For the second year we went to Ashland for New Year's Eve. It's the off-season there, so you can get affordable rooms at The Columbia Hotel and take advantage of all the great restaurants nearby. Bloomsbury Books is a few doors down, and a new addition on the block is The Ashland Record Coop, whose vinyl selection is pretty kick butt. I picked up Belize Boil Up from the Numero Group label--they put out beautifully packaged archival obscuro street level stuff.
With books and records on one side of the block and a movie theatre down the block the other way, we were set. (Saw The Descendants, real good.) Did a lot of reading, had a great meal at Lark's, and good meals at Smithfields and Thai Pepper. We had a salad with blood orange vinaigrette and smoked feta at Larks that really started off my New Year right. It's fun to eat something that makes you ask how did they think of that? Yet it's so solidly excellent and good to eat that you don't feel subject to someone's chef school experiment. We ended the weekend with breakfast at The Morning Glory. Their breakfast kung fu cannot be touched by any venue in Eugene.
My Kindle tells me I am 38% through Don Quixote. I play with the font, make it smaller, then bigger--but any way you slice it, Don Quixote is a long book. There's an ocean of writing about it. And nothing's worse than fake scholarship in a blog. But I'll risk some off-the-cuff scholarship to say that it seems like almost a creative miracle that Cervantes sourced the inner authority to write the way he did, essentially inventing the novel as a form. It's like Leaves of Grass--where did this come from? Aliens? LSD in the rye bread? There's an inspiration in it, something cosmic, something pyschological--it's way out there.
At Bloomsbury Books I picked up a few actual bound and paginated pulp-based culture artifacts: a memoir by Michael Caine, another by Alan Arkin, the first Jo Nesbo novel featuring his protaganist Harry Hole, and the David Byrne biking memoir. Last year at the same store on the same weekend I picked up David Thomson's film compendium, Have You Seen...? and one year later, I am still in the "A" section...sure loved Atlantic City.
The Golden Motors cd release party in Eugene is 2/25 at Sam Bond's with none other than Mr. Casey Neill and his Norway Rats. That will be real fun.