Saturday, May 30, 2009

Somebody's Watching You

First off, thanks for everyone who figured out where that image of the jump rope fiend came from, a Sony Playstation game. Well, jumping rope with monsters is better than shooting at cops or fellow students, I guess. (I mean in the game).

Bought a new webcam yesterday, because my nieces love to make fake news broadcasts, about the swine flu, why the think the Cubs suck, they've been doing this with my crappy old webcam for years. I fiddled with it this afternoon and discovered even more ways to make my face appear less distorted than it truly is...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jump Rope Fiend

Scares the hell out of me and to this day I have no idea what the add was for.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Archer Avenue Fractals

These were after the parade. At 35th & Archer, you can get off the el and take a bus. The building here was a block back, I had to run past some gang dudes, but I was surprised to see even a better shot from ground level. Going around front, I saw that it was a beauty salon. I forgot the name of the beer bottle which royally pisses me off as I could have simply written it down in my commonplace book. Ah, well. More posts to come, once I hit Archer & Sacramento, its magic. Plus, you'll see scenes that once looked different back when BACKDRAFT was filmed in 1992.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Parade 2009

It was surreal, I had gone downtown, intending to use a 40% off coupon at Borders. I came above ground in the midst of the Memorial Day Parade, quite literally. To put this in perspective, if you recall the photos of those giant faces hovering over the ABC studios, directly below that is the exit to the subway. I walked out in direct sunshine, made a hard right, and might as well have been in line with the Whitney Young ROTC. It threw me off, then I realized that of course the parade was going on, and I was able to get a decent place to stand and take a few photos. There seems to be some irony in soldiers standing atop a float sponsored by a waste company. I just wish we'd get the fuck out of Iraq because I don't need nightmares again that some person in the photos I took on Saturday might be dead when they are barely twenty years old.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Blame Louis

I was going to simply post his oddly painted bench inside the UIC Blue Line terminal, near the Greyound station, but Louis The Guy From Albany had to send me this photo, taken yesterday at a holiday gathering. The guy takes fantastic photos of the stars and night skies. You'd think he's stop pointing the camera so low. And so the curse continues...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

$8.47 For The Hot Dog & Coke

These are the rest of the ill-fated Indianapolis trip. The price for that pale son of a bitch hot dog should have been a warning. I do enjoy Greyhound, though. I like being on the bus at night, the only one awake. Seeing a red dot that might be a Coke machine a half-mile away at a gas station. Horatio Salt told me before I left that there are always bus stories. Richard Matheson wrote a few, his ownself.

I'm still getting notes about my head. Its OK right now, earlier I had a screaming headache, and I don't even want to talk about yesterday. As long as I don't get double-vision, I'm cool. After the contusions in my head after the accident in 1989, I described the headaches as like having a twisty nail hammered into my head, yanked out, then punched in just...a...little...bit deeper. This wouynd here, its cake. Not good cake, mind you.

Howl at The Moon

The last of the Indianapolis photos. Interrupted by gashing my head. Bo commented correctly, you just commit your soul to the written word. You hurt, you write about it. You enjoy watching DANCING WITH THE STARS, you, well, OK, maybe you keep that to yourself. I mentioned spending time in this bar. Across the alley was the viaduct, the Amtrak trains ran above it. I talked more to the guy in the beard earlier in the day than I did the other dude, I gave them both a buck to take their photos. The guy in the sleeping bag has that specifically so his laptop cannot be stolen. I really wanted to sleep out there instead of inside the terminal, but I knew I'd regret the early morning chill. Oh, I even gave a buck to the Whiskey Sign guy. He wasn't even begging, I just gave him a buck for the photo. (This goes back a bit.) Look to the left, sure looks like some object in the window is giving the finger. So I ate two breakfasts in the Red Eye Diner and wrote "Salt." I'm baffled by the imagery, I've never written anything like it before. Maybe I'm evolving. Can't seem to upload it. Fucking technology. Like I said above, its all about the written word. I'll email y'all the story, if you want...Wayne

