30 December 2007

What We Are

Backlit freight train, originally uploaded by jsymmetry.

Major life decisions are being made at a rate and momentum incapable of being registered on any currently available scale.

All afternoon

freight trains yard, originally uploaded by smoytheonlyone.

Kerry and I have been almost completely incapable of accomplishing anything. Almost two months 500 miles apart have us sitting across the table--me trying to write, her trying to do her NY Times marathon--and just staring at each other, grinning. I occasionally have to go the bathroom for victorious powerslides and karate kicks.

She is beautiful. She is incredibly smart. She does certain things that just absolutely kill my ability to think and reason. She is my girlfriend, and I'm keeping it that way.

25 December 2007

18 hours still seems too long

19-shortpantsdance.jpg, originally uploaded by The Spacebase.

Until we party

24 December 2007

About 48 hours left.

DSCN1079.JPG, originally uploaded by The Spacebase.

She's pretty hot. And brainy. And I get to call her my girlfriend. And I get to see her the day after Christmas.

And, like, kiss & stuff.

Happy/Merry, Y'know.

The Holy Family, originally uploaded by The Spacebase.

Just trying to live in love as best I can. The kid in the middle did a better job of it than most of his American admirerers ever managed to.

Joel Osteen, I'm looking at you. I don't trust church because of you.

Rich people are to heaven as camels are to the eyes of needles. Go ahead with the Health/Wealth/Prosperity heresy, for all I care. Jesus wants room in heaven for a dance party anyway.

Thanks for the reminder, and the links, Headphonaught. I wish I could finish the article. It makes me too angry to finish.

22 December 2007

oh noes!

Wolf boy, with scary toenails on the loose in Moscow!

Run, Russian urban peasantry, run!

(story at boing boing.)

More real stuff later.

18 December 2007

this is my fault.

I have no idea what I mean. But I named it for Jens' "Postcard for Nina."

Sonic Kerry, originally uploaded by The Spacebase.

I was grumpy earlier today. This picture always makes me happy.

16 December 2007

I'm probably not going to finish this book

At the beginning, it was clever and funny--and the way the author tied himself into the plot was brilliant. But once it became clear that the author-as-character wasn't completely impotent/incompetent, the charming hilarity juxtaposed with the long-winded and muscular yet carefully chosen and delicate prose of all Russian classics faded away. It's all a ploy. The middle of the book (where I am) is terrible.

Shteyengart is too entirely pleased with himself and the hilarity of his creation and his narrator. Gag.

I liked Misha for a good hundred pages. It was a bit cloying, sure, to have a 300-pound Russian Jewish immigrant to the United States living large and enjoying a life of American hiphop and his hispanic Bronx girlfriend. He's a rich gourmand. Like all good Russian protagonists. It was great! Life was good when the book felt like a tribute to Tolstoy, Turgenev, and Gogol; when the book was successfully lampooning both American hubris and Russian mobsters. Seriously, the protagonist was named Misha Vainberg. Gogol's characters all had allegorical names like that. It was great. He's a self-centered wealthy gourmand. Like all good Russian protagonists.

Yes. I've read Crime and Punishment. And I have yet to finish it, either. I know Raskolnikov was neither rich nor a gourmand. But three hundred pages into that book, I still believe the poor, scrawny, nervous Raskolnikov. One hundred forty-one pages in, and I've given up on Misha.

All of which is to say I've abandoned better books than Absurdistan. Life is too short for me read something I don't enjoy. Unless I'm being graded on reading it.

13 December 2007

Super 8 + Zombies = Freaking Sweet (but not like you think)

Two of my favorite things in the world: Super 8 films and sappy semi-psychedelic love songs.

The Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year" is way up on my list. I would argue, in certain rare moods, that it's an even better love song than "God Only Knows." But rare moods indeed.

Also, apparently, these movies were shot by the filmmaker's parents. Which is extra sweet.

via Look at This...

12 December 2007

The Reason for Saying I've Got a Crush

The more I settle into the routine of a long-distance relationship, the more I learn to take care of myself. The more I learn to take care of myself, the more I learn to rely on myself for day-to-day needs. The more I rely on myself, the less I need anyone else for things I should take care of by myself anyway.

