Sunday, December 20, 2009

Got in to Philly this morning off of the redeye, and it took me until the baggage claim before some girl scolded me for talking about her (I wasn't). The I went home and shovelled snow. That's right, you think the West Coast has softened this guy up? NO WAY! Lack of sleep, jet lag be damned. I'm in this!

(this is my way of saying posts will be sparse, what with lack of internet and time. I'm sure you're all there with me).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sorry for the small blackout, I just wrapped up my finals and really just didn't want to spend any more time in front of a computer than I already had to for the past few days. Which really just means I've been outside a bunch, trying to take advantage of California weather before heading back East on Sunday. Spent a couple hours walking around a college campus and generally just catching up on existence when I found a giant papier-mache milk jug rotting on the side of the road. Without a holie big enough to crawl into it, had no other option left but to take some pictures of it.

In internet news, how effing cute (and a little disgusting) is this?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I'm watching (well, listening to) this Iverson press conference in Philly right now, and I'm seeing a guy with tears in his eyes describing what the Philly fans mean to him. While I respect that, and probably even believe it, it's still an even that brings up some mixed feelings for me.

I should preface this by saying that Iverson means a lot to me as a Sixers fan. The man has arguably* sparked more interest in the team -my favorite team- more than any other player in history, and as a fan I owe him that. I can't think of a player that threw himself into the game as hard as he did for the better part of a decade, and he took us to the finals. So please don't mistake what I'm about to say as hatred of Iverson.

I was against him coming back. I think I still am. His leaving was tumultuous at best, and we're still getting over the ramifications of building a team around him before he left. We have a bunch of young players now that need to learn the game in their own way, and I think Iverson could damage that in a way that could never be fixed. There's also the off-court drama associated with Iverson. I've had four people send me the "practice!?" clip in the past week, and it's not like I needed reminding the first time. I think Iverson will sell a shitload of tickets, but in the long run bringing him back might be detrimental to the young talent.

But watching this press conference... watching him picking up that uniform -the uni that he should've been wearing in his first run here- and seeing his smile when he did it... I can't help but feel a little hopeful. It might be the desperation of a horrified fan who has seen his favorite team in shambles all season following the coaching style of a lunatic. I might be grasping at whatever optimism I can pull out of the situation.  But there's also something else, something that I forgot about a while back.

This is Allen Iverson.

This is a guy who in the past has thrived on defying odds and proving people wrong. This might be the last stop in the league after dropping lower and lower on the the ladder, but he might just be able to rejuvenate this team and smack some sense into them. And if we're really lucky, he might just get Eddie Jordan fired. It's a longshot, but it's still the best shot I, as a fan, can have at the moment.

Sure, there's a strong chance I'll be eating these words (not literally) in a few months, but for now I'm kind of excited. the way I see it, the team can't possibly get worse than they've been so far, so let's give him the shot.

*with apologies to Charles, Julius and Wilt

How did I miss this?

Sarah Palin attributed a quote to the infamous UCLA Basketball coach John Wooden in her book, which is strange enough. What is laughably insane is that the quote:
"Our land is everything to us...I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it -- with their lives."
Is not John Wooden's (you mean basketball coaches don't often talk about how their fathers died for their land?), it does however belong to one native American activist John Wooden Legs.

I'm sick of Palin, and I'm even more sick of everyone attacking her, if only because it makes her fans even crazier and more self-righteous. But this is without a doubt one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. I'm sure she had nothing to do with it (at all, including selecting the quote), you would think that anyone publishing a book that's set to be scrutinized as this one would be smart enough to hire a fact checker to see if this was on the level.

also, I have to admit I never knew that reindeer were this cute.

Oooooh fish shoes!

I want them.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Hoagie dreams

I don't know who tipped the little bugger off, but my subconsciousness is now aware that I'm going to be back in PA pretty soon. I had a frighteningly intense dream last night about my favorite sandwich. I actually woke up with my mouth watering. This can only means that dreams about Sarcone's, pizza, and maybe a cheese steak are forthcoming.

