Thursday, December 08, 2016

I'm channeling the goddess Kali these days.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Lion's Roar

This essay by Pablo Das, published in Lion's Roar: Buddhist Wisdom for Our Time, captures everything I'm feeling right now. It says what my heart is speaking. (*Just click on the link.)


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"Dear Family & Friends"

Sent by email this past Saturday:

Dear Family & Friends,

There's always going to be a part of me who's a shy, scared, awkward Catholic altar boy from the Midwest. Many or most of you know I didn't become Chatty, Smiley Nathan until I left for Madison and college. I remember, so vividly, being a terrified queer kid. It's been a long time since I've felt so terrified for our country; really, 9/11, the 2008 collapse, and now this. Nearing 40, confident and embracing and loving of myself and others, I suppose I may hit "Send" on this message and wonder if I should've been a touch more "polite," if I should've been a "good boy" and taken care to edit and soften what I say out loud to people. But I refuse to do that. I write you because this is the scariest time in our nation's history in ages.

We've potentially elected the next Hitler. While Portland is a bubble, and I find comfort and peace and love for this city more than ever, let's face it: potentially half the people we walk by or drive by or sit next to on a park bench or stand next to in the check-out line at the grocery store voted for Trump and want to strip away the rights of anyone who isn't a straight, white, able-bodied, Christian male. I didn't fight this hard for gay marriage, for ultimate love with Gus, for my own sense of self, to stand back and hope for the best. It's time to be louder, weirder, fiercer, more compassionate. It's time to raise my voice louder than ever before. (Tori Amos's song "Silent All These Years" has been my favorite song since I was a freshman in high school; it feels more important and vital now than ever.) Here's that song:

I've received such an outpouring of love from many of you -- people I regularly keep in contact with, others who reached out from years ago to show their support, acquaintances (or so I thought) who said such striking, wise things that you are now imbedded in my heart and I realize "acquaintance" was highly inaccurate. Plus, Gus posted a message about our Love on Facebook that brought me to tears; I'm not even on Facebook, but he made sure I knew about his message, and I saw all the beautiful responses sent his way, for all to see.

It's time to draw a line in the sand and be stronger. I'm not going to be "polite" anymore with those who are bigoted, ignorant, supporters of evil and suppression. I literally feel like I cracked violently out of a chrysalis this week. I think I've always struggled with, say, family reunions. Many, maybe most, of my relatives on both sides of my family are conservative Republicans -- or maybe this is the narrative I've created over the years. (And if so, if I'm wrong on some levels, I want to be corrected, I want that honest, raw, loving dialogue with you. Emphasis on "loving.") I've spent time with racist, homophobic relatives because I wanted to show love, that we're connected by blood, and -- frankly -- I wanted to represent the LGBT community, recognizing I was a "token gay" at some of these gatherings. I recognized the good it did for others to go, " of our own flesh and blood is gay", and to reply to myself in return, "See the empathy I'm chiseling with them?" But guess what? I'm not just a token. I'm not some there so you can decide if my life, my rights, are up for debate. I'm a fucking human being who deserves marriage, who deserves to see children and generations not yet born the right to move through this world with safety and respect and empathy and understanding. I have a gay brother. Gus has a gay brother. Right there are four people you're related to who have burst forth into adulthood and our sexualities; four citizens of this country; four men who want to eat and sleep and hang out with friends and watch movies and go camping and get married and have kids and raise pets and tend gardens and worry about bills and go to work and sleep in on weekends and read books and get proper health care and walk down the street loving this beautiful earth.

Where I work, men and women alike are bursting into tears in their cubicles. My Our House brothers and sisters: I love you; you're in my core; we're part of each other. Many of us have had panic attacks; Thursday night I had such a severe panic attack that I was sweating worse than one of my Bikram yoga classes and I started throwing up. Many people I know can't eat and can't sleep and are vomiting. My mom keeps crying into the phone, breaking my heart. Gus & I keep alternating between crying and panic-attacking and righteously yelling and hugging and growing stronger and loving, loving, loving. There's a spiritual rip in the air; it's like a hot air balloon that's been punctured and is sailing on fire toward the ground. I've compared what's happening to my spirit like a butcher kniife stabbing my heart, and then I'm run over by a Mac track, and then I'm left to fester on the side of the road.