Which just makes me want you more.

I want to turn the things I'm learning into a crayon drawing and hang them on my refrigerator for you to see and admire.

I'm back in the fifth grade when I think about you.

09 December 2007

Helvetica on Studio 360

This week's PRI's Studio 360 featured a segment on Helvetica...

Geeking out about typefaces should be the new national pasttime. But maybe that's me, speaking as the guy working on a book of poetry about typefaces.

06 December 2007

"Little Drummer Boy" by Low

A breath. A noise blast until :20. Reverb to end all reverb. Every breath a string quartet.

I think the "slowcore" label Low gets saddled with is unfair and inaccurate, but listening to their langid-but-still-somehow-incredibly-tense version of "Little Drummer Boy," I want to hit 'repeat one' and curl up under a blanket under my parents' aluminum Christmas tree and sleep until New Year's.

Edit: you can buy it from eMusic, if you've got an account. If you don't, and you want one, please let me know. We can all get free music if you do.

A live version, via Hype Machine: Low - Little Drummer Boy

I'd rather be in Tokyo, I'd rather listen to Thin Lizzy

Or watch the Sunday gang in Harajuku:

Seriously. Weird. (via Boing Boing, at that. Purveyors of weird.) I mean, I understand the desire to take care of a pretty wounded girl (wounded pretty girl)--but post-dance party Kerry feet never really did much for me. Apparently, the, ahem, "Lawrence Nightingale" effect does work for some people.

It's cold here. Really cold. (Not the coldest I've ever seen, not by a long shot, but the snow makes it wet, too. Which is not pleasant. I track snow into my apartment. and I can't just kick my shoes off at the door either; I'm wearing my four-year old Doc Martens for marginally better snow navigation (though the lack of traction allows some INCREDIBLE ice slides), and them shoes' a pain to get off.

So yeah. I'd rather be in Tokyo. Anywhere warmer or more interesting. I'd prefer Memphis. Or even the legitmate cold of more northerly climes. But I'd take Tokyo. I'm listening to podcasts. On the Media, currently, but I'd rather listen to Thin Lizzy:

Edit: There's something wrong with me--I'm a cuckoo.

05 December 2007

Idea: Voter's Debates

I'd referenced this in my Twitter feed, but I think it would be a fantastic idea.

With the emphasis on the presidential election, it seems that the candidates (mostly) speak to a focus-grouped constituency.  So why not subvert the usual debate format and have moderators ask questions of selected voters?  Each response to a prompt would be broadcast as-is, unfiltered through the lens of statistical analysis, thus providing a more vital documentation of the wishes of the electorate in a specific area of the country.

The problem is, by the time Indiana' March primary rolls around, it's rendered meaningless by earlier primaries and Super Tuesday.  Perhaps a Voters' 'debate could focus as much on local issues as national/international issues.  It could also spark more interest among the electorate for local politics by making participation in local politics a truly visceral experience.


03 December 2007


There will be an edit to the post that mentions this (when I can be bothered to edit it), but I'd said I bought Elizabeth the Found and/or Postsecret books.  She bought them herself.  I just thought they'd be a good present for her sister.  

Mea Culpa.

01 December 2007

Head is churning, but Alas!

My battery is almost dead, and I have a huge screenprinting project to tackle over the next two days.  

(As well as other homework, which, I'm somewhat sorry to say, is on the back burner.  It's possible I'll stay up tonight, and go to bed normally tomorrow, but this stuff never happens like that.)

What currently has my mind churning is a blog entry from a fellow who just added me to his Flickr contacts.  He goes by the handle "Headphonaught"--which is brilliant in itself--and his "nanolog" (on which most posts are about the same length or longer than on mine).  

The post, about consumerism and how it fits into his ethics, is pretty brilliant, but a little more in-depth than I have time for today.  So expect a lengthy post in a few days.  I'll just say for now that I'm terribly fond of the idea that "The world doesn't need more products.  It needs better products."  

