I’m sensing a theme, here. It’s like the theme is: Sage has a new dog, so walk the dog and poop the dog and feed the dog and cuddle with the dog (in that order) and sleep with the dog under the covers (his choice, not necessarily mine) and sleep in a contorted way so as not to crush said dog in said bed and get annoyed by the dog but still love the dog and bring the dog to as many places as you can and – here’s the thing that might impact you as a reader the most - talk about the dog incessantly. Blog about it. Post about things that people who don’t have my particular dog (i.e. everyone but me) won’t necessarily want to be bothered with, like a video memorializing bath time.
That’s what Jared and I did. I got out my phone and we bathed our tiny dogs. In that order.
Just wait until next week, when I will undoubtedly have something brand new and completely different to tell you about my dog. (Or else, the cat or the chickens. Or homemade food. Or the tiny children I babysit. Things are homey and nesty around here, we know this.) Until then, I remain (ironically enough):
You have happy glands. I have happy glands. These are scientifically proven facts. Now Sage and Jared have a Happy Gland Band. It’s called Sage and Jared’s Happy Gland Band. How did this come to pass? Well, it all started in the 1970s when Jared was but a groovy twinkle in his mama’s eye…
At any rate, Jared has an upright bass and I have a ukulele. We both have voices. We use these things when we do music together, all with the aim of activating the happy glandular regions. You’re welcome.
So, what else is new? Jared and I have been practicing. I’ve been babysitting adorable tiny children, whose growing brains, no doubt, are just learning how to deal with whatever it is their tiny glands are constantly excreting. I planted garlic and lettuce a couple weeks ago (I think this was wise). I’m putting together a kid’s ukulele orchestra. Contact me if your tiny child would like to be involved.
Oh, and my tiny cuddly chihuahua is just loving life.
That’s what’s happening around here! Until next time I will remain:
There is news in the Sage Harrington household. I have adopted a dog. A tiny, tiny dog. I didn’t know I was a tiny dog person. Who knew? Tiny dogs are useless, aren’t they? Tiny dogs are bouncy and annoying and usually badly trained. They are frightened of the world, so they compensate for their smallness by yapping. As a friend told me at the sight of this picture, “That’s not a dog. That’s something my dog threw up.” I told him he was being very rude about my sweater.
These are things I believed. I went into the shelter not necessarily looking for a nine pound chihuahua. Thing is, this dog is sweet. He is snuggly. He is quiet, he is warm. (Warm, touching warm. Quote.) He’s seven. He’s well adjusted. He’s a cutie. He’s easy. He’s such an easy dog. I’ve had him eight days. I feed him. He poops outside. He sits on my lap. He’s sitting on my lap right now. That’s all there is to it.
Actually, there is more. He shivers. Tiny dogs shiver because they are nervous–probably because they’re afraid of being eaten by, say, a cat. A week ago, however, I was under the impression that my tiny dog, George Michael, shivered because he was cold. So I made him a sweater.
I’m so excited about dressing this poor little critter up. More sweaters! Doggie fittings! It’s gonna be a blast, George Michael, I promise. Cuddling done. Cuteness achieved. Sweater knitted. Warmness accomplished.
In related news, I posted a new video to the internet in which George Michael and at least one other critter, Daphne, appears. This is one of those Armchair Sessions I’ve been doing on Tuesdays, except when I do them on Wednesdays and post them on Saturdays, like I did this week.
“The Armchair Sessions” is my Christmasytime gift to you. It is a Very Complex Idea I came up with about a week ago as I was getting ready to record a version of my most heartfeltfully written song to date, “Pimples.” (Disclaimer: I posted that song upon request. I may not have posted it otherwise. Please thank my sister for bringing this thing upon the world.) This Very Complex Idea, “The Armchair Sessions,” has not only a very esoteric title but is also based upon an extraordinarily obfuscatory concept. It is a veritable onion of an idea: here you will find layer upon layer upon layer of meaning. Brace yourself.