This is not a video game, Trump voters; you don't score humanity by practicing glee at the slashing of human dignity & rights.

What's been festering under the surface for years -- hate, prejudice, discrimination -- now feels like it can burst forth and be allowed, encouraged, cheered on.

Aren't I the cousin and nephew whom you played with at summer barbecues and opened presents alongside at Christmas? What changed between then and now that makes you think it's okay for you to have a certain level of American freedom & rights that's higher and better than my own? This isn't rhetorical -- tell me why you matter more than me. And if you're answer is "spiritual" ("You're going to hell") then you better look in the mirror, stop casting stones, and wonder if you really think I'm in league with the devil. (Really, that's what you really believe?) DNA dictates things for all of us. Gay, straight, black, white, able-bodied, physically challenged -- our genetics roll the dice for us. We are killing people across the globe because of DNA. And as for different religions -- a whole can of worms that would turn this message into Gone with the Wind -- let's just say that the world is a richer, more diverse, more beautiful, more mysterious place because we all tap into Meaning and God and Nature and Humanity differently. We all can bring imagination and beauty and clarity to our own experiences, shaped uniquely, unlike anyone else's. What's so wrong with Mystery & Wonder? Isn't mystery and curiosity about Life an enticing elixir that should be encouraged? Why the hell should billions of people on Earth all be expected to think and believe and act the same? Personally, I find joy and fulfillment, sometimes bafflement, always thankfulness when someone else shows me a different angle & viewpoint to this crazy thing called Living.

Listen: after I graduated UW-Madison, I went, "Yay, I have my creative writing degree and I'm so fulfilled! So now how do I pay my bills?" Thus began my "origin story" as a non-profit/social work secret double agent do-gooder. I landed my first job as a Special Education Assistant in a high school. I thought to myself, "I'm so open-minded; I'm helping the world." And I quickly realized my theoretical compassion needed to catch up to real, gritty, actually lived compassion. I admitted to myself that I felt uncomfortable around some of these girls and boys who looked different, or needed help going to the bathroom, or had a learning curve several grades lower than many of us. I didn't feel uncomfortable for any reason other than I hadn't spent significant time around this part of our population before. One boy suffered from grand mal seizures and wore a helmet and we had to rub this charged magnet across his back and hold him while he shook and foamed and fell to the floor. I had to help feed one boy through a tube in his stomach because he didn't have a normal throat. I went home after those early days at the high school, shaming myself for feeling awkward and uncomfortable. But you know what? I ended up cutting myself some slack, lots of it actually. I wanted to help, I wanted to learn: That's a powerful combo deal. Soon, I relaxed into my learning, into the gray zones of human experience, and let myself help and grow more comfortable and eventually let myself blossom into a wiser, more grounded, less judgmental, more open version of myself.

Social media runs rampant. This can be a good thing -- there's no excuse to not look at our nation's history through a multitude of mediums, how even (40) years ago the Bible was used to uphold racism! Blacks and whites couldn't marry each other till the late '60s! That's scarily not that long ago, when all is said and done. Who of you thinks that was an okay way to think? Don't you look back and go, "Oh, my, we've evolved"? Please say yes. It's the same with gay marriage. Don't think you can fuck with my partner's and my rights to enjoy this life together. Don't fucking think you can make Gus cry and have a panic attack and I'm going to sit back and be nice about it and say, "Everybody has their own opinion...." Being gay is not "an opinion." It just is. Don't tell me my life, my God-given spirit, is up for discussion.

What if someone messed with your wife or husband or children or parents? You'd fight back for justice, right?

