Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mixed Tape from Hell

This afternoon following a good brunch at Joe's Inn on Shields, Charles and I took a long walk through the Fan. We stopped to smell all of the blooms that were smelling, we talked about the sky, the houses, the decision (for some) to cover the side of their houses in stucco (I'm for it- Charles, usually a naysayer (at first), isn't 100% behind the idea), we yakked about the stained glass in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (again, there's me who says yea, and again, there's Charles with his nay), as well as my latest series of ridiculous photographs (Charles says huh?). All the while I had my eyes to the ground and in the trash cans and found a good amount of booty.

Most of it is pretty standard fare (discarded snapshots) but what's interesting about all of the pictures is that they are all of adolescents. I am accustomed to finding baby pictures, and tons of snaps of reveling college students after what has undoubtedly been a very demanding week of studies. But peeking into (even the photographic version of) adolescence is fascinating.

How long will it be until the lives of these girls resembles the lives of the characters in Mean Girls? When will all the pimples come?

Is she completely in love with this little guy? Or is this the girl he's been asking to go with him for the past six months but because she occupies a social tier a couple above his own, she must ignore her feelings and say no?

And then finally, on the 2100 hundred block of Grove, in the front yard of a house which was on fire a few days ago, I found this tape. It seemed too perfect an accompaniment to the the pictures- too metaphoric for this guy who claims metaphasia on the top of his list of culturally induced illnesses. And that's when I realized that it wasn't their adolescence I was thinking about, it was my own. These kids have little (if any) relationship with analog 1/4 inch tape. But for me, this was the stuff that my adolescence was made of. Tapes like this held my world, and I routinely tried to place my world onto one. The careful crafting of side A (this was the upbeat side) usually an ironic mix and the perfect companion to side B (a lugubrious mix of painfully melodramatic music made by men who wore a lot of make up) this was the side that I really cared about - the side that I was sure contained all the ju ju necessary to communicate just how important the recipient of the tape was. These tapes were my plumage - with this tape they would be allowed to glimpse just how interesting, cute and existential I was. They were (I realize now) mixed tapes from hell- culled songs used to plunge me only deeper into, and act as, the soundtrack for my privileged cafard.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Here's something Kim and I didn't do in NY and really regret: we didn't go see the show at ICP Snap Judgements: New positions in Contemporary Photography.

"Thulani" (2004) by Nontsikelelo "Lolo" Veleko

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Head on a Stick!

This is Tom Condon, one of the VCU photo/film grad students who had their opening this past Friday. That smile is always close to Tom's lips but he and his phellow photo phriends had a lot to smile about this night.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Her Bangs Were Like the Sun

When you are young, you always expect that the world is going to end. And then you get older and the world still chugs along and you are forced to re-evaluate your stance on the apocolypse as well as your own relationship to time and death. You realize that the world will indeed continue, with or without you, and the pictures you see in your head. So you try to understand the pictures instead.
p. 108 of Douglas Coupland's Life After God

Look at Me Looking at Me

Death By Musette (sans Todd but it still counts) was the house band for Horsey's Two Hour Variety Hour tonight. This evenings performance/show went much better than a month ago (much smoother). I am essentially Paul Schaefer and just figured out when there needed to be some music- Horsey even addressed his post monologue, pre-guest banter to me. What's more, the scheduled guests showed up and Horsey had an uncomfortable but ok "conversation" with a professor from VCU who has his degree in Islamic studies and is a Muslim.

George took this picture.

Mermaid Skeletons were the musical guest and were really great- two earnest, funny, young guys singing beautiful, faith-infused songs with hushed guitars and excellent harmonies. Their goodness (or their sincere intention) reminded me of all the good people of Western Maryland who pick up instruments and make music that I listen to: Jon Felton's Soulmobile, Page France, The Lyric Opera... They asked if I'd be interested in doing some recording with them on the cd they are working on. I said yes.

The world is a big exciting place if you allow it.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Martin over at Anaba directed me to an upcoming call for entries at local Richmond cum Brooklyn hipsterwares boutique Nonesuch , their website lead me to their links in hopes of finding their designer which led me to this.

Go. Just search for the place to click. Delicious is my favorite path.

Scopophilians in Paradise (or Kim in front of almost everywhere we went)


Somewhere near Havre de Grace, Maryland (sweet, sweet Maryland)

At the NJ Transit MetroparkStation in Metuchen, NJ (right next to Edison and Colonia where my dad grew up) we parked the car here ($5/day) and took the train to Penn Station.

One Columbus Circle- Charles worked for the firm that designed CNN's spinquarters housed within. The developers claimed that buying here you'd be living on the Park, Trump (whose Tower is directly north) disagreed and hung a huge banner on the side of his building saying so.

The Hearst Tower(when we first arrived I couldn't stop looking at all of the building I had been reading and thinking about, meanwhile Kim was paying attention to the bazillion humans that were swarming past around and over us) not far from Columbus Circle. George and I saw this building in its very early stage from the roof of the Met when we went to NYC to see the Gates.

Grand Central

Times Square

Alice's Abenteur im Wunderland mosaic in the subway

It was really pretty cool- I don't think I've ever looked at "dirty" pictures with strangers before. Hard not to wonder how often people are caught in the corners, in the bathroom, on the mechanical dildo machines...

After the MOSEX we headed over to Chelsea for a few hours of weaving in and out of the car dealerships - OOPS! I mean galleries.

Why pose in front of the Statue of Liberty when there's Matthew Barney's work at Barbara Gladstone?

Luisa Lambri's work at Luhring Augustine... if the architecture is sublime so too will be the photographs

Bags, a mattress, a woman, an umbrella. Where is that trash going? Could it be headed to Virginia in one of the dirt-nasty 18 wheelers we saw hulking north and south on 95? We thought about asking a waitress if we could receive a discount for taking our own trash to VA with us.

We didn't get to see the video that was the main attraction to this show but what we did see (20+ recent images) were a serious, sad, beautiful, honest collection.

We saw Caveh Zahedi's I Am a Sex Addict (I wanted to see Drawing Restraint 9 a couple days later but a relationship is built on compromise so did not... had Kim had enough of M Barney back at Babby G's?) and it (I Am a Sex Addict) was phenomenal. This is the best movie I've seen since Before Sunset (incidentally Caveh is the guy in Linklater's Waking Life who is talking about the Holy Moment to his friend as they morph into clouds) and is as good as Grizzly Man (and is a series of parenthetical asides (and what is there not to like about that) by a director brave enough to admit a slew of character traits that most people spend their jaw-grinding nights trying to suppress).

Kara Walker's After the Deluge was great and while we were there 3 middle aged English speaking European women were describing the images to a blind man.

At the Met

The Met Lobby

Pretty blue bags full of picnic goods

Armored SUV on the Upper East Side (Kim cuffed her pants for the picnic)

With picnic attendees: my cousin Michelle and her husband Stanley

Spring Street on our way to...

Main Squeeze! Unfortunately the owner of this accordion store (that I've wanted to go to for at least 6 years) was in the middle of a lesson so I had to convince him to let us look around, promising that we'd be respectful and not talk (there were many questions we wanted to ask, many accordions we wanted to touch).


My favorite window in Chinatown

The Brooklyn Bridge is never boring

We had coffee at a pizza joint in the movie-set-for-tourists that is DUMBO. Being in DUMBO makes me feel like I'm being had.

Staten Island Ferry

We wandered around the building across from PS1 (Five Points?) that is covered in (permitted) graffitti. RVA's RATS wasn't there and honestly, the whole thing is really pretty boring, but I am a sucker for pictures of Kim in front of "Fuck You" graffitti...

More self conscious graffitti.

In the boiler room at PS1. Of all of the sanctioned art events we sought out I Am A Sex Addict tops the list but PS1 comes in second. There is a good show there called Reprocessing Reality, and a great video piece by Johanna Billing.

In front of PS1 in Long Island City where both my mom and sister were born (they weren't born at PS1 but at St. Mary's in LIC).

We tried to go to Coney Island (for hot dogs) but accidentally took the subway to Jamaica we skipped Coney Island. Skipped too are pictures from Greenpoint and Williamsburg (I didn't take any). Although we both liked Greenpoint (we ate at a place called the Triple Decker Restaurant on Manhattan Ave that felt like we were at the Princess in Frostburg) we both hated Williamsburg. It is the land of the drone. So so dull, we'd both rather be hangin' with the crowds from Peoria than be there so we scurried back to Manhattan.

My friend Liz has an apartment in this building. These days she's in Italy with her husband Andrea. It was in this apartment that she and I went through every single page of the Real Doll website many years ago. We went to see Friends with Money, Nicole Holofcener's new film at the Regal Theatres on Union Square. Holofcener made the excellent Walking and Talking (I am a part of a cult following it turns out) and Friends was just as good- expansive.

We stayed at Columbus and 83rd at a place called Columbus Studios. It is a hostel and not far from Zabar's.

We went for a short walk (all the while bemoaning our having to leave) in Central Park after breakfast at Zabar's.

Kim in front of Columbus Studios.

We never got to have hot dogs at Coney Island so a rest stop in Delaware did the trick. Monday was Kim's birthday so here she is with her birthday dinner (I was willing to plunk down a bit more for a nice roast beef sandwich but she insisted).