Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2006

Yes, but is it Art?

I had stopped what I was doing suddenly. Like the abrupt and offensive sound of a needle scratching an LP, my task had ceased. I looked up at him dumbfounded.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“Photography isn’t art. My Dad was an art teacher for 20 years, and it wasn’t until recently that photography was inserted into the art curriculum. It was never considered an art before then.”

I blinked twice. With this level of ignorance, I’d expected knee-high Jack Boots on his feet, or some kind of stick or club in his hand. He was so sure of his opinion... so confident he was right...

“It’s not art, it’s a skill.”

”You...(sigh)...I...I don’t have the words to express to you how wrong you are.”

He looked at me as if he’d just discovered that it was I who had pissed in his corn flakes this morning. “Don’t you tell me I’m wrong! I know what I’m talking about. My Dad taught Photography for 10 years. It’s not art it’s a mechanical process.”

My eyebrows rose as if to object, my mouth opened and…

from a conversation I had recently...

Photographers live in the past.

We take ourselves out of the moment to record it for posterity. Witnessing, but never fully taking part.

Then, after the fact, we examine and rearrange the events, hoping to make sense of them. By then, however, it’s too late. The past is gone and it doesn’t really matter that we figured it out in the first place.

I’ve realized that the several years of my life I’ve obsessively documented are now hollow memories and not as fulfilling or comforting as I thought they would be.

As I peruse these photographs from time to time, I see Brothers, Friends and Lovers. I see the places I’ve gone and places I haven’t been to in a very long time. The one thing I don’t see is myself. I am absent from these events, and consequently, I am absent from the memories as well...

I still carry a camera pretty much everywhere I go, but now the life experiences come first and the photos come second.

A Short Note...

Re: Public Breast Feeders:

Unless you brought enough for everybody, maybe you should put that away.

Reflections on the Unphotographed Life

My Doctor once told me, tapping his temple; "Some images are just for you... for up here."

Those images are some of my best work, and I jealously guard them.

Wide Load...

I entered the crowded coffee chain at 10AM, to discover that it wasn’t really that crowded, just jammed up by 2 people, each with doublewide strollers. This husband and wife team had managed to put a complete stop to traffic flow. The store was smallish, and had a couple of displays that were taking up valuable real estate (though not as much as these Peterbuilt Prams). As people shuffled in, and tried to move into the line, the prams held their ground.

Do these people have any concept of what they’re doing? Can’t you park those damn things at a meter and have one of you go in? Oh, wait. Neither of you knows what you want even though you both see this menu every day of your work week. So if you could fuck with everybody’s life, while adding 15 minutes to my coffee buying experience, that’d be great.

While you may think it’s quaint to have a stroller the size of your husband’s H3, nobody else does. That Baby doll tee from Abercrombie and Fitch doesn’t give you a pass, either. I don’t…

The Most Dangerous Pastry...

She had asked for a Rice Crispy Treat.

Dammit. My heart leapt into my throat. The tag on the tray said Marshmallow Bar. Can’t she read?

I couldn’t let her call it a Rice Crispy Treat, not with those rumors floating around. We never paid for the right to use the brand and if THEY caught wind of it, we’d be in trouble.

I must have had a deer in headlights look on my face because she repeated her order.

“Rice Crispy Treat?” she said, pointing.

Those elves are treacherous... I mean they’re Evil. He’s not called Snap for show. That little guy is a knee breaker and he’s crazy.

You ever wonder WHY the Original Boo-Berry went off the market? It’s because they never found him, not after he started talking smack about Snap and his brothers. (Subsequently, they pulled a "Darren From Bewitched" and "reintroduced" him.) After that, Cap’n Crunch had to house all of the General Mills guys in his Vitamin Fortified Compound in the West Indies.

“How ‘bout a Marshmallow Bar?”

"Don't take any wooden nickels." and other non-tips from TagTown USA

The world is essentially divided into 2 types of people: those that tip and those that are cheap oxygen wasting mouth breathers.

This is the type of person that a corpulent childhood friend named Albert would have described as “School in the summer time... No class.”

You know who you are. And so do we. We notice you, and we still smile because it’s our job. But on the inside we’re doing unspeakable things to you... and that’s why I’M smiling.

When I moved here from West Michigan, I thought I had left a city plagued by the cheapest lousiest people on earth.

Not so.

