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A Local Calling

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By Crystal Clark

This old phone box was standing on the corner of First and Jefferson, crying out for a bit of attention. A quick whip of string and tin can later we have a play on outmoded technology and the connections we make in our modern lives.

My son is a natural in front of the camera, that stance is all his own. The way his left knee bends and head tilts recall his no fuss attitude.

As of today, the tin can is no longer hanging there. Given the area the phone box is in, I’m guessing the can was clipped from it’s string for recycling money.

For Som: Grief.

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I am taking a walk with someone today whom I have only begun to know. He’s saying something about “my twin brother and I…”

“–Wait. You have a twin brother?”

“Did. He died, oh, about three years ago.”

“…”

I fumble through the awkward what-do-you-say’s in my head and settle on, “How is that for you?” Only because my time was up and I had to say something.

“Honestly, it hasn’t been awful. I reached acceptance really early.”

“Oh.” I don’t have a response for that because nobody has ever answered with anything other than: “Awful. Devastating. Catastrophic.”

I do the panic thing and start rambling on about my own experiences with grief because what the fuck else is there to do. He says he felt guilt about not doing grief right until a friend told him however he’s doing it is doing it right.

SomWe get back, he takes off and I open my laptop to Facebook.

“We’ve lost Som Jordan,” posts someone.

“What do you mean, lost?” says someone else.

Nobody is talking about cause of death, which means it’s suicide. I know that already but I pretend I don’t know and ask around just hoping it’s something else.

The paper later reports that Isamu “Som” Jordan, a huge influence in Spokane’s music and journalism scene, was found in his home this morning. Cause of death: apparent suicide.

There is this prevailing struggle with how did he possibly not see the glow around him that everybody else saw. Everybody’s posting this music video he made with Flying Spiders. The only text they include is the song’s title: “Spokane’s Finest.”

I know nothing about anything about this situation. I do know it’s not coincidence that those people we think are invincible, brilliant, miles above us — our icons — also often suffer very deeply. Searching for truth does not turn up unicorns and rainbows.

Now that that’s said, I want to talk about grief, and that you should do it however you want.

You don’t have to cry to care. You can go to a vigil or not go to a vigil. Nobody gets to tell you you didn’t know him well enough to grieve or that you’re not grieving sufficiently or right.

Today, as I grieve the loss of a friend, a lot of grief from past losses tumbles onto me as well. It all feels very messy and maybe someone would tell me I was missing the point.

When people pry about the details, some may say they’re missing the point. Maybe they are. Or maybe they have questions because they care. Because suicide is not a thing we talk about much, and it’s confusing and it hurts and maybe they feel like answers will make it hurt less. (Spoiler: It will very likely make it hurt more.)

When people spit out platitudes on the internet, some may say they’re missing the point. When they do, or they don’t, organize a benefit concert. When they speculate. When they try to talk about suicide in general or death in general or grief in general. When they do or don’t cry.

This is the messy that we’re challenged to navigate with grace: simultaneously grieving and giving others the space to do their own version of that. There are a lot of us because Som had a generous spirit. Let that be a good thing.

The “C” Word

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“Oh no, here she goes again!”

My friends automatically cringe at the word.

It doesn’t matter the context or the subject at hand. As soon as I say it:

*COMMUNITY*

Eyes start to roll, people look out the window, and shift around uncomfortably in their chairs. What is so threatening about this word?

Sadly it seems in today’s culture of suburban materialism, people have every reason to be suspicious. Especially young people. To our parents, “community” was a tangible thing. Folks grew up knowing their neighbors, etc. Today however, the social fabric of authentic community has all but been ripped to shreds. An average of four hours of television a day, the necessity of two-income households, decreased suburban density and increased total population mean we hardly know the meaning of the word.

To certain young people the “C” word represents an obligation they never agreed to fulfill. It is a hollow promise, a loaded word often manipulated by public figures to sell folks on an agenda that may not match up with their own. To some “community” = cloying and claustrophobic. Someone even accused me recently of being in the “Community Cult”. It’s a concept that a lot of people just don’t relate to. Who are the members of this so-called “community” and why is it supposedly so special?

