12/30/09


'So Sumi, narrative'

Is there some special word for the medium of drawing in photoshop?

12/10/09

Monthaversary!

Since September 10, 1993 (our best guess at the year), the tenth of the month is a celebration.

11/25/09

Natacha Ramsay gives hope that eyebrows will return.

9/25/09

My first real music video gets nominated for a Grammy



"Splash" is Ponypak's shoe-gazing treatment of lost love set in a bildungsroman about the human potential for redemption.



Kidding!
It's a booty video with a great house track.
The shoot was such a party at Susan Aurinko's Flatfile Gallery that it took quite a while just to ferry all the food into the kitchen. I don't want to spoil the plot (there isn't one), but let me just say I'm still trying to get the milk spots off my camera.
The white guy who carries off the girl is Mike Beck, 6'10" demolition racer and stuntman from Joliet.

My thanks to every single person at the shoot for all the good vibes.
See it here. Turn it way up.

9/17/09

Inglourious Basterds, great looks.

WARNING: SPOILER.

Any one of these shots would have let me die happy if I had made them:
The scene at the farmhouse table, seemingly lit by the bright sun on the table.
The back of the screen, just catching fire from the bottom.
The giant face of jewish vengeance, projected on smoke.

That first one has a technique I use a lot, either with available light or my own lights. Motivated soft glows from visible surfaces. There's a wonderful bit of it in the projection booth scene with "Mimieux" and Zoller. The arc light that leaks out of the projector reflects off her red dress and gives a red glow. When I'm shooting with motivated bright stage lighting (lots of hip hop videos lately), I let it bounce off skin or cloth onto faces. It's a lifesaver for beautiful dark skin. Likewise, in a recent shoot lit by motorcycles, the headlights bounced off clothes and onto faces.

A morning routine, September 2, 2009

4:40 am.

Up.

Sweater, cool indoors, so can’t just stay in drafty pajamas.

Corduroy pants, warm socks, turtleneck, yellow sweater for happiness.

To Spike and Samba, “No, not yet.”

Loud stretching.

Measured cup of water on to boil, clickclickclickwhooshclickclick.

Dry the cup so all the cereal will come out of it.

Big knife-halve an apple.

Small knife-sculpt out the core.

Big knife-slice two ways. Eat a little.

Peel banana. One strip peeled then fold back the bottom so the whole peel goes. A few strings. Proof that there is no god.

Drape strings onto inside of garbage bin, sticking there instead of on fingers.

Big knife-split the banana. Slice, andante. Left forefingers clean the blade.

Eat a piece.

Cinnamon and vanilla in the water.

Shake the raisin jar to loosen a handful. Into the water. Then a few more.

Boiling.
1/3 cup of cereal shaken into the water and stirred.

Big knife and left hand-scoop fruit into water.

Cover. Almost done.

Tea kettle filled from the tap. Count seven, that’s a cup. Friction fit lid.

Clickclickclickclickwhooshclickclick.

Stir the fruit, stuck together with cereal.

Big cup, gold basket goes in. Northwest Breakfast tea, a rounded teaspoon, but not the most you can fit on the spoon.

“No, not yet.” Petting. “Let’s have some scratching.” Arching up to be scratched.

Choose the yogurt container by heft. Check the yogurt. What’s that? Look close. Okay, I guess, it’s still food.

Fifteen crunches on the kitchen floor. Thirty pushups to a verse and chorus of ‘Simple Gifts.’

Noisy stretching, every important joint sounding.

Kettle almost boiling. Bubbles forming on the bottom, but collapsing with a little sound as they reach the colder water above.

The little sound stops.

Pour it into the gold basket, tea floating up. Twirl basket and lift it a little to wet everything.

Cereal pan on folded towel to protect great-granddad’s handmade table.

Big spoon. Big dollops of yogurt.

“No, not yet.

Read. Eat. Something in the stomach before the tea.

Pull the gold basket, bang it five times in the garbage, like the beginning of The Who song.

Sip. Not yet.

“No, not yet.”

Read, eat, scratch, sip.

8/23/09

Hustle Hard, my latest music video

video
A lifestyle video for Sean Nitty and Big Cash.
There's some plot, a big drug deal shot at my house and a sex trap set in the bedroom of photographer Emily 'Northside' Grimes. I like the night scene lit by motorcycles. Big Cash is particularly scary when he comes around the corner to chase you off his territory.
The drug deal in our kitchen was lit by late sunlight bouncing off the cherry wood table. Bigg Nastee and Bo Deal, who had just opened for Gucci Mane the night before, were particularly convincing.
Sean was nice to work with. He's so low key but with very evolved taste.

7/22/09

I've been appropriated by Leigh Ledare!


It's a wonderful story, but the short version is that Leigh Ledare (google him), Nan Goldin protege, took some scandalous pix of his 50 something mom, including with her 22 year old boy friend, and some nudes, some kind of, oh, challenging.
I had also shot some racy video of her, in a kind of costume romance that would be rated soft-R, I think. She was the duchess and there was a duke, two maids, and the 22 year old hunk as the chauffeur. Bawdy, but no actual sex, no giblets, but some rolling around, exposed curves, and literally ripped bodices.
I sent her a copy of the raw footage and she sent it to Leigh. He created a piece out of some of it and calls it "The Gift." He's showing it all over the world, I think. I haven't seen it yet. It's $4,000 a copy but I think he's going to Gift me. Thanks Leigh. Very exciting.