Friday, May 22, 2009

Well, I Didn't Plan This

Sometimes, when it gets to be too much, I just spasm out, becoming, well, the real me. It was by far our warmest day this year, it might've hit 90. I had lunch with Greg Loudon, then went to Reckless Records and bought CDs on the cheap of Cannonball Adderly, Roxy Music, and Dizzy Gillespie, bought some great stuff at the Unique Thrift Shop at 35th and Archer (having noticed their 50% off sign on the way downtown), rode my bike to Walgreen's and back, sat with Buddy the Mitch and read a bit of DREAM BABY by Bruce MacAllister. Never once feeling tired, so I kind of expected my brain would pop a rod at some point. It just happens. There's no trigger point. Not in this weather. In winter, a stiff wind will jolt my neck and make me clock out. Not in this weather, though, it can happen any time. I ate Pepe's tacos and watched the Cubs. Nothing. I talked with my agent about a pitch regarding @joymotel. Emailed Horatio Salt, my partner in crime who started it all, just fine. Nothing. Bip bop Bip. Emailed Salem Press about some articles I'd write for their Masterwork Plots books. By now I was quite sweaty, so I thought a shower was in order before I continued with this lengthy writing project I'm involved with.
And THAT is when it happened. Best I recall, I smashed my skull against the side of the soap dish, chest-high, because it was dangling from one end. There's some swelling around the soft tissue area, gee, good thing I bought a Bricklayers Union cap at the thrift store, hey? (For those keeping track, I currently have 39 visible scars). And it hurts like a bitch. But I used that pain to put in the very scene in this writing project that needed it. I think I pulled off a much better Chapter 68 than if it was just another night. Maybe Karma is like Rain Man. Hurt Wayne. Uh oh, Wopner. More of Indianapolis tomorrow. If I wake up. K-Mart, Cincinnati. Three o'clock, Wopner's on.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

But I'm Not Gonna Change Adventures in Indianapolis

Yep, that's me at 4:15 AM, sleeping in the Greyhound station. That Friday night was both frightening and fun. Let me explain. I was due to be picked up by a friend, but did not have his cell #, only the home #. So there's that. Now, I know my way around Indianapolis, I make a point of knowing the bus routes and all. I've been there a few times, waiting on the next bus to Louisville, or the time I went to Terre Haute to see Timothy McVeigh get executed. I read the bus maps, I look at the streets. After an hour of no one coming to get me, after three calls and an answering machine, I decide to hop the #29 bus to where my friend lived. Well, it turns out "lived" meant past tense and my friend never knew that I didn't know that he and his wife had moved from one of the scariest neighborhoods I had ever been in. Thugs on porches, music blaring, me looking like an anorexic Vic Mackey. Stares all around. I called Martel, who had maybe planned to show, on her phone, turns out she didn't have any info and so she told me she would Twitter and Facebook my friend telling him where the eff I was, at an intersection with my damnable numbers next to me (I purposefully kept the photo sideways), and a huge place called Liquorland behind me. An older fellow walks across the street and is cool enough to tell me there is one last bus. It shows up twenty minutes late, I listened to a good hour of Mexican rap music from an oddly colored Churros van. A fat girl with pink hair shaved on one side was the one person in the group around the ice cream truck-sized Churros van that stood out. I had asked them where the bus stop was, as I was basically walking along the grassy end of an endless strip mall, they shrugged in the way people shrug when they FUCKING KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SAYING BUT JUST DON'T GIVE A SHIT. Well, the last run of the #29 wouldn't take me where I needed to go, back to the Greyhound station. The driver called ahead to this dude what drove the #36 bus, because that route, too, was shutting down for the night. I had about a block to run, but he was there. Dropped me within three blocks of the station. I walked up Meridian, resigned to the fact that I'd be sleeping in the station, went into a bar called Howl At The Moon, somehow slipped by having to pay the cover, then was given free drinks because I was only drinking Cokes. Listened to the band for about two hours. Across the street was the Red Eye Diner, and I went in there and ate two breakfasts. I love eating breakfast at crazy times in odd places. I wrote a story called "Salt," that came to me as an image and I rolled with it from there. Then I trudged a block away to Illinois Street and the terminal. Got someone by the vending machine to take my photo. Ate breakfast at the White Castle, to illustrate how ass-backwards my eating habits are. When I got home, I learned that my friend had sent other people to retrieve me, and in retrospect, I can see the whole thing playing out where they look around for me and I'm in the john or tying my shoe. I was never frightened earlier that night, you do what cops do, look at everyone. Because only two kinds of people look at everyone, cops and crazies. Oh, and it had rained. So as I waited for the bus, it was humid and the sky was lighting up and you could hear the thunder and I was thinking oh fuck, what next? And it was actually raining by the time I hit Meridian Street, but it was a nice rain, the kind where your sinuses open up and you want to hear Del Shannon singing "Runaway" from some open window. The question is, will I get a cell phone? So I can call from anywhere, not just looking for pay phones that work or don't need credit cards? A cell phone so I can sound just like all the other idjits yapping away on the streets? Nope. What I WILL do, in the future, is get my facts straight, make certain I know where someone in another city ACTUALLY lives, and have more than one number to reach them at. So I take the blame there. But get a cell phone? Nope. Not gonna change.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Images of Indianapolis

Got in late from reading at Twilight Tales, so I've only scanned a few photos. Here are two that about sums up two aspects of my stay. More to follow.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Night Book Club

