?

11 October 2010


[above, Calvin B. Dewitt in the Olympics... read his Grist interview]


In the netflix queue...

It's also worth checking out Patrick's photography...

08 October 2010

Happy Weekend!

Monet's Nymphéas

Monet's Water Lilies (Les Nymphéas) in Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris.  I love how the 8 murals are hung in a figure 8 in two separate rooms, complete with a vestibule to prepare yourself for the sensory experience.  Explore Les Nymphéas on your own here