How does an Armchair Session happen? Here’s how it happens. Armchair plus music plus wee camera equals Armchair Session. Here is the inaugural Armchair Session.
Here Nori, Skyler and I give you another gift: a gift of wonder, a gift of song, a gift of weird white balance, a gift of mild bickering and goofballery, a gift of faux Hawaiianishness–all framed by Armchair.
Armchair sessions will magically appear in your personal internet every Tuesday. (Subscribe to my YouTube channel if’n you don’t wanna miss a single one.)
Digression: Happy 12/12/12. Can I get in on that belatedly? I wrote the first draft of this on the 12th. Promise. In related news, my odometer reached 121212 the other day. I really wanted a picture, but I ended up being late and forgot to take one. I know, I know. I’m all talk.
Today was eventful. Yesterday, too. Here’s what I did yesterday: I recorded a newly written song while standing near my ever faithful, ever present ditch.
I made a friend, I think. He wanted to tell me about the greener pastures of the concrete area where I could presumably sit and play ukulele in comfort. What a guy!
What did I do today? I recorded a newly written song with my ever faithful, ever present Jared Putnam in his ever faithful, ever present living room.
What else happened today? I made a new friend. Here, meet Friend. I found him here in the North Valley this evening as I was taking a lovely walk–where else–by the ditch. Please tell me if he is yours. He’s a sweetie pining for home.
Ah, ditch path. Look at all you offer! You offer a dreamy setting for YouTube videos. You offer a place for dogs to wander off, become lost, and become found by other people. You even offer water, though not during the winter months. Remember this? This is what the ditch was like with water.
This is what the ditch is like sans water, but with Friend running alongside.
Things like this–the friend-making and the song-making–should happen every day. This is the good kind of repetition. Bring it on, déjà vu.
You pack a ukulele and a fiddle in the trunk. You drive down to Las Cruces and pick up your sister. You drive through Fredericksburg, TX and pick up a baritone ukulele because it’s cheap: it’s the last day of the little shop’s moving sale.
When you get to your Aunt’s house in Austin, you learn that quaint little Fredericksburg, the almost nauseatingly cute little village-place you and your sister have taken to calling Fredericksburgville, was where your parents eloped nearly twenty three years ago. Then you realize that you’ve been there before. You were there nearly twenty three years ago. You witnessed the elopement. And that’s pretty cool. A very punk-rock thing for a new one-year old to do.
Then, you spend a few days with family eating inordinate amounts of delicious rhubarb coffee cake and various barbecued fleshes, of which you regret nothing. You visit thrift shops and stock up on corduroy and sweatery things, which feels weird because it’s balmy in Austin but frigid in Albuquerque. You go to vintage shops, too, which are so cute you can’t fucking stand it. Can I just take this whole display home, please?
Then, you go to the first Regina Spektor concert you’ve ever gone to in your entire life, which is awesome and satisfying, but also awesome and weirdly not satisfying, mostly because of the teenagers yelling and screaming like children being kidnapped from playgrounds or terrified women being cornered in dark alleyways every time Regina Spektor sings her highest and prettiest notes. This is something that you maybe should have expected, but didn’t. These people hoot and holler and carry on for the newly recorded songs, the “Eets” and the “All the Rowboatses,” which are totally worth screaming over, don’t get me wrong. But these people don’t have equivalent freakouts for “Ode to Divorce” or “Sailor’s Song,” so you can tell that they totally don’t know the full extent of Regina Spektor’s awesomeness. Posers! Seat-fillers! Yellers-over-Regina’s-voice! How dare you assault my ears with a sound that is not of Regina Spektor? Is that what I bought tickets for? Eh? Do you even know how far I drove to be here? No, of course you don’t.
It was 850 miles. One way. Then you start wondering if you should feel silly for having driven that far. Ah, you silly obsessed fan-girl, you.
