Thursday, October 13, 2005

American Football - Hot Dogs - Apple Pie - Chevrolet

Originally uploaded by pkeleher/Paul.
The poet, playwright, screenwriter etc Harold Pinter has just been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. I first became interested in Pinter when my high-school staged his absurdist/existentialist play "The Dumb Waiter". I think of his work as more "interesting" than "enjoyable", but when you're in a mood to think rather than have everything spoon-fed to you pre-digested, try and catch one of his plays. They will surely be staged a little more frequently now that his name is back in the press.

In his poem "American Football: A Reflection Upon The Gulf War", Pinter comments on the circus-like atmosphere surrounding the original Gulf War (and all modern televised wars). For me it really hits home when i think about how frustrating and confusing it was to watch the sanitized/televised version of our "victory" in the the war, while at the same time being painfully aware of the death, destruction and disease we were spreading on the ground. According to Pinter, "It sprang from the triumphalism, the machismo, the victory parade, that were very much in evidence at the time."

American Football: A Reflection Upon The Gulf War

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.

We blew the shit right back up their own ass
And out their fucking ears.

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.
They suffocated in their own shit!

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew them into fucking shit.
They are eating it.

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew their balls into shards of dust,
Into shards of fucking dust.

We did it.

Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth.

for more on the poem

for more on Pinter.

Friday, August 26, 2005

day 6: a swim was swum

day 6: a swim was swum

Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.

this film doesn't quite work - but i learned a little from putting it together - the editing has to be tighter - the angle is wrong - but it was fun to make.

mark swimming through the frame at the beginning was a happy accident i decided to leave in - i was able to sync him up with the train whistle in a nice way.

i finished editing the picture and hadn't even really thought about the sound - and i had never noticed that there were built in sound effects in iMovie. so of course i had to over-use them.

here it is.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

day 5: picture show

day 5: picture show
Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
some randomness.

some low-tech camera trick.

my screen-saver generated pictures at random every 5 seconds from i-Photo - i pixilated them and shot through a drinking glass (resulting in an almost subliminal ad for that blue and yellow swedish place where one can buy said glasses very inexpensively).

not much else to say - except i wondered what it would look like and i have almost filled my allowable bandwidth on vimeo this week and may have to move away from video as a documentable source for this project for a few days.

here it is...


piece of cake (very large piece...)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

day 4: the face

day 4: the face
Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
made a few short films today, nothing i ended up really liking much except the pixilation of this drawing. the film actually turned out a bit on the cruddy side once it was compressed for web viewing ( the colors got all blown out and disappeared) but since this is pretty much a sketch book it'll do...

this is a character i seem to use fairly often, though not always with the frown. but mostly with the frown, i like having a character who isn't so glad with the way things are going and who lets it be known. There is a sarcastic "Don't Worry" series featuring this guy which i'll have to try and dig up and scan. There are also variations on this guy in my "temp art" series.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

day 3: belated spring cleaning

belated spring cleaning
Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
365 day 3:

i think i'm using little videos on vimeo as a crutch in my quest for daily creative productivity. i had planned on making some type of earthwork at the beach today, but we got out to malibu at high tide and somehow it just didn't work out. so i fell back on the video art option:

abbreviated shirt catalog nightmare dream video on vimeo

I don't know how many times in my life this has happened, but there are those days when you wake up and look in the closet and wonder, "who put all this stuff in here? i bought this? i wore this? no! i did? way!"

and the fact that there are a number of similar shirts, all ghastly, that for some reason you imagined you liked. and now ? time to donate...