Scott and I have had a few conversations about this.  He teases me constantly that even though I'm living off of student loans and don't have a "real" job, I have nicer stuff than he and his wife have.  The thing is, if he'd look, the nice stuff I have is usually the same nice stuff I've had for a long time.  I buy nice stuff because it works for me and it usually lasts longer than cheap stuff.  My seven-year-old iMac is still perfectly functional (even if it doesn't like playing video), it's just that I prefer using my two-and-a-half year old iBook.  My 40 gig 4G iPod still functions perfectly well--though I have to tweak settings in iTunes to get as much as possible on it, and carry around my ex's iPod Mini (given back in a fit of anger, though she kept her Found books).

Also, Kerry just called to tell me that she just found McLemore Avenue by Booker T. and the MG's on vinyl.  Which pretty much means I have the most awesome girlfriend ever.

29 November 2007

28 November 2007

So There's This Book of Poems I've Written, and They're Mostly For or About You

So I'd like you to have it.

Thus began my big serious high school dating relationship.

I'm gonna have some poems for sale next week. If you're in Muncie, you should drop by and try to get one of the 16 broadsides I'll have for sale as part of the Manifesto Mart, which consists of the sale of handmade projects from Dr. Rai Peterson's ENG 347/Manifesto Poets class.

Mine are not about girls, explicitly. They're collectively referred to as the Type series, and deal with the intersection, interplay, and interference between notions of text-as-visual and text-as-content.

Sound pretentious? When I put it like that, it is. But it's also about best friends, zombies, anthropodermic bibliopegy, sexualized architecture, the way birds don't get out of the way of your car until the last possible second, reanimated Roman emperors, booze, Chicago, Noblesville, fireflies from Thailand, and--yeah, okay, you're right--girls.

Looking at it now, that's a lot of things for four poems to be about. I mean, seriously. I read a lot of current surrealism, and maybe that's why. Dean Young, Tony Hoagland, Gabriel Gudding, and David Berman have all changed/are in the process of changing my life. So expect that kind of thing.

The series, as it stands right now, includes the poems "Ligature," "Futura Medium," "Times New Roman," and "A Colphon."

It's possible that something else will be swapped with "Times New Roman," because I really hate that typeface. (I hate Georgia, what this blog is set in, but it is, sadly, about the best option Blogger provides.)

Four beautiful, screenprinted broadsides of each poem will be available. Though they are a series, they'll be sold individually, at $5 a piece. Collect all four.

The picture above is from my Flickr Stream. Flickr Terms of Use require me to link to Flickr. So here you go.

27 November 2007

Somebody get Facebook to Pay Me Some Serious Money

Because this is the best idea I've ever had.

Which isn't quite true. But it's still pretty awesome.

Can someone tell me what typeface Facebook uses? I tried all the normal web fonts, and none of them worked right. Anyway, this:

would be ADORABLE.

Adorable at the Wee Spaniel level. No rush though; I'm happy with this:

EDIT: Facebook uses Lucida Grande, I've just realized. I should have recognized it. I use a Mac. It's fucking everywhere.

25 November 2007

Thomas Friedman's Op-Ed article on "Illegal Mingling"

I only scanned the rest of the article, and I'm not sure I totally side with Friedman, but the first two paragraphs?


24 November 2007

Abject Beauty in Consumer Products

EDIT: because I've received some criticism of my use of "abject beauty," here (other than the sound) is why I like it: "abject" means "unpleasant."  Roughly.  It's stronger than that.  I can't afford most objects that I find beautiful; thus their existence is unpleasant to me.  I still like them, though.

in chronological order of my discovery

1.  Snuggle Up

Exactly as a comforter should be.

2.  The Design Truck

Seen somewhere on I-40 between Nashville and Memphis.

3.  An upholstered block headboard on a low platform bed

Simple and lovely.  And I've a thing for a low platform bed.  From West Elm, via Cribcandy.

4.  Dada Dental Cabinet

I'm not really sure what makes this Dada, or dental, but it makes me think of an Eames-style cabinet, as colored by Mondriaan.  Makes me weak.  via Cribcandy.

