I’m working from my mom’s house today, which is a nice change of pace. There are cats, a stocked fridge, and all these little knick knacks (on a tangent to figure out how to spell this, I found Tattoo from Fantasy Island played a Bond villian by the name of Nick Nack.)

One thing I’ve found this afternoon is this pincushion that, if memory serves, has been around since childhood. I was fascinated with it, along with all the other paraphernalia in the sewing room. There was a case with bobbins, attachments for buttonholes, gears, shuttles, plates, and a bunch of other stuff that to me, looked like spaceships.

The best toys are always the things you shouldn’t be using. Which reminds me of a desktop recorder I would use with the cassette door open as a jeep or Landspeeder. Ah the hours I spent pushing it around with my eye at carpet level as a kid.

Back on topic with pincushions and the like: I never did get the knack (there’s that word again) for sewing. My duffel bag project in middle school Home Ec was a disaster.

Categorized as Nostalgia

grease therapy

Monochromatic food

Today on the way back from the pharmacy, driving carefully and feeling the odd sensation of putting preference on my left hand, I gave in to lazy hunger.

Even though I think their new logo is just plain bad, I still make a biannual trip to Long John Silvers and remind myself why that trip is just biannual.

There’s a bit of nostalgia there. As kids we coveted not only the paper pirate hats but the little bits of fried batter lovingly called, “the crispies.”

Categorized as Nostalgia

dog eared

Northgate Mall

While sitting outside a JCPenney this afternoon, I was regarding the lovely Helvetica and thinking about the Christmas catalogs I would dog ear when I was a kid. Things I never saw on the shelves when the family would make a special trip to the department and discount stores…

Places in these parts called Pogues, McAlpins, Van Leunens, Gold Circle, Shillitos, (and subsequently Shillito-Rikes then Lazarus)… How I’ve scoured Google for glimpses of these storefronts only to realize there was a time before all this ‘lectronic tomfoolery.

A time when I couldn’t find out (easily) that JCPenney began in 1902 by James Cash Penney as a dry goods and clothing store in Kemmerer, Wyoming under the banner “The Golden Rule.”

My mind wanders…

I realize I’m quick to point out what I consider bad evolutions of identities: fast food restaurants, UPS, and other corporations. But there have been some good ones.

Kmart, for example.

Their move in 1990 to the red K with angled script “mart” was a step in a right direction, and the subsequent migration to a san serif type below the K hit the mark.

There have been some missteps. The Big K branding extension was a bust. Right up there with the tackiness that is Sam’s Club. Thanks to the wikipedia I found there was also a lime green logo used at five prototype stores. As much as I enjoy Martha Stewart green, I’m not sold on the variation.

So there’s that.

It’s all much less interesting than wishing over the Christmas catalog. Peculiar still, my parents knew exactly what to get me even though I never dog eared it:

Yep, this logo hasn’t changed much. Just like I remember it from this set..


Mt. Airy (Water) Towers

It was time to hit up the grocery store today. I also visited the laundromat this week.

I wonder if I could generate enough mindless data to figure out when the next haircut is, or when I will be stopping by the theater or the bar. Then i could just populate a calendar in advance.

On the way to the grocery store, I stopped by a park near these water towers as I always find them fascinating when rounding the bend at the top of the hill. They light up nice at night too

It looks like some castle and I fully expect a man with a french accent to pop out from the top and taunt me.

You don’t frighten us, English pig dogs. Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you.

I remember going through a phase growing up where I devoured anything I could about knights, castles, armor and whatnot. I’d draw jousting tournaments incessantly. Then it was on to the next thing: be it cowboys, space, pirates, videogames, lego, logo, or matchbox cars. I think I’m still cycling through topics of interest.

I wonder if I could generate enough mindless data to figure out when the next phase begins.

Categorized as Nostalgia

-11 years

I’d like to say I was on drugs when this photo was taken.

I’m digging through boxes looking for stuff from 11 years ago—boxes that need labels. I put these labels on my mental list of “things I don’t care if I ever do.” There can only be so much allocating. Time is this funny elastic thing.

I got bored rummaging and couldn’t find all of the photos from my stint in Switzerland. I’ve got oodles of student work at my disposal from the quarter spent in design school there… but that’s all i’ve been able to unearth.

Without failing to mention the transit pass posted above, which I like to call “Eyes Wide Open” or “Latka Gravas/Vic Ferrari says cheese”

Ah 11 years…

Now throw in the increased probability that someone can re-find you online after those 11 years, that’s funny too.

What I was hoping to find was some trace of Lydia—a compadre from Pennsylvania who suffered alongside me as we tried to make school go as fast as possible (so we could go out and have fun).

Students gave us, ‘those-people-are-temporary‘ eyes… But we had blast anyway. Took all sorts of time to exhaust a Eurorail pass and see Kurt Cobain before Hole drove him gonzo.

Anyways, Lydia called today and we couldn’t cram it all in over the phone. This is something that requires carbs and wine. Oh there’s lots of stories there, but it’s late and now I just remembered something.

I owed my old apartment mate in Switzerland money. I should really try and Google her and set things right.

I don’t think it’s too late to repay, time is this funny elastic thing.


A lamp, a hat, a book, hand salve and an alarm clock

My skin has been super-dry of late and the Farmer’s Friend hand salve with non-revolting fragrance at bedside is good, but greasy. I leave thumbprints on the pages of the book I’m reading, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

I’m just gearing up to see how Tim Burton’s vision will align with the printed word.

I did a school project on this book when I was in the fourth grade. I made a chocolate factory out of poster board and colored it with crayola markers. It was hinged to reveal all the stuff inside. In addition to the oral presentation and scale model, I handed out miniature Hershey bars with handmade wrappers that said WONKA, and in them I hid 5 pieces of foil “tickets” colored with aforementioned markers.