Monday, August 22, 2005

day 2: get up, stand up

day two
Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
day one you start strong. day two it seems like it can only get better. this is a still from another very short video clip up on vimeo.

it doesn't mean anything in particular - i guess today i was just thinking about the sisyphusian nature of life - the repetition, but with variation, that we go through every day. and i also wanted to know what it would look like. it kind of fails because i'm lazy but i'm practicing letting things go and not having to perfect everything so it is what it is.

i guess it could also get much much worse.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

day 1: film still

film still
Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
Ever have one of those days (or one of those weeks) where you get really really down on yourself and feel like you've never done anything - never created anything - never etc etc etc ?

for some reason - this weekend - i have been antsy and awkward and bursting at the seams all to no avail. feeling restless and creative but not sure where the energy should be going. so rather than hatching some big mega-project i've decided to start small with an sketch book kind of thing:

"365 works" (see the set here. though since today is day 1 you've pretty much seen it all)

It is a photo set on flickr, of what is supposedly going to be 365 images, containing a photo a day of something i have created. Will there be 365 images at the end of a year? hmmmm.....probably not. probably. but what else am i going to do?

the very short film that the still comes from is just a goof of a supposedly haunted bobble head dog:

dog film on vimeo.

Monday, May 16, 2005

All i ever think about is Bush...

Originally uploaded by irregulargirl.
It seems like the only thing i ever blog about these days is Bush, Bush and more bush. I know i should just get over it and go about my business but it really bugs me how He and the neo-cons (with the help of certain segments the american press) put one over on the american public. WMDs? Nope, none. Evidence of an Iraq/Saddam connection to Al-Queda and by extension to 9/11? Thus far, none whatsoever. And yet here we are, thousands of American troops and countless more Iraqi civilians have been killed, and the situation keeps getting worse.

And now the Downing Street Memo, which reveals that Bush was planning on invading Iraq, all the while knowing full well that there were no WMDs and that Saddam was a threat to no one (except the people of Iraq, which is a whole other story..), and continually lying to the world about his intentions...

And this brings me to, guess what, more about Bush. Paul Krugman in the NYTimes asks a few good questions in his op-ed today, Staying What Course?

And finally, as if this wasn't enough in one day, lots of good stuff over on Juan Cole today. Most interesting to me is his discussion of the Newsday story on the desecration of the Koran at our torture camp in Guantanamo Bay, especially the info from a former military officer who recounts his training sessions at a mock POW camp, or "SERE school--Search, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape" which included the following:

"He brought out the bible and started going off on it verbally--how it was worthless, we were forsaken by this God, etc. Then he threw it on the ground and kicked it around."

It's not such a big stretch to get from there to US military interrogators flushing a Koran down the toilet, is it? And tell me again, why are these guys all being held in Cuba and not in the US?

And (finally finally) the outraged denials from the White House and the Pentagon would make me laugh if they weren't so absurd as to make me want to cry. Again in The NYTimes, the following quote:

"It's appalling, really, that an article that was unfounded to begin with has caused so much harm, including loss of life," the State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, said at a briefing in Washington."

The nerve of these people! This same statement applies equally well to the cooking of the books, the falsification of intelligence, that got us into Iraq in the first place. These guys are outrageous and I can't believe we haven't booted them out of office already. (okay i'll go back to sleep now)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

more great election results...

Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
Juan Cole has a short mention today about whether the elections made the Iraq situation better or worse, and a link to an interesting Hannah Allam article on the same topic...

Sunday, May 08, 2005

viva botero...

Originally uploaded by Casual Chin.
Juan Forero in the Sunday New York Times has a story about the latest works by Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Botero, best known for his depictions of rubenesque nuns and policmen, has shifted his focus to the US torture of Iraqis that took place in Abu Ghraib prison. The Times article includes a few of the new paintings, and there is a link to an audio-visual slide show as well. I was never that interested in Botero's previous work and I was startled to see such a dramatic change of subject matter for this artist so late in life.

According to the article:

"He said he read about Abu Ghraib in The New Yorker, then followed European news accounts. Calling himself an admirer of the United States - one of his sons lives in Miami - Mr. Botero said he became incensed because he expected better of the American government."

If you get a message telling you to register to read the article, it is free to register and doesn't take long...

Friday, May 06, 2005

desert storm

desert storm
Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
this photo was taken yesterday in hollywood on sunset boulevard. this continues to be the rainiest year in LA on record since some time in the late 1800s.

and speaking of desert storms, juan cole has an interesting piece today about when the Bush administration actually decided to invade Iraq, and how the Brits helped in the false justification process...

more stormy weather:
wet bus

and a good piece over at Daily K-Os by Ajai Raj, the student arrested for disrupting a Q&A session by Ann Coulter at the University of Texas in Austin.