I spent two years at work reading with a young boy whose mother was imprisoned. He relied heavily on the male influences in his life, many of whom are politically and socially conservative. He'd ask me (innocent) questions: Are you married? Do you have kids? What's gay? Is it normal? I answered every single question honestly and compassionately. I only hope this boy remembers me, my compassion, in his core as he navigates his 3rd-grade sense of self during this stormy, disturbing time in our nation's history.

My dear family & friends: I love, love, love you. Thank you for loving me. Some of your messages to me this week, some of our conversations, have seared themselves into the evolution of my next sense of self. I feel embraced, welcomed, cherished.

There's no, "Love the sinner, hate the sin." There's no sin, no sinner. There's just Nathan.

There's just you. It's okay -- wonderful and interesting and awe-inspiring -- that there's you, who's different than me, who's different from them. We're all the same & all different at the exact same time: it's a paradox. But I'm willing to trust this paradox, explore it.

Feel free to send this message along to those whom I don't know how to contact.

Maggie Rogers' "Alaska" captures how I want Life to be right now, how I want people to connect:

I'm rooting for you. I hope you're doing the same for me. We're all on this planet, feeling the same kinds of feelings. Let's honor and embrace that!

With Blessings,

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Quote, Mood, & Memory of the Day

"There was something strangely peaceful about the house, something very rare and difficult to define. It was like a house in an old tale, discovered by the hero one evening in midsummer; there should be a barrier of thorns about it through which he must cut his way with a knife, and then a galaxy of flowers growing in profusion, with monstrous blooms untended by human hand. Giant ferns would mass themselves beneath the windows, and white lilies on tall stems. In the tale there would be strands of ivy clustering the walls, barring the entrance, and the house itself would have slept for a thousand years."

~From Jamaica Inn, by Daphne du Maurier

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Musing of the Day.

"...For now, this is what we know of matter: A handful of types of elementary particles, which vibrate and fluctuate constantly between existence and nonexistence and swarm in space, even when it seems that there is nothing there, combine together to infinity like the letters of a cosmic alphabet to tell the immense history of galaxies; of the innumerable stars; of sunlight; of mountains, woods, and fields of grain; of the smiling faces of the young at parties; and of the night sky studded with stars."

~From Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, by Carlo Rovelli (

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Mood of the Day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Carving Inspiration

My cousin Jyl's website says it all, loud-n-around and right up front: she's an artist, playwright, and sculpture. She's got the talent, the drive, and a muse who clearly admires her on the deepest level. Take a peek -- you'll be in awe. Just click here. Motion Filmworks is crafting a documentary about her, and here's what they have to say:

"Carving Italian marble by hand with a hammer and chisel, Jyl Bonaguro creates fragmented figurative sculptures that fuse ancient techniques with modern ideas. Her artistic intention is to reveal how countless civilizations have risen and fallen to be only reduced to ruins.

Her journey as a self taught sculptor will take her to Italy this summer to work and film at the famous marble quarries in Carrara where Michelangelo himself sculpted. Motion Filmworks will be documenting this journey and is proud to release this first glimpse into the world of hand carving."

You can check out the trailer here. Congratulations, Jyl -- you're an inspiration to all artists, in any medium. You walk your talk -- or should I say, you chisel your talk?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Current Obsessions in One Sentence.

Rough Magick, edited by Francesca Lia Block & Jessa Marie Mendez: This anthology stirs both the heart and loins through its inspired witch's cauldron of short stories and poems where "he kissed me the way jaguars tear into a kill."

Florence + the Machine, The Odyssey: Directed by Vincent Haycock, this short film composed of linked musical videos chronicles the life(s), death(s), and love(s) of our red-haired heroine as she seeks solace anywhere and everywhere from a doomed passenger seat to a baptism-by-sea.

Twin Peaks' third season cast: Revealed in full this week by Showtime, this list of 217 names includes plenty of new characters alongside returning favorites for 2017's dreamy revival that has this Peak Freak stocking up on black coffee, donuts, pie, creamed corn, cherry stems, and plenty of White Lodge magic.