I've been pretty wound up lately, with Carrie sporting some sort of H1N1 action lately, and my finals in full swing. I don't see this dying down before next friday, but I should have some more time to post here next week. Going to Conan on Tuesday, so that should be nice.

In the meantime, Paul F. Tompkins' new album came out today. It is hilarious, and you should buy it, here or over on iTunes.

Death by water + children

Friday, November 27, 2009

[post deleted]

This was waaaay too depressing for Thanksgiving, and I'm not in the mood to bring everyone down.

All I can say is that despite hating on him for the bulk of his career, Shaq is a fucking stand-up guy.

So instead, I'm up at 4 AM the morning after the holiday watching war movies and reading comics, because at least there's a bad guy in those.

But let it be known that any whining I encounter in the coming weeks will be met with a sharp rebuke. I hate not having cable news sometimes, since I hear about these stories until too late to really write on them.

Does this mean that I can't post on any depressing stories until January? Fucking holidays.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

I don't have much else to add to that, but remember to be thankful for something (or everything) today.

and go read AP Mike's vaguely terrifying xmas story here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Post #981: WASTED!

 I think I got this back at Largo last night. No idea what it means, but it still makes me laugh. I like to think that "Gay Money" was an overlooked character from New Jack City.

The show was great last night, this is really turning into a nice little evening, o if you're thinking about visiting while one of these shows is on, you're going whether you like it or not.

So, with this post 999, I am gonna start working on something new, with luck I can just switch this site over and rename it and such, but either way, I'll post developments as they come. My final projects are all firing up this week and next, which means I'll be doing a lot of reading and swearing, but hopefully I'll post a mix (best of?) or something celebratory for the big K.

In the meantime, have a wonderful week and a happy thanksgiving, everyone. Be thankful for everything you have, and for many things you do not have (oh, you want a radioactive snapping turtle that poops acid? I THOUGHT NOT). But most of all, remember how great this place can be if you give it a shot.

EDIT: So, it turns out there were about 20 saved drafts that were being counted as posts. So as it turns out, I got plenty of room to post before I need to worry about the dial rolling over. So ignore all that crap and look forward to 19 posts about TV, the casserole I just made, and my cat.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

People always go for the stuff from the Burton years on, but I really like the old Adam West rides. Simple, fun color motifs, absurdity... good times.

That Bat-copter looked REALLY Unsafe, though.

(this is post 998, which means I'm going to be doing something drastic pretty soon. I still have no idea what, but this site will die a lonely death).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

There's an article in the New York Times about the usage of the word "douche" on television.

If this isn't a sign that we've gone too far with this work, I don't know what else is. It's time to explore new options.

in the meantime, wouldn't it be better just to hear an occasional f-bomb on TV than this crap?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

There's a great Baltermants collection over at tsutpen. Russian WWII war photography is bound to be pretty bleak stuff. But it's powerful as hell, and just incredible to look at.

This, incidentally, might be my favorite site on the internet.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Last night, after dinner, I got some new (marked down!) kicks. The original pair I wanted is apparently only made for ladies. I like the colors, but thinking about it now kinda makes me think that while I used to wear every color imaginable, most of my clothing/accoutrement is of two color schemes: blue/gray and brown/orange. Also, right as I was getting ready for bed at like 2:30-3 AM, I saw a very drunk person stumbling all around the parking lot from the porch. After coming dangerously to cracking his head open a couple of times, he finally ended up swaying -then falling- into a little shrub/ivy patch that I personally see at least 2 dogs pee in every day.

I'm pretty sure he would've passed out there if my laughing hadn't startled him back up. So for once, by obnoxious tittering did something useful. Take that, 10th grade chemistry teacher!

It was pretty much the best thing I could've seen before going off the bed.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Off to the library. Will act aloof to any comments about my appearance.

update. a guy circled me for 5 minutes, and then asked what happened to my mouth. I blew it and told him that it was a costume. Next time, I should look concerned, then taste my (fake, "mint-flavored) blood and smile at him.

