End of Book 3
[cue music here - below]
But Barack "Barry Oh!" Obama would pick up the damn phone hisself and wake my ass up to tell me how pretty my eyes are and that he was thinking about me. In his smoky, nondescript kind of midwest baritone, he'd mention how the sunset reminded him of me and how he'd like to drop by, but he's no longer in Maryland right now. He's in Wisconsin or Texas or Ohio. But, he'd tell me that I am his America.
Barry Oh! would say, "Baby. I'll be back in November for a little
And, no. No. No! He doesn't just want my vote. That's what Heather and Clair and Bayleen say though. What he really wants is me, and if I could just wait for eight years.... Until after he changes America.
He's counting on me! Barry needs me. Barry, I'm here for you baby. I love you. Call me!
Pre-edit photo by some fellow named phil who didn't copyright this image nor get my name correct for the paper he pap's for.
Oh, hey, uh...do you think you could edit my name out of your middlespace post about Eli Manning? I don't want him to get upset at me when he finds it during his routine Monday morning "Eli Manning" +mope Google search. I sent that to you confidentially.
-Shrimpy Penis Dude
"You know who should be fired? Whoever green-lighted using Eli Manning for those watch commercials. Were they trying to appeal to the mope demographic or do they just never watch football? [Watch executive] "I hear there's a guy named Manning who plays at the football game that people are talking about! Get me Manning!"
I have to assume that the watch is soft, whiny, and inaccurate."
"Maybe the Giants Should All Wear Citizen Watches: Immediately after Eli Manning fumbled against the Bears, Fox cut to a commercial that featured the Giants' quarterback. "Eli Manning is unstoppable, just like a Citizen watch," the voice-over intoned."
- Gregg Easterbrook
© 2007 tKoL, of course
It's a song about how Jerry Hsu saves the world from alien invasion at the 2012 Beijing Olympics. You know, total cliche.
Baby where are you
How does your mother feel about
what you do
and all of your relatives
remembered in furniture
this was your uncles
this was your grandfathers
way back in China
but all that's behind ya
most of them died there
but what now should you care?
ride jerry ride
in 2012 when the Martians and elves
united in forces and rode in on horses
to the Beijing Olympics the sky full of space ships
Announcing their mission and demanding submission
We mortals all cowered to their outer space powers
They burned all the soil and took all the oil
And moved us to grottoes underground spots of
Toil and oppression forced written confessions
Denouncing our species knee deep in feces
Lit fires in patterns to our allies on Saturn
We needed a messenger a pony expressenger
We needed a hero with no cause for fear oh
Baby where are you
Come save us now
From Martian doom
ride jerry ride
This whole things should be a lyric.
At the end say "Wait! Listen to this guitar!"
Uninvited, the authorities or those deputized by the authorities will look into my formerly private-like spaces and, working against a list they've created, inform me of what could become a problem for me. Huh?
Montgomery County Police Employ Post Card Initiative for Theft from Vehicle PreventionQuestion #1: What sort of database will my vehicle information (place observed, items observed, time observed) be stored in?
On Veteran’s Day they monitored approximately 500 cars and found approximately 300 had items visible. These items included: iPods, purses, money, cell phones, brief cases, and portable Global Positioning Systems.
The owners of these vehicles will receive a post card to provide the date the vehicle was observed, a description of vehicle, and where it was seen. The items that were visible will be checked from a list of possible items that may be left in a vehicle. The postcard ends with the following message: “In an effort to reduce the thefts from automobiles, the Montgomery County Police Department is asking that in the future, you please secure your personal property out of sight in the glove compartment, console, or trunk.”
Question #2: How long will this information reside in government database?
Question #3: Who has access to this database?
Question #4: Can citizens opt out of said program?
Question #5: If I report a property crime, will the authorities lecture or refuse to service based on "you were warned" criteria?
Question #6: Is this constitutional?
"Put a giant dildo, a box of rubber gloves, a hamster cage and a ukulele on your back seat. Let them check that off their little list." - [clicky]
Those are two elements that make the 12.17 issue of the NYer very good. But the following hidden-in-plain-view-gem will learn your ass something. Thus: semi-monster.
Most people I know would automatically skip this:
How a rare statue of Aphrodite became the
focus of the fight over antiquities, and led to
the fall of a Getty Museum curator.
"It hasn't been surpassed. There are other things that can be equally good, but it's never been surpassed in terms of artistic achievement....Amen.
But if we don't show these things, and we don't interpret them, and we don't use them to educate people, what are they surrounded by? Plastic and bad design and things that have no aesthetic quality at all."
- Marion True, former curator, Getty
It was funny at first; the "Mac" guy and the "PC" guy. We all got it. It then became arrogant and self-righteous, which isn't so bad. My friend James just typed "the arrogance of Mac" this morning. Then it became just downright mean but we didn't care since it was mean towards Micorsoft.
Now, it's stupid. You've taken an effective and cute ad concept and rounded the bases while jumping the sharks. We're over it. You remember us, your loyal base, the kids who bought Macintosh computers in 1984, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2005, and 2007.
You hurt your brand when you turn yourselves into a charactiture. That's bearable. But now, you've just pissed me off.
I know it's a business and you are in the business of making tons of cash. I get that.
But, this...this is one of the last straws. Especially when I wanted to read the NYT:
[click to enlarge]
Yawn. You're Wal-Mart to me now.