The Fall's second season: This BBC series pits detective Gillian Anderson against serial killer Jamie Dornan in a cat-and-mouse game where lives are at stake, the Human Spirit is tested and tormented, and a strange sexual tension turns its dial past full-blast to hotter-than-hell.

MS MR's Wrong Victory video: Bandmates Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow cut through and peel back the layers of their identities, figuratively and literally, to expose their purest, most vulnerable selves.

Friday, April 22, 2016


Author Brad Walton, on Prince:

"[Prince was a] sex positive, gender positive, dirty, filthy, naughty, sexy, talented motherfucker. If his music never made you want to love and/or fuck somebody, you need to listen again and prepare to get naked."

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Scars & Bruises

"Life isn't about avoiding the bruises. It's about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it. Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory. The struggle is real, but so is God."

~Iman, in honor of her husband David Bowie.
(*Thank you, Gus, for passing this along*)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"Who Didn't Kill Laura Palmer?"

What I wrote to fellow Peak Freaks Mary Hutter & Charlie Eadie today:

I have a crazy theory for Season 3: What if Cooper emerges from the Black Lodge into a parallel universe where Laura was never killed? Maybe that explains the filming scenes with Coop and Laura by the Palmer house, if they are not dreams? Think about it: Cooper returns to the mystery -- "Who didn't kill Laura Palmer? Why is Laura still alive?" All kinds of quantum mechanics & string theory at play!

It hits the reset button, flips everything on its head, allows for original characters to return or not, allows Lynch and Frost to focus on whatever storylines they damn well please, fits the whole doppelganger/yin-yang themes, and explains...."I'll see you again in 25 years." As in literally, in the flesh.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Adrienne, "Queen"

Last weekend I had the honor of attending Portland's first annual horror convention, Living Dead Con. Met fellow Twin Peaks' nuts Angela and Carlos. Spent a couple hours at the VIP Party drinking with Charlie, Mary, Amber, Anita, and Dana Ashbrook (yep, Bobby Briggs from TP!). Got goosebumps when James Marshall (aka TP's James Hurley) spoke of filming on location versus a studio set, the energy and vibe that flows through really-there locales in communities, where the presence and history of the towns/filming spots make their way into actors' performances; he spoke about urgency, a melding of actor & setting that makes for blurry lines between Life & Art. Spoke to many amazing actors, artists, and other vendors -- I felt crackling magic there in the merchant aisles of the Convention Center. These people are my fellow tribes(wo)men! Speaking of, met John Dugan -- Grandpa from Texas Chainsaw Massacre -- at his booth and proceeded to chat with him more casually when our paths crossed at the Doug Fir Lounge and VIP Party; he's such a kind, down-to-earth, funny, feisty guy, and his wife is just as adorable. Get this: met Ari Lehman, the first "Boy in the Lake," the original Jason from Friday the 13th (1980). He now has his horror rock band, First Jason.

There were many more highlights about this weekend: dancing at the Lovecraft Bar and bumping into my old housemate Lisa; walking with Charlie over the Burnside Bridge toward the Portland sign & stag under the night sky, reminiscing about tang Voodoo Doughnuts; two nights of drunken cab rides home, little poetic epilogues for Charlie and I to sink into; the Black Lodge Burlesque show at the Jack London Bar; Gus's incredible patience as I indulged in sharing every geeky moment of the weekend with him; running into my friend/mind-blowing horror artist Paul Groendes; having a Twin Peaks-themed breakfast with Mom, Charlie, Mary, Anita, and Amber at the Doug Fir Sunday morning. (Mom and Mary hadn't seen each other in nine and a half years, since that fateful TP Fest where we all met.)

