Friday, September 29, 2006

Please sign

ancient guestbook at link below.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I am ecstatic, astonished, and frightened to tell you that THE DUMP, the almost ten-year-old guestbook of my past websites, still survives in its entirety--on a Lycos site now owned by Daum Communications of South Korea!

As soon as you read this, you must post an entry in said guestbook.

View My Guestbook

Sign My Guestbook

The history offered by this over 500-page document is astounding. Regis website rivalries, the relationship with the utterly brilliant (and doomed) Julie K, the transition to college, much learning and unlearning, and the many strange personalities that walked and shaped the path alongside many of us. It's all there, lots of it unsavory, all of it sadly relevant.

THE CORPORATE HISTORY OF THE DUMP, IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY: In 1997, THE DUMP was launched on lpage, a free guestbook service, and linked to the inexplicably popular rb website IMAGINARY SANITATION. Somehow lpage became a part of Lycos/HTMLGear, which was, at the turn of the century, a massively successful search engine valued at $12B. Just before the boom busted, Lycos was sold to Spain's Terra for $5.2B. After the bust, it was sold to South Korea's Daum for $105m. Lycos struggles on--they offer 3GB of email storage!--and THE DUMP struggles with it.

All the ladies in Halifax

were wearing wool coats, scarves, sunglasses, and hats. The men wore shorts.

This proves a presently unarchived, 3-year-old post from my protean antiblog dead-on:

I. before you go out, please check the weather forecast.
fall is my favorite season of all, and in new york, especially in manhattan, the lighting, temperature, humidity, smell of roasting chestnuts, and pretty people everywhere combine to make my almost-ideal atmosphere. but it *is* early october, and it is still 60 degrees out. i don't think the people on the streets need to be wearing overcoats, scarves, gloves, boots, etc. come on--we know you got that shit on clearance in april. you've waited 6 months to roll it out--just don't do it all at once.

I got in quite a tussle with a scarf-wearing employee of the N----- office over this one. Ah well. Time to eat a breakfast bar and sit in front of my other laptop all day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Sunday, September 24, 2006

It begins.

By the way, the geotagging feature is incredible and worthy of all my free time.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Overheard in chain coffee shop tonight:

"I feel like I feel like that because..."

The American language has finally devolved into one of non-confidence. Now it's not enough just to use the word "like" intermittently. It's become a faux pas to utter a declarative sentence. You just aren't anything anymore; rather you feel like things. You're also never sure about what you feel, so you have to add a question mark at the end of everything.

Unacceptable: Janet doesn't like the color red.
Acceptable: I feel like Janet like doesn't like red?

Unacceptable: Mike likes Janet.
Acceptable: I feel like Mike likes Janet?

It's all about feelings. Why think or opine when your feelings can do it all for you? The trick is communicating with your mind what your heart feels. But as long as you use the "I feel like...?" construction, you should have no trouble speaking like a true citizen of twenty-first century America. And if you can't even express (or have) a thought, why [consciously] worry about what's going on in the world beyond your body?

After I heard the semi-quote above, I had to leave where I was. I knew that if I sat there and tried to read or write, I would just keep getting distracted by other bits of the non-conversation. On the walk home, my brain kept parsing those silly clauses and syntactically reorganizing them...

I feel like
I feel like
that because

I feel like I
feel like that

feel like
feel like
. . that
. . because

I see all those I's and I just hear my father making fun of his selfish brat kids: "ME! ME! ME!"

As a culture, we must be smart enough to create and widely adopt these linguistic constructions of detachment. Ironic hats and sarcastic t-shirts just weren't enough anymore. We needed pervasive linguistic construction(s) to convey our collective sense of a) looking the other way b) guilt c) laziness D) throwing in many towels. And we created it. And we accepted it. And we speak it.

That's quite a broad accomplishment. It makes me think that one day we might actually be able to get something else done.


North Vancouver, July 4 06.

Wheat on its way out of Canada

North Vancouver, July 4 06.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lunch Break: Project Flickr Likely

Do I put all the photos here or there? It seems like a good idea to put them there, and a lot less work. You pay a little and get a lot. They make it easy to store and organize. Thousands of people who like photography search and find your pictures.

But their official pages have a lot of comma splices, the image quality isn't always great, and there's no way to watermark without photoshopping first.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

MEMPHIS! 6! 29! 05!