"That stuff IS real corny to [ponder] now and around my "legit" musician friends I really don't talk about it because they wouldn't get it but dude, we were basically, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, and Babe Ruth. We were among the best players in the WORLD who were playing in one of the best groups in the WORLD. There were maybe 50 or 60 other people in the WORLD who could do, as a group, what we did. That, to me, is some deep stuff in retrospect.The arrogance. We were a cocky fucking drumline!!!"
I remember how absolutely devastated I was when we lost. Feeling like it was all for nothing. It hurt so bad. I have never hurt that way before or since. I remember you telling me "You better hold you head up! You are in the Santa Clara Vanguard drumline". That always stuck with me. Your strength in the face of such bitter, stifling, heart wrenching disappointment. At that age. That is huge!!!
- JT via email
"Exxcuuuuuse me for wanting to protect some innocent person's feelings before they realize that the truth of life is pain and loneliness and downright bottom-of-the
-barrel depression. Trying not to rain on parades here.
Or [dripping with sarcasm just so you know], I'm so sorry I don't want to get fired from my job because I told you something personal that I thought wouldn't be funny on the goddamn Internet! Pardon me!We can't all not give a fuck like you. For some of us OCD = obsessively worrying about what was said and done in life and who might be offended.
Maybe we all can't be famous position-maintaining bloggers for Viacom, you sell-out piece of crap!"
*****NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST*****
Rick Ankiel √
David Bell √
Gary Bennett Jr.
Barry Bonds √
Kevin Brown √
Ken Caminiti √
Jose Canseco √
Roger Clemens √
Lenny Dykstra √
Eric Gagne √
Jason Giambi √
Jason Grimsley √
Jerry Hairston Jr.
David Justice √
Chuck Knoblauch √
Paul Lo Duca
Gary Matthews Jr.
Denny Neagle √
Andy Pettitte √
John Rocker √
Benito Santiago √
Gary Sheffield √
David Segui √
Miguel Tejada √
Mo Vaughn √
Rondell White √
Matt Williams √
Gregg Zaun √
√ - Denotes players I'd still draft for my all-steroid all-star team. And, they'd kick the hell out of your non-steroid all-star team. I don't care. It's their bodies. These guys did a lot of good for the game; made a lot of people happy (and quite a few filthy rich). Am I missing anyone?
I don't care.
Maybe that mope KGJ should have tried something rather than wash out every season.
"None of us reminded her that Monica had died of a terminal illness, as, in a way, that didn’t matter anymore. The point was that she was gone, and our lives would never be the same: we were people who knew people who died. This is to say that we had been touched by tragedy, and had been made special by it. By all appearances, I was devastated, but in fact I had never been so happy in my life.
The next time someone died, it was a true friend, a young woman named Dana, who was hit by a car during our first year of college. My grief was genuine, yet still, no matter how hard I fought, there was an element of showmanship to it, the hope that someone might say, “You look like you just lost your best friend.”"
- David Sedaris, Journey Into Night
But, and holy shit, I am really done with your edits! I've now had several people ask me to edit my postings so they don't get in some kind of perceived trouble. What?!
Here're the problems I'm having with this:
- People should know by now that if they send it, it might get posted. That's not evident yet? Maybe I find your stories interesting, poignant, and funny. Or, maybe I find them just plain stupid (but, I'm trying to be nice).
- People should know that I make most of this shit up (see disclaimer). You may write, "The sun is yellow" and I may post, "These sores on my bum cause such a horrible itch." See how that works?
- Nobody is reading this crap. Just like nobody was listening to the podcast. Just like nobody listens to the records. Just like nobody looks at the pictures. There are more than six and a half billion people on this planet. No one really gives a shit.
But when Hypothetical Edit Requester #2 asked, I found myself somewhere between Shocked Avenue and Horrified Street. I was all like, "Whaaaaat?!" [ <-- in the manner of Philly Boy Roy ]
Lastly, when Not-Real Edit Requester #3 asked, I just ran out of steam (however there was enough steam for this rant). I had to say, "C'mon!" [ And get another few beautiful positions out of the rant ]
Look people, this is the pros. This is a long-running, award-winning, income-generating Web Log. I've got a contract. I have minimum positions to maintain. I drop product placements for sweet, sweet cash (posting from Mayorga Coffee Roasters, Rockville!).
There is a bellwether though. And when the bellwether says, "Oooh. Can you edit that part about my herpes because my boss might sneeze on his computer and land on your site and murder me because of the, you know, the herpes thing?" then I'm closing shop. I am 2/3rds ready to close this thing up.
We're sitting at two strikes, bottom of the ninth, one run back. Read carefully: If you send it. It might get posted in some part if not whole.
Get off my phone!
I need your opinion because people around here are making me feel bitter, mean, and old.
Yesterday on the elevator at work -- had just purchased lunch and had my iPod® on, loud. I'm clearly listening to music, loudly. I wanted to listen to music. That's why I had my iPod® on and it was on loud. Got it?
Woman gets on the elevator, I'm holding my lunch (and listening to my iPod®, loud). This is my private moment.
This woman fucking starts talking to me. Since obviously I couldn't hear her I had to take off my earphones to hear her stupid ass question. Turns out, she was asking me where I got my salad.
It woulda been different if she was asking me a worthwhile elevator question like:
"Excuse me, do you happen to know what floor X is on?"But interrupting me, when I am clearly giving an obviously social clue that I don't want to talk to anyone including you? I think that her behavior was simply rude, not to mention incredibly annoying.
Or, an I-need-assistance question:
"Sorry for interrupting, because of my infant and her medicine my hands are full, would you mind pressing 10 for me?"