For me, the biggest highlight is probably having met Adrienne King. Adrienne played Alice, the first Friday the 13th's "Final Girl" Alice, who took up machete lessons on the spot to gear up for combat against Mrs. Pamela Voorhees, Jason's vengeful mother who's out to kill camp counselors because "they" killed her son, let him drown in Crystal Lake. You gotcha watch this slasher-style catfight in the woods, trust me. It's Melrose Place with sharp blades. I'd always loved this movie and these actors, and then I found myself unexpectedly moved by the bonus features on the film's DVD a few years back. First of all, actress Betsy Palmer -- Mrs. Voorhees -- was just about the sassiest, gutsiest, most casual, and funny celebrity you could hope for (until her death in May 2015; she lived to be 88 years old). In addition to Palmer's awesomeness, Adrienne King blew me away in the bonus features with her direct, compassionate, raw, and unblinking account of being stalked by an F13 fan who couldn't quite distinguish fact from fiction. He slowly hunted her, left clues, even broke down her apartment door. She found herself fearing for her life, a case of Life imitating Art imitating Life. Adrienne had felt empowered after the original F13; she felt like the film was lightning caught in a bottle, and she had nothing but praiseworthy things to say about the entire cast and crew. But then the stalking began. Eventually it ended. (I can't remember the details or exact timelines, to be honest; he was caught, I think, but I'm not sure. I just Googled it and can't easily find an answer.) After an unnerving and unsatisfying experience with her brief role in Friday the 13th Part II, Adrienne soon found herself siphoning off contact with the film industry, her life accented here and there by film or TV appearances. In more recent years, Adrienne has found salvation -- healing from the stalking -- through her art. Talented and fierce and committed, she works through her pain and experiences in electrifying works of mastery & shadow. Just as impressive -- and extra fun -- Adrienne has a successful line of wines, Crystal Lake Wines. An experienced sommelier, Adrienne works her wine line down near Medford, Oregon. She creates the art for the labels and she also signs your bottles if you'd like, messages of your choosing or hers. Here's my exchange with Adrienne this past week:

Dear Adrienne,

It was such a joy for me to meet you (and Ari) this weekend. I remember being about 10 years old when I first saw Friday the 13th. My mother introduced me to horror movies and let me watch lots of them at a young age, but for some reason she said no to F13. (Maybe because it's about a homicidal mother? Who knows!) I snuck downstairs after everyone else had gone to bed and watched your film anyway. And boy-oh-boy, that ending scene sure freaked me out like nobody's business. Mission accomplished. I went to bed terrified but couldn't say anything or go to Mom for comfort because I wasn't supposed to have watched the movie in the first place....You and Ari....that haunting score....the audience "tricked" into safety and then, BAM! Cue being dragged out of the canoe.

You are such a class act, and you are so kind & easy to chat with. I'm so glad I've ordered your wines in the past and I will continue to do so in the future. I'll let you know if/when my boyfriend and I make it down to your neck of the woods. You're a strong woman and artist, and I give you lots of credit for telling your story and being so eloquent.

And here's to Betsy Palmer! We lost her, Catherine Coulson, Wes Craven, and others this year....Betsy was so insightful & hilarious in one of the DVD panel interviews I watched, how she played the role so straight and that's why it was so effective.

Did you have a good time at the Living Dead Con? I heard it was pretty slow for a convention (it was my first con, so I didn't have anything to compare it to -- though I've been up to the Twin Peaks Fest in Washington a couple times).

Hey, I keep a blog, albeit one I only update every month or so. I'm always happy to promote your stuff on there, so let me know if you ever want me to post anything about your wines or art or whatnot. You mentioned having a new artist studio: Wishing you all my very best with that!

Warmest Regards,
Nathan Buck

Hi Nathan,

It was wonderful meeting you too. Thank you for all your very kind words. And for a first con I think they did a very good job! I truly hope they go for #2.

This certainly has been a tough year of loss for horror fans. We'll keep Betsy in our hearts forever.

I so appreciate your support for Crystal Lake Wines & my artwork. I'm hanging a new painting at the Winery today!

I look forward to you & your beau coming by [Valley View Winery] sometime! Make sure you let me know beforehand to assure I'm in town for your visit!


Your fav counselor & wine gal,
Adrienne King

P.S. And here's a special offer you can share on your blog if you'd like.

