Spending a lot of time with friends, reading and writing… but mostly reflecting.
When I drive through the city now if feels like a different place to me. So much has changed… been transformed. So many familiar places I have known are gone, and I feel so much older. OLD. I feel like my time here is passing… that the time to move on is approaching. Maybe a phase.. IDK.
This view though never ceases to amaze me. At sunset with the grid emerges all lit up…
It’s been a very difficult year.
My Father became ill in March, was hospitalized and then had to go to a nursing home in April and passed away in July.
Right on the heels of that my Mother became ill too.
I lost one job to come take care of her and then had to give up my other job when she was diagnosed with stage 4 oral cancer to extend my time caring for her in another state.
Being a full time caretaker for any one is difficult, and for a difficult parent with whom you already have a strained relationship with only makes it harder.
Needless to say it is a humbling full time job. Everything else in my life is on hold.
So the hiatus for this blog is now extended indefinitely.
Be well everyone.
…one of the latest platforms to satisfy our collectively shrinking attention span…
I can drift into interesting stuff and graze in and out of people’s public persona’s and not feel so isolated in my own head.
It’s kind of compulsive, but satisfying in a big way.
The Tumblr interface is much easier, you can pick from a wide variety of custom themes (alternate page structures), images can be much bigger, and that has a lot of appeal.
Blogger seriously needs to address some of their long standing code bugs and formatting problems.
So in my compromised state of mind I shift my feeble attention to microblogging whenever I have my wits about me or any time to do it.
Every post is a mix of appreciation, astonishment, outrage, desire, folly, personal expression, or acknowledgment ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous.
I get inspired when I see other peoples original work- and I have run across quite a few amazing portfolios in my drifting from Tumblr, to Flickr, to Deviantart, other blogs, public pages on various social networks to personal sites.
Not to mention the blur of explicit images intermixed into everything too.
It makes me want to go back and dig through all my old stuff and scan and post… if only to remember that I used to have ideas too.
I still have ideas, I just have no time to develop them.
This has been my bane for two decades, now that it’s reaching a fever pitch it’s not surprising that I would find solace in immersing myself in glimpses of others creative imagination, curated pics from around the web and familiar favorites that comfort my stressed present life.
Is this simply getting in touch with my inner teenager? Pathetic distraction? Another mid-life crisis? Acting out of my age?
Maybe a little of all…
As odd is it seems Tumbling reminds me of this collective experience… the way people comment, reblog or follow one another… it’s a different experience for a different time with a much broader sweep… I don’t know why I’m experiencing this with Tumblr and not so much with Blogger…
… it seems we speak more and more though our shared visual memory… descriptions are almost unnecessary, and few have much in the way of further identifying information.
Each blog curates its own emotional landscape and personality. Doesn’t matter whether they are serious or irreverent or explicit they all function the same way.
They are all snapshots of ourselves, abstract portraits of a new kind…
At their best they remind me of that feeling of possibility that comes with youth… a feeling I’ve largely lost.
They makes me feel connected at a time when I feel utterly disconnected.
They are arguably a visual indulgence, a waste of time and a cultural phenomenon that allows me to participate in a very random way.
I can drift in or out… spending 5 minutes or 50… and they eventually push my imagination back to my own ideas, if in a convoluted way.
Perhaps I can look back at some point in the future and glean something of the unspoken of this time, maybe it is a long coded message, mostly meaningless, that will comfort me or reveal some detail that I can’t see at the moment?
or maybe it will all be lost or forgotten… or maybe someone else entirely will go though all these and make some sense of it that I can’t see.
In an case…
It’s helping me get though a difficult time… so peek in if you like, or if you are wise go outside and enjoy the beautiful summer that’s almost here.
Here is mine: Perpetual Collapse
If you are in town don’t miss it!
presence of nature like that that can’t be recreated in a photo. Something about the timelessness of nature, to give us perspective and shake us out of the narrow habitrail of our daily routines.
is located in the Yosemite valley.When I was a snotty art student I wasn’t interested in Adams perfectly exposed landscapes. In part because they were so straight forward and in part because I was intimidated by his incredibly technical zone system process that I was too impatient to learn and use.
exploring the area. He was also instrumental in getting Yosemite designated a National Park.Fascinating to read his experiences in the park, which at the time truly was wild and remote.
This was the last “normal” visit I had home. In hindsight, I remember little of distinction.
I know I made notes. I always did, but I could tell you where those notes are now…
When I find them they will shed some important detail.
I had stopped making photos of them mostly, or myself while there. It’s sad to me. It was then too. Mama’s illness made everything so difficult,I didn’t even try. I was so lost in my head, just trying to deal with her on a minute by minute basis. That took all my concentration.
Now, three years later I am finally getting around to looking at these again… I see them in a completely different light…
In the photo (above) of the garage, all is see is that empty chair.
Underneath, what stands out is the distance between myself and everything there. I defend myself now by saying I had to keep it all at an arms length just to function in my own life, even 3000 miles away.
To anyone else this must look quaint enough, calm and quiet. A tidy little home. I am blinded by the howling anarchy of her illness and how it obliterated everyone around her, like trying to stand your ground during a violent hurricane.
When I look at this I have a split vision… a kind of x-ray vision… the surface is normal bu what flashes through my mind isn’t the house and yard and summer afternoon. I don’t see the house at all. In my mind I look down in defeat. I look away from the rage, the frustration, and crushing misunderstanding that tarnishes every word spoken, every gesture, to the point of emotional blindness.
Daddy kept everything he though he might be able to use. He fixed everything, and had every tool you could imagine and used them all.
As the years passed and Mama became more ill, the garage became more and more disordered, until finally he was too worn down, to tired to deal with it.
Hopewell, the nearest town, 2 miles to the East, just across the river, was always so depressing me. With its polluted river, billowing smokestacks and sour chemical smelling air, and sad demolished downtown. Everything in Hopewell had collapsed. The population devolved, local businesses mostly closed or were overwhelmed by the sprawl at the towns fringes, with it’s monstrous Wal-Marts and fast food.
I started to look at the towns decline and the decline of the lifestyle my parents worked so hard to build as a story of it’s own. A story I want to explore and tell.
Most people, when talking about Los Angeles, rarely think of it as a walking city. In fact it is a very friendly place to wander and there is SO much to see and discover while wandering…
Recently, Perry and I went walking around Sunset junction and Echo Park. I decided to make some casual snapshots. This is the first of what will be a series.
The intersection of the Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Hollywood neighborhoods)
co-owned by the guys of ISIS and Hydrahead Records. Like Origami, they have a blog too. The non-discript entrance to The Echo nightclub.
Where else can you find a Circle Jerks T-shirt in a window display?
I just love this city…
near Sunset Junction in Silver Lake.
closed down a couple years ago due to a vermin infestation.
hard to believe that couldn’t be resolved or that someone else
hasn’t reopened it as something else. Prime real estate.
Outstandingly delicious tea (and coffee) in a relaxing atmosphere!
(The place stays super busy though)
Lots of great, fun and provocative music!
Here are some photos. The full playlist is below:
2. NEKO CASE “Train from Kansas City” (Kurt)
3. JAN A.P. KACZMAREK “Evening – Original Soundtrack” (Carlos)
4. SONIC YOUTH “Within You, Without You” (Mark)
5. BLACKHOUSE “Totally Gone” (Perry)
6. GO HOME PRODUCTIONS Passenger Fever” (Iggy Pop/Peggy Lee Mashup) (Matt)
7. STRETCHHEADS “I Should Be So Lucky” (Dave)
8. DONNY OSMOND “Go Away Little Girl” (Mike)
9. ESTHER LAMANDIER “Amor Mi Fa Cantar” (Nelda)
10. THE PRETENDERS “What You Gonna Do About It” (Terry)
11. AMADOU & MARIAM “Sabali” (Carlos)
12. EVANGELICALS “A Mouthful of Skeletons” (Kurt)
13. PARENTHETICAL GIRLS “Windmills of Your Mind” (Mark)
14. CLAIR OBSCUR “Smurf in the Goulag” (Perry)
15. MICKEY GANG “Born in the “90s” (Naji Nahas Footloose Remix) (Matt)
16. ECSTASY, PASSION & PAIN “I Wouldn’t Give You Up” (Dave)
17. TONY CAMILLO’S BAZUKA “Dynamite—Part 1″ (Mike)
18. T-BONE BURNETT “Palestine, TX” (Nelda)
19. AIWA “Yi Yi” (Terry)
20. BJORK “Unison” (Live) (Carlos)
21. THE CRAMPS “Call of the Wighat” (Kurt)
22. FUCKED UP “No Epiphany” (Mark)
23. SPANDAU BALLET “Gold” (Sun’s Golden Remake) (Perry)
24. SELDA “Ince Ince Bir Kar Yagar” (Matt)
25. MARK McCOY “Untitled” (Excerpt) (Dave)
26. (a) RED SKELTON “The Pledge of Allegiance” (excerpt) +
(b) CLINT EASTWOOD “Burning Bridges” (Mike)
27. TODD RUNDGREN “Mercenary” (Nelda)
28. TINDERSTICKS “I’ve Seen It All” (Kurt)
29. PATTI SMITH “Spell” (Live) (Mark)
30. IAMX “Spit It Out” (Perry)
31. THE BESNARD LAKES “Cedric’s War” (Matt)
32. TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD “Let It Be” (Dave)
33. BEE GEES “I Started A Joke” (Mike)
34. BEL CANTO “Summer” (Nelda)
35. THE WOODENTOPS “Steady Steady” (Kurt)
36. KOSTARS “One Sunny Day” (Mark)
37. DOC WOR MIRRAN “Screaming for Titties” (Perry)
38. PAAVOHARJU “Valo Tihkuu Kaiken Läpi” (Matt)
39. LESLIE PHILLIPS “God Is Waiting For You” (Dave)
40. JIMMY CASTOR BUNCH “Bertha Butt Boogie—Part 1” (Mike)
41. BETTY DAVIS “Steppin’ In Her I. Miller Shoes” (Kurt)
42. SLEEPING DOGS WAKE “Crows” (Nelda)
43. BECK “Gamma Ray (Jay Reatard Remix) (Mark)
44. THE TIDES “11:34” (Perry)
45. DEATH “Politicians In My Eyes” (Matt)
46. AVSOLUTIZED “Towards…” (Dave)
47. BOBBY RUSSELL “Saturday Morning Confusion” (Mike)
48. SIMPLE MINDS “In Trance As Mission” (Live) (Kurt)
49. RAMESSES “The Tomb” (Mark)
50. < span style="color: rgb(192, 192, 192);">LEGENDARY PINK DOTS “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm” (Perry)
A good time was had by all.
In my experience this is often the most horrible time of the year. A real slow motion emotional apocalypse, but over the years I’ve mellowed in my responses and am learning to accept what comes and always offer in return, as much as I can, something warm and friendly.
Good friends make all the difference. Surround yourself with them if you can, or keep them in mind if you can’t. If being with Family is difficult, search for compassion for them as well as yourself.
And where ever you can “Reach out and touch someone.”
A little kindess goes a long way.
I should have known It was only a matter of time before someone went and revisited Southern Rock.
This amazing new record traces it’s lineage not back though to Lynyrd Skynrd, but to Black Sabbath.
This is not your stepdaddies girlfriends .38 special reunion, or some third generation Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band…
This is epic Post-Southern-Rock DOOM, distinct enough to spawn a genre all it’s own…
It is what I have been waiting for since I was a lost 15 year old growing up in the rural/suburban south.
Like many people, I filtered all of my experience through music.