I feel like the glasses help to make it look more authentic. I should also startle easily.

There's like a 70% chance I'm not going to get dressed up tomorrow. But I enjoy this.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


From my National Geographic picture of the day: Ultraviolet Bath, Russia

Eisenhower inspects the goods
No good picture for the morning, because it's still dark and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to fall back asleep in a few minutes.

So I propose to you: What sounds better, a tofu chair or a Tetris chair?

At first I thought the latter, because it looks so damned comfortable, but wouldn't you hate having a chair that you would always have to point out to new people that it's a chair? Besides, I'll sit in anything tetris.

back to bed.

"O walls, you have held up so much tedious graffiti that I am amazed that you have not already collapsed in ruin"

I've been reading some of the graffiti found on the walls at Pompeii. There's some pretty crude stuff to be found there (thought I did enjoy "'Secundus defecated here' three time on one wall"), as well as sweet sentiments and weird inanities. I wonder if anyone thought to bring this up during Koch's major anti-graffiti campaigns in the early 80s. Judging by the article I linked there, it might not have done any good.

Anyway, a nice little read to start your morning.
Apologies for the delay since my last post, school has been mercilessly kicking my ass (I cannot understate this, especially considering yesterday). I'll get back on some sort of posting schedule soon, I promise. After al, time is running out before I hit my big 1,000th post spectacular, right?

Anyway, here's a pic I snapped at 5 this morning. I don't know what made me think of doing this (certainly not the screen in the way of the shot), but it was a peaceful scene after what an intensely long and shitty day. Maybe I'll take another one when I get up at 4 tomorrow morning (today?) to register for my next semester's classes. Maybe I should just turn this blog into a series of photographs I take without leaving the apartment. They'd all be of the cat and the mountains.

To answer your question, yes, that is a ferris wheel. It does not work, and is actually not even a whole ferris wheel.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Was Captain Lou Albano really most famous for being in a Cyndi Lauper video? I can't help but think of that Super Mario show. Oh, and the two decades of pro wrestling.

anyway, Carrie and I were talking about him like 3 days ago, for some reason that escapes me now.
Also, Philadelphia Will Do had one of the best/and most infuriating sports posts ever the other day.

Hey, you wanna watch this Spider Woman motion comic, but don't want to spend $10 on iTunes like I did? The good news is you don't have to. It's upon Hulu now (all but the last part, which I expact will be up in a week). I still don't know how I feel about the final result, I will probably prefer the print version in the end, but it still is an interesting foray into a new medium. Alex Maleev's art looked better in the book, but it still looks great here. What are you complaining about, it's free.

BTW I broke down and have a twitter account. It is a source of great shame, but at least now I can pay attention to the Best Show feuds. My favorite person to follow so far? Tie between Jon Wurster and Roger Ebert.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

and God giveth us rain

We finally got the rain I've been whining about missing for the past 6 months. It's a nice cloudy day and even though I'm stuck in a library, I'm determined to make the most of it, even circling the block a few times before entering to get to work.

It's a nice cool day, and I'm listening to the latest album from Richard Hawley, which has never sounded more sincere and beautiful.
So, a devout Christian goes to a Phillies game (apparently time traveling there from 1961), and here' what happens. 

The comments, though cruel, are pretty hilarious.

Watching The Friends of Eddie Coyle's Criterion edition, which I didn't even know was released back in May. It's been ages since I've seen this movie, and even longer since I read the book in college. This was released in 1973, not long before The Rockford Files started, and as I mentioned the other day, this feels like the last great era for really good crime stories that don't involve electronic surveillance, DNA tests, etc... There's a reason why Criminal (which is back, and still the best noir/crime stories being told today) is so ambiguous with the period in which it's set.

  Anyway, go see this movie. It's a great story, with Robert Mitchum simultaneously at his booziest and most judicious. Peter Boyle (who remains one of the most puzzling actors ever) meeting him step for step the entire time, and Steven Keats as the young punk gunrunner... it's really a classic crime movie, without any of the flash and pomp that seem to go with these stories a lot of the time.