I have a special offer just for my happy campers who I met at @ the Living Dead Con in Portland (& now who read your blog;)). If you purchase any (4) Crystal Lake Wines I will include a bonus signed: "Crystal Lake Wines Collage" 8x10 photo ($20. value) & a copy of The Oregonian's May 1980: Friday the 13th original review (priceless;). That's (4) bottles of fine Crystal Lake Wines signed by me (including a line if you want), plus the 8x10 & review for $100. (Includes shipping) You can write me back here & I'll take your order & cc# or you can call Valley View Winery: 800-781-9463. Finally, you can order online: (use the code: "Portland" in inscription).

Saturday, November 07, 2015

The Rage.

Friday, October 30th: Gus, Charlie, Terence, and I roamed the Falls City cemetery at about 10:30 at night. Rain pattered down -- a mere whisper of what was to come -- and the graveyard was divided in two, Christian burials & Native American burials. Rituals split by an invisible line in the grass, or air.

Saturday birthed storms. Clouds leashed torrential, lashing downpours in Twin Peaks. Halloween cracked open not with morning grace but with fierce, emotional spotlights. The roads flooded; Ronette's bridge was safe -- sturdy & epic -- but the roads around it got buried by rushing waters. Cracked-off tree branches, ripped away by violent winds, dove and danced down the rivers, outshone by giant sequoias crashing by. Their root systems took my breath away. The waterfalls at the Salish Lodge -- the infamous falls from Twin Peaks' Great Northern -- smashed against the rocks and devoured your attention. Harsh mists cut at our faces up at the lookout decks.

Gus surprised me with a Halloween costume for the weekend: a skulls-in-trees T-shirt matched with a Day of the Dead masquerade mask. Combined with my Brooklyn Industries skull hoodie courtesy of Aaron, I slinked around North Bend, Snoqualmie, & Falls City as a ghost-in-the-hood. We had a memorable stop at Smokey Joe's (a new Twin Peaks filming site featuring Sarah Palmer, Laura's mother); I'd already loved the name Smokey Joe's because it's one of my favorite Tori songs, off American Doll Posse. Dear Music: What would I do without you? You blessed me with three fantastic concerts in the couple of weeks leading up to Halloween, CHVRCHES, MS MR, and Florence + the Machine. Three nights of magic gifted to me when the veils are thin between Living & Dead. I've also become obsessed recently with Tove Lo, whose "Moments" off her album Queen of the Clouds is getting serious airplay on my iPod (and serious video viewing on youtube). Here, fall into some music with me. (Just click on the song title.) You're welcome.

Florence + the Machine ~ Delilah.

Tove Lo ~ Moments.

MS MR ~ Criminals.

After meeting David Lynch and Mark Frost in September, I didn't think things could get any better -- until Lizzy and Max -- aka MS MR -- came bouncing down to the ground floor and introduced themselves to the fans who stuck around after their show at the Crystal Ballroom. They were kind, funny, sexy, genuine, and genuinely interested in talking with us -- not just the other way around. They joked with Gus and me for a few minutes and, after I commented on Lizzy's JEM/Synergy-type earrings she playfully scoffed when I asked if she knew who JEM & the Holograms were. Drum roll, please: I got to pose with them for this cute pic. Max played the encore shirtless, and the young woman in front of Gus & me during the meet-n-greet asked him to take his shirt off again. I may have just asked him to keep it off for, like, a minute longer while I snuck a picture too. Shh, don't tell.

Finally, just click here if you'd like to see Charlie interviewed in North Bend for the local news about the filming of Twin Peaks' third season. They even used one of our photos for the clip, the one from when we met Frost & Lynch. Can you see me standing there behind Lynch and our new friend Kate? Doesn't it look like I'm smelling his hair? "Do you use Aveda, Mr. Lynch?" And let's face it: David Lynch has terrific hair. Charlie, thank you for some of my new favorite memories, and for a mystical Halloween in Twin Peaks!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Totally Tatum!

