Friday, December 14, 2012

Death is a movement

Death is a movement
From is to was
Sometimes there's no why
Only just because

Friday, November 16, 2012

all the world is lower-case

all the world is lower-case
every religion, every race
the children that you put to bed
the country where you lay your head

long shadows on the bathroom floor

long shadows on the bathroom floor
because you're not here any more
they're always there, day or night
something always blocks the light

Thursday, November 15, 2012

little acts

little acts of kindness
little acts of rudeness
little acts of self-aggrandizement
little acts of lewdness

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Flash Fiction: Heather

Original Image

 "Was it me?", she thought.

She usually didn't take this way to the train. Ray would know how she got to the train, right? She would take the most direct route. There would be no reason to go down Polk Street, unless she wanted a cup of coffee. She took her coffee to work almost every day. Ray knew this. Or did he? He didn't drink coffee. He liked the way it smelled when she brewed a pot in the morning, but that was the extent of his fascination with it.

 The sign could have been printed anywhere, by anyone. Sometimes when Ray would email her, he would say "haveta" and "gotta". It was some kind of slang affectation. He thought it was cute, she assumed.

 What would he even be getting at? They hadn't fought in a while. He had wanted to go fishing last weekend with his friends, but when she reminded him of the trip to see her mom, he seemed fine. Well, he seemed a little huffy. Was that it? He *knew* about the trip to her mom's weeks in advance. So she's being unreasonable? It's *her* problem?

 And why couldn't he just talk to her? What is hard about that? Now she has to read a note on Polk Street? Is that something a mature person does?

 "When I get home," she thought, "I'm going to give him a piece of my mind."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pissing On The Grave Of An Old Friend

In 1999, I was a happy, new presence on the web, editing HTML files and uploading them to splotchy.com.  I talked about records I bought, milkshakes I drank, motel signage I fancied. It was the 90's!

Then, after a long hiatus from having a presence on the Internet, I came back.  I started blogging in 2007.  I made blogger friends.  Some bloggers I met in person, some I only knew online.

I blogged pretty seriously (is seriously the right word?) for several years.  Gradually, many bloggers stopped blogging.  Some went to Facebook.  I know at least one died, though she wasn't someone I knew well.  Friends of mine were friends with her.  Her old Twitter account still gets recommended to me from time to time, and it's a mixed feeling of poignancy and uneasiness I get every time it happens.

One of my blogger friends deleted his blog back in 2009.  He said it was because of the new job he was getting. I still have his blog in Google Reader.  Google Reader will cache posts for a time.  I'm not sure how long it does, but his blog still sits there, even if it no longer exists in the blogosphere.

I noticed that there were 50+ posts in my RSS feed for his blog today.  Someone has apparently taken his blog address and is using it for spam.

Crap is what people will see if they visit his quirkily-named URL.  They won't have any record of what was there.  But I still remember.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wrong/Right Variations


if being right is right, i don't wanna be right
if being right is wrong, i don't wanna be right
if being right is right, i don't wanna be wrong
if being right is wrong, i don't wanna be wrong
if being wrong is right, i don't wanna be right
if being wrong is wrong, i don't wanna be right
if being wrong is right, i don't wanna be wrong
if being wrong is wrong, i don't wanna be wrong

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cloud From Train

Here I go again with an animated GIF. I could have just as easily (well, MORE easily, even) done a movie from my train of this nice-looking cloud, but I didn't.

I took a series of pictures, then animated them.

I think it turned out kinda nice.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Walk Shadows

Another half-assed animated GIF.  ShesAllWrite and I walking down the street after the 1st day of Pitchfork, a bright streetlight at our backs.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Moving People, Stationary Train

I was bored on the platform today while waiting for the train that would take me home, surreptitiously photographing people as they walked past me.

Another train was in the background, sitting still.  If you look closely, you can see the lights go on and off in the train.  For whatever reason, before (or sometimes, while) a Metra train pulls out of Union Station, there's some sort of power cycling that happens.  The lights turn off for seconds/minutes.

Anyways, I made an animated GIF of a few minutes of my boredom.  Hope you like it.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Head Mosaic #3

25 more heads.

Click for bigger.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Head Mosaic #2

It had to come to this.  25 more heads.

 Click for bigger.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Head Mosaic

I've been taking pictures of the backs of people's heads on my daily commute between the suburbs and the city (to and back!) for a little over a month. I run the pics through a simple filter and post the resulting images to Twitter.

Why do I do this? Well, one day I happened to notice the crazy, heaped-up hair of the woman sitting in front of me, took a picture of it, then just kinda fell into taking these kinds of pictures on a regular basis.

I suppose you could argue that taking these pictures could be considered an invasion of privacy, but I feel like the anonymity of the person counteracts the fact that I am taking their picture. Well, I hope it does, at least. I haven't known any of the people in these pictures, and I hope no one takes offense.

I have found that I like picking out a particular characteristic in the world around me, then focus on the characteristic and highlight it (e.g. negative space signage, sidewalk liquor). I don't necessarily doggedly pursue these things that I notice, but I do focus some attention on them.

So, for now, backs of heads it is, then.

Enjoy!

 Click for bigger.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Short Story Idea #4

A woman works for a spamming company, which looks for old defunct blogs and websites and misappropriates them. Her job is to update the websites, placing ads for products and services, malware, etc.

The woman is tracked down and contacted by a stranger who previously owned one of the old websites. The stranger believes that the spirit of his dead wife is the source of the website updates and writes a series of agonizing, heartfelt notes to the woman.

Conference Call Doodle #3

Conference Call Doodle #2

Conference Call Doodle #1

Short Story Idea #3

People on a weekly conference call uncontrollably and unintentionally start rhyming with each other in their conversations.

They are frightened at first by this, resistant, but come to appreciate the work they create together, and eventually win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Short Story Idea #2

Planets are drawn to each other via unusual gravitational forces, forming a giant planetary necklace that is gaudy, bordering on offensive.

One of the planets' denizens thinks the necklace is kind of cute, and sends delegations to the other inhabited planets to convince them of the necklace's aesthetic beauty.

Short Story Idea #1

I see a man walking down the street holding an apple.

He seems much smarter than me.

An Embarrassment Of Vowels

aeiuouoiooooooooooo
oo
oaaaaaaaaaaieeeeeuouuu
eeieieieieieieieieieoooooouououoaeiuo

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Abandoned Blog Has Been Unabandoned

WE ARE. GHOSTLY.

Nor. OY.

WE ARE. GHOSTLY.

Ancillary robots.

JUST IN TIME.

Husks. WE ARE. GHOSTLY.

Robots. Computers. Oxygen. Water. Food.

WE ARE. GHOSTLY.

Fights in the yard.
Groceries. Car crashes.
Over.

Over.
Over.
Over.

My Suggestion For A New Crayon Color

Slush
 



















I AM THINKING OF A NUMBER BETWEEN ONE AND TEN

ASCII Butt

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Terrible Poetry

People like to file
Their poetry
Even when it's terrible
Because they know how they felt
When those awful words poured from them

And if you found their poetry
In a battered filing cabinet
Long after they left it
Unwittingly abandoned
Absentmindedly forgotten

If you could find and ask them
Without emotion or condescension
Without the hint of derision or judgment
Neutral, calm, detached
What should I do with this?

More times than not
They would reply without hesitation
Throw it away
Throw it all away

It was something for them to save
But nothing for you to keep
Or even see

Barbara Stanwyck And The Luna Moth

Monday, February 6, 2012

Words That Don't Rhyme With Munch

01. Water
02. Snazzy
03. Helicopter
04. Birch
05. Fallopian
06. Crawdad
07. Justice
08. Plebeian
09. Bungee
10. Portent

Cary Grant And The Butterfly

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Am Sitting Next To My Fiancé Right Now

We are seated at my desk.

She is checking her Google Analytics on her laptop.

I am writing this post on my Mac and playing her a song by Brazilian Girls.

I think life will be okay.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Took This Picture At...


I took this picture at 3:16pm CST, on February 2nd, 2012.

I was on the NW corner of State and Adams in downtown Chicago, facing south.

I had just met with my accountant with regards to filing my 2011 income taxes, and had given him my financial documents for the year.

I was angry at my ex-wife for countless terrible things she did to me, and continued to do to me. I looked forward to a day when I wouldn't be affected by her, or at least affected by her significantly less.