Now that my latest half-baked and sadly autocentric idea is kicking up buzz in a tiny post-Regis circle, the trip has to be made. A journey to far, far upstate New York, the easternmost reaches of the Rust Belt where Buffalo was born:

[Click map for source]

Why do I get the feeling that the dead of winter would be the perfect time to do this? It would be short, but it would whet our appetite for the rest of the Rust Belt, clear west to Duluth.

And mother fuck, when AM I going to get to write about NC BBQ I?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Racism, Racism, Racism

We're still hearing about the Fung Wah bus that rolled onto its side almost two weeks ago. We're not, however, hearing anything more about the Greyhound bus that flipped the same week, killing 5 (5 more than were killed on the non-corporate, "unsafe," "ethnic," "discount" bus).

Who reads books?

Rephrase: is utter contempt for your audience a prerequisite for 21st century fiction?

Saturday, September 16, 2006


So now that I've effectively given up driving by refusing to own a car, it would be fitting that I get hit by one.

I was crossing the street--in a crosswalk where I had the walk signal--when I noticed a gray Grand Am making a left turn barreling directly at me. I thought the driver would have noticed and braked, but no. They say that when you're pursued by a predatory animal, you should make yourself appear larger. So I thrust out my arms in one of my confrontational what-the-fuck gestures and the drunk blond bitch in the driver's seat slammed on the brakes. Not soon enough, though. To have the 3,000-pound piece of shit aimed squarely at my legs seemed comical if not potentially fatal. I prepared to jump up on the hood, and got myself up on the right headlight, when the vehicle came to a full stop and I rebounded off to find myself standing in the street right next to the driver. She looked shellshocked and in trouble, said nothing, and sped off.

Fuck you, whoever you are. I should have gotten her plate and had her run out of town. I sure hope she didn't kill anyone else on the way home. I haven't had much luck with cars this year, and the streak continues.

Friday, September 15, 2006

I've spent a lot of quality time on this week. It's a great blog devoted to photographers' civil liberties, featuring a forum rife with photog's tales of run-ins with misinformed police personnel as well as rent-a-cops and other civilian "vigilantes."

Know your rights. You can take pictures of anything or anyone anywhere, as long as you're not trespassing.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

PC Hatred

8:58 Open up PC.
9:00 PC functioning very slowly.
9:02 PC automatically "updates" and reboots, closing all programs and deleting everything I was up until 11:30 working on.
9:08 PC reboots. Windows Messenger automatically loads and crashes.
9:09 I attempt to load Outlook and Firefox
9:10 A huge MSN popup with a near-pornographic image of a male bodybuilder doing crunches appears. It gives me the weather for New York.
9:12 Programs load.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Extended Lunch Break: Accolade in the Ether

The folks over at BadTransit--the "perpetually gloomy" MBTA-trashing website, like my photos, as evinced my a nice editor's note on a comment I left a while back. My heart is warmed a little.

And, strangely, all of the MBTA service I've used for the past few months has worked and was on time, including bus, silver line, subway, and commuter rail. Disaster imminent.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Bumbling around the internet for long hours after doing actual work, I found this fantastically bad interview with Tub O' Joy, the only near-successful band I was in. If I could turn back time...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I can't sleep without

giving you a link to Sarah Gran's hilarious sendup of "Booklyn" that was in the Times today. It's the first City Section "article" on Brooklyn that I've ever been able to finish.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Madison Avenue.

Friday, September 08, 2006

User Poll

What becomes of "dormant rage?"
a) It dies off.
b) It gives you manageable headaches.
c) It eventually causes explosion, forcing one to radically alter alterable things.

Lunch Break

To me, no other state conjures visions of the worst of America like Connecticut does. Photo essay?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Lunch Break

I don't know how I missed this last month. Over 43,000 Americans were killed in car crashes last year?!

It's amazing how hard people fight against safe, practical things like freight trains and powerplants when the true threats come from the deathmobile in your driveway.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Photography is a great way to convince yourself that you're alive.

Photos from the trip Abbey and I took to New Brunswick and PEI in July.

The old Snorkel of Augusta, Maine.

Wong's in St Stephen, NB. I have a great night shot ot this shack covered in snow from two years ago.

The character of St. John, captured. Read grafitti.

Charlottetown houses.

Japanese tourists at a PEI lobster supper. I wonder if these folks are in any of my pictures from Banff.

New Glasgow, PEI fire fundraiser.

Lunch Break

I want to read.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Textual Content

Let this be an end to the annual August slowdown. The work pressure is on, and the brain is forced to work the way it usually does. See below.

Rupert is winning.