Scream if you're a Tatum fan! (Me, me!) I mean, really: Who doesn't love Rose McGowan's Tatum Riley in the first Scream flick? She's sexy, gaudy, whip-clever, loyal, mischievous, and resourceful. (*I mean, look at the way she used those beer bottles as weapons against Ghostface!) The script was written by queer screenwriter/producer Kevin Williamson and directed by late horror legend Wes Craven, whose dreamy A Nightmare on Elm Street changed the face of '80s horror flicks. 1996's Scream, simultaneously a sendup and homage to scary movies, found unexpected box office glory, launched the careers of various teen starlets such as Neve Campbell, rebooted Drew Barrymore for her second act, and even payed compliment to the Fonz himself. One of this modern(ish) classic's strengths is protagonist Sidney Prescott's sassy, tough-as-nails best friend Tatum Riley, who gets to know a garage door all too well. I can't imagine anyone other than Rose McGowan playing Tatum -- she is Tatum. Ms. Riley feels channeled into slasher celluloid by way of this talented actress.

As Rose McGowan stretches and fights for gender equality in her career almost 20 years after her titular role, Tatum Riley meets her Goth Girl doppelganger by way of McGowan's artistic and feminist new creation, Nowness. Think: magical, empowered, synth-infused freak-pop. Curious enough to watch the debut video? Just click here:

One of the terrific things about aging is being able to look toward the past and track an artist's progress into the present. I vividly remember catching Scream at the Janesville Mall with Hali Garrett and then catching it two more times on the big screen -- one of those with my lovingly, easily scared mother, who first introduced me to my favorite genre. And now here we are 19 years later, and Rose McGowan is pushing her artistic boundaries while also making huge social statements about gender norms, sexuality, and female self-acceptance. Time flies. Art thrives. Voices carry.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dogs, Log, Moon, Cancer, Marriage, Lighthouse, Nightmare, Friendships, Family, Writing, Love

Yesterday we lost Catherine Coulson, Twin Peaks' Log Lady. A few weeks ago we lost one of my biggest creative inspirations, Wes Craven, director of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. In early August Gus and I lost Sunny, our beloved Sheltie. Scorching summer has led to a thus-far crisp, breezy autumn. The Super Blood Harvest Lunar Eclipse grabbed the night sky this Sunday and cast a spell over those of us standing outside, gazing up, joined by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Last night -- not yet knowing of Ms. Coulson's passing -- Gus and I took a walk down by the river, and the purples and reds of the sunset pitched themselves over clouds and the ripples in the water; it was a perfect evening; I even said, "If only ever single day felt just like this."

In many ways, literally and emotionally, this has been a year of loss. One of Gus's best friends passed away from cancer this spring, one of three human deaths we've navigated in 18 months. And Sunny's passing brought us back to losing our other dog, Luna, last August. Isn't it strange how the ghosts of loved ones can sometimes be our own neurons and patterns and hearts rearranging themselves? I'll still see a crumpled black blanket on the sofa and think for a second it's Sunny, or I'll drop a bit of scrambled egg off the spatula onto the ground and wonder, truly, in that moment, where's Sunny so he can lick it up as a special treat, or Gus will leave my writing room door open after kissing me goodbye in the morning and we'll both pause and think, "This way, Sunny can wander in and curl up by the writing desk," or I'll be driving to work and I'll think about Luna -- in that way where you sometimes feel dropped back in time to a very specific feeling and sensation as if you'd hitched a ride with a tesseract -- and I'll start crying and wiping tears and getting my steering wheel all wet.