Monday, May 02, 2005

a few bad apples putting the "high" in high school...

angry soldier...
Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
More news recently about the military's problems with recruiting soldiers for the ever sustaining quagmire in Iraq. Just read a great story about how David McSwane, a high school student (who is also the editor of his school newspaper) approached army recruiters telling them he was a high school drop-out with a drug problem. Rather than turn him away, the recruiters helped him buy a fake diploma and drove him to buy a substance designed to dupe drug testers. The lid was blown off of "recruitergate" in McSwane's school newspaper, The Westwind, and later picked up by a local CBS affiliate. Good to see young people taking action, especially since they are the ones dying over there...

Monday, April 25, 2005

baseball starting to catch on in usa...

this giant baseball is part of the "construction site" public art installation which will be around until May 1st in Echo Park (on Sunset @ Alvarado - across the street from the Library). does such a good job at blogging this that i'm going to be lazy and say see his blog and makster's great story photo to learn more.

these arrows
direct passers-by into the site from Sunset Boulevard

Friday, April 22, 2005

Not Enough Surfers in Florida...

Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
Saw this bumper sticker the other day out in Pomona. In Texas there were lots of the Bush Is A Punk Ass Bitch stickers which i love so much, but somehow he still carried the state. Florida has surfers too, but, somehow, Florida went for Bush despite the surfer vote. But here in Cali, we all know who our electoral votes went to. Just think, if they had good waves in Ohio or Colorado we probably wouldn't be all effed up in Iraq right now. Oh sources in the surf community tell me that in the next election cycle the surf demographic (the new soccer moms/nascar dads) is expected to blitz the country (at least the coastline) with their "Steal My Wave - Not My Vote" stickers. We'll see.

Speaking of the middle of the country, i couldn't resist the link to the Linguistic Profiler jjlook added earlier (my results are right below here, her results are farther/further down the page):

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

25% Dixie

15% Yankee

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

some tough questions (kitty corner vs katty corner ?) and worth the 2 minutes it takes to trace your verbal ancestry (okay it doesn't do that at all but try it anyway...)

and finally - hopefully the last story you'll see here about the recently departed much discussed pope...with info that most media outlets have refused to cover...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Neither Here Nor There, but Over There

You might as well hear it now. I am Canadian. I took a silly quiz today:

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

30% Yankee

10% Dixie

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

...and it got me thinking about my identity. And I'm not trying to justify that quiz's inclusion, because come on, you know you will find it fun.
To continue: I was born in Canada, but my family moved around a bit when I was a child. My parents always referred to us as Canadian, and never let us become American. As a matter of course, when someone finds out this quirky bit of information from me, and expresses surprise, I generally reply with something not nearly cute enough like, "We walk amongst you unnoticed."
I have never felt American. I loathe the whole power team here. But so do most of my friends. I am emotionally detached from all matters of patriotism and national sport. But so are many of you, I might guess. We could go on in this game, but see I'm picking up and going back to my motherland and wondering if I will be a stranger there, or if I am one here? There's more to this discussion.
I'm also attempting to catalogue everything I love about here.
There's this corner here, that I've always loved almost irrationally. Before I even moved into the neighborhood. It's alien and comforting.
And here's some other ones from there: favorite corner

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Valley of The Dolls revisited...

Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
More dolls than you can shake a stick at today at the Pomona Raceway...for a little more dolliciousness see the whole set here...

Monday, April 18, 2005

where was i...

Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
i know it's been awhile....went through a bit of a "do i really have anything worthwhile to add to the sea of useless information floating around out there" debate with myself and realized that no, i don't. That said...

A number of local car clubs were down in Elysian Park on Sunday, showing off their bad rides. There's more in the low rider group on flickr.

Nice op-ed on FDR ( i know you stay awake nights wondering where all the the contemporary FDR pieces are...) in the NY Times today.