So yeah, go rent that. 

Okay, I really, really need to get back to my paper.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Watching The Long Goodbye and just made 2 stunning realizations: A) Henry Gibson just died and B) he was from Germantown. Huh.

Is this not the most adorable beer of all time?

(hint: it isn't)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

So, I've got this real bad habit of getting wrapped up in some album or TV Series or film, and then writing the better part of a post and shelving it. It's not that my interest in these things wanes, or that I move on to other stuff before I get a chance to finish. More often than not I just can't finish or won't. I've got half-finished, long-winded posts about The Sandbaggers, Underbelly, Eye of the Needle, Friends of Eddie Coyle, three character analyses from The West Wing, and a couple others. A personal favorite is my lengthy rant on why I'm pretty sure that Guy Ritchie has never read a Sherlock Holmes story, but I'm waiting for the film on that one.
Anyway, a lot of the time it's because I'm sure these are points you might have felt, or stories you don't feel like revisiting, or that my own take on it isn't all that astute. Right now, one of the 6-7 books on my coffee table is a book of George Orwell's essays, which are both comforting and embarrassing to read, when I consider the crap dredge that gets thrown up on this thing. Because while I don't post a lot of things out of fear of appearing a self-important literary windbag, George Orwell manages to write these things in such an approachable, hospitable way that it leaves me dumbstruck.
But this is neither here nor there. Because I'm not writing about anything today that's critically adored or obscure. I'm not even writing about something that's all that unpopular. I'm referring, of course, to The Rockford Files, which aired on NBC from 1974-80. It's a show I never really watched as a kid, probably because it was off the air when I was 2, and unlike Columbo, I don't remember all that many reruns peppering the airways.
Jim Rockford fits some of the noir-ish standards for a detective. He's almost always at odds with the cops, he has a shady past (including a stint in prison as an innocent man), and he's got a real smart mouth that gets him into trouble. He's poor, and his home is a dilapidated trailer outside of LA on the Pacific Coast highway. Oh, and he seems to end up banging half of his female clientele.
He's still not quite noir, though. He generally avoids a fight, and almost never carries a gun (he keeps it in his coffee pot to avoid rust form the salt air!). He's a lot more genuine in his concern for clients than Marlowe ever would've been, and he often will end up working for free or at a reduced rate if he has to. Oh, and his dad is around all the time. I really like this last part, because his dad is a cheap old drunk who wants him to get out of the private eye racket. Oh, and unlike a lot of the old stories, Rockford isn't wearing a fedora and trenchcoat. If anything, he dresses cheap and garishly, which is to say, normal for the Seventies.
So why do I like this stuff? Why is it that after a decade of reading detective fiction and watching all those old black and whites that I find myself enamored with this program? A couple things. One is James Garner. There's just something about him that you want to root for. Ever since I was a kid and saw him as Hendley the scrounger in The Great Escape, I've enjoyed that guy. I remember going through a Maverick phase at some point, too. There's also the time period. One of the reasons that the seventies work so well for crime/detective stories, is because it's the last really good time frame for this type of story. I guess the Eighties might work as well, but something about that decade I find hard to take seriously. Maybe it would have to be all about drugs, or funny hairstyles.
But anyone my age or younger will view this show as impossible. There's no way that someone could get away with some of the things that go on here. Part of it is technology, part of it is people wising up to giving personal information out, etc... To write a good detective story set in the last ten years is to write... I dunno, to write like Ed Burns and David Simon.
The bottom line is that I'm amazed how much I enjoy a network TV show that's older than I am and isn't hosted by Rod Serling. It's a testament to our pop culture. But the best part is that you can go watch this for free right now. There are at least 3 seasons up on Hulu, and the entire run of the series is up on Netflix. So go check it out if you're bored one night and watching some shitty celebrity dance show. Seriously, you can do better than that. If you don't watch TV, hey, more power to you. But I know most of you do, and watch some pretty appalling stuff. Just my 2 cents. This show has car chases! Non-Italian mob bosses! Pretty ladies! Awesome celebrity cameos (so far, Abe Vigoda, a young James Woods, Bill Mumy, Strother Martin, Ned Beatty, Lindsay Wagner, etc...), oh and one of the best theme songs EVER.

