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one of the most random things about asheville is the colony of rondette houses up on the mountain close to downtown.

this is from the april 1969 issue of popular mechanics, where they showed you how to build your own rondette.

these things are still standing. they’re not in the best shape. not sure a flat roof is a great idea for a temperate rain forest, many of them have makeshift tarps on the roof.

rondettes are not to be confused with weaver chicken rondelets, which i used to eat out of the toaster oven growing up. i seem to recall a layer of cheese under the breading.

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1 love

i read nick hornby’s “high fidelity” this week. it’s just as good as the movie, and the movie is excellent.

“The Beatles were bubblegum cards and Help at the Saturday morning cinema and toy plastic guitars and singing `Yellow Submarine’ at the top of my voice in the back row of the coach on school trips. They belong to me, not to me and Laura, or me and Charlie, or me and Alison Ashworth, and though they’ll make me feel something, they won’t make me feel anything bad.”

i feel this way about james mcmurtry. and tea leaf green. and surprise me mr. davis. and the wood brothers. and billy joel (don’t judge!). and dozens of other bands and artists who have recorded music that i have listened to obsessively at one time or another. 

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when parents email: movie recommendations


“I know you only documentaries but still. Maybe these qualify. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m sure these aren’t the best things you’ve ever seen but a little entertainment isn’t the end of the world right? You’ve probably seen Songcatcher. See it again. You’ve probably never had any interest in Cool Runnings. See it. So there. You have my suggestions of the day. Ciao”

i had not seen either of these movies. thanks to netflix, now i have.
cool runnings was visually stunning. based on a true story. i remember the true story from the mid 80s. the costumes were so 80s and so vibrant. every scene was like a rainbow doing a ballroom dance. the main character’s name in the credits is just “Leon.” awesome movie.

songcatcher is fascinating! it was filmed 15 miles north of asheville. when i go on hikes, the scenery looks like that. amazing singing. amazing singing. aidan quinn. DEFINITELY rent this movie if you get a chance.

also, if you like this movie, you will love the book “Hands in Harmony” full of striking black and white photos and stories of hard scrabble craftspeople of Appalachia by Tim Barnwell. I rented a house from Tim in 2008 and he is an outstanding photographer and really nice person.

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from the exceptionally awesome Tom Robbins’ Even Cowgirls Get the Blues:

But plans are one thing and fate another. When they coincide, success results. Yet, success mustn’t be considered the absolute. It is questionable, for that matter, whether success is an adequate response to life. Success can eliminate as many options as failure.