John's daughter: Marlo

John's daughter is called Marlo (RL162, RL177, RW69, RL256, RL271. RL280). She was born March 18, 2011 (RL240, RL183, RW68, RL281).
Picture from November 2016, Picture from January 2017. Picture from February 2018

In June of 2015, John's daughter got her tonsils out. To make her feel more comfortable, the nurse at the hospital asked her if she would like to watch Frozen on the iPad. She is fascinated by Frozen although she had never seen it. She was singing this one line incorrectly over and over, like ”Let it go, let it go, I can’t hold it back anymore”. When John started to sing it, she would tell him to stop and start singing her version again. (RL159)

On Marlo's sixth birthday in 2017, John asked her if she wanted to go to the museum, the zoo or a wide open park, but she wanted to go to the Family Fun Center, which has the charm of the airport in Reno, but for kids. It teaches them slot machines, there are rides inside, a pizza parlor, miniature golf, and gas-powered go-carts. For months, every time her birthday came up, which is often because it is an important milestone, she mentioned the Family Fun Center. (RL240)

She won't stop eating if he would let her. She has very little impulse-control when it comes to food. When in a restaurant, she would just pace in front of the buffet and give those poor eyeballs to all the adults walking by until somebody would give her a shrimp (see stories). (RL177) Marlo’s favorite cake is carrot cake (what 7-year old has carrot cake as her favorite?) (RL258) She finds fortune cookies the best cookie, but they don't let her eat chocolate, so maybe in the absence of chocolate that is actually true? (RW16)

During spring break in April 2017, Marlo was in the room when John recorded RL241 and RW63.
She sometimes announces things that don't need to be announced, like "I'm going through the door now". (RW63)
The only thing she ever watches on TV with her mom is House Hunters International. She does not yet have her own phone. (RW68)

Marlo has already been on three major parades through town with floats and bands and dancers and Chinese dragons and crowds lining the streets. She has begun to think that summertime is a time when you go in a parade. One time she and a friend were handing out candy to all the kids on the sidelines, which they found the greatest job in the world, and so John is raising a child who thinks that it is normal to be in parades. Every daughter wants to be in a parade that is preferably about her. (RW69)

On the days when John's daughter stays with him, he has to get up really early. She has three homes: John's home, her mother's home and John's mother's home. In the course of a normal week she stays in all three homes and she has three different wake-up times. They have looked at all the variables, but can't find any accounting for it. It is not the sun or traffic noise. Maybe it is the energy of John's mom waking up at 04:00 while there is a completely different kind of energy in John's house. They continue to banter nonsense about what the reason could be for John's daughter's sleep cycles. (RL248)

John's sister: Susan Roderick


Random facts

John's sister lives in Ohio and is a certified public accountant (RW59). She takes care of John's books and tax paperwork. (RW59). The sister has a problem with unruly eyebrows. She can whip a pair of scissors out of nowhere and start snipping away. (RL238) John's sister is very grouchy in the morning, angry at you and at the sun for a while. If you would throw a bucket of water on her (like John's mother did with him), she would turn into a Tasmanian devil. Telling her to wake up is like throwing a grenade into a barrel: After you did it, you just run! (RW67)

She went from a teenage girl in her knee-high stripy socks playing soccer to somebody who had platinum hair, wearing the coolest thrift store dresses and working in the coolest record store in town. Both his sister and his daughter have a lot of moxy. At first John was afraid his sister would corrupt his daughter by teaching her a lot of hip hop terminology and encouraging her to become a skater. But she turned out to be one of the chief disciplinarians in his daughter's life, she brooks no monkey business. They have a close relationship and all those tête-à-têtes, and his daughter is listening very closely to her aunt. (RL184)


John's sister is a music appreciator just like her father. Music is a constant companion. When John was in High school, his sister worked in a record store and was a heavy consumer of European New Wave releases. (OJR) John's sister listened compulsively to Duran Duran and The Smiths. He heard that music mostly through the wall. She was one of those Almost Famous-type of children who was working at the coolest record store in Anchorage when she was 13. She just waltzed in and said "I am working here now" and the rest of the staff who was in their 20s adopted her. (RL184)

Being a nationally ranked skier (RW73)

