Monthly Archives: July 2014

Loving Distance


House sitting on the beautiful Bainbridge Island, I woke early this morning to catch a 30-minute ferry to Seattle. On the commute through deep blue waters, under baby blue blue sky with ghostly blue Rainer showing herself on the horizon, I came upon this passage in Rebecca Solnit’s “A Field Guide to Getting Lost”:

“We treat desire as a problem to be solved, address what desire is for and focus on that something and how to acquire it rather than on the nature and the sensation of desire, though often it is the distance between us and the object of desire that fills us with the blue of longing. I wonder sometimes whether with a slight adjustment of perspective it could be cherished as a sensation on its own terms, since it is as inherent to the human condition as blue is to distance.”


Solnit goes on to quote the mystic Simone Weil who wrote to a friend

“Let us love this distance, which is thoroughly woven with friendship, since those who do not love each other are not separated.”


Quinoa Crispies

Quinoa Crispies

Crispie with packaging (screenprinted at VERA Project low environmental impact water based ink on found parchment paper), with transit pass & button (the buttons were also printed at VERA on Tilda Swinson’s face found in a 2004 W magazine)

Last fall, while enjoying three days of trail angel hospitality in Waynesboro, VA, we received a care package sent by Groucho’s mom. Included within were highly addictive, extremely tasty Quinoa Crispies – a high-class, more-nutritious, hippie relative of classic Rice Crispie treats.  The snacks were so sweet, crunchy and satisfying that Groucho, Andiamo (our super generous host – a 70 year old former PCT thru hiker who invited us to crash at his house) & I ate the entire bag in one day. So when the time came to make power-bar-eske treats for our “Drunken Boot” participants, this was the first thing I thought of.

The foundation of Quinoa Crispies is a quinoa product, commercially made through a puffing process involving some kind of vacuum. These puffy/crunchy delectables have been available in the bulk section of several stores in the Seattle-Area in recent months… however I was sad to learn the day before our event that all of the stores were out. The product has been discontinued.  Okay – improvisation here we come – this was the recipe for my adapted Quinoa Crispies

1 cup brown rice syrup (heated up to almost bubbling)
1 cup almond butter (mixed with the heated brown rice syrup)
5 cups puffed brown rice cereal
1 cup dried berries (I used blueberries, cranberries and sour cherries)
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted quinoa (toss in a dry pan over medium heat until they are fragrant and browned)
Dash of salt

Mix all ingredients together and press into greased pan. Leave out or put in fridge. After awhile cut them up.

Quinoa Crispies

Crispies packaged with pins & transit passes, ready for the Drunken Boot

Hot Cold Summer

Hot Cold Life

Quinoa & raw garlic (shaved with the microplane, so nice!) with arugula, avocado, fresh corn, parsley & cherry tomatoes

It’s been a minute since we had a snacks only post – but we’re still eating. The reader might note a theme here – hot cold salads with quinoa. Harpo & I acquired a large amount of quinoa for the Drunken Boot Quinoa Crispies, but ended up only toasting and using part of it. Regardless of the grain – the hot/cold salad is one of my favorite summer snacks. In this iteration it was mainly arugula & quinoa, tho any combination of grain & green works; amaranth & massaged kale, brown rice & spinach (with lemon tahini dressing iz my personal favorite) and always topped with some fresh herb and other seasonal summer veggies for texture and color. Also, avocado A+ both for fat content and because, as vegetarians, really what else is there…

More of our daily meals can be found at No Money Meals.

Hot Cold - again & again

Quinoa with avocado, celery, broccoli sprouts, fresh corn and arugula.

Hot Hot & Cold Cold

Hot Cold with quinoa, avocado, fresh corn, broccoli sprouts and cilantro – dressed with olive oil, nutritional yeast salt & pepper

Hot Cold Salad

Hot Cold salad with quinoa, avocado, fresh corn, broccoli sprouts and cilantro – dressed with olive oil, nutritional yeast salt & pepper

The Drunken Boot – Laced Up

Stand Up !

Paddleboarders against the slightly grey Seattle skyline. Photo by Lindsey Rae Gjording.

Last Sunday Harpo and I set out from the Henry Art Gallery with a few new friends, and a few old acquaintances, on an unplanned day-long dérive  – the public presentation of our ongoing work titled *Map Not Included, which is included in the Henry’s Field Studies program this summer. We walked, together and apart, for 8 hours – ending our outing at the Hideout on First Hill to recap our experiences.


