Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Spy Wear

On a swing through Detroit last weekend I was able to stop in at Sarah Vidosh's new store called Spy. It's housed in the same space as the old Zoot's cafe, on Second Street right next to the Bronx Bar. It's very cool and I was happy to buy some gifts there for other people, as well something for myself. You can find fashions, dishwear, artwork, and music among other stuff, and Sarah has impeccable, if somewhat blue, taste. Support real people in the D and shop at Spy.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Tampering In Darksided Stuff

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Barcelona by Horizon

Flickr: Originally uploaded by Alícia.
On my fantasy Christmas List, the Lomo Horizon, (as seen here at turntable lab). It's a rocking panoramic. The lomo site has more examples.
Alicia's Horizon set slideshow makes me feel joy, envy, and pride, inspired, and pitiful all at the same time.

Gonzo's Photos

Boing Boing pointed me here, and it bears reposting. I still can't quite put my finger on Hunter S., but these shots help a lot. Well, most of them, anyway. The baby doll head shot I can't figure out.

I've been shooting on film again recently, and boy is it fun. Grain is much prettier than pixelation.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Too Many Books

Today I walked through the home of someone I must assume has recently deceased. I, along with anyone else who cared to stop in, picked through a housefull of things hoping to find something that ticked my fancy, nothing in particular, but anything of interest. It was a large home in East Grand Rapids, a quaint and affluent suburb with a downtown known as the Gaslight District, although "district" may be a tad generous, size-wise.

The first thing I noticed upon walking in was a certain staleness. The place looked like it hadn't been signifcantly redecorated in 30 or more years. It reminded me of my childhood in more ways than one. In one of the bedrooms were some toys. I recognized a Tonka truck that bears a resemblance to a Jeep Wrangler, and big enough for a young child to sit upon and push around on. There were some Tigers posters from the early 80's and also posters advertising the 1984 Olympics. In another room were a few more posters featuring 80's model sportscars, the kind of posters I liked as a young boy.

In the basement there was the remains of a mostly deconstructed photography darkroom. A sign reading "Sold" was taped to the door frame and a middle-aged guy was moving it out one piece at a time. I couldn't resist a closer look, and he hardly wasted a second to tell me what I already knew from the posting.

But far and away what filled this house were books and records. In almost every room was a collection of some sort. The records were mostly classical and opera and the books were mostly non-fiction of a liberal arts/social science bent. It was mobidly fascinating to go through these remnants of a life and try to picture the people who had lived in this home. Plato's dialogues, an early biography of Bill Clinton, photography books, Black studies, Christianity studies, there were likely thousands of books spread thoughout this home. When added to all the recorded music, I speculated that no one person had the time to digest this much media.

Now, over the past years I have come to accept as a personal mantra the slogan "curb your consumption," but the exception was always music and books. Today, I am rethinking that exception. Too me, all these books and all this vinyl just seemed to take up space. Don't get me wrong, I love books and records, but how could anyone possibly appreciate all this? There was just too much. But at the same time, I understand.

I have records and books that I haven't listened to or read in years, and may very well never again, yet I continue to lug them around in boxes every couple of years. Even books I haven't cracked are kept on hand, even though I am resigned to the fact that they will quite likely remain unread. In fact, I could count on one hand the number of books I've read more than once. So what gives?

I wish sometimes I could part ways with these artifacts of time gone by (especially because I know I could get a pretty penny for some of those rare 12"s), but because they are just that, I can't. With that in mind, I'm going to try to strengthen my resolve to use restraint at the bookstore, and to do my best to finish each book I begin.

Here's a post on antipixel in which I find solace.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

NPR story on Anguished Soldiers

This story was amazing. I'd put it in the highest class of journalism, no matter what medium.
All Things Considered, December 4, 2006 · Army studies show that at least 20 percent to 25 percent of the soldiers who have served in Iraq display symptoms of serious mental-health problems, including depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Administration officials say there are extensive programs to heal soldiers both at home and in Iraq.

But an NPR investigation at Colorado's Ft. Carson has found that even those who feel desperate can have trouble getting the help they need. In fact, evidence suggests that officers at Ft. Carson punish soldiers who need help, and even kick them out of the Army.

Friday, December 01, 2006

MOCAD in NYTimes

photo: Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times

The caption: "The artist Christopher Fachini with his sound installation called 'The Rock Box Sound System plays the Mental Machine.'"

I did not know about this place, which makes me sad, but I plan on seeing it soon, which makes me happy. Hooray for Detroit.