Thanks to Lee Snavely to providing the first book cover. I have the photos from Indianapolis and will tell my sordid tale in spurts over the next two days. I could almost write a short fiction about the events at Gateway Court, but I really want to wipe that from my mind with bleach. So enjoy the book covers.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Humboldt Park

Since I mentioned the old neighborhood in the last post, I should follow up with some photos. I grew up on the top floor of this three-flat on Crystal, between Washtenaw and California. Humboldt Park was west of that, the second biggest park after Marquette Park, here on the southwest side. My mom's sister and her family lived three doors down--their building had burned down in the 1968 riots--and my dad's sister and her kids were living directly across the street from us, their backyard "faced" Division Street. And my cousins' grandmother lived on the corner. The photo of me was taken in 1996. When I was a kid, there weren't wrought iron fences in front of every flat. I'm off to Indianapolis until Sunday, everyone take care....Wayne

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Finally, The Polkaholics!

So Rick and I met up in Wicker Park, had a meal at a place called Pint. I was quite elated, not just because I hadn't seen Rick since, well, since Harry's memorial, but because I got my hands on an Omegas Plus light blue transistor radio for ten dollars. I plan on walking with it everywhere and giving a big retro eff uuu to everyone with their cell phones and texting. Of course, until I find a 7 volt battery, I'll just have to make up the music. This specific intersection is cool, Damen, Milwaukee, and North. About two miles east of where I grew up, Humboldt Park. We then took a cab to Quenchers, at Western and Fullerton. I had known of The Polkaholics for years--in fact, they mentioned having formed in 1998--and I used to find small saddle-stitched copies of Polka-Zine up north. The band had to start late because of the playoff game with the Bulls and Celtics. Got me a t-shirt and afree CD, plus one for Rick. Free because the cardboard was stuck together, but the songs were pretty much what we heard. "The Beer Barrel Polka." My favorite of all time, "Who Stole The Kishka?" (I had to explain to Rick that it was Stashu who stole the kishka, even though its not explicit to the song). Then, inexplicably, they sang "All Right Now" by a 70s band named Free. How nuts is that? I know! Other songs: "Hallelujah, I'm A Drunk," "Old Style Polka," "Beer, Broads, and Brats." I had to look them up, and the CD still smells like Brylcreem or Wildroot. Good thing those guy don't run Magnum Sharpies through their hair. I got the Western bus to the Orange Line (near that vinegar factory) and watched one train go by. It was neat standing all alone at 12:30, I did the old walk down the up escalator for a bit. Got one of the last cabs from Midway, it was already in lockdown mode. Never cut it that close before. Got home around 1:15 AM and that's the end of that tale.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rick Therrio and North Avenue

On the way to the Polkaholics, I had Rick use my disposable camera to take a photo of me in front of this odd mural on North Avenue. I guess I didn't realize exactly how tall the mural was, what with my having no depth perception and all. Then I posed so that I'd have that pointed tower building--that's what I call it--at the intersections of Damen, Milwaukee, and North. Rick pulled off a great shot. I might crop it to get the car out of the picture, but I don't know. Seems OK. Then today Rick emailed me this piece of art he'd been working on, Jonny Algiers as painted by Rick Therrio.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I-294 Monster From Space

This is actually the end of the role from the guy who seizured up at Cloud Gate. I have the photos from the Polkaholics, but didn't upload them yet as I've been writing all night. So I was on 95th Street, they were working on the viaduct beneath the Tri-State Tollway, and I snapped some photos of those crazy power lines. I had been coming from the Social Security office as I have filed for Disability yet again, and took this photo of the odd building next door whose front end was an antique store, so who knows what was in the back. Bodies of customers killed by men dressed as their dead mothers, I guess. But this fat security guard came out asking if I took a photo as I was standing on federal property. I pointed at the other building, he nodded, but he was still a dick.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Nymph And The Lamp

G.W.Ferguson pegged it in the last posts comments. Not From Michigan Mike had given me a link to VSL (Very Short List), with illustrations by Thomas Allen. You can see the type of work he does, and the article mentioned The Nymph and The Lamp in the opening paragraph. I was fascinated, as I have that book. (In fact, I have two, and have given at least two other copies I can recall away. Every tenth trip to the thrift shop, I'll find a copy, go figure. Could be 55th and Kedzie in Mexicago, could be Uptown.)

But I digress. Man, this stuff is cool, I'm buying this book. I've shown a few covers, like the one Allen did that resembles Kiss My Fist. I put Make My Bed In Hell up just because I freaking LOVE that title. Also, there I am with my copy of Nymph. I, of course, suck at posting links, but you can Google Thomas Allen or Paintalicious or VSL, or even better, link to it from G.W.s comment in the last post. G.W. always puts links in his posts because he is the Mastermind of Virginia. Enjoy the art. I am.