Mark's Find

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Greely Red Vest - While I Was Sleeping

Greely Red Vest - While I Was Sleeping

Greely Red Vest is my (Mark Demcak's) music project. I record, compose, and edit on my PC. I write all the lyrics and music, and play all the instruments, with the exception of some vocals.

On a literal level, While I Was Sleeping is about a man who visits his girlfriend in the hospital. He loves her, but senses that she doesn't love him anymore. At some point, her medication kicks in and she rolls over, turning away form him, pretending to sleep, as if she doesn't want him there. He watches her for a bit, not wanting to leave because that seems to him like confirmation that their relationship is over. After a while, he feels like a creep just standing there, not talking, so he leaves. He spends the night walking around the city. At sunrise, he finds himself standing down by the river, watching the sun rise, and the sun lights up the sky like an atomic bomb.

When his girlfriend wakes up, the cold and lifeless sounds of machines and smells of disinfectant make her feel the need for the comfort and reassurance of her boyfriend, but she looks around the room for him and he is not there. She goes to the window, and in the distance she sees a man standing by the river alone. Somehow she knows it's him, and then she watches the sun light up the sky like an atomic bomb.

In the end, he uses drugs to cope with losing her and facilitate his turning away from her, which brings the story full circle because in the beginning, she turned away from him as the drugs in the hospital washed over her.

The two of them experience the sunrise together but they are alone and apart, perhaps the only two to witness it. This speaks to the meaning of the song on a more general level, as does her knowing that it is him that she sees standing in the distance. The theme underlying the story is that of a deep connection between two individuals. This kind of connections does not have to be between individuals in a romantic/physical relationship. I have experienced it while jamming with some musicians, there is a visceral sense of what the other person is going to do next, while it is non-existent between me and other musicians. There are many other applications of this type of connection.

This song also poses a problem for the idea of deep connectivity between two individuals. If they are so deeply connected, then why does he think she doesn't want him there and that it is over for her, but then when she wakes up, she needs him there? Shouldn't he know what she is thinking and what she needs or wants? Is the connection sever-able in times of stress such as illness, but does it then reconnect later? I do not propose an answer, and in so doing, I celebrate (in my own way) the beauty of the mystery of life. I am one who works unceasingly and obsessively to find answers to the questions deserving of it that come my way. However, there is something magical about leaving some things unanswered.

The album that this song is on is called Tall Grass & Tranquilizers. Tall Grass refers to those wild things in life that we cannot control, typically things that happen to us but also possibly things about us that we don't like or wish we could change. Tranquilizers refer to those things that we use to cope with the Tall Grasses (e.g. food, sex, body building, running, alcohol, drugs, etc; some of which may not be bad for us, or are even good for us, when managed properly).

Movie - Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

Anatomy of a Murder is a court room drama that draws out the many ways in which the law is compromised by the human beings upon which it relies and who rely upon it (e.g. whether or not a witness' testimony is truthful, whether an expert's testimony is indeed factual, etc). Whether an individual is judged as guilty or not seems to have less to do with actual guilt and more to do with a lawyer's ability to harness and manipulate the law and those called to testify, the judge's inclinations and predispositions, the degree of the jury's sympathy, etc. In the end, the audience becomes more interested in who will win than if the man accused of committing murder is guilty or not, which proves the point of the movie.

Jimmy Stewart gives a fantastic performance, acting the part of a charismatic and intelligent lawyer who plays the room by chopping the prosecutor's case off at the knees using small town rhetoric. He continually draws their attention away from the facts through dramatic outbursts. In contrast, the prosecution seems boring, uncharismatic, and even sinister.

Summary from IMDb:
In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?


Movie - The Best Offer (2013)

Among the mountains of movies begging for your attention, this is one of the few that actually deserves it. This is a really great movie that had me guessing what was to come the entire time, and I still never figured it out until it was over.

Virgil Oldman, played by Geoffrey Rush, is an auctioneer with a grand reputation, vast knowledge, and an appreciation for unique objects possessing great value. In the process of auctioning an estate, he takes a trip down the rabbit hole that incited excitement, curiosity, and, in the end, surprise and astonishment in me.

Watch it, I recommend it.

Summary from IMDb:
A master auctioneer becomes obsessed with an extremely reclusive heiress who collects fine art.


Movie - Cat and the Canary (1939)

This is a fantastic movie. If you enjoy movies like Clue and Once Upon a Crime, that couple dark mysterious drama with witty comedy, or just enjoy older films in general, then chances are good that you will enjoy this classic film. Bob Hope is charismatic and fun to watch, Joyce Norman is charming and (bearing in mind the social norms of the 30s) her presence is bold and strong, and Nydia Westman is very entertaining and amusing. In general, all of the acting was great and the props were convincing.

I've watched this film several times and always enjoy it. I definitely recommend it.

Summary from IMDb:
When an eccentric family meets in their uncle's remote, decaying mansion on the tenth anniversary of his death for the reading of his will, murder and madness follow.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vivacious Molly's Vibrant Eats - On 12th, near the corner of Fairview Ave SE in Salem, OR

This place is fantastic - some of the funnest, most unique food in Salem, and delicious too.

The Bulgogi Wraps were great, a marinated treat that never disappoints.

The Mahi Mahi Wraps were fantastic - the tomatoes, mango, poblano pepper, and the red onion, with the cilantro and lime all teamed up and  really drew out the flavor of the Mahi Mahi.

The Shrimp and Green Onion Pancake was fantastic as well - the dense pancake was more like a crepe, and the sweet richness of the shrimp combined with the green onion contrasted wonderfully with the earthy richness of the zucchini and carrots, it blew my taste buds away.


Vivacious Molly's Vibrant Eats on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wild Pineapple Grill and Coffee - On the corner of Howard and 13th St SE (north of Mission) in Salem, OR

I never paid any attention to this place because it looks like a budget coffee shop and I don't drink coffee. Then a coworker recommended their Kalua Pork to me so I gave it a try.

They have a rotating menu that offers different items on different days. I found their prices very reasonable and the Kalua Pork Rice Bowl filled me up. I'm a rice lover so I appreciate the difference between high quality and low quality rice. The rice in the Kalua Pork Rice Bowl was great - dense but fluffy. The pork was tender, sweet, and savory, not a ton of salt (which I appreciated).

I recommend this place. I will be going back to try the Poke!


Wild Pineapple Grill on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Potato Champion Food CartSE 12th and Hawthorne in Portland, OR

This place is great. They have some unique and exciting combinations that made it a fun experience. They manage to keep it simple but not boring. I tried the Palak Paneer Fries - curried spinach and paneer cheese served over fries and topped with cilantro chutney. The overall flavor was deep and aromatic - spinach, cilantro, and paneer. The paneer cheese made it smooth, the potatoes gave it substance, and the spinach and cilantro gave it volume, complexity, and range.

This place is delicious, fun, and well worth a visit. Give it a try!! I recommend it.


Potato Champion on Urbanspoon