Bearing their lanyards as a badge of distinction (as if I’m impressed), sauntering up to the counter while talking on the cell phone (hands-free blue tooth sci-fi ear piece, of course, you neophyte) and browsing a menu they’ve looked at a thousand times before. The vacant open mouth stare I know so well. Then they order the same thing they always do.

“Uuuuuuuummmmm... hum... well I’d like- No we can’t have that report by Mond…

The changing face of covert assassins...

"“We used to have a lock on the huge albino assassin market...sure it had been done before, but we were the ones who came up with the self-flagellating monk angle. You see, no one ever questions a monk, and you don't notice the albino thing right away either; 'Jeepers, that's a big monk!', you say...but other wise you take no notice."

"Then that damn book came out and we had to change tactics. Of course, we had a back up plan. We've been working with a major cosmetics company to create a self-tanning spray specifically for our guys. Something natural, not too bronzy, or shiny."

"Well, it'’s been a real disappointment. We had long-term contracts that are now void, because people see our guys coming a mile away. Nowadays, who's NOT going to notice a 7-foot tall albino monk, even if he ISN'T one of our assassins?"

Is it possible to look at all manly with a blended drink in your hand?

What does a Strawberries and Cream blended drink say about you as a man? Decaf Light Blended Coffee? I don't care what mid-life crisis car you're driving, you can't look cool sucking from a straw. Maybe Chuck Norris could...maybe.

It beats workin'...

I get an embossed card after 90 days, right around the time I have my 30th coffee tasting. My decoder ring comes after 120 days. At 5 years they let me into the Inner Sanctum, where their ultimate plans for controlling the world will be revealed to me. At 10 years I get a sabbactical and use of the Island Lair...

Of course, I'll be wearing the black apron of a Coffee Master by then.

seriously, coffee master, black apron, you know, the Jedi Knights of coffee...

"This is not the drink you are looking for..."

"You'd LIKE a muffin with that..."

Moving cups around, blindfolded, making lattes with my mind, maybe I would finally crack the mystery of the Iced Cafe Voltaire...then somewhere nearby, a cup…

This art will self destruct in 5...4...3...2...

"I AM THE GOD OF HELL-FIRE AND I BRING YOU...!!", bellowed The Doctor.
I jumped back as the flame singed my eyebrows.

vegan apocalypse

Back then we didn't know that plants led lives of their own. They lived, loved, mated and died. Once this startling discovery was made, Legislation was passed to prohibit the consumption of plant life of any kind. The agricultural industry collapsed overnight, as fields were ordered to be left to grow, nothing to be touched.

Their spirits were among them teaching the young plants how to grow, and when to fear the harvest.

The Pause...

I'm always straightening my tie.

I like to stop the van and take a few seconds before I do these gigs.

The four-foot check sits awkwardly in between the seats. I look at the name again, saying it to myself a few times.

Contrary to popular belief, "The Check" isn't cardboard, it's actually made out of foamcore board, which is much sturdier. People have a tendency to hug them.

I move the mirror to make sure my tie adjustment has worked. It has, but I adjust it anyway. The cameraman is loading tape into his video camera. The photographer is testing his flash.

We are about to change these people's lives forever, and they have no idea. This used to excite me about the job, but lately it's just become sort of, you know, more of a job.


I sigh and say their name again a few times.

I straighten my tie and put the white van in gear. It's just over the bridge.

I just hope the flying elves don't come back...


I realized that I finally knew exactly which one was "the weakest link".


Shortly after executing my compass, I came across a glen. He was lost too...

Planned Avian Communities

Unfortunately, today's condo developments will be tomorrow's ghettos...


The tiny church had no name. It's builder was remembered by no one. The inside was empty, save one small podium and a picture of a thoughtful Christ, looking up through a small hole in the rafters.

It now gave sanctuary only to the desert animals that took refuge under it's foundation.

Too late...

All of a sudden he realized, there in low light of the evening sun, that his life had passed him by. He was destined for nothing.
What had he accomplished?
What had he to show for a lifetime of wanting?
His shoulders buckled and fell under the weight of his acceptance that wanting wasn't enough.

Deep Throat knew he could hide out in the Terrarium...

how long could he possibly stay there? They would find him soon, unless he did something...drastic.

Operation Latte' Thunder...GO!!

