Saturday, February 28, 2009


I took these in New Orleans shortly after the disaster. A couple neighborhoods were hit so hard there was no sign of life, ghost-town.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Look, you don't just match a tee shirt with socks, you chameleonate to your environment.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Art Shay, my favorite photographer, from Chicago. He also happens to be standing here with his wife and five hidden cameras.

Art Shay

Natas and a magic shirt.

Lennon dead, and never comes out of his plastic wrapping.

Look at her in the window, stealing all the gusto in the photo.


A woman in front of me crying, a woman behind me crying before the first scene even took place, and not a word spoken in the entire theatre after the ending. Check it out at Film Forum or your local theatre before it's too late.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I was taking a food break in the kitchen and decided a squirell has got to eat too. I threw him out a piece of wheat toast and some black birds stole it from him, then a white bird stole it from the black birds, then the white bird tried to fly off with it and dropped it, so the blackbirds regained ownership. Ahh, Saturday afternoon entertainment right out in the back yard.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Cancel all your plans and come out or stay home and listen to Philip Glass in a dirty bathtub and feel sorry for yourself. We'll be throwing a little DARDY-PARTY tomorrow night and WE NEED YOU!


Lance explaining what happened at a McDonalds.
"So I popped him in the face!"
We all looked at him funny...
"...So I popped him in the back of the face!"
Funniest shit I ever heard.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Have you ever stayed over at your friends house and woken up to a creepy doll staring right at you?

Saturday, February 21, 2009


(I know reading off the internet sucks. I've been bored with photography and just recently wrote this story, finishing it about three minutes ago. So email me and tell me if you love it, hate it, or wanna kill it.)

