Sunday, September 30, 2007

They Tried To Kill Me?

I was at the Amtrak Depot the other night shooting some old (50+ years) passenger cars that were parked.
As luck would have it, a train was coming towards us and I decided to shoot it as a blur behind the yellow and grey Central Pacific car.
But first I tried to gauge what the reaction of a pair of Amtrak employees might be.
Other people across the country have been told they can't take pictures at rail stations because of Nat'l Security, although what use a picture could be to terrorists is beyond me--they can just use their fucking eyes, or carry a small point and shoot to be discrete.
Obviously American people carrying big cameras on tripods?
Not so much of a threat if you ask me.

So I walked up with all my gear and asked what the deal was with the old-time passenger cars.
The reply in it's entirety: "Private owner".
I wait for more.
They just look at me.

So I walk a few paces away and plunk down the tripod past the yellow line.
Like almost on the tracks.
Still not a peep from the men in uniform.

As the approaching train slowly comes into view, my companion mentions that it seems to be on the siding that leads into the station.
That's when I realize that if I don't move my shit in a few seconds the train is going to turn me and my camera into hammered dogshit.
And still the Amtrak guys say nothing.
Thanks, guys.
You knew I was close enough to get hit.
You wanted to see me jump or die, but I kept my cool and didn't stop taking pictures, so screw you.

After the unloading of passengers began, much more fun was had.
There were Amish people, or maybe Quakers.
Three 20-something hipsters went off towards downtown smoking a joint that smelled great, as pot always does when you aren't actually smoking it.
And I took many pictures without getting a ration of bullshit from any of the half-dozen Amtrak employees, which is shocking to me and to the people who get interviewed by the FBI and HoSec whenever they pull out a camera at other train stations.

Just try what I did at Penn Station or Grand Central and see how fucked-up your day (and the rest of your life) becomes.

I swear, my guardian angel is one bad motherfucker.
That, or I'm invisible.

The last theory makes more sense since I can never get a waitress to actually wait on me when I'm working in a bar. Almost every weekend for the last 27 years--no service--and I tip very well.
So a big 'screw you' for all the waitresses, too.
I just want a damn beer.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Oh, That's Just Great

When you see a sign like this in your neighborhood it makes you wonder if there's an arsonist running around torching homes.
This house was vacant and being renovated, so that's a small consolation.
Maybe it was insurance-fraud, or just a chickenshit firebug who only gets sparky on vacant buildings.

Still--I'm glad I stay awake until sunrise.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

3 Kinds Of Shit...

...For Sale!
Realistic Self Defense looks just like actual self defense for half the money.
Wing Chun?
Never heard of it.

Sumo Suit Rentals?
I'm sure there's a market for that--frat boys, chubby-chasers, anorexics on Halloween, but I don't want to know about any of it.

Blown Attic Insulation?
That crap hasn't been used for new house construction in decades.

Because it's shit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Self-Serve Art

During the weeklong gallery show, there was plenty of time to kill.
Mostly, we talked about cameras.
(OK, I talked and other people listened. I seem to have figured out a lot of things that aren't so readily apparent to others.)
I also wasted time walking around other galleries, and peeking into the ones that were closed.
That's where I got these photos--outside galleries catering to ART art.
Just slip $450 into an envelope and slide it under the door, then lift the piece off the wall and take it home?
Surely, if the "Art" is self-serve, it can't really be worth so much, can it?
Wouldn't some poor art-lover just steal it?
I would, if I thought it was any good.

Case in point, some plastic cups arranged in a frame and coated with thick gloppy paint in a blue & white motif.
I didn't "get it", so whenever possible I would point out this particular work and gauge the reactions.
Most were in the "ooookay" and "What The...?" category.

It was funny and interesting to learn how little I know about true art.
But at least I know what I like, and nothing I saw changed that.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Some Things I Like

I like:
Vodka that's bottled in Texas that's only $10 a jug.
Amplifiers made in Mississippi. (My big one wouldn't fit the photo's composition).
A guitar, handmade in Japan in the mid-1970s, that was the most surprising and useful Christmas present of my entire life.

My mom asked a friend of mine which exact guitar I wanted, and totally fooled me into thinking I was getting something else.
I had played it many times in the store and was in love&lust beyond compare.

Opening the case on Christmas morning was an incredibly stressful moment.
"What if it's a piece of shit or I hate it? How do I react when the gift is totally wrong yet the intent is based on love and a desire to please?"
But when I was able to discern that my beloved Artist 2619 was indeed in there...Oh...My...God!
I clearly remember getting light-headed and being glad that I was already on my knees, and I still get a taste of that feeling back whenever I look at my guitar.

Parents, once the kids are teenaged iPodian zit-farmers who won't talk to you in more than one syllable at a time, you can still hear them if you're clever and make an effort.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Almost Anything Doesn't Count

"I was almost a doctor".

"I'm almost pregnant".

"We're The Almost Patsy Cline Band".