Inseparable and equally important and understood only through and because of loss, this has been a year of growth & strength & friendship & soulful victory & rebirth -- in other words, a year of Life. Gus and I woke up on June 26th, 2015, at the Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast to both our five-year anniversary and the Supreme Court announcement on gay marriage. Over breakfast with the other guests, as waves crashed against rocks, and winds and fog whipped in around the lighthouse, the group of us from around the world discussed this momentous, inspiring day. In all the craziness of the world, light & rightness do make headway and stake claims in hearts. On a related note, I'm blessed and honored that my brother Aaron and his finance Stephenie asked me to officiate their wedding next summer; this opportunity means the world to me and is another bright light -- a lighthouse beacon, if you will -- in a strange and stormy year. This is the year Charlie moved to "Twin Peaks" (aka North Bend, Washington) and I went to visit him and, alongside our TP friend Mary, bumped into David Lynch and Mark Frost in the hallway of the Salish Lodge, aka The Great Northern. This is the year I met The Log Lady at the Twin Peaks Fest. This is the year my writing muse, Cassandra, and I made an agreement to dive in deeper and reach even higher and recharge ourselves with focus, intent, love, and creative shenanigans. This is the year I've gone lovingly crazy with new TV show ideas and movie ideas and started writing treatments for this other part of my creative self that I've put aside for awhile. This is the year I've decided to step back and look at my amazing friendships and channel full-on gratitude. This is the year of not taking things, people, feelings for granted. This is the year my family leaps forward, or starts to, where Buck Luck takes on new meaning. I've just touched the tip of the iceberg here -- there have been other losses of late, confusions, questions, other hard-earned successes both tangible and intangible. I haven't felt so "Nathan" in a long time. I'm here. I'm here. I'm here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Passage of the Day

"The caravan drove, their many headlights cutting a narrow path across the prairie. Sometimes they drove all night, sometimes just a few miles. Occasionally, the road would curve, and as the trucks ahead of them followed its arc, their lights illuminated something: the shape of an animal trotting into a field, a dead tree, a collapsing house. They seemed to be parts of some hidden world that emerged only at night and revealed itself quietly, grudgingly. Portia felt privileged and strange to have witnessed these things."

~From Wonder Show, by Hannah Barnaby (*from the chapter "Kites at Midnight")

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Passage of the Day.

"It must have been about half an hour later that I myself walked into the Greggs' farmyard. I had come to see how things were going, and I must admit I was expecting the worst. At the gate I stopped and stared. It was a queer sight.

In one corner, Mr. Gregg was smashing all three guns into tiny pieces with a huge hammer.

In another corner, Mrs. Gregg was placing beautiful flowers upon sixteen tiny mounds of soil which I learned later were the graves of the ducks that had been shot the day before.

And in the middle of the yard stood Philip and William, with a sack of their father's very best barley beside them. They were surrounded by birds -- ducks, doves, pigeons, sparrows, robins, larks, and many other kinds that I did not know, and the birds were eating the barley that the boys were scattering by the handful."

~From Roald Dahl's The Magic Finger

Monday, June 01, 2015


MS MR can color my heart inside or outside the lines anytime. Here's their video for "Painted," the first single off July's new album, How Does It Feel. It feels pretty damn awesome, I must say! Right when I'm starting to quench my thirst from Florence + the Machine's newest (gracing us this week), I'll be able to start soaking in another of my favorites. This summer's looking & sounding hot, hot, hot.

Go ahead, you know you want to -- just click here.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Choral Counterpoints.

Thank you, Brother Aaron, for passing along Twisted Measure's a cappella rendition of Sia's "Chandelier." Goosebump alert to the extreme! I love when choirs take famous pop songs, burn them with soul-fire, and unleash them with full-throttled heart back at us. Here are four of my favorites -- the first two include the artist's official music video and the second two feature audio only; all four are followed by their choral counterpoints. Just click on each song title for the YouTube video to pop up. Get ready to tear up, smile wide, and dream big with shadow-laced hope.

Sia, Chandelier:

Twisted Measure, Chandelier:

Florence + the Machine, Shake It Out:

Capital Children's Choir, Shake It Out:

Bat for Lashes, Horse & I (*audio):

London Contemporary Voices feat. BeatFox, Horse & I:

Tori Amos, Flying Dutchman (*audio):

PS22 Chorus, Flying Dutchman: