Saturday, April 30, 2005

post 20. the salt lake city trip -- more dogs than an online dating service.

this is an audio post - click to play

my niece, hannah. Posted by Hello

my sister on antelope island. Posted by Hello

from antelope island. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

post 15. skeletons in the closet.

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post 14. hate to say i told you so.


"Eight years into their career, the Hives rose from garage rock stalwarts to one of the trendiest bands of the early 2000s, along with the Strokes and the White Stripes. Mixing arty contrivances such as a strict black-and-white dress code and the guidance of a (possibly imaginary) Svengali named Randy Fitzsimmons with Stooges-inspired rock, the Hives -- Nicholaus Arson, Chris Dangerous, Dr. Matt Destruction, Vigilante Carlstroem, and Howlin' Pelle Almqvist -- formed in 1993 in Fagersta, Sweden, while they were still in their teens. After signing with a subsidiary of the Burning Heart label in 1995, they released their debut EP, Oh Lord! When? How?, the following year. The group switched to Burning Heart for their first full-length, Barely Legal, in 1997; that year they also embarked on their first U.S. tour. After the release of 1998's A.K.A. I-D-I-O-T EP, changes in the band's management put things on hold for a time. However, the Hives returned in 2000 with their second full-length album, Veni Vidi Vicious, which featured the singles "Hate to Say I Told You So" and "Main Offender." The album, along with tours with the like-minded International Noise Conspiracy and the Hellacopters, generated serious buzz around the group, leading to praise from stars as diverse as Noel Gallagher and Courtney Love and a deal with Alan McGee's Poptones label in 2001. Stateside, Gearhead Records reissued Barely Legal, A.K.A. I-D-I-O-T, and Hate to Say I Told You So. More touring and the re-release of their singles in the U.K. culminated with the Top Ten debut of Your New Favourite Band, a compilation of songs from their two previous albums and EPs, upon its release in spring 2002. That summer, the Hives returned to the U.S. for another round of live dates before playing the Reading and Leeds festivals, among others. The band spent most of 2003 in the studio and out of the limelight, but they returned with a vengeance in 2004: Your New Favourite Band was reissued in the States by Sire Records; Interscope released the Walk Idiot Walk single and the Hives' third full-length, Tyrannosaurus Hives." Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

post 13. a curious episode.

driving down the road late at night i picked something up out of the corner of my eye. i decided to pull off to the side of the road, and there i stood in the low, gloomy light of the stars in a moonless night. there was something back there. something in that wide open field. i could see it moving. no – i could see them moving low to the ground, all hovering and moving as if they were army guys on a training mission. they were crawling towards a group of hills that were to my left. then i heard a shout, low, muffled, in another language. suddenly i realized i was standing there, gawking at the scene; i got down to the ground. they probably saw my car, whatever they were, saw me turn off to the side of the road, so i got down and started crawling in the other direction, looking for some place to watch…well, whatever was going on. i sat behind some smallish rocks twenty meters away and saw, sure enough, a few of the humps begin changing direction and moving towards my car, and what i saw made me catch my breath and hold my mouth – the figures stood up straight and they were each ten feet tall, with long, long spindly legs heading up towards small torsos, with arms that were no thicker than pencils snaking out from their sides. they examined my car and found nothing inside. they turned about and inspected the ground for evidence of me. one of them pointed to something on the ground. they all looked at the area indicated, then, sure enough, started moving towards me. don’t move. stay close to the ground, a voice said, and next to me was a woman with a large pistol. it took all my nerve not to scream in fright. she cupped her hand over my mouth and pushed me quite forcibly to the ground. there were more shouts, closer, not from the things by my car but from behind us. the other figures continued moving towards the hills, when suddenly there were fireworks – loud pops and gunfire that came red from the hills aimed at the figures, who instantly stood on those unnervingly narrow legs and began unleashing some sort of agents from their bodies, like missiles, but more organic and without that, you know, fire that comes out of the back of missiles. two of the three creatures by my car turned and fired toward the hills, but the third one contuined its investigative pursuit for me, following my tracks. in the firefight the woman held me down and again repeated instructions for me not to move. then the figure grew closer, about five meters away and before i could try and watch what was happening she let fly a few rounds of ammunition into the figure, which dissipated instantly. we better get out of here, she said. you shot it, right? no – i only made it mad, she answered, and grabbed my arm to hoist me up.

Monday, April 25, 2005

post 12. at the flying saucer diner.

joanna and i went out to niagara-on-the-lake sunday. Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 21, 2005

post 11. oxford street.

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post 10. lost in the woods.

i shot into the darkness, knowing something was out there. i knew it. i just knew it. the night on this weird planet was still and spooky, trees coming out of the black every now and then with their rustles. every time i shot i got a clear picture of the entire forest, with shadows that jumped around and seemed to follow my blaster’s shot. nothing. rustle rustle. i turned back around slowly and kept walking. no flashlight, and although this planet had fourteen moons, the thick, noxious clouds obscured them. all i heard was the rustling behind me, in front of me, around me, above me. i had been on patrol for three days and lost the group, and here i was in some part of the forest that was obviously uncharted, which meant it was unsanctioned. i checked the my oxygen tank of my space suit. half empty. i raised my hand to hit my commlink, but i knew i wouldn’t get anyone. then i thought of a terrible thing: what if the rest of the group was dead? what if i was here alone on this god-forsaken planet where the forests breed methane and things come out at night to kill investigative patrols? my mind started picturing all kinds of fanged, clawed, red-eyed monsters that might be lurking around. i started spinning the panic wheel of disasters that could befall me, but i stopped at a tree and shook my head. i had to stay focused and – i turned around and shot but this time i hit something. it was two meters behind me, and in that flash of blaster i thought i saw...a mermaid. i shot a mermaid. i heard a shout, but it wasn’t from the thing that i shot. i whipped around and started running incoherently. i started shouting: all right, i got one of you, keep out of my way, or you’ll get more of the same! i ran into a tree and fell to the ground. where are you? i shouted again. i got up and ran into another tree. if i kept this up i could rupture my suit, and then…show yourself and no on will be hurt! i turned back towards the mermaid and could see in the darkness a shape right behind me. it was floating in the air, like a mermaid in a sea back home…she was standing right next to me. she punched my helmet and swatted the out of my hand. you’re in no position to make demands, she said, and then, in the silence of the night, on that terrible planet, i saw a crowd of them float together. silhouetted mermaids floating from the trees and gathering from the woods. then i blacked out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

post 9. death to traitors.


"One of the better, but overlooked groups of the grunge era, Lawrence, KS's Paw made a name for themselves with aggressive yet melodic albums like 1993's Dragline and 1995's Death to Traitors. Lackluster sales caused their label, A&M, to drop them, and it seemed like the group had dropped off the face of the earth as well. However, Paw resurfaced in 2000 with original members Mark Hennessy and Grant Fitch and new recruits Jesse Larson and Jason Magierowski. Their third album, Home Is a Strange Place, was released in mid-2000 by Koch Records." Posted by Hello

post 8. my trouble with cars.

crashing off the side of the road i found myself in a car that was drowning. i tried to get out but everything was stuck: the doors, the windows, the trunk. typical for the kind of cars i drive. i once bought a used car and found myself wondering where the steering wheel was for a week. it sat in my driveway and i would walk out each morning and find everything else on the car – catalytic converter, doors, cigarette lighter (as if i needed one of those) but no steering wheel. one time i bought a car that had no “park.” i couldn’t park it on a hill or any incline at all, for that matter, because it had no “park.” and another time still i had a car that had a fuel leak and kept giving me headaches. it was a nightmare. i thought about all those old cars as i sat in this one, sinking in lake poncho, a car that seemed like it was driven through glue. i couldn’t get out, and the water was seeping in through the cracks. thinking quickly, i used the emergency brake to stop myself from sinking. all right, it wasn’t the brightest choice, but i was suddenly under a lot of stress. i turned on the radio and realized that would be my savior. i broke the face of the radio and pulled out the wires. hell, it was one of those spock-things or scotty-things that they’d whip out whenever the enterprise was in trouble. so if it worked on television, then in must work for me, right? i switched the wires so i could transmit rather than receive. hello, hello, mayday mayday I called…but nothing. water seeped in through the cracks. mayday, mayday, i said, and suddenly someone on the other end picked up – an old woman said hello? yes, hello, i’m stuck in a drowning car, i shouted, as my legs got cold from my pants that were getting wetter and wetter. yes, this is mildred, how can i help you? look, lady, where are you, i asked. she replied by telling me she was in the den ready to eat some cucumber sandwiches. i told her i was in lake poncho and she said that was where she and her husband first met. i told her i needed help and time was of the essence and she told me she’d be right over. well, my chest was the new water level when i saw this beat-up old truck spit itself down the road and pretty soon, the old lady, bent and withered, stepped out as if she’d fall at any moment. her dog leaped out of the bed of the truck and tore down to the water front and started barking at me. the old lady waved and i couldn’t help but wave back in a sort of socially responsible thing to do. it was a stupid thing to do, her smiling and me trying to just be sociable. i had no idea if she understood the gravity of the situation. she went all the way back to the truck – a painful thing to watch, given the amount of time it took her to do so – and she grabbed some rope from the bed. she then had junior (the dog) swim out to me and i’ll be damned if that dog didn’t tie a perfect windsor knot around my back bumper, sticking like the end of the titanic out of the water. then the dog swam back to shore and the old lady was tying the other end to the bumper. the dog got there just in time to put his paw on it so she could finish her big bow knot. i wasn’t very secure in my faith that this would work. she got back into the truck – slowly, so very very slowly – and started the old thing up. this is where I met my husband, she said, as I stood outside my car on the shore, dripping wet and shivering. here. i brought some cucumber sandwiches. junior leaped from the back of the truck with a picnic basket in his mouth. she pulled out a big thermos. you must be cold; here’s some hot chocolate for you. the three of us sat and ate for the afternoon. the sun came out and it became quite pleasant. i like your truck, i said. i’m getting too old to drive it, she said, would you like it?

