Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another picture of the nest, taken earlier in the year by V's mom.
Thanks, Karen!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New Todd Haynes Dylan biopic I'm Not There comes out on the 28th of next month, which really is the best news I've heard in a long time. Skip the shite studio trailer, which as usual tries to pound a round peg into a square hole, and check this small scene fragment, found online this morning:

Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan and David Cross as Allen Ginsberg.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Exposed by the season: one of the largest and most beautiful wasp nests I've ever seen, right under our noses all summer long, but cloaked by growth.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just viewed: vastly underrated 70's realist classic Scarecrow, featuring young versions of Al Pacino and Gene Hackman, the latter of which I'd honestly never fully appreciated until now.

Watch him in the final scene, coughing up the last of his hidden cash to pay for the round-trip train ticket, then calmly but determinedly banging the hollow heel of his shoe back into place on the counter, totally oblivious to the shocked teller, the line-up, everyone.


I had to watch the scene twice, amazed at the amount of compressed emotional energy it managed to release with the most minimal of cues.
Hackman plays it as straight as ever, never telegraphing, always in the moment, the definition of Mamet's "nail that looks like a nail," but in light of the previous two hours, it's triumphant.

"Winner of two Academy Awards for Connection and Unforgiven, Hackman considers Scarecrow, which won the Golden Palm at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, his favorite of more than 80 films."
Robert Crumb - A Short History of America

Crumb also drew three possible epilogues to the strip in 1988, remarkable in their prescience of the current debate.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Timothy O'Sullivan - Desert Lake Near Ragtown, Carson Desert, Nevada. 1867

Great essay by Robert Adams on early photographers conceptions of western space (found yesterday while digging through an old pile of Aperture magazines.)

"The chief reason the photographers did better than the painters, however, was that when the painters were confronted with space they filled it with the products of their imaginations, whereas photographers were relatively unable to do that. The limits of the machine saved them. If there was "nothing" there, they had in some way to settle for that, and find a method to convince us to do the same.
...The resulting pictures have an element almost of banality about them, but it is exactly this acknowledgment of the plain surface of things that helps legitimize the photographer's difficult claim that the landscape is coherent. We know, as we recognize the commonness of places, that this is our world and that the photographer has not cheated on his way to his affirmation of meaning."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Theological Positions

New pictures from Mile 0 and all 100 of the 100 Views are up now on

Big thanks to Lori K. for turning my cro-magnon html code into something that actually resembles a functioning website.

Apologies in advance to all small monitor owners.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

A photo of my godfather Phil Foster enjoying his vacation, courtesy Maya.

Of course, if we had access to that nifty photo-examining technology from Blade Runner, we might edge slowly around the left side of his profile, thereby revealing the curious, delighted expression I know is there; undaunted in the face of a lot of bullshit.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts - I Love Rock n' Roll

Sudden memories this morning of a weird sexual attraction I had to Joan Jett in the 6th grade. Weird in the sense that all prepubescent sexual crushes are weird, given the surplus of imagination and drought of experience at that age (what exactly did I imagine Jett would do with my emaciated 12-year-old self if we were alone together? Snap me in half over her knee and use my flat ass as a coke table?)

I Love Rock n' Roll was the first album I ever bought, on tape. I played it till the text was completely gone from both sides, and the blank plastic began to yellow. Jett's infamous "Yeaaow" on the title track (1:19 in the video above) made the hair on the back of my neck stand up every time. See the way Jett immediately turns her back to the audience after the "Yeaaow," then flips back around to sing the second verse in close up, while chewing gum? That blew my mind. I wasn't 17 like the guy Jett is creeping on in the song, but I got the point loud and clear (much to my Jackson Brown-listening moms dismay.)

The next summer, in a state of excitement way out of proportion to the actual event, I stood in line with my endlessly patient Aunt Sue to see Joan Jett live at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. I was just young enough to not realize how utterly uncool it was to be chaperoned by my aunt. I was dressed in what I thought at the time to be suitably 'badass' attire: black converse, combat pants and a Clash-Combat Rock t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. A studded leather bracelet about 7 sizes too big for my pale twig of a wrist finished the ensemble off.

My main memory of the show itself is of being lifted onto some huge guy's shoulders when the band launched into "I Love Rock n' Roll" and carried up to the front of the stage. I didn't know who the guy was or who had lifted me onto his shoulders. It didn't matter. I shook my fists in the air and screamed loudly. The band played the song, just like on the tape, complete with the bendy guitar solo. The bassist (the guy with the v-neck in the video above) pointed his bass at me and the crowd actually cheered. Jett even gave me a little cool nod at one point.

A few years later my attraction to Jett was replaced overnight with another weird sexual obsession, this time with actress Jenette Goldstein (or more specifically Vasquez, the character she played in the film Aliens.) Again, weird in the sense that I can't for the life of me remember what I could have possibly been fantasizing about. I don't normally find 'butch' women attractive, and I've never had the urge to be tied up or dominated by a woman. Why this early fixation on hard asses?'
Maybe it wasn't completely sexual. Maybe I just wanted to hang out with them. Or maybe I was attracted to them precisely because I knew they would never be attracted to me. They were my antithesis in every way.
Why are you still reading this?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007