Then you go to bed with Regina Spektor songs dancing in your head. Then your cell phone’s alarm jolts you out of sleep at an ungodly hour and you shower and coffee yourself and drive and drive and drive. And get pictures of the courthouse where the fateful elopement occurred all those years ago.
You keep driving and see far more of west Texas than you thought you ever wanted to see. You see tanker trucks with company taglines that make little to no sense. Tomorrow’s air… today? What about today’s air? And what about the diesel it takes to run your giant tanker truck? …and what exactly is in the giant tanker truck? …more diesel? The fact that you’re seeing this happen in west Texas just makes you all the more skeptical. But, you let it go because you absolutely refuse to google it on your smartphone. Unequivocally refuse.
So, in closing: Ukuleles happen on your way to Austin. Delicious food happens in Austin. Music happens. This is what happens, and this is why trips to Austin are fantabulous.
We’re talking ladylike things today, folks. Cramp Bark Tea and cookies, that’s right. Here’s the Cramp Bark Tea:
And here are the cookies.
They are snickerdoodles and they are delicious; I’ve made at least two batches in as many weeks. And here is where I found the recipe. Smitten Kitchen is my favorite food blog; Deb Perelman makes yummy, yummy things and takes pretty pictures of the yummy things and always writes in an entertaining way. (Also, I just ordered her new book! She talks about it here. I am very, very excited about it.) Plus, I found only moments ago that she posted a recipe for buckeyes. I mean, she’s a New Yorker and everything, and she featured my home state of Ohio’s favorite candy? Now I’m more in love with her than ever.
I’m beginning to realize that food is making this seasonal transition okay for me. Like I’ve said before, I was totally not ready for fall to begin, even though fall is the best season in the southwest, no contest. Thing is, I sort of have no idea where this year went. Wasn’t it spring just a minute ago, when Twyla and Saphronie, here, were just wee chicklets? Did I waste an entire season of my life? What exactly happened? These are the things that make me panicky. I mean, it froze for the first time last Friday night.
Thankfully though, there are a few things that ease the transition from summer to fall in my mind. It’s Halloween today. We’re talking blood and gore and brain-eating zombies. We’re talking cold breezes that rush through the knit of spandexy, rayon-y costumes. We’re also talking sugary sweet cider, jackolanterns, hay bales, wagon rides, impending pumpkin pies, and whole heaping heaps of mini Snickers.
And, pumpkins, the warty red ones included. (This is one definitely underripe, and definitely cool-looking.) I roasted a wee pie pumpkin last night: a pumpkin that grew in my own backyard pumpkin jungle. (Remember this? I start the garden tour at around 2:40.) Soon it will be soup.
And, clementines. I saw my first clementines of the season at a friend’s house last Friday. It’s insane that the clementines are happening, now, but I’m happy to see them. Clementines are something that can overfill a bowl one moment, and can have completely disappeared the next. They are the best kind of autumn candy. Clementines are a magical childhood fruit–easy to peel, sweet, tart, and delicious–that mean Thanksgiving and Christmas are on their way. And we all know what Thanksgiving and Christmas mean: the approach of even more delicious, warm, comforting food.
This is what fall is all about. This is what makes it okay that Halloween is already happening. I’m kind of okay with it, now, because of the clementines and because of the pumpkins–because of the snickerdoodles and, yes, because of the Cramp Bark Tea.
Presenting the fruits of our labor! This production has resulted alternately in countless beads of sweat and numberless tears shed. This is the work of our deepest selves. We have bared our souls to you without inhibition or regard to the general population’s safety. Here it is, this thing that has taken years off our lives: it’s Sage Harrington’s first music video.
Nori, her mom Nikelle Gessner, and I went up to Jemez, NM in the middle of August where Nikelle filmed me doing all these silly things and Nori watched. I hope it’s not too serious for you. I hope you don’t get too depressed watching it. We try to keep straight faces around here, but sometimes we just can’t keep all the ridiculousness inside.
Ah, what’s the point in pretending, anyhow? I’m just a big, silly gigglebox. It happens.