Monday, April 18, 2005

post 6. tiny ninja theater.

the tiny ninja stage at geva theatre center. kick-ass. dov weinstein comes to the roc every now and then and performs plays with inch-high ninja figures. his macbeth -- joanna and i saw it friday -- was at the same time eerie and hilarious. the show only allows for thirty people at a time to see it, and each person gets a pair of binoculars to see it with. amazing.

post 5. giving the swatch its prop-ahs.

i've always been a fan of swatches, and here's a testament to their greatness: kevin kelly's cool tools website pays homage to my favorite pop culture icon.

"I recently conducted a survey asking readers what technologies they have relinquished. Much to my surprise, watches topped the list (replaced in most cases by the clock in a cell phone). Personally, my watch is my most used mobile equipment. Always on (I wear it in the shower, swimming, and while I sleep), featherweight, quick to read. Every couple of years I check out what's available for watches as tools and I come back to the model I have worn 24/7 for 20 years: a classic Swatch Original. It's what a watch should be: waterproof, nearly indestructible, accurate, and radically legible. Clear, black-on-white glow-in-the-dark numbers (no hour ticks) in an analog face. Day/date optional. And best of all, at $40 the Swatch is probably the cheapest rugged watch you can buy. Luxury watches perplex me: what are you getting extra? Sure, the plastic wristbands of the Swatch wear out and are cheaply replaced every five years, but you'll lose a Swatch before it crashes. There are other models for making a fashion statement; for a straightforward design worthy of Apple, look for the Original (or Classic) Gents or Ladies. It is still the best bargain going for a personal timekeeping tool."

post 4. the resurrection of felix, part i.

kelly mcgittigan bought me this plant as a house-warming gift back when daigle and i moved into club obi-wan down on arts street in new orleans. that was, like, '95 i think. i moved back to rochester in '98, and felix stayed behind. he was brought north a year later by an ex-girlfriend who stuck him in the wheel well of her brother's pickup truck. for the past two years it's been cared for by my old roommate on park avenue. now that i'm on my own, i guess it's time to take some resposibility. my first move was to give felix more light. so here he is in the hallway of my third-floor apartment. we'll see if the cats that live in the building leave him alone...Posted by Hello

post 3. me and pork.