Who decided that MySpace would be the official web template and web host for all of humanity? First, it was just for teens. Then all the twentysomethings migrated from Friendster. Now every band imaginable is required to maintain a MySpace presence, apparently to be marketable. I heard guitarist Kaki King's newest single on WFUV today; she just put out a new album. When I went to check out her website, all that was there was a link to her MySpace page.

Something doesn't feel right about this. We don't ask questions; we're just happy that the internet is "free." Google and Yahoo provided the model that we now live by: we provide the "content," they provide the ads. Our "content" can now be broadly defined as our lives, our personalities, our music, our art, our friends. In the MySpace context, music sites serve as content *and* ad--but that's just how art naturally is.

Does this make us better consumers? Art appreciators? A better-networked society in which all the people who like funk find all their local funk musicians? It probably does, right now.

But as a true pessimist, I see a decidedly limited system for the dissemination of "content" controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The internet was supposed to tear down barriers and give every man, woman, and child a voice. How strong will those voices be if all the blogs are hosted by Google (Blogspot) and all the music is hosted by Rupert (MySpace)?

I'm not sure about how to solve this problem. A bunch of dudes who worry that Craigslist will go corporate--Craigslist is now 25% owned by eBay--set up their own alternative, [can't remember site name right now]. Maybe competition for content will spur development like what we've seen in the photo-sharing market (Flickr, Snapfish, Webshots, etc). As with any other industry, though, I think that MySpace's dominance of "social networking"/forced advertising sites is dangerous.

I lament that many excellent musicians are so willingly taking part in the fiasco without providing alternative sources of information about their craft--the kind of stuff that you used to find on their own websites.

Art Happened

Two weeks ago I took the lovely Acela to a conference in NY. I sat with a bunch of boring MILFs and MILF-age workaholics who were pounding away at their spreadsheets on a Sunday afternoon. Bored, I started staring out the window in RI. A little chemical company had a few tank cars on its spur track. As the the spur crept up to join the mainline, I saw a young black dude in a huge, red t-shirt and baggy jeans. He had planted himself in the middle of the adjoining track and waited for a train. He held up to his head a large 35mm camera and was diligently adjusting the focus as my train shot past and crossed a small bridge. The occurrence was captured and preserved.

I felt insanely guilty.

Stupidest Fucking Car Ever

I have been seeing this thing around Boston quite a bit:

I guess that if destroying plover and salmon habitats is what you love, this is the car for you. And with its awesome 16-18mpg rating, you could always show it off to your urban friends when you're not busy driving up waterfalls and over boulders the size of normal cars.

Now, Toyota gets some things right (the Scion line, the Corolla, and the Camry). But the FJ Cruiser is all wrong. I can't imagine this thing having a practical purpose other than looking like a gigantic sandbox toy. Nevertheless, they're all over the city, waiting to swallow up subcompacts and pedestrians.

Obligatory TubeHos Link

Since I referenced YouTube for the first time below, here is a popular, new website that cuts to the chase: Apparently LOTS of girls film themselves doing stripteases in their dorm rooms and then post the videos on the internet. If there is a male equivalent of this practice, I haven't read about it yet. Let me know if I missed something.

Davis Square Skirt Phenomenon

Now that some of the yuppie shit has gone out of business, I feel a little safe in Davis. But someone's unattractive ass is always there to ruin all the fun. On three separate occasions in the month of August I witnessed women whose underwear were plainly visible to anyone standing around them. One was of the hippie type, walking barefoot across the hot asphalt while the playful wind repeatedly whipped her skirt over her buttocks. One lonely sorostitute wore a skirt so short her lima bean green panties could be seen by anyone in Ten Hills Park. On the last occasion, a 30-something woman on the arm of a seemingly indifferent male companion toured the Square, her ass cheeks falling well below the skirt line. I know there are a lot of perverts and grown-ups in Davis, but I wouldn't want my kid to be able to stare at your entire sweaty asscrack just because he/she stands less than 3 feet tall. I know we've lost our capacity for subtletly. But in the real public sphere (as opposed to YouTube), I hope the skirt will remain more than a suggestion.

Do you see an illustrated travelogue of NC BBQ tour no. 1?

Do independently published college texts market themselves?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

must dodge foreign content

been up since 10:30, still looking at shit on the internet.

"tombstone in the ether"

Friday, September 01, 2006

another warm welcome

to wwn workers. i know you're here.

still hoping for time to think and/or write this weekend. have been saying this for 3 years.