When young adults hear the “C” word we tend to place ourselves outside of it. We don’t fit the target audience for the majority of civic dialog as few of us have children, we aren’t in terminal career track jobs, and we’re typically not making mortgage payments or contributing significantly to the tax base.

This doesn’t mean that young people are anti-social and lack desire for community of their own. We simply use a different word for the same thing and call it the “scene”. A pet peeve of the Spovangelist is that the concept of “scene” in Spokane is rarely extended beyond the realm of local music. That is a great place for a scene to start, but in more culturally dynamic cities the scene is far more multifaceted than that.

What is an ideal scene? Its a large network of people who relate to each others perspectives on jobs, relationships and station in life. They can offer relevant advice on connecting to opportunities that support their shared lifestyle. People in the scene should appreciate the creative work of other people in the scene should it be worthy of such attention. The scene should be able to help its members get hooked up with good roommates, and even share costs on things like throwing parties or transportation to Seattle. The scene should be diverse and interesting. It should provide companionship and expose the people in it to new ideas and ways to recreate. A healthy scene is strong enough to develop its own micro-economy, and this in turn provides meaningful, socially significant jobs to its members.

Cheers to the future of the “C” word in Spokane!

06 DIY Headboard Ideas – Creative Inspiration For Your Bedroom

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06 DIY Headboard Ideas – Creative Inspiration For Your Bedroom

Your bedroom is your sanctuary. It is much more than just the room you sleep in. It is the place where you feel safe and relaxed, and it should be a reflection of yourself. And while the mattress is very important for a good night’s rest, the headboard is the piece of furniture that describes you. It is exactly why your next apartment improvement project should start out with DIY headboards. And below we offer you 6 DIY headboard ideas for a feature piece that is going to make a statement!

Old Door Headboard

We all love the warm feel a wooden headboard gives. And instead of spending a lot of money on buying a new one, making your headboard out of old doors is the way to go about. Many apartment improvement ideas include reusing objects you are attached with, and old doors add a sentimental value to the whole project as well. Give them a little sending, paint them, or for a rustic feel, leave them as they are. You really can’t go wrong!

Rustic Shutter Headboard


If you have a taste for the unordinary, then a shutter headboard is just what you need. Regardless of whether you use your old shatters or a pair of reclaimed ones, recycling them will result in a nice rustic headboard that will leave visitors in awe. Not to mention, this will be one of the quickest, easiest DIY projects you’ve ever completed. Paint the shutters in a color you like, let them dry, and then attach them to the wall with screws. It’s that simple.

Simple Pallet Headboard


Not only are pallet headboards easy to make, but they are not costly at all. In fact, the pallets won’t cost you a dime if you are lucky enough to get them from a lumber yard. Or from the neighbor that just renovated the house and threw them in the dumpster. Color the headboard to match your furniture or walls, or simply use vinyl wall decorations to enhance their beauty. Everyone will be jealous of how chic and amazing your bedroom looks.

Floral Headboard


It is a particularly interesting project for all of you that want to give your old wooden headboard a new shine. It can easily be done by simply painting some floral motifs onto it. But first, take your table saw to give your wooden headboard an extra smooth sanding and also add a water-based sealer. It is a great project to include your kids in, grab your paints and brushes and make your very own design.

Lovely Fabric Covered Headboard


If you want to make your bedroom a bit more elegant, then opting for a fabric covered headboard is a must. It all starts with the base: plywood, or your old headboard. Then get your glue gun and glue some foam on top of it. Now you only need to attach batting to the plywood and foam and then cover all of it with fabric. Do make sure the fabric is ironed before stapling it; otherwise, you might lose some of that elegance you are aiming for.