Or, if it was the I'm the cool trailblazer kind of question:
"That music is incredible! Could you please tell me who it is? Can I have your autograph?"
or if it was an emergency situation:
"Oh sweet Jesus, I'm having a heart attack - dial 911! Please for the love of God save me!"
Anyway, I come back and join the work “lunch gang” and I bitch about it to the work lunch gang members. One work lunch gang member whom I’ll call “Billy" was all like, "She was just trying to reach out to you person to person - I don't think that's rude at all. In fact, she was probably trying to make a new social connection for herself and for you. You should consider moments like that as precious in today's greedy, individualistic, me-first culture."
I was all like (in my mind) “Dude, you are way too fucking positive and happy for me. Go away and finish another self-help book you started on “positive self-image” or “loving everyone for who they are as you love yourself,” or go back to your incense-burning cult therapy sessions and tell everyone how much you "appreciate" them, or go *****EDITED BY REQUEST*****. Or, better yet, go fucking blog about it."
So, what's your take?
- Annoyed Worker in Maryland
Ty: Good question and an even better observation.
Hummm.... We do live in an information dense and interaction thin society. This makes for confusion and sometimes desperation. People sometimes work up just enough energy to reach out to find common bonds; common likes and common interests. It seems that elevator woman was simply trying to be more like you if not be you. There was interest in you and in your salad. Perhaps the salad was merely symbolic.
Or maybe that woman was simply retarded. IQ of 77 or some shit. WTF? lady.
Jesus! Do you have to wear a fucking sign now a days that actually says, "LEAVE ME ALONE!!"
Of course she shouldn't have asked you anything. She should not have even trespassed into your space let alone look at your food. That's your food, right? And for her to ask you about your food? What is she looking for? A beatdown? A cap in her ass?!
But, to ignore convention, to trample on norms? To start talking to someone who is blasting loud music with earbuds on? That is inexcusable. Simply unjust. That's ignorant. That is wrong.
Yes, had there been an emergency (heart attack or aneurysm) or if she even needed a bit of assistance (like floor button or information). Only then should this creepy dame have attempted any interaction.
The appropriate response to this woman after you took your 'phones out of your ears would have been to say, in perfect English, "I'm sorry I don't speak English." Then put your 'phones back in and rock out!
Now for your friend "Billy." What can I say? He's probably the type to ignore all the modern social signs, trample on norms and start talking to you when you're stuck on the tarmac at O'Hare International for three hours while you're sitting the middle seat of a 737 en route to a family funeral. Middle of a ice storm. The funeral is in China. Everyone can hear Brutal Truth leaking out of your Bose® noise canceling headphones and you're wearing a sweatshirt that reads, "LEAVE ME ALONE!!"
Billy grin and ask, "Did you get peanuts or almonds?" Because he's "reaching out."
You'd miss your flight because you, several other passengers, the flight attendant, and the pilot would beat the shit out of that guy for being too overly positive.
Listen. You are right. The elevator woman is wrong. Billy is wrong. You are right. I agree with you. That's my take.
Or, your just bitter, mean, and old...like me.
Just a guess.
O.K. look. I have to come clean about a few things.
I am in A huge fucking mess. I'm in the middle of a massive break up. My girlfriend is moving out. It's just a huge mess. I have done everything within my power to never mention my personal relationship in all the time that I have been doing this blog, but considering the situation, I can't dance around it forever.
My life has been in total shambles for a while now. On top of this break-up, I'm also going through a massive depression. My entire family (consisting of three other people total) has gone to all hell. The chance of at least one of us HAVING to move in with another is now 2 : 1. I live daily in a fucking personal hell, and here I am having to do my best to pretend that I've still got my head above water.
I know how depression and misery work. I know that NO ONE wants to hear about how fucked up and down another person is. I know that my blogs go a lot better when I am manic and loving life. That's just it. I don't have a lot to offer in general, but I can promise this. I will ALWAYS be genuine.
So that leaves me in a mess of a situation. Day after Day I face my demons and I face how low my life has sunken. How awful it has become. And day after day I have to write here and try my best to avoid the real life facts.
Biker's have one thing right: FTW.
So here I am. In the fucking muck again. Up to my waste in Dark Water. Going to sleep alone, clutching pillows, waking up to demons, or worse, waking up to the new day.
I've been going through mental highs and lows for a long time. Sometimes they correspond with real life. Sometimes they are connected only to a sick game going on in the mind. It's always real to me, but for years and years and years, I've always just hid away for weeks and weeks at a time until it passed. I would just wait around until I felt healthy and active again. Then I would be able to pull off enough work to get me through troubles that were bound to be up ahead again. But with the blog, I have to try to pull it together every day. I have a hard time faking it. The closest I have come was by posting older pre-fab blogs, like the cult banger one. That is the type of thing I have to do on a day where I couldn't say anything positive if I tried.
Well here I am, and here I stand. Maybe I will just put up pictures on days where I can't pull off anything else. Maybe you know my feeling. It's really hard to work against my mood. My heart and soul. It's hard to show all of your life failures to the world.
So... I was going to write more about theses things that torment me, you know? But I've been thinking a lot about it, and it doesn't make any since for me to sit here telling you about them. You either know what I'm talking about or you don't. If you are the one in a hundred thousand person that IS familiar with it/them, then my heart goes out to you. It's horrible, but you know that.
What a nightmare. Fuck.
And I know all about what scientist and doctors say about this whole thing. I don't agree. At all.
I don't agree that all of us who suffer from waking up to these monsters would ALL hallucinate the same exact thing.
There are a lot of reasons you may want to label me as crazy, but this isn't one of them. This is war, and I have no way of winning it.
