Friday, June 27, 2008

It wouldn't be the same without you...

Music for today: "Party, My House, Be There" by MXPX

I love this song because it does a great job catching the excitement of what will hopefully be a great party.

It's benefit weekend, and that's always fun and stressful, doing that things for a good cause that can't possibly end well.

At four or five am tonight/tomorrow morning, the guys from Jesus & the Devil are rolling into town - to my house. They're on tour and we're putting them up for the weekend. It's the least I can do for them for helping me out - feed them, beer them, and give them a place to sleep until Monday, when they head toward their show in Lansing.

So now do you understand the gist of the song? Yep, if you're looking for the party, you know where it will be.

TGIF, folks. TGIF.

Have a great weekend everyone, and wish me luck as I'm saving the breasts!

I do want to share the flier again, just 'cause:

breast fest 3

It seems like it will never stop raining. I don't know when I'm going to get out on my bike again. The knee has recovered, now I just need cooperative weather.

I really feel for TFN, though, whose going to miss her bike. Actually, I'm going to miss her. She just got the dates for her business trip - and it's a 24-day trip. It's an awesome opportunity, but that's a pretty long time.

But no worries - for now, it's about time for a party at my house.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gliding like a whale

While in Provincetown, we took a whale-watching trip. Up until that point, we hadn’t done anything “touristy,” hanging out with locals. We came to a quick realization – tourists are annoying obnoxious out-of-towners with no respect for anyone else or their personal space. I can totally understand why people in a tourist destination rely on them for revenue, without ever really taking a liking to them. The ugly American is annoying enough, but the ugly American on American soil is arguably worse.

Even so, all of these minor annoyances faded away by the time we got to the refuge. We were about four miles out in the ocean, but the sea was like glass; a flat plane of blue that spread infinitely in all directions. It was so calm that the humpbacks were just hanging out on the surface.

I took this photo over TFN’s shoulder to show how close the boat was to the whales, who were simply lounging. We drifted up to them, and they just hung out there for a few moments, before slowly and methodically arching their backs. They stretched on forever, and then suddenly, with a small tail slap, they disappeared for 8-10 minutes before resurfacing on just the other side of the boat.

We probably saw 50 whales that day, including the humpbacks who lounged around, a ton of smaller minkes who were playing and constantly on the move and one massive finback whale – bigger than the humpbacks - who was just passing through.

To be this close to such massive animals is Рdespite sounding clich̩ Рvery spiritual. They are so beautiful, and so big, and yet they glide smoothly and gracefully through the water, delicate despite their size.

Being this close to them is a memory I will cherish.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


While in Provincetown, we were kidnapped/adopted by Manuel, one of the locals, who made it his civic duty to ensure that we had a good time.

A lot of walking ensued.

In the process of all that walking, though, we saw a side of Provincetown that the tourists don't see - and only part of it was a seedy underbelly.

I really think that we got so much more of an experience out of it this way, and we came home with a new BFF.

We're already talking about heading back out in the fall to hang out with him again.

Thanks for taking us under your wing.

Only a dollar?

Only a dollar?
Originally uploaded by alpharat
While I am not exactly sure what the going rate on S&M is, I think this is pretty good deal.

One of the fabulous sites in downtown Detroit.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions
Originally uploaded by alpharat
Espresso and Jameson and the Jameson distillery in Dublin. That's how you start the day out right.

Then again, it's always a good time for whiskey. It's not just a breakfast drink!

This is me enjoying a glass of Paddy at a pub in the country just outside of Dublin.

Me in Dublin

Appropo of nothing, I have the telly on right now. Did you know that a kangaroo can't walk backwards? Amazing. That's called learning...

Still waiting for TFN to get home so beach day can begin... Hooray! She's here!

Photos from 5ive: an exhibition

TFN's gallery show was a great success! She sold several pieces - a rarity in Detroit right now, as our economy is in the crapper - and we all had a great time. Here's a sampling of the exhibition.


It's amazing how much work she put in to bring this all together, not to mention how much work I put in helping with the framing.



I'm kind of glad the purple girl didn't sell; I mean it would have been nice for it to sell, but it's also the centerpiece in our living room!


A portrait of the artist as a young woman.

Nick's gallery show





I'm pretty proud of her.

Busted knees - the end of slacking?

ProvincetownSo I spent this morning getting photos from Dublin, TFN's gallery show, Race for the Cure and Provincetown up on Flickr. Of course, one of the penalties for putting this off is that they went up in a jumbled up order, so if you're browsing, they are all over the place. Oh well.