Freelance, you know, the Latin term for terminally unemployed. That's me. Lately, the bills are out-pacing the gigs.

time to take my Howard Roarke tour of the Rock Quarry. But which quarry?

Realizing that my only marketable skill aside from the whole camera and lighting thing is making coffee, I got a job at a coffee chain...a big one.

I get a pound of coffee a week for free...i had to get that out of the way...

My first day was spent reading through a forest of dead trees compiled into bound works the likes of which I haven't seen since college. These great tomes included things like the 20 steps of cleaning the pastry cabinet, and the 16 steps to making whipped cream. At first I was a bit nervous, thinking that this actually might be akin to rocket science. I was quickly turned around when I realized that the manuals are written to the lowest common dominator, and that I wasn't crazy, or stupid and that this (as I suspected) is the farthest thing from rocket scienc…

Evidence Collection

Evidence of the crash was collected over the course of 10-15 seconds. I was able to store all of the information I had gathered onto one negative, thanks to an ancient technology...

The collection of extended periods of time onto film was created around 1880.
I know there was an American Flag bandana there when I took the photo, but now I'm not so sure. Did it vanish in processing?

"The trains are blameless, holy creatures..."

The Doctor was here...

A year after the event, there was still proof he had been there. Did they leave the evidence alone, knowing it's importance?

...or had he come back...


Mouse starts under the bowl. Bowl is lifted. If the mouse goes into the color hole you've bet on, you win. There's a mouse kibble in each of the holes, but the odds are always on the house (or is it the mouse).

I feel like this mouse all the time....

This carnival game seemed kind of seedy at first, but upon second thought, the mouse gets a treat no matter what hole he goes into, so for the mouse, it's all right then...

so maybe I don't feel like this mouse...

My Posse...

I'd like you to meet my Posse, Runz with Scissahz

First up is Crispy G, he's always on edge, ready to snap. Some tribes say he can steal your soul, so lookout for him.

Big Fresh is up next. He's so hard-core, he's puttin' in 80 hour weeks...every week.

Tastee-Taste is our man across the pond. Don't let his appearance fool you, he's a brainiac, and ready to pounce!

Hot-Stuff 'll make you into a statistic in the blink of an eye, so watch it!

And backin us up here state side, Mr Durden, if you don't see him around, you know he's off somewhere savin' the world. (you know, like Pete's Dragon)

We're stickin' together like the zippers on a Michael Jackson Beat-It jacket.

thanks to:

My brief, torrid affair with bacon...

Upon moving in with my new roommate, Mr Durden, I was told that he was very frugal with all but 3 things:Bourbon : Maker's Mark or Knob Creek
Coffee: shade grown, organic, fair trade, free range
Bacon: Thick-Sliced Virginia Bacon. It comes in a 1.5lb. package, and at almost $8.00, it's nothing to sneeze at.The right bacon makes all the difference, and sub-par bacon is a real shame, according to Mr. Durden.Before living here, I had never given bacon it's proper respect. I considered it a treat, a throw away side to eggs and pancakes, an occasional addition to my Subway Turkey 12 inch.He takes it very seriously, considering bacon to be it's own food group. We have a jar or two of drippings, used for cooking almost every one of Mr. Durden's native dishes. My favorite is pilau (pronounced Pur-low), a rice dish with shrimp, sausage and, of course, bacon. Another brilliant and tasty treat is Shrimp and Grits. Bacon drippings and flour combine with sauteed onions and …

(repost) Depending on the kindness of Strangers? Is that even legal?

(Until I post something new, here's a repost from my previous blog site...)
I was walking today and came across the following sign:


30 GB in black wearing a DLO Action Jacket

iPod was lost near 40 E. Taylor Run Pkwy; missing since 2/7/2006

Music ranging from Andrew Thompson to Weclef

If you have any information on the whereabouts of this ipod please contact Leann at 703-283-6303


The sign was printed with the iPod graphic showing Bono crooning a lament for Leann that must surely be "Whose gonna listen to your Wild Horses".

I wonder how much more exciting the Wyclef must be with the addition of the DLO Action Jacket. Is it the same level of improvement that one gains from the GI Joe WITH the Kung Fu Grip? Does the Action Jacket also have a Kung Fu Grip option?

I wonder if the person or persons who have poor little iPod are keeping the Action Jacket on, seeing as how the blustery days of spring are here in VA. If iPod catches a cold, would that be covered under the…