So here I am in that Limbo. Fighting an ageless fight and losing it.
But it always makes listening to Mazzy Star that much better. I was going through a phase like this before back in Boston, and it resulted in the gay couple down the street calling my landlord to complain that I had been listening to "Midnight Train to Georgia" on repeat play, full volume all night every night.
So here's to anyone that ever put too much faith in me. I'm sorry that I let you down, but I can only carry so much weight. I just can't be what everyone wants me to be. I can't even be what I want me to be.
OK, that s a really raw posting. It's interesting that I've never been able to just throw it all out like that. Instead I use metaphor, simile, device, and other methods to convey how I've felt.
This political season is shaping up to be either very exciting or extraordinarily annoying. Probably annoying.
Dunno if I'll stick it out or not (depending on how annoying it becomes) because it's such farce; such bullshit.
Who'll be the respective nominee? Who'll win? Who cares!
I have a hard time comprehending that Ike Turner was 76. It's true. Black people don't age [Dave knows a couple of black people].
[clicky von Wiki]
[clicky a la Pitchfork]
The Art of Retouching----------
On Dec 12, 2007 6:30 AM, ty wrote:
The "art" of "retouching".... I suppose; but most commercial photography drives me nuts. I get it, but what's the purpose? I learned some of those techniques...used some of those techniques (like fixing neighbor girl’s chapped lips for Christmas card photos I made). But, this regression to a dishonest mean?
Which is why I really like super-realism. Why I try to shoot w/minimal retouching (mostly contrast corrections only - in general).
Like here [clicky], I could clean that nose just as easy as snapping magic Photoshop fingers. But, that nose is priceless.
Like Kern and Naz:
On Dec 12, 2007 10:56 AM, Ricky wrote:
I like the website because, for me, it unmasks the frauds that show up in magazines and online. I'm not that tuned in to retouching so a lot of times I take what I see in photos at face value. Whoops.
Your comments highlight another issue though. I suspect what you're reacting against is not the tool of retouching. It's just a tool. Just yesterday you were using a tool (fuzzy focus) to create the illusion of miniaturization - a deviation from the real world. I suspect what you're reacting against is this guy's ends rather than his means. His ends are to create a unrealistic and unattainable beauty (Bigger Boobs! Smoother Skin!) that make us feel inadequate and promotes hyper-consumerism. But the tool itself could be used for much more interesting ends (a la Merkley???).
And what that makes me think of is two kinds of art.
1) Art that reveals the world for what it is (booger nose); and----------
2) Art that creates the illusion of fantasy - or the world for what it isn't. In the first category we put photojournalism, field recordings, Kern, Naz, Dorethea Lange, etc. In the other we put Merkeley, Alice Cooper, David Bowie (music and image), George Bush in cowboy boots, RuPaul, abstract impressionism....eh...you know what? I just got bored of my own topic.
On Dec 12, 2007 11:32 AM, ty wrote:
Ha! You go bored with your own topic. I suspect that is because you realized you were preaching to the deacon.
The miniaturization (gradient masking and contrast/color blasting) thing is a exercise; something I wanted to learn. It's a technique that I will file in the arsenal for use when it makes sense to me and to my context.
I'll end it with this: nice call with Dorothea Lange. Love that shit (Hank actually gave me a Lange collection book a couple of years back).
But yeah, as I discover and evolve my so-called "style" in photography (or picture taking since I'll never be a photographer - Kwiatkowski is a photographer) I do want to learn some things. I've smoothed skin and removed unpleasant elements to create not fantasy but "better reality." I know how to do that. But I'm not gonna do it for a living. That's radio pop.
Neither though am I a photojournalist. I’m just exploring.
See this shit. It's for real (it's like my going to the police academy on acid) - storytelling:
On Dec 12, 2007 11:48 AM, Dave wrote:
2 of 4, half of a third of a dozen of another, it's all the same.
"It's hard when you understand the process but cannot impact it anymore."
"That hits the nail perfectly...and that's what makes it so epically sad. I feel like the country is the Grinch's sleigh, all loaded up and dangling off the tip of Mount Crumpet. And even if the corporate-politico-Grinch's heart grew three sizes and he raced back into town with all our hopes and dreams...all the Who's in America-ville wouldn't be out in the town square singing and welcoming him. They'd be in their Barcaloungers® watching America's Top Model® and washing down pork rind cupcakes with flourescent Gatorade®."
Today he jumped really high and landed very quietly.
What did you do?
- Danny in Massachusetts
Ty: Good question and an even better observation, Dan. This fall? No, Danny. It's not just this fall....
Yes, white on white crime is a way of life here in America. Whether it's blowing shit up (Oklahoma City) or the standard shoot-up-crowded-public-places variety, white men (in particular) love to kill. White men are in an historical quest to be the best-est killers ever. Shoot a deer, quail, or buffalo? Whatever. Shoot up a school/mall/church and then you're historic.
Dude. If I had a dollar for every time I wished (in particular situations) that I were white (or looked white and male in order to get perceived respect or to optimize situations), I'd have a million dollars and would for all intents and purposes be white (it's a money thing).
Don't hate yourself for being born into pole position. Enjoy your male whiteness (I would) and use your powers for good. Because you can. You have that option.
Oh, and some whites (men in particular) like to kill blacks too. It's just a thing. Human males (in particular) have a killing thing. Women aren't necessarily like that. Oh, and the Native American peoples...uh...Chinese and Japanese...uh, yeah.