I was mad at my lawyer for doing a horrid job of representing me in the divorce. I was still paying her back for the hours she spent doing an awful job.

I was mad at the lawyer of my ex, who, despite knowingly participating in our "collaborative" divorce, did everything in her power to act as a combative litigation attorney. (A side note, our case was the last collaborative divorce case she handled).

I wished there was something I could do to make things better.

I was so angry and mad at everything. I was mad at how little money I had.

But it was sunny out. There was a breeze. That made me happy.

And, I had just gotten off the phone with my fiancé. I felt lots of love for her. We talked about the weekend. She was very busy at work that day. I felt for her and wanted to make her feel better.

I didn't take a picture because what I was seeing down State Street was particularly interesting or beautiful.

I wanted to remember this moment for some reason.

I was there.

Sigmund Freud And The Crudely-Drawn Bee

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Elevator Lobbies

I like to sometimes take pictures with my phone. If I feel like it, I post those pictures to Twitter, Facebook, etc.

A month or so ago, I went out walking during my lunch break on a particularly nasty, cold rainy day and took these pictures.

I posted them all to Twitter, but people didn't respond to any of them, other than one person who said, "Please stop doing this."

I don't know. Sometimes you connect with people, sometimes you don't.

I like them. Enjoy.















Obey Or Else

Several months ago I noticed an assortment of Shephard Fairey "OBEY" stickers plastered on the bike rack and other surfaces near the train station in my town.

I thought to myself, it only took a couple decades for that graffiti to ripple out to the western suburbs. Of course, now you can buy clothing, bags, mugs, mousepads, toasters, jello molds, etc. of that OBEY image. The person who placed the stickers didn't make those stickers -- they bought them.

Seeing those stickers makes me think about a lot of things. I think about how counterculture can be easily packaged and sold and completely defanged. I think about how the original graffiti that has been turned into a commodity was not particularly countercultural, or dangerous, or interesting in the first place. I think about how the artist Shepherd Fairey appropriates images for his own use and makes a profit on them, while simultaneously zealously protecting his own work when other people attempt to appropriate it. He's kind of a dick, probably.

All these thoughts really don't have much bearing on the real world, I suppose. I'm not thinking about war, or peace, or hunger, or how people should be nice to each other. They are the thoughts that a white guy with a comfortable life can think as he prepares to board a comfortable train to take him to his well-paying-but-not-too-particularly-stressful job.

Anyways, I saw something interesting today. Someone added accompanying graffiti to some of the stickers near the train station.



What did the person who wrote "OR ELSE" mean? Was it ironic? Was it brilliant? Was it redundant? Why did they feel compelled to write that? Isn't the "OR ELSE" already implied?

I walked around the other side of the pole and noticed another Fairey sticker, and more graffiti.



Ohhhhhh. That's nice.

So, now, more questions. Was "NIGGER LOVER" written at the same time as "OR ELSE"? Or was it written at a different time? Was it written by a different person? Note that the "L" in "LOVER" and the "L" in "ELSE" are different.

Did someone feel spontaneously compelled to write "NIGGER LOVER" on a pole, or was it in response to the André the Giant sticker? If it was in response to the sticker, did the person who wrote the graffiti think André the Giant as depicted in the sticker was black?

What do you think?

BONUS PICTURE:

I accidentally took a picture of my foot when I was taking the graffiti pictures. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Falling Ice



It's winter. Yay! Yayyyyyy.

Okay, so it's winter. I work in downtown Chicago. It seems like every skyscraper in the downtown area has some variation of the signage above.

These signs have always bothered me. Essentially, they are saying, if you choose to walk here, you may get hit in the head by a hunk of ice falling off our ginormous building. Don't say we didn't warn you!

Is this supposed to be helpful? Is it some attempt at avoiding legal liability for pedestrian injuries or property damage? Do buildings have any liability for damaged sustained from falling ice? How many building-ice injuries are sustained on a yearly basis?

Are these warning signs an indication that one should find another path to a destination? These signs don't seem to have that effect. People don't take them seriously. Also, given the fact that every building seems to put these signs on their sidewalks, I think it would be largely impossible to find a clear non-falling-ice path.