if you haven't seen it yet, go watch an episode. It's been making my week.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

When I first moved to CA, I used to laugh at everyone that would be wearing sweaters and the like when it was like 70 degrees out. It just seemed so unnecessary. But here I am, in the same weather, putting on a hoodie. I sort of caught myself doing it, and then realized that I wasn't even cold, it was just cool enough justify putting sleeves on. It's been an absurdly long summer (since late April or so?), and one without a single drop of rain. As someone who hates wearing shorts, I haven't had much wiggle room as far as clothing selection, especially with a wardrobe far more suited to the East coast. Maybe it's the fact that I've had this brand new Sixers hoodie that I got super cheap just waiting in my closet to be worn. Of course, I prefer the cold weather. I'd much rather want to throw on an extra layer than want to remove a layer of my own skin. So maybe it makes sense that in some weird way I'm hoping to usher in the cold(er) weather by dressing the part for it. Of course, I won't be so lucky. It's supposed to be back up in the mid-80s by next week, and nary a drop in the forecast. I think that drop would be the most revitalizing piece of precipitation that ever fell to the ground like manna from the heavens.

Maybe it'll show up by Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

It's kinda sad that between the opening of the Phillies' playoff series and the opening of the Sixers' preseason, I'm more excited about the latter. Right?

Especially when one is the reigning champs and the other might well struggle to get into the playoffs at all. Either way...

Friday, October 02, 2009

Excuse the grainy/blurry photos, which I surprisingly did not take with my cell phone.  The demo derby was a lot of fun, as was the crowd watching there. It's hard to say you've lived if you've never seen a grown man scream at the top of his lungs "behind you!" to a guy in a running car, 250 yards away, and in the middle of the loudest field on earth.

I have to say that I still don't understand the scoring and tactics of the game, but I suspect that very few in attendance did. I did pick the winner of the second round, though. The girl in the pink car (below), who managed to get through the thing with barely a scratch on her car. Good for her.

I've got a whole bunch of photos I need to go through, and I might put some more up later, but right now I'm scrambling to make up for lost time with school work. I also got some more fair pics I wanna post after the weekend, including pics of my adopted goat. His name is Hefe.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A reference colleague related the following anecdote. In the course of teaching a reference workshop she would hold up photos of users, and the attendees would provide a background profile for them. She showed them a photo of an older gentleman in a plaid flannel shirt with his white hair sticking out at odd angles. Every public librarian in attendance identified the user as a homeless man. every academic librarian in the audience saw a professor emeritus.

- Julie Hersberger, "The homeless and information needs and services"

I think anyone who's ever been here knows my love of English Russia. I don't get there every day, since I find it incredibly time-consuming, given the simplicity of the site. It's not just the complete insanity of the commenters there (this is the only site I actually read the comments on), or the awesome cultural weirdness, but also the way you get to see all of these little things about the Soviet era that would've been swept under the rug of history were it not for the downfall of the regime. The submarine bases at Sevastopol, the Road of Bones, etc...
What's even more amazing is that these things are still there. The USSR ran out of money, and never bothered to cover these things up. Here, the greatest of efforts are made to urge the population to forget about our previous mistakes, and instead to focus on our triumphs, regardless of where they came from*.
So I was pretty shocked to discover on Mental Floss this morning that remnants of Manzanar are still there. Manzanar was one of the "relocation centers" to which we herded the Japanese-Americans on the West coast following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Interestingly enough, Japanese-Americans living in Hawaii at the time were relatively unmolested.
Anyway, I knew that it was made a National historic Site in the nineties, but I had no idea that any of it was still there. It just seems like the sort of thing we would bulldoze, put up a modest marker, and then move on. And while I'm sure they were pressured into doing so, I'm still happy to see that something was done. I have a friend whose parents were interned, and the stories she told me were awful. I like to see that we still wear this black eye.

