Secret Santa

I walked out to get the mail today, and out of the corner of my eye noticed that something didn’t seem quite right.

Most of us don’t pay much attention to our surroundings, since for the most part we see the same tired crap every day. So when something has changed, it can pop right out at you. Ad today something was definitely popping out at me from the side of the house. Someone had propped something up against one of the big fan palms.

Everything we touch turns to rust

oldphoto3Associated Press says, “Ending a century-old tradition, Eastman Kodak Co. will soon stop making black-and-white photographic paper, a niche product for fine-art photographers and hobbyists that is rapidly being supplanted by digital-imaging systems.”

If you’re thinking, “No problem, I can still get my paper from Ilford,” you might be interested to know that they went into bankruptcy last year. Ilford management saved the company with a buyout, but is it only a matter of time before they go under completely? Another big name in traditional photography materials, Agfa, filed for bankruptcy last month. Polaroid went broke in 2003.

On the edge of seventeen

A fan releases a dove outside Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria, Calif., Monday, June 13, 2005, after Michael Jackson was acquitted in his child molestation case.

A fan releases a dove outside Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria, California, Monday, June 13, 2005, after Michael Jackson was acquitted in his child molestation case.

The caption continues:

When asked what she would have done with the dove had Jackson been convicted, she replied, “I had planned to kill and eat the dove, to protest Man’s inhumanity to Michael. But now I don’t have to eat the dove, and that’s super!”

Life at 300 baud

bbs2Carol and I have been watching a great documentary for the past couple of days, and I know how documentary-hungy you bitches are, so here’s a link for you: BBS: The Documentary.

“Eh? What’s the matter with you, mjp, are you losing your mind? I ain’t watching no damn BBS documentary! What the hell is a BBS anyway?!”

12 steps away from the screen, running

giamattiEvery time I see actor Paul Giamatti in a movie, he’s good. He was downright excellent as Harvey Pekar in American Splendor. So when I heard that the best actor academy award was going to be between Giamatti and Jamie Fox, I was pulling for Giamatti to win it.

To tell the truth, I don’t really care who wins an academy award, but I’m always down for the underdog in any contest. Now, having recently seen Ray and Sideways, I don’t think either one of them should win anything. Ever.

Shake a leg

legInstalled three glass door bookshelves – 45 feet of shelf space – and moving the books from our existing cases and the built-ins in the house, we filled up the new cases as soon as they went up. And that’s even after getting rid of a lot of books.

Well, I’ve always wanted bookshelves with glass doors, and now we’ve got them. It’s very swanky in here now, like a five-grand-a-month Manhattan apartment right in San Pedro.

We are simplifying. Getting rid of clutter and old crap, but simplifying is a lot of work. You would think the opposite would be true, but no, sadly it is not.

San Pedro Anarchy Press, Inc.

Welp, the letterpress poem project is finally finished.

It kind of dragged out over a long time, but things tend to do that when you are a lazy procrastinator. If you’re a patron of the weird arts, you can buy one here.

Z is for zealot

z1Saw a great documentary last night; Z Channel: Magnificent Obsession.

The Z channel was one of the first pay cable stations in the country, airing interesting films around the clock. Obscure, weird films, director’s cuts, foreign films that no one in America could see.

Z was only available in a small area of west Los Angeles, but the area was/is full of entertainment industry types, and they all watched, which made the channel, and the guy who started it – Jerry Harvey – very influential.

Lenny Bruce was right

eBay canceled two auctions I had running because they considered them, “Hateful or Discriminatory.”

The auctions were for photographs, and were titled, “WWII portrait, Adolph Hitler w/Helga Goebbels,” and “WWII vintage stereo view, Nazi rally.”

While I can see how some people may not want to be reminded of what went on during world war II, I’m at a loss as to how photographs from the period are “Hateful or Discriminatory.”

Bad meat in the can

I needed 50 interesting old can or bottle labels for a book project, so I checked eBay. I didn’t think I’d be able to find 50 of the same thing, but lo and behold, eBay came through again, giving me dozens of choices of weird old labels with at least 50 copies of each.

label1Now that’s great for me, but it begs the question, who the hell else is buying 50 copies of an old can label?!┬áLots of people, as it turns out. But I cannot, in my most warped and loopy imagination, understand why.

It’s in the water

Living in Los Angeles I have the opportunity to come across unique and distinctive individuals every day. Yesterday I happened to cross paths with two extraordinary examples.

First, driving a convertible south on the 110 freeway was a man (I think) covered completely in bath towels. One over his head like a shah, and towels over each arm, right up to his knuckles on the steering wheel.They weren’t fastened in any way, just flung over him. Well organized, but loose. I was next to him for 30 or 40 seconds, and try as I might I couldn’t get a glimpse of the face…just a dark figure under a towel.

You tell me


What the hell is this?

I mean, I know what it is, it’s an old letterpress printing block.

But if anyone can tell me what the hell it means, you win a prize.

Just keep pulling the handle, it’ll all be over soon

poem001Working on the poem-composed-on-the-spot and printed-in-the-garage project, and so far it’s coming along nicely. First two colors are complete, just need to lay down the black poem text now, which will be the hardest part.

It was weird writing it as I picked up the type. It was hard not to think ahead to the next line, and for the most part I didn’t. I can’t tell right now whether the poem itself is worth a damn, since I can’t read backwards very well. But it seems to have my typical rhythm and outcome, for better or worse.

Rust never sleeps

Been back out in the ink-hole otherwise known as the garage, where my old letterpress lives, quietly mocking me every day because I don’t print much.

Well, I haven’t been feeling the urge since a house painter came some months ago and washed the house and garage with a high pressure hose, blowing all sorts of water, dirt and mud into the garage through the space under the eaves.

A lot of that water and mud and old dead bugs wound up on my 1890’s letterpress and various tons of related equipment. By the time I found out what had happened, the rust was so depressing I just closed the door and ignored it. Wrote it all off as loss.

Randomness, chaos and deliverance

Well, I just got my dog’s ear cleaning medicine in my eye (don’t ask), and while I was attempting to recover from that unfortunate incident with a wet rag to the eye, a “slow speed chase” went right by the house.

Not especially noteworthy, I realize, but it didn’t happen to any of you today, so I thought it worth putting here.

You have to love the “slow speed chase” though. All the lawlessness with none of the drama or impending tragedy. Very unsatisfying. Now, logic dictates you’d call it a “low speed chase,” but all the Los Angeles TV imbecile puppetheads call them “slow speed” chases. It must be written that way in their handbook.