Guest Best Of 2014 List ~ Phil Elverum

Mount Eerie Top 5 of 2014

1. Finding Dollars in Coal Seams

I made a decent amount off of hydraulic fracturing this year. “Fracking” (I hate that term, for the record) leaves a bad taste in the mouth of some bleeding heart types (boo hoo) but all I taste is cheddar. And it’s not like I’m on the ground in Williston literally tapping into the Brakken formation. Hell, I spent maybe 11 weeks total in Anacortes with my wife this year–do you honestly think the rest was in coveralls extracting hydrocarbons? Get real, son. I can barely find my dingus most days, let alone a wellbore filled with black gold. But when your portfolio is stacked with ETFs like Market Vectors and EOG, the bills get thick. Now who’s the idiot?

2. Learning to Dance

I turned down a tour with the band “fun.” this year but still got to write a song with them for the Hunger Games soundtrack. It didn’t even get picked up but Eerie's cut of the advance was bananas. My wife and I went to Botswana on safari (if you’re curious, it was fairly underwhelming except for seeing a gorilla take a dump inside of an old Peugeot chassis) and after six days in the bush she flew back to the States. I stayed on and went to Angola on this very, very ill-advised attempt to sell a gun. (I really shouldn’t offer many more details about this, and if you need to edit out even the mention of it, I get that completely. This was a huge life-mistake on my part and, without a doubt, was the most scared I’ve ever, ever been.) Anyway, the upshot is that while there I got really into Kizomba. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for movement (my mom used to call me “Booger Butt”) and even though I never got too serious with it, I’ve had my moments. In 10th grade I actually got kicked out of a hockey banquet for wet-grinding Tracy Keenan, and my first year out of college (Oklahoma State) I sank a bunch of money into this developing (and eventually shelved) musical based on MC Hammer called “Oakland: Rhythm & Street.”

3. Losing Weight, Gaining Insight

I’ve never been good with confrontation. People know they can walk all over me and it’s not uncommon for me to shower friends and, honestly, people I barely know with lavish favors and, often, literally blank checks. Case in point: I was at a Jaguars game in October and afterwards somehow ended up in LaVilla with what felt like half the stadium (drinks on me, of course). I usually don’t mind in the heat of the moment but the morning after is rough. I’m trying not to party quite as much since I found out that beer makes me insanely hungry and food is another vice it’s hard to sidestep. Long story short, I found myself weighing in at just north of two bills this year. It’s not like me to get hung up on how I look (have you seen what I wear in concert?) but the added girth was making things–how do I word this–a little bit difficult “in the bedroom.” I’ve never been comfortable with doggy style, which doesn’t leave many other options and, well, for the sake of keeping this “G Rated” I’ll just say that s-e-x was o-u-t; obviously, when you’re consistently as horny as I am, taking relations out of the daily equation ain’t tenable. Recently I’ve started working with an intimacy therapist named Chellae (I am not allowed to print her last name) and a personal trainer named Scott DeMarcus; C has opened up my mind to APNs (“alternative penetration nodes”) and Scott…well Scotty has totally kicked my ass into next week. :-) We’ve dabbled a little bit into the anabolic game but mostly keep it mean and clean.

4. Where There’s a Will There’s a Way

I turned the big 4-0 this year, which put things into all sorts of new perspective(s). My main concern, obviously (aside from making it into JC’s big happy hour upstairs), is protecting the golden egg for my family. I know it, you know it, and your readers know it: I’ve done alright. Estate planning never really entered into my consciousness until I was lucky enough to go to an extremely helpful seminar over the summer. I was actually there for a talk on time-shares in Alta, UT (done and done) but the estate thing was two conference rooms over. I’m still figuring out executor stuff and getting my fiduciary ducks in a row, but I did (spoiler alert!) get an amazing deal on this kick ass mausoleum statuary of two ninjas killing a komodo dragon.

5. Keeping it Simple, Keeping it Real

I downsized like crazy this year. I sold my Acura NSX, I sold my Infiniti QX4, I sold my Rossignols, I sold the Ricoh PJ WX4130Ni that I specifically dropped 3K on to project Halo. I even sold my Hellboy figures (don’t judge). Basically, I sold an assload of stuff, including my apartment in Titusville, FL (a vacation home might sound gauche but please keep in mind that when The Glow Pt. 2 came out people actually bought CDs and, in my case, a lot of them) and most of the camo plating that I used to detail my hunting trucks with. Look, I’m just trying to get a grip on what I need and what I can do without, and that’s not always a clear path. We all stumble, we all fall, but no one said walking with Him is easy. Baby steps.

