Celery + Gravity = ART
My friend Genevieve IMmed me this link, featuring the work of obsessed fifties illustrator Art Frahm. Frahm’s muse must have been an Austrian, with round glasses and a homburg hat: it commanded him to paint the same scenario over and over again: falling panties, blowing skirts, hatboxes, celery, and an observer in uniform. The commentary is funny as hell, too. The site is put together by newspaper columnist James Lileks. There are many other great sitelets there, too — a disturbing archive of stock dog photos, a careful anthology of cartoon flip-takes. He’s my home-page hero!
PowerPoint? Power Drill!
The Ultimate Water Gun Council of Elders thing is working out AWESOMELY; my mom (“Uncle Nancy”) and friend Dan Check (“The Holy Eucharist”) are the first to weigh in. I’ve also had to fix a problem with the gun; ever since it came back from Yale University, it hasn’t been able to hold pressure over 35PSI. Make up your own funny comment about Yale here. Anyhow, I’m switching tanks, so I now have a pile of watergun parts behind my pod, and I brought my Milwaukee drill to work (I have to drill the handles to accept the cable that works the firing action.) The drill is sitting in an empty pod, charging its big red battery pack. There’s something satisfyingly incongruous about bringing power tools to work at a marketing company. “Gonna build some customer value today, yes sir, you bet! You need a strategy deck? Great, I can build that deck in pine, or I can build that deck in redwood!
I stayed up late tonight creating a “Council of Elders” tool for the Ultimate Water Gun Loan Requests page. Now the Ultimate Water Gun Council of Elders (much like the cartoon versions on the dashboard of Billy Batson’s RV in Shazam!) can weigh in on the requests, dispensing wisdom, asking clarifying questions, and making snide remarks. Long live the Republic!
Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury —
The Council of Elders from Shazam!
For several weeks, there’s been a spooky feeling at my full-time employer [My employer], with rumored layoffs lurking just around the corner. The layoffs finally happened yesterday, and there were pretty deep cuts in my department. As recently as Monday afternoon, I didn’t know whether I was gonna keep my job or not, so I had been making preparations — bought a Kanguru removable hard drive and moved my personal files onto it, backed up my e-mail, brought my cell phone charger home. I’m still here, but it’s bittersweet — my team was let go, and they were really good at their jobs.
I got a request to borrow the Ultimate Water Gun from Captain Mike Shilling of Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fl. Hell, yeah! He’s even promised me a couple of patches, which I can put on the tank. With a logo like that, how can I refuse?
I installed a Java Runtime Environment on my Linux box today, after wrestling with all the half-forgotten commands for tar and rpm. And “path”. And editing the .bash-profile file. Anyhow, I got it working, yippee! Now I can write applets to say “hello world” faster and better than ever before!!
Mountain Laurel and Steel Cage Monster Wrestling
I wanted a really strong contrast of a day on Saturday, so I took the Metro-North train up to Garrison and hiked down the Appalachian Trail to Bear Mountain, about ten miles. It was an incredibly beautiful late spring day, and at the end of the hike I sat on Anthony’s Nose, 800 feet above the bend in the Hudson that the English called “World’s End”, and admired the blooming mountain laurel all around, the hawks soaring above, and the freight trains rumbling through the river valley far below.
The Feast of San Gandolfo and the Red Mike Festival Band
My block is a big festival block — in fact, I get the feeling that it’s the nucleus of what remains of Little Italy. Mulberry street was closed for the feast of San Gandolfo this weekend, and all the populations of my neigborhood were there. I wandered around, took pictures on my Palm Camera, and then sat down at a sidewalk table on Friday night to try and describe it.
Read more >>
Ancestral Memories of Elevator Music
I made an astonishing discovery in a nautical-themed restaurant in Maine the other weekend. The music piped into the dining room was an odd choice for a linen-tablecloth restaurant, but it spoke to me in an oddly compelling way. Like Navin R. Johnson, I found myself oddly drawn to this deeply, er… swanky music. I had to ask what it was, and, when I found out, my new purpose in life was to buy the CD and listen to it, over and over and over again.
I’m talking, of course, about the forgotten work of Herb Alpert.
Forget all those pained post-ironic recapitulations of lounge music that you see in the hipster rack at Tower Records — this is the straight dope, the font and wellspring of American Muzak. Once I feverishly pulled the cellophane off the CD and stuffed it into the stereo, I felt like I had discovered one of the Platonic Forms in all its perfect, paradigmatic glory. An MRE scan would have shown entire lobes of my brain, unused for years, springing into frantic activity — the part that controls shag carpet, for example, and the part that controls watching “The Muppet Show” on black-and-white TV. “So that’s what that’s called!” I found myself exclaiming over and over again as “Tijuana Taxi“, “The Lonely Bull“, and “Casino Royale” resurrected the ghosts of long dead commercials, game-show jingles, and trips through the produce section in the shopping card’s kiddie seat. I feel like I’ve discovered the fabled source of the Nile.
I bought Johnny Cash’s 16 greatest hits at the same time, so now my MP3 player is juxtaposing “Folsom Prison Blues” with “Spanish Flea.” Damn, maybe I should start worrying about my wasteful consumption of irony.
Kaiju Big Battel
My friend Dan Check, who just graduated from Pomona College, just sent me this message:
…I’m thinking about going to some kind of monster cage
match wrestling. This seems like something you might like, so I’m inviting
you to come with. Might be seedy, but will probably just be fun. See
www.kaiju.com for more info. Tell me if you want a ticket.
Do I want a ticket? Aw, HELL yes! Check out the website; it’s a mix of American pro wrestling, Japanese movie monsters, and really bad Engrish. Hipsters from Boston dress up in homemade monster suits and wrestle each other in a steel cage. I cannot wait! The monster on the right is “Hell monkey.” Another, Atomic Cannon, is a giant disposable camera, prepared to “blinding enemy with special atomic-style flash for scaring a giant enemy. ”
This is gonna be great!