Today is the first day of summer. How does one celebrate the first day of summer? In a few hours a few of us will be heading north for a bonfire on the shore of Lake Huron. It works.

This would normally be accompanied by biking, except that Thursday night my knee had a collision with the handlebars of my bike, and swelling and pain have convinced me to take a few days off - the reason that I'm home, packing the cooler, blogging and washing the dog's blanket, getting ready for a road trip while Nick is out biking the morning away.

At any rate, I'll get them organized and start posting on them this week, but if you want a sneak preview, you know where to find photos...

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's all about the feet.

Apparently, foot #6 was a hoax. But that does nothing to explain feet #1-5.

Also, who goes to the trouble to hoax a severed foot, anyway?

Something smells here. Aside from old feet.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another way to help...

A few people have asked how they can donate to the Breast Fest cause if they’re not coming to the show. I do have a way.

My sister- and brother-in-law will be doing the 3 Day Breast Cancer walk in Chicago, from August 8th-10th...and they need support.

Her words:

As you know from your support over the last few years, it's a 60-mile walk over the course of three days that raises funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund. Last year, we had an incredible experience together participating in this event.

Walking 60 miles was hard, but we will keep walking until breast cancer is no longer. We walk because everyone deserves a lifetime. We walk because we can.

Please make a donation to support our fundraising efforts. To make a donation, just follow the link below to visit our personal fundraising webpage. (If you don't want to donate online, you can download and print a donation form from that page that you can mail in with your donation.) Please also forward to anyone that you think might be interested in supporting this cause.

We appreciate your support. We will add your name (and the names of all of our donors) to our T-shirts that we will wear on the walk, so we won't forget you as we set out on our journey.

Warm regards,

Jen & Chip

Jen's site
Chip's site

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Like Winter in July

I really need to get my photos off my camera onto the computer so I can share the P-Town trip and our new BFF, but as it hasn’t happened yet, I want to make one shout out before I forget – and that’s the fact that one of TFN’s pieces took honorable mention at the New England International Erotic Art Festival, the whole reason we were there. So yeah, I’m way proud of her.

Music of the moment: Peter Murphy

We’re going to see Peter Murphy tonight! We catch him pretty much every time he’s in town, whether it’s with Bauhaus or solo, but I really prefer his solo performances. The guy is a consummate showman, and going to see him is not a “Peter Murphy concert” so much as it’s “an evening with Peter Murphy.”

On the day job front, we just relocated within our building. Not only do I have a window for the first time in years, but it also faces a 150-year-old church. It makes the day much more pleasant.

How’d you like this on your finger?

I just read a Smithsonian article about manufactured diamonds, and found this little factoid:

The largest diamond so far found in the universe is the size of a small planet and located 50 light-years away in the constellation Centaurus. Astronomers with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics discovered the gigantic stone a few years ago, and they believe the 2,500-mile-wide diamond once served as the heart of a star. It's ten billion trillion trillion carats. The astronomers named it Lucy in honor of the Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds."

The article was pretty fascinating, and among other things, pointed out that diamond manufacturers can already make a diamond that jewelers can’t tell came from a lab. Hopefully, they’ll flood the market with them, and drop the bottom out of the De Beers Empire. It would be best for the people of the world if that whole monopoly were no more.

Also, foot #6 just turned up on the beach in Vancouver. Ummm… what the hell?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Completely irrelevant on LP and compact disc.

So it seems that 34 years ago a woman endured the herculean effort of bringing a baby into this world. I know, I was there.

I don't exactly remember it, but I am here now, so it all adds up.

Thanks, Mom! The real work was on your part. All I did was keep breathing.

I'm not sure at what age it's appropriate to have a crisis. I didn't have one at 30, even though TFN and I were both unemployed at the time, and it would have been appropriate.

34 would be a good time for a crisis. Up until now, I have spent much of my professional career seeking ways to market widgets and baubles to the 18-34 age bracket. Now it seems I am entering my last year in that bracket.

I'm not really having a crisis, though. I am definitely undergoing a serious change, though. Recent events have me reevaluating certain aspects of my life. There is a slight revision in goals coming up - more than I feel like giving voice to just yet - and I hope things continue to go the way I want.

TFN got me a theremin for my birthday! If you're unfamiliar with the theremin, it's a musical instrument played by manipulating electrical fields. The Beach Boys used one on "Good Vibrations," and the original "Star Trek" theme was done with one.