Phil Elverum is the band Mount Eerie and operates P.W. Elverum & Sun. In 2014, he released his second book of photos, Dust. His new album Sauna releases on February 3, 2015.

SWAT team forced Florida woman to vacate home, illegally used it for operations during standoff

A woman in Jacksonville, Florida is furious after a police SWAT team forced her out of her home and used it to conduct operations during a standoff with her neighbor across the street. 

from WTEV:

Deborah Franz feels violated. She claims the SWAT team went into her southside home without her permission during a standoff involving her neighbor Sunday afternoon.

Franz said it all started shortly after overhearing a fight at her neighbor’s house across the street Sunday. A short time later, the SWAT team swarmed her neighborhood.
“The cop goes ‘You all need to leave, you can’t be in your house,’” said Franz.

That happened around 1 p.m. About six hours later, deputies cleared the scene and she went back home. But something was off when she walked through the door.

“I stopped, I froze because I realized somebody had messed with my TV,” said Franz.

Franz said her blinds were opened, her Xbox and TV were disconnected, and a drape over her bedroom window was thrown on the floor.

At first she thought it was a burglar but then realized nothing was missing.

“They were the last people I saw, was the police, so I’m assuming it had to have been them,” said Franz.

Franz said she called the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to complain.

“He did call me back and he said 'Yeah Ms. Franz my men did come in your house,’” said Franz.

read the rest

This is a very clear violation of the Constitution’s 3rd Amendment:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law

If you’re getting hung up on the word “soldier,” you haven’t been paying attention to the rapid militarization of police forces across the country.  Local Police, especially in tactical units like SWAT, increasingly use the same methods and equipment as the US military.  The distinction between the definition of a “soldier” and that of a “police officer” is, at this point, mere semantics.

These kinds of Constitutional violations have been rapidly increasing over the past few years. The most obvious example is the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.  We cannot allow local police forces to continue with such blatant violations of the Constitution. 


my significant other and i will be leaving jacksonville sooner than we expected bc of family and mental health reasons and as a result we have to break our lease, which can become very expensive unless the apartment is rented right away. 

so as a result we’re looking for someone to take over our lease.

our apartment is clean and new and located in a very safe, lgbt-friendly, pet-friendly, and beautiful gated complex in southside. it’s centrally located so it’s close to loads of food, entertainment, shopping, etc. 

it’s also less than 2 mins from FSCJ’s south campus, less than 10 mins from UNF, and less than 15 mins from Nova Southeastern. 

the apartment is technically a 1/1 with a “study”, but the study is almost as large as the bedroom and has substantial built-in shelving and the bathroom is not connected to the bedroom so it could function as a 2/1 very easily and with plenty of space. it is on the third floor, which means nobody is stomping over your head and you’re less likely to ever have a break-in (there are 2 deadbolts as well), but does make it less accessible.

the bathroom is clean and everything works perfectly. it has an extra-wide tub, rounded hotel shower rod, and two sinks which makes it perfect for any shared situation.
washer/dryer is included. all appliances in kitchen are brand new whirlpool and the kitchen has black granite countertops and is very spacious.

the apartment has a wooded view and is a very, very short walk from all the amenities, the main office, and the mailboxes.

there are ceiling fans in every room and we keep the a/c on 79 and it stays cold, so utilities are low. i’ve also literally never had a lower water bill than here.

the apartment has incredibly plush carpet and vinyl/fake wood floors, and it has a fireplace in the corner of the living room, which would theoretically be awesome during winter for staying warm without a high electric bill.

this community offers trash pickup outside your door, there’s a little valet thing that looks like an equipment bench but you put your full trash bags in it and once a week your trash will be taken away for you (optional extra $19/mo fee for this but worth it if you want it)

this apartment is currently being rented by 2 college grads w/ impeccable cleaning skills. we are still living in the apartment and are in the process of packing. as a result, if/when you come to see the apartment, it will not be empty, there will still be furniture and boxes inside that belong to us. it will be completely vacant come AUGUST 1ST.

