Monday, November 26, 2007


some days you find the stench
in your mental existential trench
some days are like shoveling dirt
heavy wet dirt until your arms hurt
fall days can be sweet
the cool air makes
pie and coffee
a treat
but these gray skies
make me want
to accept defeat
my body aches
from my arms down to my feet
and it seems like

the cloud filled days
are stuck on repeat
this too shall pass
becomes your mantra

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I sometimes think the human brain is like a giant thrashing machine. We dump loads of stuff into it, be it Jenifer Lopez videos or limericks or old phone numbers and odd little bits of semi-worthless knowledge, and sometime later it shakes out into something that might actually make some sense. Might be turned into art or some form of expression our screwed up human pool of knowledge might find some beauty or use for.
Sometimes I think I've trained myself to think in terms of guitar licks, flavors of coffee and beer, and smells like sawdust and garden dirt and peeled onions and garlic.
It's Thanksgiving day, one of the most hipocritical days we celebrate. I have ten people downstairs waiting for three or four more to show up so we can stuff our faces. I'm happy as a clam in clean mud.
Back to my tribe now. Happy dead turkey and opressive invader society day, everybody.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

William Gibson quote on his writing

You made your name as a science-fiction writer, but in your last two novels you've moved squarely into the present. Have you lost interest in the future?

It has to do with the nature of the present. If one had gone to talk to a publisher in 1977 with a scenario for a science-fiction novel that was in effect the scenario for the year 2007, nobody would buy anything like it. It's too complex, with too many huge sci-fi tropes: global warming; the lethal, sexually transmitted immune-system disease; the United States, attacked by crazy terrorists, invading the wrong country. Any one of these would have been more than adequate for a science-fiction novel. But if you suggested doing them all and presenting that as an imaginary future, they'd not only show you the door, they'd probably call security.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Big Happy Funouse, Sigourney Weavers MP3, Brewing beer

You know, it's bad enough to live in the time of Bush the Younger and his bunch of soul sucking thugs, but day two of this crappy Seattle style weather when it should be crisp and cool and blue skies really is not a happy thing.

Time to warm up the house and brew beer, I think. A trappist ale and a fine Brown Ale, Irish style.

There's something very damn satisfying about brewing. To tap a keg of your own brew on a cool fall night, kick back and crank up the tube amp and telecasterish thing really takes the edge off.

Speakin' of telecaster disaster, here's a link to an MP3 of my loud band doing a little number for your listening pleasure called Crazy Little Pixie. A recording of practice that is far from suck, I'm told.

Click on the link at the top.

I stole the photo from one of my favorite blogs, BigHappyFunhouse, run by a dude who buys and finds old photos and posts them. I love old found photos. He also advertises free pie, although I haven't been able to download it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Nice To See Your Back

Soo's Back, 1985
We had a long photographic realtionship. She was a slender young art student who was part of my art mob back in Oshkosh in the mid to late 80's.
For a long time she'd come over to the studio and we'd shoot some nudes, or we'd go off and shoot somewhere on location.
She, like a lot of people liked to drop into the photo studio I worked at, check out the new artwork we did in our off hours when we weren't photographing garbage trucks or Tampon boxes or cop shoe catalogs.
After a while she became a big part of my photographic artwork. She loved to model nude, and she was good at it.
This was one of my first times shooting with a 4x5 view camera. I really had a love/hate relationship with the big camera. It was slow, clunky and awkward, but it taught me to slow the hell down and focus on the images I wanted to make instead of just blasting away with a Nikon with a motor drive and picking the best image.
I also loved the amazing quality of the big negatives.
Ironic that here on the web they're chopped down to tiny and low res images. But when you start with that sort of quality, it still keeps a lot of mojo.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Beer Drinkers and Breweries are Lame

