Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nude, Downtown Milwaukee, 1993

She was a model who came into our studio for a commercial shoot, saw my nudes on the wall and asked me to photograph her.
Of course, I said, but where?
She says, "I got this realtor buddy in Milwaukee can get me into an empty insurance company building".
So we went, and shot photos, and it was an amazing afternoon.
Even better, we had beer and french fries afterwards.
I shot this with my giant Pentax, a big camera that took huge two by three ish negatives, printed in in a real darkroom that reeked of fixer and acetic acid and had some very good speakers left at the studio by a convicted drug dealer.
Don't miss darkrooms, at all. Photoshop and a good digital are much more immediate, and I never have to worry about film getting wrecked, or buying paper, film or chemicals.
I say, fuck the romance of film, give me instant gratification and freedom from stinky darkrooms.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Another Family Portrait

Bob and his two girls, Megan and Maddy.
Sometime around April 2003
I hated Bob for a year or two. Now I can stand to be around him, having patched up our friendship after he went FUCKING INSANE and kicked me out of his band after five years.
I gotta say, though, I don't miss the energy suck passionless bass player, though. Or the cello player who just noodles away on every song, playing the same thing and never standing out with a solo.
Not even a little bit.
I almost enjoy Bob sometimes now, oddly enough. Some days I still miss playing music with him, and Gail. She's a drum goddess.
Children are soo beautiful, aren't they?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bus Station Window, 1979

She was standing in the window of the Greyhound Bus Station on a drizzly fall day in Oshkosh, gazing out into the gray sky, off to somewhere besides the beat down town we were both in that day.
I was new to photography, taking classes at the UW, avoiding the real world by diving into college after deciding that getting an upholstery degree and working in a garage in a small backyard somewhere in northern Wisconsin was a kind of boring hell I could live without.
I had just gotten into photography, had a beat up Nikon and a wide angle lens I fell in love with.
I was messing around with sneaky camera angles, not looking through the lens and stealing photographic moments when I grabbed this shot.
I loved her braids, the fur collar coat and the way she showed in the parts of the window in the shadow of the building across the street.
About a year later, I flamed out of UW-Oshkosh, a lousy student who cared more about doing art than taking classes I never wanted to be in.
I moved back to my hometown, got a job working on my dad's logging crew running a chainsaw all winter long, or driving a log skidder in subzero weather, working running a riding stable at the summer camp I grew up at.
But I never stopped taking photos, and wound up back in Oshkosh a few years later, drawn back by a sort of twisted relationship with a woman who was too much like my father, and because my dad quit working and died that same year.
I got a job working for one of my teachers at his commercial photo studio and stayed there for another ten years, through even more messed up relationships until I got told to leave by everyone from my ex sweetie to my boss.
I pretty much gave up photography until a few years ago, settling for snapshots on vacation. The way things came apart were ugly, and for a long time I avoided it, because it stirred up too many bad feelings about how things went so wrong back in Oshkosh.
That bus station's gone, and I never did learn who that woman was.
But I am glad I took that photograph, it really captures a moment, and while I was in it, I was young and full of ideas, and as my old man would say, piss and vinegar.
Oddly enough, I spend most of my time working in the backyard in a small garage these days. But I'm building guitars and not recovering ugly ass couches from the 70's with naugahide for cranky old retired republican church ladies, and the shop garage I have now is in a community far more engaged and alive than my home town up north ever was.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Mother's hands

I I used to really groove on black and white photos. Rarely did I shoot color.
I like color better now. But I think I'm also less dramatic these days.
Being in too many bands can burn out your melodrama gland.
I think that's not such a bad thing.
Mom's 81 this year. I wonder how many people have eaten food cooked by these hands, she's been a cook since she was about 15, has run giant supper club/wedding halls, cooked a few decades at a summer camp, and met my father when she got the job as a cook at a restaurant he owned.
That was about sixty years ago, in the same small town she's living in still.
I grew up in big kitchens, surrounded by giant mixers, deep fryers and ovens, and a swarm of folks at dinner that were not blood family, and I think I'm the better off for it. It taught me early that family is more than shared DNA and blood.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bill, 1988, 2008

Hate to say it, but I think Bill and I might be getting old.
We have been hanging out together since 1983 or so.
Funny how you can look at old photos and somewhere along the line,
you realize a few decades ripped past.
I like both Bills, although the old soft furry hippie look was
my favorite.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Alien Supermodel Sweetie

Wild thing, you make my heart sing
wild thing, I think I love you

Ok, maybe she doesn't look like this to our pals.
But when you get close enough, and you have astigmatisim,
everybody looks weird when you kiss them.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Salsa Security, and Tomatoes down and up the wazoo

This morning's harvest.
Two more like this to come this season, I bet.
I loves me some BLT action. Those fat brandywines are the best, ever
for BLT sammiches.

Salsa security, my bitches. When the winter gets cold, I'm gonna heat things up with some of this six or so gallons of salsa.