if you are interested, you will be taking over our existing lease. the lease ends in MAY 2016 which makes this a perfect opportunity for a student, though it isn’t exclusively for students. anyone can rent this apartment, they just have to apply and be accepted by the complex as usual.

some community amenities (this place is seriously awesome and everyone here is very friendly, we are genuinely going to miss living here):
- pool with lap section and a waterfall
- hot tub
- community gym w/ card access
- indoor movie theater (this kicks ass, you can bring your own dvds and blurays and watch them on a big screen and you don’t even have to sneak in snacks)
- indoor basketball court
- covered poolside grilling area w/ grillmaster bbq equipment
- not one but TWO shaded dog parks


please boost this!! especially if you live in the jax area or go to any of the nearby schools, see if you know someone trying to find a place to live in this area. we are trying to leave here as soon as possible and it would be awesome to do this without having to continue paying rent on this apartment until the complex finds a new tenant, we can avoid this if we find one ourselves. thank you!

Keep reading

How Taylor Swift Quietly Helped a Teenage Fan Deal With Her Sister's Sudden Death
When Katie Beth Carter was killed in a car accident, the superstar did more than just bring comfort to the grieving family of one of her fans: “She has helped us share Katie Beth’s life story with the world”.

On the afternoon of Labor Day 2016, Jacksonville State University freshman Katie Beth Carter and her younger sister Kimi were driving to Chattanooga, Tenn., blasting Taylor Swift’s “Long Live” and singing at the tops of their lungs. The closing track from Swift’s 2010 album, Speak Now, was Katie Beth’s favorite. Less than six hours later, the 18-year-old member of the JSU Marching Ballerinas dance line was driving alone back to campus when her Honda Accord collided with an 18-wheeler. She was pronounced dead at 6 p.m.

For Kimi, 16, Swift’s music provided strength in a time of unspeakable pain. But even she was shocked when, at Katie Beth’s visitation, a friend thrust his phone in front of her: On a GoFundMe page set up to honor her sister and help cover funeral costs, Swift had donated $5,000 and left a note that read, “Kimi, no words can express how sorry I am for your loss. I know that you will keep Katie’s memory alive. Please know how much I am thinking of you and I’m saying a prayer for your family. All My Love, Taylor.”

“Somehow, Taylor Swift reached out to me exactly when I needed it the most,” says Kimi, sitting with her father Jason and mother Amy in the living room of their home in Ringgold, Ga. An aspiring singer-songwriter who began teaching herself guitar and writing songs in the fourth grade after her grandmother took her to her first Swift concert, Kimi recalls the power of that moment. “I felt more at peace. Katie was up there, pulling strings for me, trying to make this a little easier to get through.”

The Carters later discovered a friend had sent Swift’s publicist an email, asking if the pop star might consider sending Kimi a message on Instagram. Instead, Swift found the family’s GoFundMe page. “We’ve all learned to love Taylor’s music through the years,” says Amy Carter. “Our daughter was known as ‘Kind Katie.’ And with a small gesture to a family she had never met, Taylor Swift demonstrated that same kindness. It’s the act of reaching out to someone in their darkest hour and saying, ‘I’m thinking of you.’ There’s so much power in a random act of kindness.” (This year alone, Swift has given more than $1 million to causes ranging from flood victims in Louisiana to wildlife in Africa. She declined further comment.)

In the Carter family’s living room, there are photos of Katie Beth on the mantle: her high school senior portrait in which she strikes a dancer’s pose in a river; a glamorous dance squad shot from her first JSU football home game; and what would turn out to be the last photo she would pose for, a selfie of Katie Beth and her siblings snapped just before she left the house to drive back to school on the afternoon of Sept. 5.

“I want to remember the way she was on that last Thursday night, when she got to dance in the first home football game of the season,” says Amy. “She was radiating this confidence and joy. That’s how I want to remember her life.”

As for Kimi, just a week after Katie Beth’s death, she quietly celebrated her own 16th birthday. Her best friend gave her a bracelet in the shape of sound waves from Swift’s “Long Live.” “As I was opening it, she said, ‘It isn’t much,’ ” recalls Kimi. “When I saw what it was, I just started crying. I told her, ‘It isn’t much? It’s everything to me.’ ”