This may sound sweet, but there was a sinister side to it. I had put a small dot on those five bars and I was aware of who I was giving them to—I’m embarrassed to admit.

My fourth grade teacher surely knew about the rigging when my friend Heidi “won” an extra large Hershey bar with custom wrapper. (Giving tours of the posterboard factory wouldn’t have been much of a prize).

Perhaps I am wrong and this lapse of serendipity was transparent, but it makes me wonder about some things—about kids and innocence or the lack thereof. It makes me hope that I’ve grown well beyond such schemes. I also ponder what life would be like if I had some piece of that project left today, if even a photo.

Related tangent: A friend lent a digital camera to a young child at the studio the other day, and she went around and took the best photos. I can’t imagine how technology would factor into life as a kid. It’s got to be exciting, even though crayolas and poster board were pretty kick ass.

16 Good Things about 2004

Best of 2004

Theatre Movie (again) Music Video Candy Bar Yum Outfits Movie NYC Iron and Wine The Pixies at Coachella Boobie Practical Joke The Beast Board Game Weekend

Images take you to related links

So most of this stuff is specific to 2004, but I’m aware some of it was around long before.

Videogame: Ratchet and Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal – Platforming goodness for the PlayStation 2. Had I bought of Katamari Damacy for myself, it probably would’ve made the list.
Concert: The Pixies at Coachella – It’s kinda tough to compare anything to this… Lollapalooza with good bands. I admit a soft spot for seeing Kim Deal smile and knowing every single song played.
Roller Coaster: The Beast at Kings Island still wins, with the Drop Zone (also at KI) a close second even though it’s not a roller coaster. Why is this on here? Cause it was a standout day with no lines.
Board Game: Settlers of Catan – There was another game by the makers of Cranium I really enjoyed too called Hoopla, but Settlers has a classic strategic greatness about it.
Album: Iron & Wine "Our Endless Numbered Days" – Since I couldn’t rightly say I love Grandaddy yet another year, I pick this disc from Samuel Beam. It’s mellow genius that never bores me.
Game of Poker: The cigar poker party in NYC – Another fine weekend, capped off with good food, fine cigars, and great people.
Meal: The Matrimonial Barnwarming Meal – prepared by Robbie.
Practical Joke: Getting Kate to unknowingly pose for a photo with a box labeled SEX TOYS
Candy Bar: Hershey’s Take 5 – with the Butterfinger Crisp a tight second.
Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – This movie makes me realize what a big hearted messed up romantic wuss I want to be but never succeed at.
Get-away: The Road Runner Regional Rodeo in Phoenix. A nice break in the chill of January, hang time with my brother, and meeting old and new friends alike.
Outfits: Prom 2004 – This is what happens when you think life should have more balloons and polyester.
Music Video: The Sad Song by Fredo Viola – He wrote the song, performed it, shot the video and put it together. Aside from all that, it’s wonderful.
Surprise: The Incredibles – Eye candy + classic storytelling – the shallow snarkiness of Shrek.
Boobie: Janet Jackson’s “performance” – What’s so good about this? I really don’t know.
Theatre Experience: Anticipating Miles – I cried. Okay? I saw live theatre and tears came to my eyes, and there was no big chorus number.
Categorized as Nostalgia

The year we lightened up

Yeah, like that

Dan pointed out a link to this fansite for the sadly defunct Pacific Southwest Airlines today, and I was fascinated. I want to live in that era.

No, scratch that. I want this era to LIGHTEN THE FUCK UP.

I’m beat with government and faith based agencies trying to determine what is decent.

What a shitty time we live in right now—scared stupid with fines and laws.

I’m ready for the backlash.

It doesn’t have to be all retro with free love and wild orgies in the streets—those can be in private homes. But as for feeling sexy and flaunting it, bring it on.

And while we’re at it, I think we’re ready to loosen the ideals of traditional beauty all around. It’s been brewing. We don’t need an edict to make it official. I don’t mind if the stewardess flight attendant is packing a few extra Twix bars in the trunk. As long as they are happy with who they are and society is happy for them, then I’m happy.

The future is supposed to be sexy, I saw it on TV back in the day. We’re supposed to have new shiny fabrics that cling to us and floating cars. To quote Jim, “Listerine Strips and Wi-Fi are the only things that make me “Feel” like I’m living in the 21st Century.” So for 2005, I say we sex it up a bit. Fun boots for everyone. And big “I’m happy to be alive” smiles.

Floating cars can come later.

While on the topic of air travel, bring back the frickin’ peanuts. Those with allergies can have their pretzels as an option.

I’m all about options.

Close cover and strike

I’ve got a match, your embrace and my collapse

My Grandmother collects matchbooks. When moving out of her house she asked what we would want.

I chose the matches.

I’ve hoarded them over the years as well. Fragments of memories. Restaurants along the highway. Trips exotic.

She’s ailing a little bit in the memory department of late, my Grandma, and it makes these bits of cardboard and sulfur seem all the more important.

As I write this I wonder, will these words be familiar as I get on in years?

Not to end on a heavy note, I do appreciate the designs. Lo and behold, of course there are several galleries online for these things.

Categorized as Nostalgia


Didn’t scare too easy

Normally I eschew all types of flash photography (this, because I don’t have a bounce flash), but there was no other way to catch this critter in the alley.

I could also extoll the talents of my mom again, as she used to make very realistic stuffed versions of these creatures and sell them back in the day.

You’d swear they were real.

My only other thought with this photo is that I had to look up if “opossum” was really how the word was spelled. Without spell check, I am a mess. In grade school, I missed “prairie” in the spelling bee. The devastation was so tremendous to my small mind that I pretty much gave up on earning the top marks in school from that point out.

Categorized as Nostalgia