OUr day started with check-in at the Henry Art Gallery on the UW Campus. The Henry provided coffee and delicious fruit trays and Mighty-O hooked up the delicious vegan donuts – it makes it hard not to overdose on sugar when it’s vegan & organic… Photo by Lindsey Rae Gjording.

Our intent was to offer people a framework for a personal, unmediated, unplanned adventure. Whilst hiking the Appalachian Trail last year, we were always on a path and more or less knew where we were going. With our dérive, we experimented with a time-based exercise where destination and impact were not premeditated.

Quinoa Crispies

Harpo made quinoa crispies as emergency snacks for participants. The package included a transit voucher (in case a bus ride seemed in order) and an H+G button. The wrapper included some phrases we stole from Sark and a few of our own, as well as the ingredients of the vegan, gluten free crispies (and was printed with low environmental impact water based ink at VERA Project.) Photo by Lindsey Rae Gjording.

While the walkers in general transcribed a westerly ark – headed towards Gasworks, then into Fremont, and some venturing as far as the Ballard Locks and Myrtle Edwards park what happened in between varied wildly. Some people chose to walk the entire time, while others did laundry or ran home to charge their batteries. Some people got free samples at Theo, others watched crabbers come in with their catch at a tiny public shore access in Ballard, or smoked a joint with DK Pan (who one might meet outside the Olympic Sculpture Park at any unspecified time). Some wandered through open air farmer’s markets, while others cozied up at a cafe with their journal. Some saw signs. Some returned to former places of meaning and let memory and emotion wash over them.

Harpo in the Trees

Harpo & Anne Blackburn being like “What’s up with these bags on the trees?”  Photo by Lindsey Rae Gjording.

Urban Orchard

And then the explanation became manifest… some moments seemed magically connected – when we were wondering about the paper bags on trees along the Burke-Gilman trail, only to have a representative from Urban Orchards pull up and explain it as a pest-mediation technique – it’s this sense of connectivity, purpose or accidental choreography that was continually articulated throughout the day. Photo by Lindsey Rae Gjording.

While we could have offered more constraints, it seemed best to allow anything to happen, providing a platform for open improvisation. What occurred was unexpected – people at the happy hour meet up, almost uniformly shared with us a moment of significance, whether noticing some detail (like an agave blooming after walking past it for years) or having a strong association with a specific architectural space. People also recalled to us how they suddenly found themselves in a locale that unlocked memories, emotions, events from years gone by. Some said they had no idea that they could easily traverse 10 miles in one day – they just hadn’t tried. It’s as if, by freeing ourselves from expectations about how to productively use time, we were more invested in seeing what was actually around us and coming into touch with our physical capability.

Enjoying a moment of respite, checking out the hazy horizon. There was also an international  Parkour meetup and tons of people jumping off things...

Enjoying a moment of respite, checking out the hazy horizon. There was also an international Parkour meetup and tons of people jumping off things… Photo by Lindsey Rae Gjording.

We thank each and every participant who set aside a good chunk of a rainy Sunday to join us in this excursive diversion – as well as the super Whitney Ford-Terry, who hooked it up. Also, our lovely photographer Lindsey Rae Gjording who provided all of the images above. And not to forget, Mighty-O for the tasty vegan, organic snacks. Kudos all on getting lost…

George at the Hideout made the secret happy hour extra happy - the drink special was "The Fucking Classic." Classy...

George at the Hideout made the secret happy hour extra happy – the drink special was “The Fucking Classic.” Classy… Photo by Lindsey Rae Gjording.

Modern industrial civilisation has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilisation has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits in the classic formulation.

Now, it’s long been understood very well that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist with whatever suffering and injustice it entails as long as it’s possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited: that the World is an infinite resource, and that the World is an infinite garbage-can. At this stage of History, either one of two things is possible: either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community-interests, guided by values of solidarity and sympathy and concern for others; or, alternatively, there will be no destiny for anyone to control.

As long as some specialised class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole and, by now, that means the Global Community. The question is whether privileged élites should dominate mass-communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely, to impose necessary illusions, manipulate and deceive the stupid majority, and remove them from the public arena. The question, in brief, is whether Democracy and Freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly-terminal phase of human existence, Democracy and Freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may well be essential to survival.
Noam Chomsky

Big Bothers, All…

To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.

– Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, translated by John Beverly Robinson (London: Freedom Press, 1923), pp. 293-294