Anyway, head over to Mental Floss to see the site as it looks today.

It's a road trip I should really consider making, and I guess that "I don't like driving through the desert" isn't really a viable excuse...

*It'll be curious in October, when we're celebrating the moon landing, if much mention is made that the space program which revitalized our national pride was the ultimate result of Nazi scientists and their slave labor. One of the reasons that we've prospered so much as a nation is that we've lifted technologies and methods from every culture around the world. Doesn't it strike you as odd that we feel obligated as a nation to be so proprietary about these ideas?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cheese steak at Philly West. Not bad at all! Followed that up with n amazing night at Largo, a beer in Echo Park overlooking the city, and then a late breakfast, and you have one of the nicest nights I've ever had.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beef squashed?

Okay, so I am positive that I've mentioned the Adidas/Puma rivalry and where it stems from on this site, but the search function appears to have lost it and I'm a little angry about it right now. The wheels come off at 961 posts, it would seem.

Anyway, it looks like a tentative step towards (sneaker) peace has been made, with Puma and Adidas employees holding a charity soccer match on Global (sneaker) Peace Day.

Not exactly ground-shaking, but still a nice thing to see.

Seriously, I'm wondering if those posts have been disappeared? I think it was also about the rivalry in the Houses of Huddle and Waffle. It might be time to pack up the tent and mosey on over to somewhere else. Maybe I'll switch at an even 1,000 posts. So look forward to 38 more posts about comic books and pictures of animals pooping!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

okay, I updated that link to the mix. Everything should work fine if it didn't earlier. Sorry for the confusion

I don't know if you guys have noticed it, but English Russia has been killing it lately. A couple of weeks ago, they had these great old comic books listed*, and there seems to be quite a number of pagan-themed posts going on as well. Today, though, there's some photos of Lena's Stone Pillars, which is just one of the most amazing things I've ever laid eyes on. Anyway, check it out!

Incidentally, you'd be crazy to think that the pic I posted yesterday of a tank in a sunflower field wasn't from ER, but I actually found it while flipping through an old book and then scanned it.

*I've had that saved in a toolbar for weeks now and never got around to posting it. Apologies!
I have no idea where I found this, but check out this interactive graph of the American labor force from 1850-2000. I played with it for a while earlier and it's worth checking out for a little, even if it is a little scary in some ways...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who's Next?

Who's Next?

  1. "Do you believe in the monsters?"
  2. "Kiss With a Fist" - Florence and the Machine
  3. "Can You Get to That?" - Funkadelic
  4. "Lalita" - The Love Language
  5. "Carly Simon" - The Haints
  6. "Hope Dies Last" - Magnolia Electric Co.
  7. "Going Back to Mexico" - Lula Reed
  8. "March of the Dawn" - The Mummers
  9. "Tattoo" - Petra Haden
  10. "Look Back in Anger" - Television Personalities
  11. "It's a Gas!"
  12. "Deliverance" - Avenue A
  13. "Indian War Whoop" - Hoyt Ming and his Pep Steppers
  14. "There Goes a Girl" - Johnny Truitt
  15. "The Grips" - Benjy Ferree
  16. "The Last Kiss" - Aidan Moffett and the Best-Ofs
  17. "Nothing but a Heartache" - The Flirtations
  18. "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)" - The Beatles
  19. "Ingredients"
So, I haven't gotten to any of the correspondence that I've been waiting to get to, but I have had the bulk of this mix sitting on my desktop for the past 2 months. Some of this is very old and you might well hae heard a lot of it, but it's been played pretty steadily around here lately. This is a little more whimsical than most of my mixes tend to be, but I think it's still worth listening to. But then, that's your call.

download here.

updated link, for anyone having trouble with the last one

Friday, September 04, 2009

I think I need a new nickname...