Also, photos from my san francisco/sacramento trip are here.

oh, and it seems that the "War on Terror" is going about as well as the "War on Drugs", which started with the criminalization of marijuana in the 1930s. Let's see, since the drug threat was successfully eradicated last year, terrorism should be done for by 2080 (give or take a few centuries...)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil?

I live next door to Frederick's of Austin. There's a constant fountain that makes visitors to my house want to pee. And he's often a bad neighbor of the type to fight in the street with his boyfriend or show up at the tail end of a party with a plastic tumbler of rum. And inside his house is a collection of Sambo dolls who's irony is very much in question. And outside there are wonders:
Frederick's of Austin 2
and more:
Frederick's of Austin
This is my first post. I will add some more magic soon.

Friday, April 08, 2005

on the road

the 5 through a fence
Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
In about an hour I'm going to climb into my friend Ela's car and we're heading north to San Francisco to see the Radar Brothers show there tonight. The Brothers have a great new album, The Fallen Leaf Pages, which you can listen to at the Merge Records site. Just look for the green and yellow box about half-way down the page...or just try clicking this.

I'm going to eat sooooo much Rice-A-Roni tonight...

No Child Left Behind, Indeed...

Originally uploaded by jrduncans.
According to Opt Out , part of the education president's No Child Left Behind act "requires school districts to release student names, addresses, and phone numbers to military recruiters upon their request." But there is also a requirement for school districts to let students know they can opt out by requesting that the school not make their records available to the military.

The Opt Out website furnishes a printable form for students to fill out and turn in at school, as well as helpful info on finding money for college without giving up giving up years of your life (or all your life, for that matter.) Tell your little sister, tell your little brother, don't go to Iraq to die for Bush and his pals....Opt Out...

(photo by jrduncans on flickr

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Strange Bedfellows found to be patriotic...

Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
According to a NY Times article, our new Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, infamous for his 2-thumbs-up approval of torture has been testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee as to the importance of renewing all provisions of the Patriot Act in December. Unless renewed, a number of provisions in the act will expire at that time. While I hope they won't be renewed, my guess is that they will.

The ACLU has a formed an interesting alliance with conservative groups (that would normally run screaming from the ACLU) to national national support for reform of the Patriot Act.

new me

overhead Steve
Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
Everything you've heard about L.A. IS TRUE. Take, for example, the body enhancement industry. A major portion of California's economy (93%!) is derived from boob jobs, face lifts, tummy tucks and the eradication of those spider veins i once had on my legs. I always said that I'd never succumb to the temptation, but, as you can see from my latest photo, I've recently had some work done. I know, it's subtle, but if you look closely, you can just notice that I've had a few lines added to my face, and that I had it widened a bit. I had my doubts before the surgery, but now I'm living proof that they can do ANYTHING out here. They're that good...

Monday, April 04, 2005

WMDs still missing...

The sun is already up, and so, it seems am i. Not for long, but just long enough to link this maureen dowd NYTimes op-ed thingy about the president's commission on intelligence (yeah yeah). Dowd say's, among other things:

"As the commission's co-chairman, Laurence Silberman, put it:"Our executive order did not direct us to deal with the use of intelligence by policy makers, and all of us were agreed that that was not part of our inquiry."

Huh? That's like an investigation into steroids in baseball that looks only at the drug companies, not the players who muscled up."

have a look...


Originally uploaded by gms.
i am both wary and jubilant to proselytize about the charms and dangers of flickr. Jubilant about photo collages like the one i have uploaded here from the photostream of gms. Where else but flickr can you randomly stumble across such wonderful collections of photos? Where, i ask ? (there is a comments section just for you and your ilk...)

And yet, i am wary as well. Bearing the addictive nature of flickr in mind, i can't help but recall the sickness experienced in the Wim Wenders 'flick' "Until The End Of The World" the sickness being a form of addiction to "images". i feel it. so beware...

but please keep reading...

golden boy

golden boy
Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
Yesterday was Thai New Year - we have a pretty big Thai population here in L.A. They block off Hollywood Blvd from Western Ave at the east end to Kingsley at the far west. Today we ate weird satay sausages, listened to thai pop music and saw all kinds of people getting crazy thai massage. I even got a water blessing from a thai Buddhist monk...for some of the rest of the story, see my thai new year set.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Juan Cole has some interesting stuff on the late Pope today.