And here's a cat playing one:

The one that TFN got me is much nicer than the mini job being played by the kitty, but I couldn't resist.

The guys from LMDD made this up for me. It's quite nice I think...

Man, I can't believe that Breast Fest is in two weeks! Where is this summer going?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sometimes, I love this city.

When taking a long lunch includes walking to the ballpark for a day game, and watching the Tigers win 2-1 with a home run into the stands at the bottom of the ninth while having a brat... that's a reason to love summer in the Motor City.

We're back from P-town. More soon.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

On Writing...

Ange posted an amazing post. A quote:

Because you really do need to be incredibly selfish to be a writer.

"Don't speak to me right now! I'm channeling a plot! And turn that music off. It's spoiling the tone of the scene!"

I don't blame my family.
I blame the nature of writing.

The whole post is here, and it's all perfectly true.

The nature of being a writer - a full-time writer - implies a lot of solitary time. That's actually true for any artist. Channeling the muse involves a lot of social introspection. I guess that's why so many writers and artists are odd ducks. It also explains why so many of them are self-involved. You can't spend that much time with yourself without being in love with yourself.

"Wendy" took over a year to write. Your average professional writer could have probably crafted something similar much more quickly. To be fair, "Wendy" was written in a week, and shaped for 51 more, but the premise still stands.

Mookie sequestered himself for most of the past year finishing a manuscript. I have mad respect for him over that; I lack that discipline. Even in my solitary time, it's hard to commit myself to writing. Rather than really write books, I choose to blog and to go out. I love to write, but even more so I enjoy riding my bike and hanging out with my friends. The life of the solitary eccentric is not for me, and I'm happy with my choice.

That being said, it looks as if TFN may be taking an extended business trip, and including some home projects I want to finish, I have a few stories burning holes in my brain right now.

So, I guess there is a time and a place to be the solitary writer. It's just never going to be my first choice.

On The Road Again, but hopefully not for the last time...

Music of the moment: The Vines

Astroman just forwarded me a great article from Wired, bearing the title Secrets of the 7 Basic Blog Posts. It's quite funny, because in a nutshell, it breaks down what 99.86735% of all blog posts are about.

For example:

1. Be upset!
Terrible things are happening in one of the following: the world, the web or a television show you really like. Make a blog post about it! People will comment about how much they agree with you. Then they'll make their own blog posts about the subject, and other people will comment about how much they agree with them. If we all work together we'll learn that we can make a real impact on our pageviews.

This is the part of the post where I get mad at his attempt at humor, and point out that he is mocking all of blogdom, then give you the link to go read it, thereby increasing our interconnectedness. Seriously though, go read it, it is entertaining.

Tomorrow is the day that I skate off to Cape Cod - actually, we'll be driving, no skating will be involved - and I am more than a little bit stoked, for multiple reasons.

First off, it's always fun to go elsewhere for TFN's gallery shows; her shows in Detroit are a lot of fun, and this latest one was quite successful, especially for Detroit's art market - or lack thereof - but I love going elsewhere to do them.

Also, I can't wait to see Provincetown and Cape Cod. We're taking the bikes with us, and it should be a lot of fun. The area is supposed to be very bike friendly, including many bike trails.

Also, I'm getting away from the Red Wings. Don't get me wrong on that one, I love my Red Wings, but their inability to put an end to this series has made my day job hell. If they'd just win it, I could move forward with normal life.

I'm looking forward to the road trip, too. It's been a few years since we've been on a good old-fashioned road trip. The last time the two of us took a lengthy road trip was when we drove to NC. TFN had just bought me the Vines album, and we listened to it incessantly both on the drive and in our little cabin in the mountains. Totally fell in love with that perfect little rock record. It will be making this trip with us as well, but I bet another CD may emerge as the long player from the trip, too.

I love road trips, it's sad we don't do them more often, and sadder still that the price of gas makes them more prohibitively expensive. If the price of gas kills something horrible, it will be the sense of adventure that causes Americans, young and old, to pile into a car a simply drive for the sake of seeing something new.

Late at night, driving down a lonely highway, the conversations are amazing and soul-baring. And during the day, simply seeing things down stretches of road that you've never been on and likely never will again? This is the stuff that wonder is made of.

Fortunately for now, we have TFN's little XB, which gets good mileage and is roomy enough to have two bikes in the back, so for now, we'll be out there, seeing the world outside our doors.