That is all, now go get some kinda life and stop surfing this series of tubes.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Random Brain Flash: I Will Never Be The GOP Presidential Candidate

Any resemblance to John McCain, owner of as many as ten houses, and this young lady clutching too many dolls is purely sadistic on my part.
But I'm a bottom feeder dirty hippie, so what I say doesn't count.

Random thought of the day: I have at least four or five tire gauges. I found them cleaning the shop and the back room yesterday and this morning. While I was doing this, I took a nanosecond to remember how many houses I have, and what kind of car I drive. And since I knew the answer was that I only have one house and one car, and that I knew the make and model,I decided that I could never be a Republican candidate for President. Then again, I have to drive my car myself, and my household staff budget is several hundred thousand dollars less than some folks I read about, so maybe it's easier for me to keep track of these things.. I was once in a nine or so bicycle-cade group going to a coffee shop, though.

But it wasn't a Starbucks, and we didn't have armored bikes. And I didn't have a latte. Bleech, hate lattes and cappucinos. I thought most republicans did too, because they always talk about us Latte sippin' Volvo driving bleeding heart wannabe surrender monkey sodomite libuuurls. But I guess that's ok when John McCain wants one like he did last week.

It makes sense. Only somebody who was desperate and had no other choice, or who who has more money than sense would go drink Starbuck's charred bean infused bovine mammary secretion drinks.

Do you ever wonder if there's a lab somewhere filled with doctors and cyborg service people who perform brain-o-suction on people who run for office as Republicans? Suck out the firm moral and empathic sections of their brains and replace it with a chewy, gooey center that contains receptors for talking points?

Imagine a nonstop loop of this crap running nonstop:

Nancy Pelosi liberal values!

Saddam was a bad man!

Queers destroy marriage!

All drugs are bad!

Clinton got a blow job!

He was a P.O.W!

'nuff said. I go now, to make more salsa. Happy Sunday.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Quote of the day: Thesis or Scream?

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

I come down on the scream side. It feels better, takes less time and removes the need to put your life in the hands of college professors.

I am awash in cherry tomatoes, soon with plum tomatoes.
The brandywines are huge, at last.
My newest musical band, the MF7 played at the Frequency the other night. We Freakin' Rocked, and I am very happy.
Tonight we play at Mr. Robert's.
I hope we kick ass and take names again as well.
Rock on, my pretties. I need to go pick another bushel of tomatoes, and soon, gallons seven through nine of salsa will be canned.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Microfiction: Dirty toes and kitchen floors

She hit him like a force of nature, a hungry hippie goddess with mother
hips, waist length waves of dark hair and a face that flashed between
hungry and oddly sweet.
She'd showed up at his door, having met him the week before in a corner bar at a gig he'd been playing.
She'd caught his eye there, and her sensuality
and free spirted mojo sucked him right into her orbit.
She laid out the raw facts, her need and her desire, and took him right on
the spot. Within moments, clothes were flying, hands were groping, and they were naked on the kitchen floor, rolling about like dogs in heat. Somewhere in the back of his mind he was amused by the scent of bleach and soap coming up from the floor tiles, thinking it was better to roll around like this on something that didn't smell like spilled beer, like it had that morning.
He dragged her into the bedroom after his bony knees got rubbed raw on the kitchen floor. She didn't need much dragging, either.
The piled onto his bed, a jumble of arms and legs and kisses and urgent
needs. She climbed on top of him and did her best meat grinder imitation,
her long hair tickling his nipples, the tops of her dirty toes curling into
the bed so hard they started to get cramps in them.
He wasn't sure what to do with how he felt about this whole animal act of
lust. Her funky hippie earth mother look and wild abandon were damn
attractive, but a bit unerving to a man who had grown up in a small town,
and had been put through the Jesus wringer at an early age, loading shit
into his mind he still couldn't figure out how to totally scrub out. He's
sure poured enough bleach on that part of his head to get rid of it.
Like most animal passions, it was over fairly quick. They both laid back in
the bed and wondered just what the hell happened. He did anyway, but he
suspected that her attitude was less wound up about sex, since the whole
episode was her idea.
How, he wondered, was this going to work itself out? Once finished, the
reality of how complicated this whole thing was going to get scared him....

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Found On Craigslist Today:

The ad, not the photo I found out on the series of tubes long ago.

Hey Adam, it's me, your amp. I'm just sitting here, wondering if you're ever going to come and get me. Way back in March you left me here, just sitting in some moldy old basement. I thought you were going to pick me up eventually, but I'm still waiting. It's pretty lonely. Heard you were supposed to come two weeks ago, but you still didn't show. Then two days ago, and you still didn't show. Really, I'm starting to feel very abandoned. I'm wondering if you care about me at all. Remember when we used to rock out and pick up chicks? I'm a total chick magnet! Get it? Cause I have a speaker in me... with a magnet... yeah, I know it was a pretty gay joke. Anyway, some guy tried to sell me and you made a big fuss about it, but you still didn't come to get me. I'm really tired of waiting, and I think if I don't see you soon, I'm going to go the magical realm of Dumpsteria, where gnomes frolic in the enchanted garbage waters and mystical cardboard boxes abound! It'll be awesome. Sometimes I feel so unloved and unwanted that I think I don't belong in your world. But Dumpsteria will accept me, right? Right...?