And remember, culturally, we're way over the whole black-on-black crime thing so when a mall gets shot up it certainly trumps the old-school drive-by. With a dwindling black population, that doesn't make "news" because it's a dead marketing demographic. No money in it.
But, yeah. Just a guess.
Time magazine's #1
I mean I've been watching Achewood grow and mainstream for a long, slow while [yes, "mainstream" the verb], but this is probably past where I can still say I'm a fanboy; pushing product like crack on them corners. I've contributed lots of money (via merch sales), I've had meaningful conversations with Mr. Onstad, and I've nicknamed my firstborn "Ray Smuckles."
But, we may have to depart bittersweet...into the ether. Just ask RHCP, Apple, VW, and Salon. I'm so over them all (and got "out" before it got "popular"). I'm still involved with these folks, but I'm not pushing their product.
Congratulations Chris and family and cast. I wish you nothing but continued success and plenty of sweet, sweet money. I'll still be in the audience though (wearing my early merch like authentic Led Zeppelin Tour '77 black tees). It's just...too many people know now. Like Vice magazine/VBS. Like Pitchfork. Like Zefrank. Remember The Onion? You're just too "cool" now. And, that's just not me. I love you and I'm proud of you, Achewood.
It's not you, Chris. It's me. I've cred to maintain. No, really, I'm happy for you. I'll call...when you're post-cool/post-hip. See ya' on the down-slope.
[Oh, and sorry but I had to remove you from the LINKS nav]
New York Times Magazine
December 9, 2007
By JOEL LOVELL
It seems that sitting in the left lane, engine idling, waiting for oncoming traffic to clear so you can make a left-hand turn, is minutely wasteful — of time and peace of mind, for sure, but also of gas and therefore money. Not a ton of gas and money if we’re talking about just you and your Windstar, say, but immensely wasteful if we’re talking about more than 95,000 big square brown trucks delivering packages every day. And this realization — that when you operate a gigantic fleet of vehicles, tiny improvements in the efficiency of each one will translate to huge savings overall — is what led U.P.S. to limit further the number of left-hand turns its drivers make.
The company employs what it calls a “package flow” software program, which among other hyperefficient practices involving the packing and sorting of its cargo, maps out routes for every one of its drivers, drastically reducing the number of left-hand turns they make (taking into consideration, of course, those instances where not to make the left-hand turn would result in a ridiculously circuitous route).
Last year, according to Heather Robinson, a U.P.S. spokeswoman, the software helped the company shave 28.5 million miles off its delivery routes, which has resulted in savings of roughly three million gallons of gas and has reduced CO2 emissions by 31,000 metric tons. So what can Brown do for you? We can’t speak to how good or bad they are in the parcel-delivery world, but they won’t be clogging up the left-hand lane while they do their business.
Guy on his cell phone: "He gave me antibiotics."
Guy again (louder): "Antibiotics, he gave me antibiotics!"
Same guy (Even louder - screaming magically makes up for poor reception): ANTIBIOTOCS, HE GAVE ME ANTIBIOTICS - ONE EACH DAY FOR A WEEK!"
(loses reception -- dials back)
Same guy again: "No, he just said the antibiotics would take care of whatever it is."
This supersedes all previous notices.
Look and learn jealous suckas:
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY
Aso Rock villa, Asokoro District,
DIPLOMATIC CASH IMMUNITY PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
Based on our investigation department, we wish to warn you against some
Miscreants, Hoodlums and touts who go about scamming innocent people by
claiming to be who they are not and thereby tarnishing the image of this
I am Lt General James Morgan (Rtd), National Security Adviser to the new
Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua. I am delighted to inform you that
the contract panel, which just concluded its sitting in just
released your name amongst contractors to benefit from the Diplomatic
Immunity Payment. This Panel was primarily delegated to investigate
manipulated contract claims, contracts and over-invoiced payment as the
effect has eaten deep into the economy of our dear country.
However, we wish to bring to your notice that your contract profile is
still reflecting in our central computer as unpaid contractor while
auditing was going on. Your contract file was forwarded to my office by
the auditors as unclaimed fund, we wish to use this medium to inform you
that for the time being Federal Government of Nigeria have stopped further
payment through bank to bank transfer due to contractors numerous
petitions to against on wrong payment and diversion
of contract funds to different accounts.
In this regards, we are going to send your contract part payment of
20Million USD. To you via our accredited shipping company through
diplomatic cash delivery down to our door step and I have secured every
needed document to cover the money while the diplomat will get it
delivered to you right in your doorstep.
Note: The money is coming on two security proof boxes. The boxes are
sealed with synthetic nylon seal and padded with machine as metallic trunk
boxes. Please you don't have to worry for anything, as the transaction is
100% risk free. The boxes are coming with a Diplomatic agent who will
accompany the boxes to your house address. All you need to do now is to
send to me, your full house address and your identity such as,
international passport or drivers license and your mobile phone and
telephone number, The Diplomatic Agent will travel with it. He will call
you immediately he arrives to your country's airport. I hope you
As soon as the above-mentioned details are received, your payment will be
made to you via diplomatic courier delivery in accordance to World Bank,
United Nation and IMF recommendations. A diplomat with international
travel immunity will be contracted to deliver the fund at your doorstep.
Kindly get back to me today also with the requested information so that we
can proceed on this matter as soon as possible.
1) Your full name.
2) Phone, fax and mobile #.
3) Company name, position and address.
4) Profession, age and marital status.