At one time, John's sister was a nationally ranked skier. In 1984, John was briefly on the list as well because the ranking went all the way to 500 and John was something like 483. His sister on the other hand was way up, but skiing wasn't what she wanted to do with her life. She was truly gifted and very driven, but she didn't recognize that turning stuff to gold by merely touching it would not work forever. John knew a lot of people with a bushel of gifts who didn't pursue them. His sister's Achilles' heel was her defiance. She was successful, she was lauded, people were telling her that she would be going to the Olympics, but she was defying. She loved to win and beat the other girls. Downhill ski racing is worse than any country club sport except maybe competitive sailing in that it attracts people with tremendous feelings of entitlement. It is a rich kid's sport like in the 1980:s movies by John Cusack. John's family wasn't rich. His sister is a complicated person, but she is not a snob or a fashion-driven exclusivity-powered person. She loved handing it to those girls and she just trounced them. With the wave of her hand, she brushed off any amount of hate those girls poured at her and it was gratifying for John to watch from the sidelines. The coaches, often former ski-racers in their 30:s, were really great to her, but Susan was standing in the center of this circus, wanting to be left alone and do what she wanted to do on a Saturday morning. Turning the back on this thing that was the center of so many people's lives gave her great satisfaction: She could kill them but she had already proven that she can, so what's next?

Tommy Moe was one of the kids from their ski club who became an Olympic gold medalist. John's sister is not defeatist and does not really express defeat, but years later when she was in her 30:s she realized that skiing maybe was what she was meant to do. If you get put on the earth with the ability to go to the Olympics, maybe you should follow that call? Tommy Moe did go to the Olympics and won a bunch of medals. There is a Tommy Moe Drive in Wasilla. With that achievement under your belt, you can just kind of dine out on being an Olympian for the rest of your life. At first you endorse a brand of peanut butter and open a Pontiac dealership, then you do whatever you want for a few years, and then you can start a ski school with your Olympic medal. John has one little toe in the world of Downtown Seattle and he sometimes goes to events with people who work in business, not those people hustling to give you their card, but the chamber of commerce Downtown city property owning tourism class of booster city people who donate money to museums. They are super-uncool as a class, but they are massive drivers of what goes down. Their little choices affect a lot of people. They are not impressed by musicians of any kind, unless it is Yo-Yo Ma. Every once in a while a musician will come up into the classical world in a pop context, but that is the extend to which music penetrates them. There are still people in Seattle who have been living in town the whole time and will ask if you have heard of Nirvana. Actors matter to those people, but they don't know about them or care about them. If Brad Pitt comes, everybody knows, but when they shake Brad Pitt's hand they are mostly thinking how this is going to make them money. An Olympic medal skier on the other hand is a person who is able to impress that class of people. Everybody understands an Olympian as impressive and can grasp it without having to have seen their movie first. Having an Olympic medal will open doors for you forever. It is kind of a lower level of being an astronaut: it is never going to wear off.

John's brother: Bart

He is mentioned in RL254 because he congratulated John to his position as King Neptune, but there is no further information about him.

John's niece: Elizabeth Roderick

While trying to finish the fourth album for The Long Winters, John produced a record for his niece Elizabeth Roderick. (OJR, RL269)

John's uncle Jack

John's uncle Jack Roderick had been mayor of Anchorage. (RL177)

John's uncle Jack was a football player in highschool and went to college on a football scholarship. He was a famous football player in the late 1940:s, and got recruited by the Chicago Bears in the 1950:s, but he declined because professional football was not the big money making thing it is now. Instead he went to be a lawyer. His football life created a back condition for him that he kept for the rest of his life and he had to do the inversion table where he would hang upside down by his ankles like Dabney Coleman. (RW71)

John's uncle Al

John's uncle Al, his father's brother in law, constantly whistled absentmindedly. Tuneless, but now out of tune. That's how you knew he was around. (RW63)

John's uncle Junius

No information known about him, but his is mentioned in RL254.

John's uncle: Name unknown until now

John's uncle lives in Palm Springs. He had a Scandinavian last name and exhibited the kind of casual antisemitism that used to be very popular among white anglosaxons (RL239). He was the president of MacMillan Bloedel and they were stealing all the trees in the forest between Alaska and Seattle that you couldn't see from the road. A popular conversation topic was "If you clear-cut the forest, where do the animals live?". When he invited John, he didn't care too much about the company, but mostly liked to cook for people. (RL239)

John's uncle

John's uncle was a football player which caused him lower back pain. (RW65)