That could probably use some explaining. It came up in a search earlier. I'm in like hour 20 of working on my last final of the quarter, and I'm listening to a lot of Springsteen. This wasn't intended, just one of those things where I thought about it for a second, and then 20 years later I'd downloaded a bunch of old shows to help me get through the night.

At some point, my dad's favorite song came up. This is no surprise, Bruce played it almost every show. Still, it got me a little saw and since I'm working online, I was wondering if there are any pictures of him on the internet.

This is weird, and something I've never done. I don't keep many pictures, and I've gone to considerable lengths to keep pictures of me form being taken, let alone posted on the internet, but that's a different story. Anyway, my dad was different. He belonged to organizations and did charity work and for years was a township commissioner. So I was surprised when only one picture came up. I was even more surprised when I realized it was for one of my mom's high school reunions. and I just sank in my chair when I saw the picture.

It was late into the cancer. You hear people talk about it sometimes like they'll never forget watching their loved ones shrink away. That it's etched into your mind the way they just vanish so slowly. That's entirely true. It's long and shitty and you hate yourself for making the faces you make when you see them.

But what you never really hear about is what happens afterward. Or at least I didn't ever hear about it. Almost immediately, my memory just skipped over itself and the image of my father as this frail, fading man was practically gone. Almost as if by elastic, my mental image of him snapped back to the way he appeared my whole life before then. I can picture him with beard, without, whatever. Just there, you know? Actually tangible and not a whisper of the man who raised me. Of course, this is a good thing. I'm going to remember him the best way I can, and that hardly includes when he could barely speak from the pain. I guess this is some sort of cosmic right that allows people to cope easier. I'm grateful for it.

So seeing this picture was a blow for me. I haven't seen many of them, because frankly it's too fucking hard. The mercy of not seeing him like that was suddenly robbed of me for a few more minutes.

and I started to think about how unfair it is that it someone who didn't know him were to start looking for a picture of him right now, that's what would show up. It really upset me. Of course, he wouldn't care, and I'm not sure I should. But still, I m going to.

I have to get back to work, though. I cannot stop and think about this now, but I promise that first thing tomorrow I'm going to put up a better picture of him and then tag the hell out of it so that maybe google image won't be such a dick about things.

Anyway, that's all I got. Back to work. My dad would be pissed if he knew I put this stuff down for a half hour.

Anyway, cheerier stuff to come, I promise.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I know, I should be working on wrapping up Final #2. Well, I'm closing in on that. Halfway finished and have most of the research all lined up.

That didn't stop me from checking out Mental Floss on a study break.

When I hear the term Victorian, I tend to think of architecture. After that, it's Jack the Ripper, chimney sweeps, child labor, etc... you know, the fun stuff. But lately, what I'm realizing is that I should really just equate "Victorian" with "creepier than a haunted sanitarium".

I should point out that I don't mean that the Victorian-dressed goth kids are creepy. In fact, I admire their tenacity, especially in a subculture that has let itself go to a depressing (no pun intended) degree. I have no inclination to put on a corset and pointy hat and carry around a lace umbrella, but I respect that decision. At least more than the decision to wear ten year old Marilyn Manson t-shirts accompanied by a leash and acne.

But that's neither here nor there. Because what I'm talking about is the everyday Victorian-era items that are routinely used to terrify me. Like baby carriages, medical equipment, and the super-creepy practice of port-mortem photography. I mean, I get it, and I can sort of understand that having a portrait, any portrait of the deceased might be a valuable memento. I get that.

But Mental Floss went the extra mile by showing me a number of post-mortem pictures in which the deceased is posed as if they are awake and alive. Sometimes, retinas are painted on their eyelids.

I think I can blame a lot of my vear of all things Victorian on the slew of horror movies that make great use of these props (and often nothing else), but I still have nobody to blame but you, dead people of the era, for this insanity.

for shaaaaaaame.

Now I'm supposed to try and sleep? Great.

Monday, August 31, 2009

So, I just handed in the first of my 3 exams, and I've made myself an old-fashioned while I watch Mad Men to calm myself down from the crack-like symptoms of post-examity. I went out onto the porch for a minute, and for the first time so far, it actually smells like burning outside. Not like burning leaves or any of the other September burning smells I'm used to (including those from Mad Men tonight), but like burning earth. The fire is still far enough from me that I'm not to concerned, but still one thought enters my mind:

I've had dreams like this

it's going to be a long week.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bomb shelter pictures!

These are from a book of Photographs taken by Richard Ross of one of my favorite things: bomb shelters.

While I don't have the time to ruminate right now, click on over and take a peek. They're pretty awesome.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Say what you will about Ted Kennedy. He was the last of a dynasty, he was the "lion of the senate", chappaquiddick, etc...

the fact is, he got more legislation passed than any of his brothers ever did.

I, like much of my generation, was raised to worship John and Bobby, but at the end of the day, they died before they ever got the change to make the difference they wanted. As a professor I had once stated, JFK never came close to LBJ when if comes to civil rights legislation. that's a fact. Even Bobby (my favorite of the bunch), never got the chance.

While Teddy didn't have the clime to have the same impact that his brothers dreamt of, he still accomplished more than they ever would. The guy reached colossal levels of influence (and I can complain as much as anyone the reasons that put him there), and he made the most of it. when he got sick a couple of years ago, everyone expected him to lie low and expect him to go gentle. But no, he decided instead to work through things. This isn't as common in the US Senate as you would think it is. So stop and give him a moment of your time. Believe me, regardless of your beliefs, he deserves it. I'm sure the next few days, he'll receive a lot of glad-handing, and her deserves it, but remember that he was more important to the Democratic party than anyone since Tip O'Neill. Which says far more than I can put into words than ever after just getting home from the bar. But if you care about bipartisanship, if you care about Irish-Americans, if you care about the little guy, shut up and respect for a minute.

He was always that great combination of the influence and te smarts/influence that we've sought in a leader, with the real background desired of a policy maker. He was never perfect, but always there for us over 37 years, and I like to think he was the one who made more of a difference than anyone else.

We like to think that the President is who gets things done. While he (so far) is who guides policy, it is the stalwarts in the Senate who really have a say. In that regard, there are few in US history who've had the impact of TK. He was there through the bulk of if, and though he wasn't there for everything I wish he was, he was still there. He is of that generation that made for the greater good. and I promise you that both sides will miss him.

that's all.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

As a big fan of public-domain, early 20th century science fiction, it pleases me to know that they're making a Princess of Mars movie. I think it should to be pretty interesting, and perhaps followed up by 9 or 10 repetitive, but nonetheless entertaining sequels. I'm also excited by Dominic West playing Sab Thar (what's up with his role choices lately? Did he attend villain school after the Wire?), though I'm thinking they're going to have to CGI the shit out of this production. What I'm terrified of is that they're going to try to update this in some ultra-sleek, action packed movie, which is just sorta wrong and weird. Which isn't to say I don't shudder at the thought of a steampunk-inspired movie, either. But I guess it don't count as steampunk if it's set on Mars, does it? I guess the best course of action would be to just read the damn books. They're each like 60 pages long.
One of the things I always enjoyed about the books is just how surreal the whole planet is described, especially its' inhabitants, which range from dog-like creatures to a variety of civilizations spanning the planet. I always liked that notion that Martians, despite having advanced technology, still can't get their shit together enough to stop fighting with each other. Good on Edgar Rice Burroughs for including racism in outer space.

alright, back to work for me.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Though, I detest Philadelphia Magazine (and pretty much all of its ad-heavy overblown counterparts in other cities), there's a pretty interesting article in the new issue about what's happened to the Philly mob.

It's been a long time since they blew up the Chicken Man...

Whatever happened to the South Philly Mob?

(via Secret Dead)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

See those mountains in the banner up top? Here's how they look today. Go smog.