5) Copy of int'l passport, drivers license, or any valid ID card via
Bear in mind that the diplomat does not know the original contents of the
boxes. What l declared to them as the contents is Sensitive Photographic
Film Materials for security reasons/valuable material of your personal
effect. I did not disclose it as money to them please. If they call you
and ask you the contents please tell them the same thing Ok. Call me on my
direct phone +234-703-100-8675 or email and I will let you know how far I
have gone with the arrangement. I will secure the Diplomatic Immunity
Clearance Certificate (D.I.C.C), which will make him pass every custom
checkpoint all over the world without any hitches.
Confirm the receipt of this message and send the requirements to me
immediately because your boxes are scheduled to leave as soon as we hear
Lt General James Morgan (Rtd).
National Security Adviser to the President
DIPLOAMTIC CASH DELIVERY DOWN TO YOUR DOORSTEP
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The only reason I even witnessed this sideshow is because the Redskins happen to be my local team and the game was broadcast locally.
Anyway, without going into depth (because others have done that: clicky), just let me mention that Bryant Gumbel is so goddamn bad at this gig I couldn't really turn away. It was great comedy.
It sounded like Martha Stewart wandered into the wrong studio and was forced at gunpoint (Collinsworth on gun) to do the broadcast. It was all blown calls, no insider knowledge of the game, and that terrible high-pitched voice.
Here is my monthly plea for photo advice from the "Original" King of Leisure, Ty Hardaway. First off all, of the Middlespace Monopoly you preside over –- come to think of it I like "The Middlespace Kingdom" you rule over better -- is off the hook. Fucking righteous shit really, and also easy to get lost in. I end up with so many multitude of synopsis firing and so many great ideas that the Real work gets lost in the shuffle.
I especially liked [recently]:
Tree 1994And of course your piece on Crows. You’re right; a group of birds that cruise around in a gang called a "murder" is hard. I mean come on...and of course daily shots.
Prosperity 1998 (#1) (#2)
At any rate, back to the real business at hand…clearly you’re working with a couple different lenses here as your close up shit is extra crisp. How do you that, what do you pack? I'd like to invest in a Canon D80 but it's priced out of my market. The new hype Canon is pushing is their D40, a pro camera that anyone can use. This new shit is unreal. [I know] a photojournalist for the SF Chronicle and the amount of technology he uses is ludicrous. Anyway, it seems the thing is interchangeable lenses (which I had a bunch of before cameras turned into computers). Anyway more ranting than question asking.
Totally dug East Summer West and Christine McGuinness. Solid idea, solid shots. Any plans for another? Or to a lesser extent, how did you come up with the themes? I’d love to have a weekly working theme as it's always a challenge to go out and look for something that happens to be your interpretation of the Theme or Phrase. Send them this way!
My site currently is nothing more than an over glorified Flickr account and I’m sometimes embarrassed to post some of the stuff I put up there. The "working" idea behind The Fifty Grand Project is to start a Website Collective of Photojournalist and raise money (at least 50 grand) to be used in a project similar to "Born into Brothels" (info on which can be found at Kids with Cameras link), in which youth are given cameras and encouraged to take photos of their environment. Working with kids down in Oakland and Hayward helped me realize that their innocence is a byproduct of having seen all the shit that goes down. And I thought they were better, stronger, kinder people than most people you or I know. So I guess the working idea is to pitch the same kind of project but instead of concentrating on other countries I'd like to concentrate domestically and make an impact, record, conveying the issues through the eyes of these "less fortunate" (as my lame ass boss liked to say) individuals. Anyway just kicking it around.
I applied to and got into The Academy of Art (for photography) set tentatively for Summer 2008. I hate school and haven't figured out if this is more bullshit or something I can bang out in a year or two but they do have bad ass equipment and resources…so we'll see. In the meantime I’m at work slowly trying to build my own Empire and yours is a great blueprint.
Let me know if I’m ripping off too many of your good ideas and feel free to steal, manipulate or critique anything you find at 50 Grand. Hope all is well out there and looking forward to chopping it up with you.
PS - I just got a couple prints from The Library of Congress where you apparently can look at all the archived photos and then have them duplicated for under 10 bucks. All kinds of cool shit there.
PPS - Directly after reading your advice (which was well received) on approaching people for shots I ran into an award winning photo in the town square/park up in Healdsburg. It was these three old-timer farm workers (at one time or another) chilling three deep on a park bench shooting the shit like old dudes do and they must do every week. In black and white it would have been a great shot. So I go up to them (I was having lunch with Nancy, so I thought it was in the bag having her walk up with me) and ask and it was a nightmare. All said no and things got uncomfortable, but I told them it wasn’t a problem and sorry I asked and moved on. In retrospect I think they thought I was an INS agent or some rich ass tourist laughing at the wet-backs who trim their gardens every 3rd Thursday. But it taught me a lot. First I have to learn more Spanish. Secondly, so what? It is what it is and I respected them enough not to fire off a couple clicks AND the key is the more people you approach the better your success rate will be.
- #88, NorCal
Ty: Wow! Good questions and even better observations. Gee where to start…
Thanks for all the nice words about my work. Believe it or not, I try pretty hard. It's good to know that firstly, someone is watching, and also that my work does something for someone. And, never worry about "ripping me off." Do what you want. I don't care.
It appears that you present about six questions that I can try to respond to.