5.  Talin Wall Clock

Simple and lovely.  And woodgrain.  via Cribcandy again.  At Crate and Barrel.

Obligatory Thanksgiving Reflection Post

Because my immediate family didn't have their main thanksgiving dinner until today (by now yesterday), and because i've got some screenprinting downtime, I will now present the requisite and hackneyed:

A top 5, but in no particular order

1.  New Record Player

I've had a record player for a few years.  I've collected enough vinyl for me to consider vinyl-playing capability an integral part of any home stereo setup I'd be interested in.  Not enough auxiliary inputs on your reciever?  I regret to inform you that I will be taking my business elsewhere.  The old one was on its last legs after its last fall, which shattered the dust cover, and left some gears inside unable to lock into the the teeth of their neighboring gears.  The belt kept slipping, and when it didn't, it spun the record fast enough to raise any song's pitch by a full step.

The new one is direct drive, has a speed control, can play in reverse, has a tone arm I can actually balance, has the cool light with the stationary dots so I know it's actually playing at 33 1/3 or 45, has another light that pops up when I need it to show me which track I'm dropping the needle.  Also, it's really big and fancy and silver.  It's a beautiful piece of machinery, and it sits nicely on my beautiful bookshelf.

2.  New Girlfriend

She's a stone fox.  And she's mean to me in the only possible good way--we tease each other relentlessly and it's good.  She digs my beard and my hair, though both are as they are only because I haven't bothered to trim them recently.  She makes me blush and giggle in a way and to an extent no one else has even come close to.  I can say, three weeks in, I don't want to date anyone else.  As in "ever."  I really hope this feeling lasts.  It feels like it will.

Her name's Kerry--she has her own blog which is shown far more attention than mine ever will be--and other than the fact that she can't separate the speaker of a poem from the poem's author (and the sheer distance from my apartment to hers) the closest thing to a problem I have is that she sometimes calls me "Matt" instead of "Matthew."  Not that I notice; we usually just call each other "dude," because we're best friends and usually talk about records or the news.  More often than not, both.  We also squeal joyfully over the Bill of Rights.

3.  New Ex-Girlfriend

I don't know if Elizabeth would like to see herself on this list, but yeah.  We fell apart, which made room for Kerry.  Also, it means I have to stop referring to Erin simply as "My Ex."  Which is good.  No one deserves to be remembered only for a failed relationship.  I learned a lot from Elizabeth, and even though she is currently angry at me for dating Kerry (which situation will, no doubt, be expounded upon later in a thinly veiled work of fiction), she has been--at several very needy points in my life--there for me in ways I doubt anyone could reproduce, though I hope I never have occasion to test that.  I told Elizabeth shortly before we split up (and, I believe, after) that she took better care of me than my own mother.  Which may be true, and speaking of her--

4.  Gracious and Generous Parents

Though my mom has sided with Elizabeth in each conflict we've had this year, to a point which I find unsettling and somewhat frustrating, I know she's still there for me, and loves me.  But that disagreement is part of why I think Elizabeth took better care of me--at least Elizabeth knew when I just needed someone to take my side.  My dad is going through a rough spot, but he's coming out of it well; and both give and continue to take better care of me than I deserve or want, and do it more thoroughly than they should--or really can.

5.  Shuffle Function of the iPod

It just just played the Beach Boys'  "God Only Knows" directly after "John Allyn Smith Sails" by Okkervil River.  That will make sense to some; those will agree with me that said events are not just creepy, but unabashedly awesome.

23 November 2007

So I'm joining Technorati, too.  I'm damn serious about this thing now.  See my steely gaze.

Let me show you my boat.

Haven't been around these parts much lately.  I've now put entirely too much time into making it look new for me not to come back every now and then.  Especially once I figure out how to integrate my Twitter into this thing.  

Make yourself comfortable.  I intend to do the same.  The old stuff is all words I cut out of poems or stories or essays in revision.  Also documentation of my emotional state the day my apartment flooded.  What will come remains to be seen.  Probably more pictures of my arms disappearing.