I like to brew my own beer, and keep it on tap in recycled soda kegs. I never have to wash bottles or bottle the beer.
But when I run out of homebrew, I like to go to Woodman's or the liquor store down the block and get the old style cases of returnable bottles. I like the idea that bottles get used over and over along with the beer cases.
But now it's getting harder and harder to find, and this trip the only beer I found was Point.
I like Point, it's not bad for a store bought lager. And I really hate the idea of using something once and tossing it. Reduce and reuse are a hell of a lot smarter than recycling.
I imagine mass market distrubution makes all of this much harder and messier, even though in the long run it's much smarter.
And I suspect a lot of consumers are too short sighted or just too lame to deal with returnables. Most people can't even remember to stick a bundle of used grocery bags in the trunk or backseat, and then have to get new bag every trip to the store.
That's fucked up. I'm not sure bitching about it matters though. I think the coming shit storm of environmental and financial problems is going to make a lot of this moot.
But at least I know how to make my own hard cider and beer when I'm totally broke...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dreadlocked Mona Lisa

Today I photographed a dozen roller derby women. I am a sucker for taking photographs of big eyed, tattoed and dread headed roller derby queens.
So I shot these very serious looking photos in between doing some very funny ones for the team.
Love that tattoo.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Motor Primitives at The High Noon

A bunch of dirty hippie peaceniks threw a benefit today at the
High Noon. The kind of people my retuglican brother thinks have "nancy pelosi liberal values".
I call them my tribe.
I think my brother's pretty stupid sometimes. Something about living in the Fox Valley makes a lot of people spiritual thugs and cranky fucks.
I think it's better to have a bleeding heart than none at all. But I'm a dirty hippie and a queer too, so what I say doesn't matter much.
John Lennon said that living is easy with eyes closed, although the clenched assholes of a lot of those same people must get sore from being scared all the time.
But anyway, my pals Pam, Robin, Jeff and Ed rocked out to raise money for the Madison Peace Coaliton, and I went down, drank fine IPA and shot these photos.
They rock, these four. I may be biased, Pam and Robin are in a band with me too.

Kori, 1996

How could you not fall in love with that face and smile?
I did a long time ago.
Shot with a 4x5 view camera using polaroid film.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Too Many Left Feet

Doll legs at Axman Surplus, Oct 2007
Some days I feel like I was made from a box of parts like this
limbs all left feet
a sewed up pile of strange human meat
stitched together like Frankenstein's monster
parts from mom
parts from my dad
all mashed up into somebody who's
less than both
more than they could have been
walked in strange places that didn't exist
in their world
I envy the simplicity of their lives
I wouldn't trade being who I am for anything
but damn, bein' my kind of queer
in this strange world sure comes with a strange
price tag.
Some days I wish I could just pay the fine and go home
find normal
then I remember it's just a setting on an iron
and thank the goddess I don't believe in
I am not simple

Friday, November 09, 2007


I I went to Woodman's today. I saw these pears, thought about how I used
to shoot photos of fruit and nude women and all sorts of stuff on
slow days at my old job at the photo studio.
So I bought these and took some photos. Tomorrow I'm going to eat my models.
It's strange to think that 20 years ago when I bought pears to eat, I never would have
wondered where they were grown, how much toxic crap had been dumped
on them to make them huge and nearly tasteless,
and if they had e-coli all over them.
Now something as simple as buying fruit is both political and possibly toxic.
I think I'm going to plant my own fruit tree in the back yard next year.

Mom's Kitchen at Camp

Mom and my Great Aunt Kell in the Kitchen at Camp
sometime around 1986
Shot with a 4x5 view camera
I grew up at a summer camp, my parents were caretakers. I worked ten summers at camp, running the riding stable, helping out in the kitchen, doing odd jobs and falling off horses and breaking bones.
Mom stayed there for decades, cooking great meals from scratch for the kids who came up, kids from broken homes or real orphans who wound up at the Catholic orphanage who owned the land.
I learned how to cook for small armies of people by watching and helping mom. I find it hard to this day to cook for less than about ten people.
Aunt Kell's been dead for years, and the Catholic Church sold the camps to pay off child sex abuse lawsuits, so this funky old and beautiful kitchen and the two thousand acres or so of land that were mostly wild are now bulldozed over for rich bastard's playgrounds in George BushCo's Amerika, but for thirty plus years, it was an amazing place to find real food.
I really fuckin' hate corporate greed pigs, republicans and religions, they wind up screwing everybody over in their sick need for money, power and control.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Another Good Sandwich