Don't forget to Spring ahead...

Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
An interesting phenomena to ponder on this first day of DST. It's hard to explain, or maybe unexplainable. I suppose it just "is". But, as evidenced by the photo, it involves thrill-seeking dare-devil dangerously and deceptively-cuddly plush toys gone bad - dangling from street lights and utility poles with reckless abandon. Reckless but perhaps not wreckless, as rubber-necking passers-by are often seen to take their eyes off the road to observe creatures such as the high-flying Huckelberry Hound. Fatality figures are not available as of yet, but with Huck and all the others out there hovering above our city streets, i can already see the incredulous police-reports and tabloid headlines.

It all seems to have started with a smelly old bear in a part of Los Angeles called Echo Park, and who knows where it will end. It quickly spread to Silverlake, stirrings have been felt in other parts of the country, and one of the latest sightings was in Germany.

If this all makes no sense, or if it makes perfect sense, there's more of it right over here.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

recent rainiest rains

rainiest rains
Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
So i move to California, and of course i am a sucker for all the stereotypes, rumors and lies. Like the stories about the weather:

"oh yeah," they all said, "it's always sunny and 70."

Like the rube that i am, i buy it.

So I get here in May of last year and right away we have a day where it gets to about 105 degrees. It doesn't stay that way, but still, what about sunny and 70?

And then we get into what is called "June Gloom", a cloudy, foggy overcast patch of weather that everyone but me seems to hate. I'll take it over Texas in June everytime, but again, where's the sun?

And then summer with a small s. Compared to Texas, nothing to worry about. Pleasant, as advertised. And the weather does stay nice for a pretty long stretch. Beach trips in November and December. Lots of sunny. Lots of 70. Lots of 80. Fine, I'll take it.

But then it starts. The rainy season. California, you may have heard, is sometimes referred to as the Golden State. It is actually quite green for some of the year, and then when the scrub and the brush start to wilt and dry out, it becomes the Golden State. But this is the year I chose to move here. So of course it ends up being either the rainiest or 2nd rainiest year on record since they've been keeping track of that sort of thing.

And of course, what would you expect in the rainiest year on record ? Sunny and 70? No. Instead the hillsides in my neighborhood turned to mud and many a mini-mountain of mud sludged its way down to the lower elevations (see the photo at the top, and this one. Lots of folks lost their homes, and some people even died. But finally, for now, it seems to have cleared up.

Sunny and 70 ? Sometimes...

But i still love it irregardless.

here goes nothing (literally)

on set with friends...
Originally uploaded by 7-how-7.
So yesterday i wake up with this thought in my head:

Everyone but me and my mom has a blog. I've become addicted to flickr lately and so am spending more time (way too much time) on-line and i can't help but notice that the 21st century started a few years ago when i wasn't looking.

Like i said, it seems that everyone but my mom and i now has an e-pod and a blog.

My mom called today to tell me about her new blog.

I'm not providing the url to her new blog, since she is starting out by going back to the days of my childhood, with lots of details about dirty diapers, chicken pox, pink eye, bed-wetting, nocturnal emissions, etc...

But she did give me the idea to start this, The Occasional Occasion, and to go back and make up for lost time. Or to lose time by going back, whichever. Since i'm on flickr so much, lots of what shows up here will be photos from there with additional gory details about my new life in L.A.

Like this shot of me out in Pacoima, on the set of "Herbie: Fully Loaded", awash in a sea of blow-up dolls. Blow-up dolls are used, among other things, as movie extras. Not in close-ups, but in those big crowd scenes, in football stadiums (Friday Night Lights), in boxing auditoriums (Million Dollar Baby). The blow-up dolls here don't actually have arms, (TV magic) much less anything below the waist. But many of them will soon have their 15 minutes (or 15 frames) of fame...

thanks for listening, doc...