The Lake Shore Limited to Chappaqua

I'm headed off to see dearest friends unseen since the late 60's and 70's. The train ride will be great but I'm a little insecure about seeing these people. They're all 22 years old but carrying decades of success, while I'm kind of middle-aged and pretending I lost it all to Madoff and I'm starting over.
Okay, packing enough vegetable matter to feed half an Amfleet Coach, a guitar, and the travel journal (one should always have something solipsistic to read on the train.)

7/19/09

Now that I'm making a lot of rap video...

It's bad enough I'm wearing a bow tie,
but I don't have a decent nom de club, so:




6/19/09

New card for the non-staid clients/collaborators,

Click it for a closer look.

more floating world, less Law and Medicine.

5/7/09

Backup now

Print out the really irreplaceable text. Get the other important stuff onto dvds and cds.
OR
Just be ready for a lesson in evanescence.

5/1/09

Nerval, in Cairo, to Gautier, Paris, 1843

I have already lost, kingdom after kingdom, province after province, the more beautiful half of my universe, and soon I will know of no place to find a refuge for my dreams. But it is Egypt that I most regret having lost to my imagination, now that I have placed it, sadly, in my memory.

4/16/09

Ryan Trecartin, q.v.

video
The new Warhol/Morrissey/Waters. Can't look, can't look away.

4/4/09

3/12/09

So I didn't have a career as a writer...

But if I had, here’s my latest:


Click for a closer look.


Frontispiece by Hussein Chalayan
Illustrations by Tony Fitzpatrick

This is for Lynn. Thanks again.

Acknowledgements
All the extra words in this are my fault; all that aren’t in this are John Yohalem’s.
Thanks to Mishka at the Welfleet Chowder House for wi-fi and juice.
Thanks to Nancy Herring and John Balfe for failing to talk me out of it, Nick Licata, Nick Iversen, Susan Sontag, Josie Drexel Duke, Alison, Massey Ferguson, O’Rinko, Cortez and his runners, my urologist for the vasectomy that made all this possible, and, of course, Jinxy.

[Insert book here]

Afterword
Thanks for reading the whole thing. Now you know.

This book is set in Mock Roman Extended.

3/1/09

Dream Bike

Visible.
Theft resistant.
Durable.
Commuter and grocery runs.

• All Scotchlite® or equivalent in the most visible pattern. Might be every available square inch or there might be a more visible pattern.
• Hub dynamo, wired lights
• Lights integrated into bike, not removable, front and rear, including stand lights, maybe wearable lights, including some across shoulders and chest (would a velcro®’d chest band stay up, maybe under arms?), pattern like police cars, blue and white, spotlight on one hand for signaling and shining on things. How expensive would bluetooth sync be? Every light working together in a pattern, limning a coherent object. Wouldn’t that add visibility? Lights and flag on a whip staff, vertical from rear of rear pannier rack.
• Integrated lock, like a spooled cable. Maybe the hubs lock?
• Integrated mirrors? Or is a good helmet mirror enough?
• Easy on/off panniers, each about grocery bag size, front and rear, usually just one of four is on the bike. Front rack itself is quick release, for between grocery runs. Accordion flat when empty. Drawstring cover to prevent prying and to keep stuff in.
• Loud horn, with integrated air can inside a tube. Easy to fill, Schrader valves match the tires’. Horn button accessible but not accidentally available.
• Lovely bell.
• Kickstand.
• Quick release wheels and seat, with theft resistant heads on the stems.
• Radio beacon for tracing when it’s stolen. On all the time or just set it when you’re parked in public? I bet it’s a negligible power draw to ping a cell tower, say, with your GPS. The system will call you and others if the bike moves, and tell in real time where it is, maybe a Google© map to your iPhone® and your blog. You could use this for fun, too; have a journal of journeys.
• Medium width tires, cross bike size, with puncture resistant Kevlar® linings, schrader valves.
• Three speeds for Chicago.
• Fenders.
• Handlebars that let you sit up a little or hunch over.
• Comfortable saddle.

2/17/09

Fund raiser for Deborah's Place

video
The high rez version was projected in a hotel ballroom. Music by Clarence Fraher with interference by me. The featured actress is Gandlyn Ross, a dream to work with.
Thanks, Margaret Douglas, Deborah's Place board, for letting me help out.

2/16/09

My Artist Statement Video for Man Bartlett

Man is fun to direct and even his studio is telegenic.
Have a look; it's short.
video
Thanks, Susan Aurinko, of Flatfile Galleries, for being articulate and soignée.
Man's friend Nick Butcher did the music.

2/6/09

Filemaker Pro Advanced for the Apollonian lifestyle

After a decade or more of maundering about needing a big ole database of everyone I know and everything I've noted about them, I spent a couple days teaching myself Filemaker Pro.
Now everything is alphabetized, or in chronological order, or listed by zip code.
I'd always wanted to take open-ended notes while talking to someone, but the various databases I'd used, like Act! and Entourage had these dinky little windows for typing. So when I got to FMP, I looked at the tiny window for the Contact Management template and thought I can't have everything.
Then I found out that that field's capacity is measured in gigabytes AND I can create a layout where it's almost the whole screen, like a word processor. PLUS I figured out how to set a key combination that takes me instantly to that big notes view.
So go ahead, call me up, tell me something at length. I'll remember.