A delicious dead cow sandwich at Kate and Gracie's
in Alma, Wisconsin, October 2007
It had a very nice sauce made from marinated
Figs, Prunes, Apricots, Olives, Red Wine & spices.
I love to cook, we make most of our food from scratch to avoid all the crappy corn syrup and weird additives they put in mass market food.
So when we go out, it's usually for good beer on tap and fries. The best overall burger and fries I've had in a while I had at Mickey's over on the end of Wily St. Their sexy fries kick ass.
But when it comes to good deep fried taters and sauce, I still love the Harmony on Atwood. We go there most nights after band practice, knock down a pitcher or two of Lake Louis or Sphrecher beer, and have the hot pub chips with blue cheese dressing.
Just beware, that Lake Louis beer will fuck your shit up after the second pitcher. Tastes sooo good, and hangovers installed free!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The House on the Rock

Last month when Kori was on vacation, we finally went to The House on the Rock.
It's a freakshow of under lit crap, two and a half miles of walking through a musty house filled with hideous 60's shag carpeting and sensibilities.
I'd been there when I was in High School, we'd skipped school and driven 4 hours to see Yes in concert, then spent the day stoned our of our gourds walking around, but it's grown a lot since 1974 or so.
Whole new buildings devoted to obsessively displaying oddly arranged crap have sprung up since then.
Every room in the house felt like some overweight hipsters had had strange and bland orgies in it, like a mob of paunchy swingers had shed their sansabelt polyester slacks and ugly vinyl leather looking jackets to get down and dirty on some bored housewife.
Once you're through the house they send you on one or two more tours, depending on how strong your ability to absorb dark and chaotic collections of crap is.
Oddly enough, Kori and I and our pal Lisa all have high tolerances for weird.
It was like walking through a museum put together by a mentally diseased hermit who hated light and forgot all the labels.
Pretty cool, in other words, for freaks like us.
The low point for us was the never ending dollhouse that covered the last part of the tour, a low ceiling walk through smelly carpet and two billion really ugly dolls.
The high part was the Carousel pictured above, and the room full of angels hanging from the ceiling.
Hundreds of mannequins with wings all done up in cheesy white robes, and that carousel had hundreds of lurid or freakish carved animals on it.
You can't ride it, but it sure does knock your senses into hammered shit.
Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, and he wrote one of my favorite books, American Gods. Most of the book takes place in Wisconsin, and he wrote a terrific scene about how the carousel room was a door between worlds.
It sure felt like it he was right standing there in that strange room.
I don't ever need to go back there again. Maybe in another thirty five years if I still walk the earth.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Free Floating Sense of Dread

Kori and Martye walking near Lake Nebagamon, Oct 2007
Today is the second day of the switch to Daylight savings time. That's a fucked up idea, that we could save daylight by pushing clocks around. All it seems to do is push people's moods around.

It's sure pushing mine, and I am not alone, judging by the mood of my tribe.

I'm not sure it's all because today is grey, short and because somebody decided to take an hour away from all of us with a decree. There's more to it than just an hour.

Maybe it's fall, short days making me feel like hunkering down, the cold air changing my mood.

But I have had a low level free floating sense of dread in the back of my mind for a while now, a sense of impending and world wrenching change that fills me with nervous anticipation.

There's now over six billion humans on this world, and more every day. Cranking along sucking the big dick of global capitalism, being shut out or sucked in and feeling things are slowly going to hell.
In our country alone we're in two or three wars, depending on how you look at it, the third being the war being waged against common sense, hope and love being waged by the rethuglicans and BushCo. Corporations.
There's some serious shit coming down at us both economically and ecologically, too.
We're all going to have to learn to join forces, build alternative tribes and learn to live locally and grow more of our own food. I really think we're in for a great depression of our own that's going to make the last one seem like a bumper car ride compared to the roller coaster that is ahead of us as a species.

But I can tell you that I am damn lucky to have my darlin', my tribe, and a sense of place among people who are paying attention and leading through their own actions. In the end, that's what will matter.

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson