Junior and Junior Junior curated this tour last month and sent it off in an email immediately which hi-lights for me the disparity here between my comfort level and theirs with electronic devices, zoom meetings, virtual learning and any old on-line hocus pocus. What I mean is, I have no idea how to make a screen shot or a video like this. kids these days. word
Today I had my hands on a formmagazine but it wasn't mine it was headed for the library. The cover image could do nothing but remind me of Dr 37 Mike and the ultimate snap-on ratchet in hand. Upon first glance I thought it was German but it’s actually a coffee table magazine of Nordic architecture and design from Sweden. Digging just a bit deeper I learned I could have my very own copy delivered to my home for the low low price of $147.50. What it all comes down to is that everything is gonna be fine fine fine. I mean for just under $25 per issue it could be delivered six times per year across the pond into the hands of the US Postal Service and into my mailbox. Flipping through this “tool” issue I found it interesting in a Nordic design way but I was unable to read much of the Swedish text. I would proudly display this $25 magazine upon my $5 yard sale coffee table if I could get a print version in English free at the library.
If things really do happen for a reason then for some reason all the pieces of this puzzle fell into place today and inspired this performance art piece that I like to call “still life with roadmaster” subtitled: it’s a triptych bro ::: Helga, Cindy Sherman & Tippi Hedren
Round about 2006 Jimbo got this Simpsons themed patch from a Stiffies pre-RAGBRAI ride in Iowa. Then he gave it to me. I hauled it back to Seattle and asked those guys down at DANK bags to put it on a coozie and I proceeded to drink a few roadmasters hiding in plain sight here and there on the streets of Seattle. Then I hauled the coozie back to Iowa for another RAGBRAI and gifted it to Jimbo. A few months later there was a parade of some sort that the Grinnell Griffins rugby team was participating in with the pilderwasser team bus and this coozie was kicking around so it got scooped up to shim-out some hose clamps around a flag that the Griffins wanted to fly off the passenger side mirror. That coozie stayed there for more than a few years secured well with those hose clamps hanging on through wicked Iowa winters and weird Iowa summers, long after the flag stick broke off. When I finally made it back for another RAGBRAI I borrowed a screwdriver and removed the hose clamps to reclaim the coozie. I’m sure I already told you that part of the story at least once. Anyway… the other day digging in the archives for a photo to personify drinking-beers-hiding-in-plain-sight to go along with the idea of working a little RAGBRAI into your everyday life I stumbled upon the Stiffies coozie photo I posted a few days ago. And then another other day while defrosting the beer fridge at HQ I uncovered a roadmaster of Milwaukee’s Best Ice that those DANK bags guys gave me some time in the last five years. All the while St Ides Heaven is looping in my head. Finally after work today I put two and two and two and two together and jammed that nasty old roadmaster into that nasty old coozie and cracked it open. While savoring that fine beer, I created the triptych seen here, featuring three of my favorite wall hangings: Helga, Cindy and Tippi.
In the absence of St. Ides, Milwaukee’s Best Ice will do
Cheers to things falling into place and or staying put with a well placed hose clamp. Here's to old friends. Thanks Jimbo. Thanks DANK bags. Thanks Elliott Smith. Thanks Milwaukee's Best.
“to maintain the lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to”
That shit used to crack me up when I read it on the divorce papers and legal documents I was delivering to King County Superior Court. Now it cracks me up for different reasons as I roll around mumbling to myself or talking to crows. I just want to keep doing the same things and expecting the same results. To feel like I have some control over something. Anything. Any little thing. Because I know every little thing is not going to be alright. A 12oz drip coffee. That’s right. The name is “Mark” same shit different day no words exchanged just a smile and a thank you and a see you tomorrow. The barista knows me as a model of consistency. Same shit different day. No need to waste time on the details. It’s not so much that I love routine. It’s that I’d like to use that bandwidth to ponder other things. And I think it’s hilarious that baristas remember me 18 months later and start pouring my coffee when I walk through the door. The crows know me too because they know I’ll share a snack with them.
Speaking of snacks, let this vending machine serve as an illustration, an example, a metaphor, a parable if you will…
For 18 months it was empty. Picked clean and not to be restocked until further notice. There was no food because there were no people to eat it. I got used to it. Seeing nothing but my own reflection looking back at me. Not that I’d buy the shit in there. It was all about knowing that it was there. But it wasn’t. And now it is. And that back-to-school feeling isn’t just a vague sensation in the pit of my stomach. It’s a full-on gut punch.
I’d like to take this moment to acknowledge the return of 55,000 people to campus: undergraduates, law students, graduate students, faculty and staff. As well as all the service suckers, spoon feeders, vendors, delivery trucks, electric scooters, jump bikes, meter maids, shuttles and metro busses that accompany all those people. I’m not ready to say “welcome back” because I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it.