blasting my way through the doors to the space ship, i found fourteen beautiful women wearing space bikinis. they asked if they could be taken out on some adventure, so i hopped in the seat and felt like buck rogers. i blasted off in a huff of laser blasts and cheers from the ladies, then charted a course for the “unknown country,” and found that there were no undiscovered countries left to deal with. there were these women in the back, a full tank of cyber-gas, and me up front trying to figure out my space map. then it hit me – there wasn’t anything i could do because it had all been done before. seek out new life, new worlds, to boldly blah blah blah? that had been done. travel through time? to learn what? people already did that was well. i decided to just turn the ship around and dump off the women in the hangar bay – no hard feelings, but i could tell they were pretty disappointed – and went looking for something no one really seems to look for: myself. i went out to some uncharted planet in the guadalupe sector and found a nice little chunk of land where the sunsets were dusted with mauve and the lakes were all yellow. they reflected the thirteen moons in the nighttime, and i could pee in the lake without anyone knowing otherwise. the cabin i built was, of course a space cabin, complete with a refrigerator and amenities for the space out-poster. like a dog. but, of course, it was a space dog. one day i realized there was a klurg outside my door and I asked what he wanted. he shrugged and didn’t say anything. i offered him a drink and he came in and sat down. well, he sat there for three days drinking everything I had for him, and finally, when he could really hold nothing in anymore, he told me that the ancestors of his tribe were looking to cleanse their planet of ill-mannered klurgs, and he was banished to this planet. he really wasn’t so bad a person, just burping every now and then. i told him as much. and again, he had drank so much that I really didn’t think anything of it. i burped. the dog burped. i’m sure those fourteen women at some point in their lives burped. anyway. i told him as much – his name was pork – and pork thanked me but then admitted it wasn’t the only reason . his father was the supreme chancellor of the honorary throne of the land of the klorks, and poor pork wasn’t fit enough to be a king. why? i asked, and he said it was because he didn’t have the abilities to find a woman. a woman suitable to bear children and be the queen and all that. you know, proper breeding, and such. the woman he picked was an insufferable bore and a bookworm. do you like books? i asked. yes, pork said, enthusiastically. well, I dug a few space books out of my space chest and gave them to him. he thanked me and began to rise. hey, you know what, pork, i asked, i think i just may have an idea. your daddy don’t like the girl you like, and so he tossed you out? yes, pork said. ok, then, i’ve got an idea. we split my cabin and hopped into my space cruiser and went back to round up the fourteen space-bikinied ladies that i left at quadro-deer and they were all delighted with the idea that i was taking them on an adventure. we went back to pork’s planet, and quietly found pork’s girl. a bookworm she was. anyway, we dressed her up in a space bikini and the ladies all did her hair, and then we got pork a little gussied up as well, and then tried it out, I had pork walk down the center of the main village with his fifteen women with “we are the champions” playing in the background (a little deal I worked with the town baker, the only person with a public announcement system) and soon, we were all at the chair of his father. opulence wasn’t a word I could use with effectiveness. his father glowered at his son and then lightened when he saw the women around him. apparently, pop was something of an aesthetics-guy. well, pork? his father said, i thought i banished you for disgracing your blood line. i know, father, but i did a lot of thinking, and i really tried. so i found all these fifteen women and thought i might have you rethink my banishment. you met all these women? pork’s pop swelled. where? in fifteen different spots in the universe, father. and then the ladies – the delightful, splendid women – all told a different, exciting story about how poor ol’ pork, who probably took a few weeks to fit the square peg in the round hole as a kid, had rescued, found, schmoozed, and tricked his way into their hearts. piracy, adventure, explosions, exotic locales, thrills, spills, space chases – those girls really poured it all out on the dad, who was quite shocked at the exploits of his seemingly lumberous son. then, when it came time for the women pork loved, she simply told pop that it was pork’s personality and charm, his kindness, his burping, his faults, his hair, the way he ate his kork-chow, how he looked all stupid in the morning when he first woke up, and how she would do anything for just a few moments of hand-holding and conversation with him. after her speech the whole place was silent in awe. i looked up at pork’s dad, who was crying. you remind me of pork’s mother, he said, but then pork stood and told his father that the gig was up. he told his father that none of it was true, except the story of the fifteenth woman, and the father acquiesced. you just liked these girls because of their space bikinis, not because of what’s really important. pork’s dad sat back and looked into the high, vaulted ceilings of his palace. true love, he said. i had it with your mother, pork, and since she has left us, glogro rest her soul, i have been spiteful. too spiteful. so he decided to let pork and mary-amme have their love. everybody in the kingdom was just bananas with happiness. pork’s dad? well, he had the fourteen ladies as his officially royal space-bikini-wearing story tellers, and he fell in love with darlaquag, and the fifteen of them had a merry old time. as for me? well, i still visit every now and then, but i’ve got my yellow lake, my space cabin, and my dog. i’m fine, thank you very much.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

post 2. coffee with joanna.

joanna and i stopped at starry nights between hepcat's wedding and reception saturday. Posted by Hello

post 1. march of the pigs.