Monday, December 31, 2007

Graffiti, Minneapolis, 1983

This was spray painted on the wall near my crappy apartment building
off Franklin Street in Minneapolis. It was a rough neighborhood, filled with a weird mix of immigrants, native Americans and low rent artist types like myself and my sweetie at the time.
It reads:
"You must have a flaming moral purpose, so that greed, oppression and exploitation shrivel before the fire within you"
Never has that quote made more sense to me than right now.
This country has moved into ugly, dangerous territory, a time when rich thugs own the news and piss on the idea of truth, when greed has become a virtue, and when ideas like the rule of law and the common good have been made into a joke by the thugs running the country for their own uses.
I think the coming economic and environmental shit storm is going to change the way we deal with authority, and I sure as hell hope we can get some of the things we used to be back.
I don't want things to fall apart, but damn, I'm sure getting nervous waiting for it to happen.

Joyce, 1986

Shot on a 4x5 view camera, natural light in the
Witzel Street studio.
She makes the best apple pie, ever. She grows huge gardens full of flowers, and she's passionate, intense, sometimes cranky and even though we don't talk that much because we moved far apart, my life would be a hell of a lot more boring without her and her kid Emma in it.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Father, His Pet Bear, and His Fishing Posse

My father is the guy in the center, with the baseball hat.
I think this was around 1963.
My dad would be considered pretty intense these days, the way he spent his life hunting, fishing, working and laughing harder than anybody around him.
He could yell, argue and give dirty looks pretty well too.
He and his pals would go up into Canada, up to Lake Nippigon with some pals every year to haul home big loads of fish.
One day he and his buddy caught a bear, out there fishing for pike or whatever else would bite. They saw this little bear swimming around in the middle of now where alone, and decided to rescue it.
That's the story they told us, anyway. They smuggled it back across the border, sound asleep in a gunny sack behind the driver's seat of the family Station Wagon, and my dad kept it as a pet in a spare room we had in the basement for about six months.
It made us popular in school that year, We'd say to our schoolmates, Hey, wanna come see our pet bear?
My dad would take it out on walks in the yard on a chain, let it climb around on the scrub trees in our yard, feed it bakery and donuts leftover from the big commercial bakery up in Appleton.
I remember that bear biting at the chain, trying to bite my dad through thick gloves, and I don't doubt he did bite my old man, who would have just shrugged it off with a grin and a band aid.
Eventually my mom decided the bear should go or she would, since it was getting pretty big and was between her and the washing machine, and they gave it to a game farm in Northern Wisconsin.
All that bear did for the rest of it's life is screw other bears, eat candy and live a life of captive leisure. It got huge, fat and older than dirt as far as bears go, and sure seemed content.
I know a lot of guys that would love to just eat, screw and lay around all day, and I think they wouldn't mind the cage either if it had cable and a wide screen TV.

Sometimes people don't believe us when we tell them about the bear in the basement. This photo is from my dad's photo album, a crumbling book filled with only photos of his hunting and fishing exploits. He loved his family, but the only thing that he ever seemed to take photos of was things he killed.

I feel like I grew up in a John Irving novel when I think about how strange my home life was. That's a good thing.

Soo, Marcy's House, 1989

It was cold as hell outside. We shot a bunch of photos early in the morning in Marcy's guesthouse, then went out for breakfast.
I miss Soo, or Sue or whatever she calls herself these days. She was a great model and a good friend.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

This Man Roasts All The Good Coffee I Drink

Mathew at my Solstice Party that I did not blog about.
He roasts almost all the coffee down at EVP, the place that I spend at least three h0urs a week in drinking coffee and yakking at my tribe. We've gotten quite the table full of strange people built up over the last four or five years, a real mix of all sorts of dykes, firefighters, poets, musicians, teeth gnashers and political activists and cranks and loons.
They also make the best damn espresso, anywhere. I know, I lived in Seattle for six years, and the only place that came close was Coffee Messiah or Cafe Vivachi on Capital Hill.
Mathew is also a musican, enjoyable freak and very sweet guy.

Merry Christmas, What's That Burning Smell?

The Charred Remains of my Coffee Maker1997-2007
So, you wake up at home on Christmas morning, just me and sweetie lounging around watching Charlie and The Chocolate factory, waiting for the coffee to be done. Your nose picks up the scent of burning plastic, and, being more awake than you thought you were, you stumble down the stairs at high speed, walk into the kitchen and look to see what's going on.
You look out into the sunroom and see two feet of black smoke above two feet of grey brown smoke, and see that the switch on the ancient coffee maker you've been trying to wear out before buying a new one has decided to short out and melt the whole damn thing, then light fire to the melted remains, the plastic tablecloth it's sitting on, and is about to light fire to the whole house, and you think three things.
Then you spend the rest of the day airing the house out, cleaning the sunporch and thinking about just how much too close to disaster you were.
On the plus side, my firefighter pal did give me a new fire extinguisher this afternoon, and said I did ok.
And I thought this christmas was going to be drama free because I stayed home with sweetie and didn't do blood family stuff. Go figure.
And yes, I know I should have not waited so long to blog again, Tom. What can I say, I'm a bum.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

My New Computer Fan Being Humped By A Punk Barbie Clone

My new motherboard and my favorite Barbie Get It On

My computer died last week. After ten years of using the same box and five or so of the same motherboard and chip, it just died. No sparks, no drama, it just refused to get out of bed and be something usefull, dambitt!
It's puritan work ethic died, or maybe the endless hours of my life I spent pissing it away reading blog posts and depressing things made it just stroke out.
So Kori and I have spent the last week froggin' around with building a new one, one with more hard drive space in a new box.
I'm going to sort of miss that big ugly tower box my old roomate gave me in Seattle, all painted up with gold sunbursts like a cheap Japanese electric guitar from the early sixties.
But I'm hoping the new one works as long, and it's sort of sexy in a black gleaming darth vader sort of way.

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