Camera Equipment: Eh! I'm not a gearhead. I don't generally talk gear. I cannot stand so-called "photographers" who talk gear. I don't know lenses and I don't know bracketing. I mean, I learned all of this stuff at some point, but it doesn't matter. If I only had the camera on my phone, it's what I would use. But, your ingratiation has softened the shell. Here is my camera list:
Canon S5 IS: Good camera, great color and contrast interpretation. That is, the images look pretty much like what I shot; what I wanted. I really like the images and the flexibility (nearly a perfect camera). Problem is, vulnerable camera it is. They break like a motherfucker. E-18. Don't bump the little fucker or you have a $400 paperweight. Good camera though. Not so good with low-ish light but good all around field and studio camera. Also, this camera has good macro and GREAT supermacro features. Good video/stereo sound. Great zoom and image stabilization.If I only had, say, $500. I might get the Olympus and the Canon. That way you're set. Digital SLRs are great (if someone else is paying for the equipment), but it's all bulky, pretentious, and expensive to operate.
Nikon D50: I got this bad boy when the D40s were just released. So it was a steal at around $400. I have three lenses: the stock 18-55mm that came with it which is fine but not the sharpest lens. I have a big-ass 70-300mm zoom. A monster but quite clear. And, I have a vintage (manual only) f2.8 28mm prime. I generally use the Nikon for studio work or field work (the big-ass lens). Not so good with low light. The built-in flash sucks.
Olympus FE-230: This $170 wonder takes more than half-way decent shots. Good with low-ish light. Good color and contrast interpretation. And, very good macro and supermacro features. Plus it's about the size of a flip-phone or an iPod. You can pack it anywhere. It as decent video and sound too.
New Ideas: I'm not a photographer. I'm an experiential artist. I do what comes to me. It might be written, photographed, blogged, or musical but I just go with the flow. But, I still struggle with inspiration and fight myself over output. So, I have nothing for you. If you feel it try it.
Weekly Working Theme: The themes for East Summer West came from friends and others. Christine and I sent a note asking people to participate then we each shot, from our individual perspectives, most of the themes.
I also struggle with 'what to shoot.' I never have an idea and just roll with the gut. I'm happy to lob a theme or two at you from time to time (like, "Naked Women") but I probably can't do it weekly since I'm bound to be onto something different at a moment's notice. You never know when an album is ready to happen. But, yeah, here's your first topic: Naked Women.
Fifty Grand: I like Fifty Grand. And I very much like a bunch of your shots. These in particular:
The first shot in Desolation Wilderness is rad.So, my advice here is keep it up. Keep shooting. Develop contexts even artificial contexts - it gives you something to work with. Find your style. Be bold. You can do what you with with regard to higher purpose. That is, your ambition to get cameras in kids' hands. But you know, develop your personal Empire before you expand. You're young. If you can go to art school, do it. Keep writing too.
At the Track has huge potential but falls just short for me. I get it though.
The Usual Suspects is great.
The first two shots of Small Town are brilliant.
And, there are others.
School: If you can afford it, go to art school. Not necessarily to learn anything (which you will), but to be inspired and competitive with other artists. It's the exposure that will expand you. It's also a good line for any prospectus/résumé to have "art school" on there. I don't have that. I applied to and decided not to go to art school on two occasions. It just wasn't in the cards at the time, but I always wish I could've. It's a good network to penetrate.
Shooting People: Yeah, there are instances where you get the emphatic "No!" I've been there. Recently, I was in D.C. and this crazy black dude was kicking the shit out of a pay phone. There was no time to ask so I started to shoot. Before I could get a shot off, the guy noticed and emphatically declared, "Nigga, put that motherfucking camera away! No pictures of my ass. Get the fuck out of here!" All I said was, "OK" and kept walking. Sometimes it doesn't happen. But, keep trying.
Also, you were with someone. You may have tried the Power Of Two method. Have the person ostensibly "pose" kind of near your farm worker subjects and simply shoot past her. Here's where a good telephoto lens is helpful. You pose your confederate. Make it look like you are dumb tourists and just shoot over their shoulder or just past their waist. If you set up right, nobody notices.
Try this as an exercise: Shoot a picture of yourself once daily for a month.
Just a guess. - Ty
I take a bunch of pictures all year and try to put them into a "favorite" context year after year.
Why? Dunno. Maybe I'm defective. Please don't kill me over these. I did two passes of the thousands of images and this is what stuck.
So, I bit the bullet and just beat them out.
Mine is a world, apparently, where few people smile and where stuff is more than just stuff.
Here's my conversation at the drive through:
McDonalds® (order speaker/mic interface): ***crackle*** Hoeas lhahs os adfoe ***crackle***Funny. This was in my bag:
Me: Excuse me?
McDonalds: ***crackle*** How may I adjf;al you? ***crackle***
Me (deliberately efficient and clear): Hello [I always say "hello"], may I buy [I always ask to "buy" or "purchase" rather than "have" or rather than just ordering] one six-piece chicken nugget Happy Meal® --
McDonalds: What drink?
Me: Apple Juice.
McDonalds: OK. Anything else?
Me: Yes, I'd also like to buy a Fruit and Walnut Snack-sized Salad® and two hamburgers.
McDonalds: First window.
McDonalds (at first window): Hold on.
Me: OK [snow falling into car and rolling window up and down trying to decide to be ready for transaction or to keep snow and cold out of the car]....
McDonalds: Happy Meal®?
Me: Yes, and--
McDonalds: Something else?
Me: Yes. As I ordered, one six-piece chicken nugget Happy Meal® with apple juice, one Fruit and Walnut Snack-sized Salad® and two hamburgers.
McDonalds: $6.32 [or whatever]. Next window.
McDonalds (at second window): [Hands bag with happy meal and apple juice] Thank you.
Me: Uh, I ordered other stuff.
Me: I ordered other things.