John's High School girlfriend, Kelly Keefer

Kelly was John's first girlfriend when he was 16 years old. He succeeded with her by repeatedly sending her notes until she accepted him. (RL238) She was Valedictorian of their graduating class, president of the junior class, and president of the student congress, so she was a very high achieving person. During their senior year in High School, she was doing that High School transcript padding that high achieving kids liked to do in order to have this huge list of past activities when they would go to college. She joined the newspaper and was appointed to be the editor of the newspaper, a position that John had aspired to for many years, causing some friction in their relationship. She didn’t really care about newspaper class and didn’t want to write articles about the JV Football team, but it just seemed that newspaper was an easy A and it seemed like the kind of activity you would do if you were to go to Johns Hopkins.(RW84)

After she and John broke up, she started dating David Brust who had the exact same birthday as John, but was a Junior while John was a Senior. David was a GQ type person. He wore a Guess watch, he wore penny loafers instead of boat shoes, he folded the cuffs of his shirt back a little bit, a weird non-functional thing he had seen in GQ, he wore a lot of Benetton clothes and there was something on every level where he was wrong. He was also very handsome and had prominent Magnum PI dimples. She was dating him only to get John’s goat and also for the dimples. You could go down the list of reasons not to date him and it was as long as your arm. The reasons do date him were: Dimples and it will get John’s goat. (RW84)

John's High School girlfriend, the red-haired pixie

In High School, John had manic pixie dream girl with short red hair and the same age. She was very tightly wound like a Swiss watch and when his car would suddenly start beeping, her reaction would be like you would crash a cymbal behind a sleeping cat. (RL252)

John's first girlfriend, the doctor

John's first girlfriend had hair like an Irish setter and works now as a doctor in central Oregon. She was also his prom date. Her mother was a seamstress and created matching outfits for the couple using pink leopard spot satin. For the girl she adorned a strapless ball gown out of black taffeta and for John she modified her husbands wedding suit. Her mother was a pistol, she had been a reporter before she was married and she had a devilish streak. Sometimes she would take four wire hangers and rattle them and the poor Weiner dog who hated wire hangers would hide under the couch. Her father despised John. Back when they were dating, they had a split-level house and John would not even go upstairs, but directly down to her room. (RL240)

John's girlfriend, Laural

John met Laural, his first sober girlfriend, at the age of 26 when he moved into the house where he also met his friend Peter. (RL257)

John's girlfriend, the ballet dancer

In 1998, John dated a ballet dancer from La Jolla, California. She would wake up at 05:00 in the morning, run to Lake Washington, swim out to the Orca Buoy and back, and run back up the hill as a prelude to teaching ballet all day. She had one of those metabolisms and could eat 8000 calories a day. All she wanted to do was dance. She was like a race horse or like a Border Collie that you have to take out every day. You have to wear her out a little bit. She is a wonderful lady, but if she didn't have anything to do, she would literally climb the walls and you would find her in a corner up in the ceiling. She was very excitable and somebody had told John that she had an euphoria problem, like someone who had a religious experience and should be confined to a Monastery. They broke up after the terrible adventure of driving John's dad's truck down from Alaska. (RL183)

John's girlfriend, the one with the dog

John dated a girl once who decided that the additional dog she needed in addition to her Shih Tzu was a Great Dane. She rescued a Great Dane who was already 9 years old, which is 2 years older than any Great Dane should live. The dog was lovely, but he weighed 400 pounds, the size of a horse, and she let it sleep in her bed. Later the Great Dane started to shit the bed, which is like shitting out a printing press made of poop. John suggested that this Great Dane could feed a family of four for a month and she should just send it to the hamburger machine, but she pointed out that there is a reason he is not her boyfriend anymore. (RL184)

John’s girlfriend with the motorcycle boyfriend

One of John’s girlfriends had an ex-boyfriend who once rode his motorcycle up the stairs of her house to come to her in his leather pants and ravage her. John was not going to do any of those things and hoped she was content with him coming by sometimes. She wanted to establish that John was the lucky one to have her, and she was not the lucky one to have him, which turned out to be true. John did neither have a motorcycle nor leather pants. He was not even a heroin addict or a ravager, nor was he a rapper. Usually he would come to her house and go through the cupboards to see if there was anything to eat. He would take a bath and then he would mildly ravage her, like a wet ravage, before he would lay around and get a little more food. By sunset he would invite her to join him down at the bar while making it clear that she wouldn’t have any fun. That was about the extend of it. His complete lack of any ability to even pretend to try flipped the power dynamic between them until it eventually seemed like he was the prize. Think of the poor bastard who came next! Also, where was the guy with the motorcycle now? Because she was with John now, why won’t he ride his motorcycle down the stairs! Today John doesn’t behave like this anymore. Instead he is very interested, very attentive and he hardly ever goes through anybody’s cupboards. (RL259)

John's girlfriend, the smoker

John was dating a girl at one time and they would go on long walks together at night. As they reached the bottom of a very steep hill, which there are dozens and dozens of in Seattle, she would light a cigarette. He asked if she doesn't want to save the cigarette for when they were up the hill and have achieved their goal, but her attitude was not to tell her what to do. They would go up that steep hill and she would smoke the entire time. When they were at the top, John would have a valedictory cigarette, but she wanted to smoke all the way up. One time, they saw two kids with hoodies sneaking between the cars and John wanted to chase them. She agreed, but she lit a cigarette first. What kind of hot pursuit is that? The Viet cong will smell the smoke, and then the snipers will see the cherry. What if they run into a non-smoking facility, like a propane facility. You are going to lose half a cigarette or endanger their lives. It seemed crazy to John. (RL245)

The Millennial Girlfriend

John had a millennial girlfriend from Venice Beach (Pictures from December 2016 and February 2017). The relationship lasted from around December 2015 until around May 2017 (RW68). She worked at SnapChat (RW83) as the lawyer of the labs developing the technologies (RL260) and her colleagues were a group of lawyers in their early 30:s who all thought they were special. They started teasing her for dating an older gentlemen and have referred to John as "Peepaw" (RL238).

She is very accepting of a lot of what would be described as John's peculiarities. She has her own very specific kind of ways that she likes John's peculiarities to be expressed. (RL238)
She does not like people with the combination of unruly beard and well-groomed hair, but has no problem with unruly hair and well-trimmed beard. (RL238)
She was really uncomfortable with John's Alexa on the table, because she was sure that Amazon was recording all her thoughts. (RW83)

She shortly lived with John in his house. She moved in and she moved out - it was a bumpy road. (RL250) Through a series of unfortunate events she did not stay with John as a permanent resident. She never even unloaded the shipping container with her things (RW84) When she left, she packed John’s Filson-bags with coffee and underwear. He did not lose all bags, but some, which is more than what he intended to lose. (RW78) He still has plenty of luggage, but confusingly she did abscond with one particular bag along with various other things. (RW84)

Bob Wood

It sounds as if Bob was Johns childhood friend. His mother (about 40 years old) was the most beautiful of all the middle-class mothers that John knew while growing up. She used to listen to NPR. She lived in a book-case and had a t-shirt of Aung San Suu Kyi. (RL238)
Bob would always keep a frying pan with bacon grease on his stove (RW68)

Kevin Horning

Johns friends at the age of 15. He would lay down with a boom-box playing British heavy metal (like the German band Accept) right in front of his face and could still take a nap. (RL238) Kevin and his girlfriend would stuff leaves down the front of their sweater and have to help one another to get the leaves out, touching each other. (RL252)

Aaron Kinneman

John mentions him as his best friend from High school (RW83)

Chris Gills

Chris Gills lived in the neighborhood and was a better skier and much cooler than John. John's best friend Kevin Horning wanted to hang out with Chris Gills, and Chris was too cool to hang out with John, so Chris was hanging out with Kevin while John was not invited. Chris found John a little contemptible. When John made a joke everybody was laughing, but when he would take it too far, Chris was the one who was like "Ehhh, ja". Kevin was John's best friends and wanted John to make it to the cool kids, but he just couldn't do it. Chris Gills has really made it, he lives on the Bahamas on a sail boat and drives a powder-blue 1972 Oldsmobile. (RL189)

At one time, John was playing Dig-Dug at a Tastee-Freez and Chris Gills for some reason comes over and offers John a ride. Chris's dad had one of those Ford Thunderbirds that looked like a lozenge (like ibuprofen). His dad was a doctor and had a Nakamichi stereo where it would pop the tape out and flip it mechanically. At the time it felt so modern, but now it feels like something from The Flintstones. Chris Gill's dad was supposed to buy a BMW 740i, but instead he bought this Thunderbird (also: RL159), which was a symbol for John how cool that Thunderbird was. So they were riding and just chilling with each other. John was afraid to make a joke too far and Chris would regret offering him a ride. Chris said "Did you hear Van Halen picked a new singer? Sammy Hagar", which appalled John. But now they had something that bonded them because they hated it together. Chris dropped off John and "see you later", but they never rode in the car together again. (RL189)


In the Summer of 2017 Peter did some carpentry for John’s mom and she suggested that he could do some work on John’s basement. Peter currently plays video poker for a living and he didn’t think it would be a complicated situation to come out and work on John’s house despite being a friend and despite what happened in the past. Peter also recommended the carpenter Sahm to John. (RL257)

Being in the apple-cider business

In the fall of 2017, John's friends Michael and Peter planned to go into the apple cider business. Peter showed John bins full of crabapples in his garage. There is a large agricultural area around the town of Arlington north of Seattle where somebody has a field with all those vintage cider apples growing. Some of them don’t even exist in their original countries anymore because all the cider apples there are now by Monsanto. John’s friend Michael has decided that cider-making might be his new jam, so he and Peter are going to partner up on this. (RL260)

Peter lives on a houseboat

Peter lives on a houseboat that is owned by his sister, but not one of those from Sex and the City, but basically a tool shed on brackets, like a thing from Popeye (RL257, RL260) where fishermen lived in the 1910:s (RL260). The sister has money, she has a condo in Downtown and is often out of town, Peter is currently driving a Lexus because somebody owed his uncle some money and the guy paid him in a Lexus, the uncle gave the Lexus to his daughter to go to college, she thought it was ostentatious and somehow Peter inherited it. (RL257) Those houseboats are still around and they are a shingled bedroom on a floating palette, enough to put a double-bed, a lamp, a potty and maybe a little kitchen, but you can’t play Frisbee in it. It is not meant to go out for the day with, but it is more like a floating shack. You rent the right to tie it up and you can hook a 15 HP Evinrude to it and move it across the lake on a calm day. (RL260)

The pride of place on all of the house boat moorages around Lake Union is really the end of the dock position. You don’t just come along and moor your little outhouse to the front of somebody’s dock, but they will find little slots for you. Peter was talking about people who own the birth, the moorage of this houseboat community and there are the older-style ones where everybody is still a hippie. Up until 1995, living on a house boat was quite a normal thing to do and wasn’t considered magical. Then Sleepless in Seattle changed everything. Lawyers are always looking to take something nice and make it bad. Peter still lives in one of those communities where everybody is an old grouchy hippie. The people who own the marina just recently rented out a new end space to somebody who came along with a lot of money. They went right up to the property line on how big your house boat could be, they plopped it down on the end and the entire neighborhood is up in arms about it! This guy doesn’t care, because he looks at all those people behind him and says that they are just a Sargasso Sea of shingles, laughing and floating, floating and laughing. The people are mad, but you know what: Capitalism! Like: My name is Paul and this is between you’all! (RL260)

How John and Peter met

Peter was the first friend John made after he got sober at the age of 26. He didn’t understand how anybody could be sober because everybody he knew was a drunk, so who do you hang out with? Do you hang out with Normals? John was sleeping in the alcove at the top of the stairs in this house. It was before he lived in the van. He didn't want to sleep on peoples couches anymore, because he was trying to have a little bit of dignity. John met this girl Julie who knew this guy Brent who was a drunk, but Julie wasn’t. She invited John over to their house where 6 people lived and none of them were drunks. They were artists and kooks, there was a drum kit in the basement and somebody who did not yet understand the musculature of the human body had painted a mural of a Centaur on the wall in the living room. This ended up how John met Laural who became his first sober girlfriend. He realized that these people did not drink, but they were still kooky, weird artist people. It turns out there is a whole group of people in the world who are just interesting without being drunk. Peter had been around John’s life ever since. He was the original bass player of The Long Winters, but quit before their first show because their music didn’t sound authentic enough. (RL257)

Who scares the shit out of whom? (RL249)

Ben Shepherd, the bass player of Soundgarden is a local legend in Seattle. He is a ledgendarily intense guy and John has known him tangentially for many years. Ben is one of the very few people who scares the shit out of John. He is a big guy and his intensity is up there to the point of "scary". John's friend Mike Squires, guitar player of Duff McKagan's Loaded went on tour a long time ago and met Zakk Wylde for the first time. Mike had been in the Marines and grew up in an intense environment where you really had to be on your toes. He met Zakk Wylde and tried to josh with him, tried to be Mike Squires about it, but then he reported back to John that the one guy who scares the shit out of him and who he didn't want to moneky with is Zakk Wylde. John's big friend Andrew McKeag is now the manager of The Experience Hendrix Your, touring the world playing Jimy Hendrix music with all-star casts like Ringo Starr's All-star band. Zakk Wylde is in that band, so he and Andrew are now thick as thieves and John is no longer worried of meeting Zakk, because he now feels he has an "In": He can say that he is good friends with Andrew! Also, Zakk Wylde's manager apparently listens to this program. Ben Shepherd has always scared the shit out of John. He is one of these guys who would just stare at you from across the room.

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