Southern rock was a local favorite in the late 70’s through the mid 80’s.
And while the standard bearers of the genre, such as Lynyrd Skynrd, and 38 Special, always rang hollow to me I couldn’t get some of the tunes, and musical phrases and intonations out of my head. This is not to say that some of the original music wasn’t extraordinary, but it all lacked the sense of HEAVY that I carried around with me, that I was so eager to find reflected….
Soon enough the metal revival emerged, lead by bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden. They initially added some much need menace to the palate before other dumber bands became more popular and devolved the genre into a mullet ridden fashion joke.
Still nothing seemed to speak to what my experience of that time was.
I imagined something very slow, ugly, and extremely heavy….
Harvey Milk’s Life—The best game in town filled that gap. Nearly thirty years after the fact, I find myself listening to what should have been my soundtrack to living in Hopewell, Virginia.
This is smart Heavy Metal…. and while my impression of their music may have nothing to do with their intention, it easily allows for me to project those impressions on to it.
From the cover with the Iron Maiden poster peeling off the wall, to the gatefold image of the corner of mattress on a box spring surrounded by all kinds of neglected trash.
Harvey Milk is from Athens, Georgia, so they know the complexities of that regional identity.
I don’t have the musical knowledge to explain specifically what I am hearing…. and how to break it down to explain it, but I hear it.
For me it liberates everything rotten about the South that I have every seen or repeatedly found myself near, ever, that has stuck in head and formed a monster truck vision of hell on earth that I find myself trapped in when in the blackest of moods.
What exactly am I talking about?
Imagine if you will a post industrial landscape of mostly overweight people narrowed by decades of sameness, with children dumbed down in public school, ever listening to the metastized conservatism of their parents, all projected through their frustration and disappointment in life, always in earshot of some ignorant ass parroting rabid right wing talk radio, embittered and thwarted by every failure large and small– to the point of sabotaging their own prospects, blaming everyone and taking no responsibility, always suspect of others and people from far away. Vicious mean too, when drunk.
The South at it worst is still a cliche teeming with aggressively untalented rednecks threatening to “kick the ass off” of everything that isn’t as limited as the low expectations they aspire to.
In my dulled concentrated memory the lowest of the low amounted to….
dumpy fluorescent lit living rooms with junk piled up over fossilized pizza slices under acres of dirty laundry stained by the piss of quivering toy dogs and feral cats… or sour white trash fools entrenched in doublewide trailers parked in backyards rebel yelling that same bullshit about damn yankees this and damn foreigners that…. wearing and flying the confederate battle flag and talkin bout the civil war as the “war for southern independence” and how the south is gonna RISE again….
In my own experience I got so tired of people who were always against anything they didn’t already know, against everything new, clinging to same three or four hundred classic rock or “new country” songs endlessly droning on the radio between the blather of idiot minded djs. Crashed on old 80s box furniture crowded around sagging shelves piled up with scratched old Molly Hatchet and Alabama records that never get played anymore, homemade VHS tapes of movies replayed on network television, paperback novels, and bobblhead dolls of down home heros like gallagher and Jeff forxworthy, snowed under inches of dust and discarded CD players, VCRs, laser disc players, broken nintendos, and remote control toy car parts, everything smelling of marlboro lites or Winston cigarettes and stale beer in cramped rooms looking out to rusted out Trans-Am’s, Cameros, and 380zx’s nested in tall grass serenaded by cicadas and gameshow repeats….
Yee Fuckin Haw…..
When I listen to this record every rotten experience, every depressing scene from my time there flashed through my mind and was obliterated, released, and absolved by Creston Spiers wail.
If Ronnie Van Zandt came back as a zombie, this is what he’d sound like.
Life–the Best Game In Town is more than the sum of it’s parts. While it may invoke the extremely heavy, it also represents the South at it’s best… when all expectations are exceeded, and you have the experience of being raised up rather than let down. And that is what the best of the original Southern Rock bands did.