Quote of the day: Yeats, 1919

Now days are dragon-ridden, the nightmare
Rides upon sleep: a drunken soldiery
Can leave the mother, murdered at her door,
To crawl in her own blood, and go scot-free;
The night can sweat with terror as before
We pieced our thoughts into philosophy,
And planned to bring the world under a rule,
Who are but weasels fighting in a hole.
-- Yeats, 1919 --
I have no idea who took the photo, in case you were wondering. I just found it somewhere out on the series of tubes.
It's so damn nice I'm going to go pull weeds.
This cool summer does not suck, although it's making my tomatoes take forever to turn red.
And last night, thanks to my pal curly tracy's gift of a box of early girl tomatoes, I put up the first gallon and a half of salsa.
Only ten more gallons to go....

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Lovely Kat, and My Garden at Dusk on a Yellow night

I think they're both amazingly beautiful, the garden and Kat.
Monday night's evening light was the most yellow/green looking I've seen without a hell of a storm bearing down on us.
It did not suck, nor did the cookies Kat brought over and the cactus bean salad Lisa and I made.

Not My Relatives, These Carved Heads

I got restless last winter, and started carving heads out of scrap basswood I couldn't use for guitars because if flaws in the wood.
These are the last two I carved. It's fun, but damn, it makes my fingers and wrists hurt. Ibuprofen is your best pal some days.
Yesterday I went to Milwaukee and picked up my mother at my sister's house, and drove her north to my brother's house two hours away in the Fox Valley, a place I hate with great unreasonable passion, and then drove home.
I think I understand my uncle Bud, the family curmudgeon who croaked off a decade or more ago. He'd only see the family on his terms for an hour or two, and held a lot of us in disregard.
When my sister and my mother both tell me I'm full of shit when I say something they don't understand and don't want to think through, all I can think is, what the hell is family for?
One on one, Mom and I get along great, but damn, I'm starting to really hate being around my eldest siblings. It gets downright mean sometimes, and fifty fucking years of being dismissed for thinking different has gotten old. Or maybe I got old.
Either way, I think my tribe here in town is where real family is found.
Even the ones I don't get or that bug me with personality quirks don't dismiss me as being "full of shit".
I must cogitate upon this further as I go prep the first two gallons of this summer's canned salsa.
One thing I know for sure, El Rey's Mexican grocery stores in Milwaukee are pretty damn amazing.
And when you buy a five gallon jug of beer malt extract at the Frugal Homebrewer in Waukesha, it's damn heavy and damn cheap.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Civilian Insulation Corps instead of Offshore Drilling stupidity

You know what we need in this country and world? Aside from 12 hour orgasms and more women playing electric guitars?

It's not offshore drilling scams designed to offer oil companies another way to sell futures and options to get access to even more investor money.

And a note to you chumps out there: anybody who thinks oil companies are interested in actually selling oil today when it's going to be worth so much more in a few years has been huffing gas fumes from their GOP approved Hummer.

We need a new version of the great depression era CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps, one that insulates every house in our country to the maximum it can take.

A retrained bunch of unemployed folks going around replacing light bulbs with new LCD low energy models, blowing, foaming and rolling out a superhighway's worth of pink fiberglass.
It's not like we don't have a chronically underemployed bunch of folks in this country who might like a job that means something besides working at a fast food joint or a Mallwart.

And while they're at it, they should be re-roofing every roof they can with solar panels, new and better ones designed by all the folks pissing away your tax dollars on bioweapons and new, improved nukes and stealth bombers to fight enemies we don't even have anymore.
Or wars designed to make money for the pals of our policiticans, like our Oil Money White House opportunists who are best pals with oil companies, energy scammers like Enron, and Haliburton.
But since I have been dismissed as a dirty fucking hippie by those same people in power who could do something about it and all my family members who actually still swallow the bullshit they put out, this idea will get zero traction, because nobody will listen to me but other dirty hippies.

And another thing while I'm on a rant:
I'd do if I were kicking ass and taking names locally, I'd make the Saturday Farmer's Market into a whole Square Affair, close off all the streets for most of the summer market schedule and let folks sell produce on both sides, make the middle a big pedestrian walkway for half the day.

There's been two blocks of the square closed most of the summer, and it's filled right up with musicians, artists, vendors and tons of those jerks with huge baby strollers. I can stand them when the street's open. They're not just a clog in the works.

Ok, I have to go eat some organic food fed babies now. It's best to eat low on the food chain, and those babies are sure clean meat. Like Veal, because their parents drive them everywhere, and then put them in eight wheel strollers. To keep them safe, of course. While they're pumping the carbon into the air that's fucking their future.
But I digress, and am in need of some Venture Brothers Reruns and a beverage made with rum, raspberry schnapps, lime juice, and ice. On the rocks, because my blender died from making us ethanol medications last summer. Maybe one of those SUV driving people I hate will leave a good one at Goodwill for me to buy.
Happy Sunday.

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