McDonalds: [Has no idea what I'm saying...doesn't speak English -- goes and gets drive-through guy from first window]
Me: Hi. I ordered other stuff.
McDonalds: [In broken English] No you didn't.
Me: Yes, I did. Maybe you didn't hear me or maybe it wasn't packed, but I really did [I hand receipt back through window - drive-through guy disappears and second window woman looks at me - stares at me - snow is entering car]
McDonalds (drive-through guy): You didn't get everything? [First window guy and second windo woman stare at each other for what seems like a full 30-seconds - it's cold, it's snowing]
Me: No. [More staring]
Me: Manager please.
McDonalds (second window woman): Huh?
McDonalds (doesn't understand English): Huh?
Me: Can you get a man-i-yer?
--Short wait-- [snow falling into car and rolling window up and down trying to decide to be ready for transaction or to keep snow and cold out of the car]
McDonalds (manager guy): Hi.
Me: Hi. Here's the deal. In order to maintain efficiency and flow, you need to put your best person on drive-through. You really need someone who can speak English and solve problems quickly. If you're putting a trainee on window, you need to have someone there to supervise so you don't have this situation happen. I realize that you go through employees rapidly but this trial-by-fire method of so-called "training" doesn't work because you're going to run into people who are a lot meaner than me. In fact, I don't really care except that I'm sitting here in the cold -- and my daughter is getting cold -- and you're treating me like a mope because you cannot adequately staff your franchise.
McDonalds (manager guy): Sorry.
Me: "Sorry" isn't necessary. Please learn something and perhaps you can prevent this situation in the future.
McDonalds (manager guy): Sorry.
On one hand it was good to "hear" from people and check off some of those boxes.
On the other hand Attic Day is a motherfucker. Because we all die, that's why. Some of us suffer prolonged lung/liver diseases and s.l.o.w.l.y. die while our dearest friends sit by and watch the TeeVee with us because the whole process of dying is so completely absurd that trying to dig up poignancy is even more ridiculous. I mean, what, we're suppose to suddenly "get" what this was all about? Nope.
Or, we fall through a chimney in Chinatown and plummet down 12 goddamn floors of darkened elevator shaft (and darkened is key because that descent is both timeless and endless). No time to figure it all out there, right? Or is there? All you can get out is, "Are you fucking serious? This is how I go? How embarrassing! People are going to pity me for being the subject to this ridiculous accident. They're going to say stupid shit like, 'She's somewhere better now' or 'hopefully it didn't cause much pain.' 'Will this increase the value of my art?'"
We die. Live it up, suckers because you're going to die.
So, take all your Account Manager titles and your slimey Purell® brand hand sanitizer hands and do something. Make something. Love something. Go somewhere. Get over yourselves Working Heroes of America. Have a thought and have an opinion...on me.
Until Blogger fixes this now known bug, I've gone back and hand-edited these posts so you can see them. And I will hand-edit new posts until the bug is fixed.
No biggie. Just changing a couple of lines of code...directory stuff.
UPDATE: Looks like it's now fixed.
"There are approximately 30 million surveillance cameras in the United States capturing covert images of average Americans as much as 200 times a day. They’re watching in department stores, gas stations, changing rooms, public bathrooms—seemingly no one and nowhere is free from the dispassionate eye of the hidden camera. LOOK lets you do just that: several interweaving storylines are expanded over the course of a random week in a random city…with all action experienced from the point of view of the security cameras."
Philadelphia Police have ruled out foul play after a bizarre death in Center City Sunday.
Authorities said a 27-year-old Maryland woman fell 12 stories to her death inside an apartment building at 11th and Arch Streets.
Police believe the victim was on the roof of the building when she fell into a chimney, which collapsed and sent her plunging down an elevator shaft, police said.
The woman, whose name was not released last night, was on the roof of the building near 10th and Arch Streets with five friends when she fell back into a brick chimney.
I'm not understanding this "all the rage on the interwebs" supposed holiday E-cards. I mean, is it like, be happy 'cuz you're not dead or something?
But, the magic is that I was reminded; wished a Happy Attic Day.
So, Happy Attic Day to yuns all. Take a look around, take stock. Email someone you haven't talked to in more than a year. Look at yourself naked in the mirror. Eat a cake. Drink a toast. Make some art.
Me? I'm going to go fold laundry whilst listening to Ween on headphones. Then it's time for more coffee.
Party of Putin Poised to Win Russian Vote
European Group Won’t Monitor Russian Vote
US Urges Russia to Probe Election Violations
International Observers Will Monitor Vote Counting
Ex-KGB Put in Charge of Russian Vote Security
Putin Accuses U.S. of Meddling in Russian Vote
Putin Party Wins Russian Election
Bush won't Call Putin Following Vote
Putin’s Last Realm to Conquer: Russian Culture
3. From my white male friend in the New England:
Don't forget, too, that the incident at Hillary's HQ in New Hampshire should be recognized for what it depicted: Terrorism in Amerika is by WHITE MEN IN SUITS! I loved it, a fucking straight-looking white guy in a tie. Could not have been better.
Who the fuck cares if he got fucked by the entire priesthood, the symbol is there: White men suits = terrorism! I fucking love it. It's the symbol, man. Imagine the reverse: Some Mexican undocumented father pressed to the breaking point by rich white republicans trying to isolate them from Amerikan society, or worse, an Middle Eastern person -- all of a sudden middle amerika would be in lockdown and Mississippi police would be pulling over anyone with dark skin -- ****** might even lose his new job!
Even my stupid little town. I keep wondering when some city counsellor will have the nuts to go to a meeting without wearing a suit.