And by that, I mean, will you take a look at some pictures I took when I took a walk several weeks ago? Come, let us go.
Ah, the lovely North Valley! There are lawns here, fed with obscene amounts of water. There’s a river nearby! There’s a ditch! See the common thread? The water thing? I’ve been told it’s a magical moment when, in spring, the water is finally allowed to flow through the ditch. This is a moment (after living in my little North Valley casita for almost two years) I’ve lived through but haven’t really noticed. Clearly, I wasn’t paying enough attention.
Lucky for me, though, the ditch is right close to my house. Right close! I get to smell that mysterious water smell that seems so strange and exotic when you experience it here in the desert. This midwestern girl is pleased with the arrangement.
Also, can I just stop for a moment here to say something completely trite and boring? Do I have permission? Good. How is it fall right now? How did we get here? I’m not ready for summer to be over. I wasn’t ready for the end of spring when spring ended. I was totally ready for winter to be over with at the beginning of this year. I was grateful. I was so happy! Warm niceness couldn’t come quickly enough. But, I mean, we’re already blowing right through October! Can someone please explain to me how that happened?
I should also note that I took these photos–whoa, whoa, whoa, wait!–not a couple weeks ago, but over a month ago, on September 20. Yikes! Why does the passage of time strike so much fear into my heart? This is a question I cannot answer.
Here we have an old tree. Be sure to note the pink light shining on the bark. While I was taking these photos I was missing my brief opportunity to get a photo of the grand pinkening of the Sandias, which I regretted at the time. Now I’m pleased to have a couple pictures of some pretty scraggly pink trees.
And here we have the Sandias, moments after the grand pinkening as they shift into cool blue shades. Please note, fellow walk-taker, the cow face in the lower right hand corner. Yay, nature. I mean: yay, cultivation!
Wanna see a couple blurry pictures of hawks? After I saw one of them flying about, I started seeing them everywhere. There may have been three different hawks flying in my hood that evening.
Ah, water. How serene you make me feel! How comforted. I shall be sad this winter when water will no longer stream through the ditch, and happy in the spring when it flows again.
In August my friend Nikelle Gessner, her daughter Nori, and I went up to the Jemez river, dragging along with us cases filled with cameras, bags filled with teacups and far too many shoes, and one very sparkly jacket.
We shot the video for my First Real Music Video for my song, “Strongest Dose.” (It’s on the CD, by the way.) It’s nearly done. I’m really, really excited. Prepare yourself for teatime. Prepare yourself for fairy tales in the river. Prepare yourself for some pretty embarassing dancing. Prepare yourself for at least one slightly creepy found object. Prepare yourself for a Monty Python reference I did not intend to make.
Oh, and this happened, which has not that much to do with “Strongest Dose.” As I readied myself to photograph the sparkly jacket, a teensy birdy flew into my house through the open door. It alighted on the ceiling fan. (“It’s a bird! It walked on my pillow!” “I know it’s a bird, I’m on the phone!”)* Naturally, I took pictures and a video. So, here. Please enjoy looking at this terrified, hyperventilating critter.
After I grabbed the little thing and stepped onto my front step, he/she/it sat on my outstretched finger for a long moment. It was… is this to corny? Can I say this? …magical. I had a moment. I felt very much like Snow White. It’s one of those things I’ve really been wanting to do for, like, my entire life. I mean, a tiny bird actually perched on my finger? I think I said this in the last post, but I’ll say it again–whuuuuuut? It’s totally one of those things little girls daydream about, and as you get older you realize that tiny critters only fly away from you, not toward your outstreched digits. Today, all of that changed! I am Sage, one with all creatures, especially the small, frightened ones that accidentally fly into a house!
So, by all means, keep this stuff in mind, if you feel inclined. But be sure, above all else, to prepare yourself for the sparkly jacket. Kitty is prepared.
*This is a quote from Arrested Development. Season 2, Episode 4. **
**Just kidding. I don’t know exactly which episode it’s from. (But I did consider looking it up.)