Plywood Headboard


And we’ve saved the best for last. A headboard that requires minimal effort, but is just as awesome as any other headboard: the plywood headboard. This minimalist headboard is a dream-come-true if you are the industrial and Scandinavian décor. Simple, yet eye-catching, a true example of how sometimes less is more!
We can all agree that investing time and effort into a DIY headboard is the first and most important step in the apartment improvement process.

Top Choices for Spokane Roofing Materials

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When you are choosing roofing materials for your home in Spokane, the most important factor is going to be longevity. While everyone wants their roof to look great and blend well with others in the neighborhood, the top concern is ensuring that the roof lasts for many years. In Spokane where Mother Nature can bring more than three feet of snow as well as plenty of rain each year, materials must be chosen wisely.

Many people choose roofing materials based on how they will look once they’re on the home, and while that is of course an important factor, you also need to consider the cost, ease of installation and how long the materials will last once installed. A new roof is one of the most expensive investments a person will make on their home, so choosing the right materials from the start will help ensure your investment is lucrative.

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) offers excellent information on technical information for roofing contractors as well as a wealth of information for consumers who are interested in updating or installing a new roof.

Things to Look For

Spokane residents and business owners who are having a new roof put on should take time to ask themselves a few things before rushing to buy anything.

  1. Are the roofing materials available in the style and color you want?
  2. Will the roofing material require special framing or tools?
  3. How durable is the material for cold and rainy weather?
  4. Is the material up to building and fire codes for Spokane?
  5. What is the overall longevity for the roofing material you are interested in?
  6. What is the cost of the material?
  7. Is the material covered by a lengthy warranty?
  8. Does the material need to be installed in a unique way?
  9. Is the material easy to install as a DIY project or will it require a professional?
  10. Does the outside temperature need to be at a certain level for installation?

Once you ask those questions, it is also important to check with expert roofing companies like sheltonroofing.com to find out the pros and cons of roofing materials that you are interested in using for your new roof. Here are some of the top materials used for roofing in Spokane, and the pros and cons of each.

Asphalt (Composite) Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the more popular roofing materials as they often cost less than other materials and are easy to install. They do have some pros and cons that are worth checking out.

Pros

  • Fire resistant
  • Withstand extreme weather
  • Last anywhere from 15 to 50 years
  • Simple installation
  • Cost-effective type of roofing

Cons

  • Not an eco-friendly material
  • Labor for replacement can be high since shingles can be layered a couple times before a complete replacement.
  • Quality can vary from one manufacturer to the next.
  • Extreme temperature changes can cause cracking.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles offer a unique look to a home or office and they can last for up to 50 years if properly maintained. They offer a natural look for a home and can help improve the insulation to keep extreme temperatures outside where they belong.

Pros

  • Energy Efficient
  • Long Lasting (Up to 50 years)
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Resistant to Severe Weather

Cons

  • Low Fire Resistance
  • More maintenance than asphalt shingles
  • Should be used only on homes with direct sunlight

Metal Roofing

With modern home designs and a desire to avoid excessive labor costs while also keeping up the value of the home, many homeowners today prefer metal roofing over asphalt, wood and others. Some say that there is no better lullaby than the rain falling on a metal roof, and in Spokane, you will have plenty of rainy days to attest to that. Metal roofs are also one of the top eco-friendly choices you can make for roofing material the metal is often made from recycled beverage cans.

Pros

  • Longevity (With proper installation, chances are you won’t need a replacement anytime soon)
  • Fire Resistance
  • Rain and snow won’t settle on the slick metal as easily as other surfaces
  • Quick installation
  • Energy Efficient

Cons

  • Metal can dent with hail or debris
  • May need to be painted more often than other surfaces
  • Slick surfaces make repair work difficult
  • Not always easy to match metal when repair work needs to be done
  • Metal makes it difficult for fire fighters to enter the home if there is a fire

Every home and business out there is as unique and individual as the person who owns it, so when it is time to have a new roof installed, take the time to make sure your new roof reflects your personal taste as well as budget, but make sure it is going to have a long lifespan and will keep your home protected as a roof should.

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