I drove with Josh at 5am on 294 towards Joliet to meet with a guy named Billingsly. Instead of us meeting him at his house he called us and gave us very specific instructions and he kept calling back over and over because we were running late and he had mentioned we get there right on time, so we lied and added about fifteen miles to our travel speed. He kept calling and trying to call us out on it. He knew we were lying.
We met him on the side of a quiet road, he told us to follow him and led us into a church parking.
He parked his car, jumped out and walked towards ours, "I have to leave my car here, give me a quick ride back to my house."
I had mixed emotions about the prospect of having a complete stranger jumping into the back of my moms minivan, he knew we had a thousand dollars on us. I always expect the worst of humans, so I had vicious thoughts of getting shot in the back of the head.
"I just got that car, she's a real beaut ain't she? Brand new! There's probably only ten people in America with that car you know... Even the color is extremely rare, you think somebody's got that make and model with those colors? Come on, you're crazy..."
Before we could even ask where we should drive to Billingsly says like he owns us, "Go straight, we gotta go back to my house. I can't let my wife know all about the new toy, now can I?"
After being stuck in the car and drinking a gas station coffee I had to run into his house to use the bathroom. Josh sat in the car along the curb while I wandered the first floor. Billinglsy knocked on the bathroom door repeatedly, "C'mon, let's go..."
Forever assessing the bathrooms of others as a good indicator of their sanity.
The house reeked with a tone of just being built, recently installed; it lacked any trace of being broken in by the wear and tear that humanity rubs off over time, I especially noticed this by the manufacturers sticker still attached to the faucet.
We left. He drove his other brand new precious German sports car lawlessly along I-80 swerving softly but enough to believe he might have taken a goofball or two to numb his old age. it was hard keeping up. Josh and I enjoyed a good many laughs about this Billingsly, after just ten minutes of talking with him we had material to impersonate his voice. I mean, it sounded nothing like him, and it became increasingly worse and worse until it didn't resemble him at all.
We couldn't get over his age, he was nearly seventy and had a thirty seven year old wife with three kids, one of them only five months old. The picture of his wife that I saw in the house when I used the bathroom , oh my, the look of a woman that could turn heads, brown hair, olive complexion, the kind of smile that reminded you of your first bicycle ride without training wheels, and of course a huge knockout ring on her finger, big and gaudy and given to her by Billingsly. He was also divorced, like many a rich man, and had five grown kids. He told us this all very nonchallantly right after dropping off his sports car in the Presbyterian lot.
After arriving and driving through the small town of Kewanee we pulled up to Billinglsy's mothers house where the Grand Marquis was sitting in the garage. However, we couldn't get in because his keys didn't work anymore. Josh and I wiped the grime off of the garage window and got a look at the car, it was gleaming cherry burgundy with the little light reaching it from the four little rectangular windows stretching left to right while we stood tip toed looking in and noticing old Illinois handicapped plates
The car keys and title were held captive by the locked house so we all had to pile into Billingsly's car and drive over to his mothers old people's home. On the way over he told us all about how his dad had bought the Marquis in 1985 and then died one year later and how his mother had only ever taken it to the grocery store and church, and how it got very little use after her health problems and vision worsened. And there was no stopping the banter of Billinglsy complaining about how his sister was in charge of selling his mothers house and screwing up the whole thing.
"She won't be happy until every real estate house in Illinios has completely given up on her and that stupid house... Who does she think she is? Trump! Just get rid of the damn thing. Thats the easiest solution... The market is down, nobody wants the place, and here she is thinking it's got the net worth of the Hancock building, turning down every possible offer for more..."
All of us had to drive in the same car because Billingsly's mother lived in a gated community. I was surprised by how many houses there were, thousands. The problem is you could only get in by crossing one security check located on the east side of the community, and they gave us a hell of a time getting in even though we were trailing Billingsly on the way in, they even scanned both of our licenses, so on the way out we decided it would be best to load into his German sports car and hold on for dear life while he drove like a maniac.
"I like 'The Sound of Music'... Do you like 'The Sound of Music?'"
It was now just before eight in the morning and we were driving along with a madman, and he was blasting the soundtrack to a musical that I hated. Billingsly told us everything we needed to know about his car and his beloved musical.
"I bought this car the day she was completed and drove the son of a bitch down and all the way to Salzburg. Me and my wife, it had been my dream... This is limited edition you know, you can tell, just by the way it turns you can tell..." And Billingsly made a sharp turn on the corner forcing me to look into the back seat at Josh.
"Oh yeah, all the snow capped alps, my dream, forever my dream. Did you know every year I send Julie Andrews a birthday card? She's never written back, not once... Just a gem-like voice, absolutely divine..."
I've always hated musicals, they never go anywhere.
"Did you know Mozart was born in Salzburg? If you want I can play Mozart instead."
He just talked to himself, it was intended to be a conversation with us but he just talked and talked.
"No, no, I'll play this through, nothing gets me going in the morning like 'The Sound of Music'... We climbed the mountains, visited the real Von Trapp Villa, every important on sight location from the film..."
By the time were were listening to 'Do Rae Me' we were pulling up to his mothers care facility and parking unappoligetically in the handi-capped section.
The first thing his mother said to me, whom I'd never met in my entire life, while touching my face with her little old chapped hands and a squeeze was, "Oh my, you've gotten so big!" Her roomie at the old peoples home was in the heavily handrailed bathroom and came out staring right through me with a white gown and red apple patterns.
"Mom,listen, my key doesn't work on the house and I need to get in. I need the car keys and the title because this nice gentleman might buy dads old car, and we got to do something about that car, we can't sell the house without getting rid of that car first..."
"Why don't you want it?"
"Ma, that car is a 1985, what do I need an old car for? I've got new cars, sports cars, that things ancient..."
Billingsly was upset to find the real estate office his sister was working with had changed the locks, and frustrated to find his mother didn't remember what she had done with her key.
She looked in all the drawers, and screamed at him for snooping around looking for it. For a good two minutes she just stared, transfixed, right at the television screen, then looked right at Josh, "I'm not watching television you know, I'm thinking." She turned the t.v. off and then kept staring at it, at the black screen; probably saying a prayer to St. Anthony to help her find the keys, or playing jokes on her rich and unforgiving son.
Billingsly told us to wait downstairs and we read local newspapers, their big cover story was about a man swearing in a grocery store.
I could tell could tell by the huffing and puffing of Billingsly that he hadn't found the keys and that him and his mother had just gotten into an argument about his sisters "Trump Complex."
Mr. Don Billingsly only cared about things natural to himself. He cared about getting rid of the car, because it was easy for him to get rid of the whole house, he mentioned over and over throughout the course of the morning, "I can't wait... Oh mark my words..." And he would almost stutter, shaking his head he would relish his own words admiring them, "Oh, mark my words, I will never be back in this town ever again..." And he muttered that over and over, out loud and under his breath. Billingsly just couldn't be bothered.
Billingsly walked about life intent on being a business man, rich by Citigroup atm fame, enough to have multiple houses, a wife in her thirty's. He spit in the face of life stubbornly and let everyone know it. he didn't care about his mother, he could have her living at one of his many houses, including the one in Florida on the beach, instead he stuck her in a place that gives her little orange juices with foil lids for breakfast once a day. The guy that owned the care facility didn't give a damn, he hadn't painted or changed the wallpaper for decades and all the nurses reeked of cigarette breaks, and while inside behind fake smiles, Josh and I secretly wished she would hurry the hell up. The sweet old widower. Hurry up already and rememeber where you put your keys!
When was the last time little old widower Billingsly had a quality brussel sprout?
The thirty seven year old wife of Billingsly intentionally marrying a millionaire to seal the comfortability of her future complete with nanny's, a beach house, and a good solid cheating husband. We were all part of a cycle of sickness and if Josh and I could finagle our way into getting that car cheaper, so-be-it, Billingsly had enough money.
There is an extremely specific twitch to the nose when experiencing an entire building dedicated to those on their way out, the smell of bleach and ugly perfume that acts as a death cover-up, it's so pungent and thought provoking; the old grapes, pressed harshly, crushing their inner seed soul, the tannin level enough to dry the mouth of any man.
It was still so early that we jumped into the car and went to get breakfast at McDonalds. We had to kill time and wait until at least 9 a.m. for the real estate office to open up so we could go get the spare key from them to open Mrs. Billingsly's and the garage, and Billingsly's sister wouldn't answer the phone. This drove the man nuts, and with blood boiling he drove a little bit faster and the morning was wearing on and we weren't making time as he'd planned.
Billingsly told us he would buy us breakfast , but when we got to McDonalds he ordered, got into an argument because he wanted to cream his own coffee, then walked off and ignored us by the ketchup pump, leaving us to pay for ourselves.
You always feel a bit rude reminding someone that they said they'd pay for you.
Billingsly was waving his breakfast sandwich all over the place, talking in a spontaneous quirky manner about making his fortune, and oddly, he knew all about Queens Boulevard, all the ins and outs of my neighborhood. "Yeah, that Wendy's on 45th, that used to be a real famous boxing arena, bet you didn't know that smarty pants. Yep... good old Sunnnyside Gardens... Kennedy walked those walls, Andre the Giant, many a great dead man. And now it's just another chain and I helped build it."
Ahh, The sick things that destroy something once thought to be impenetrable.
On and on, philosophizing with a ketchup smudge above his lip, I was well entertained. Crumbs sprinkling all about him and an air of arrogance, Billinglsy finished both breakfast sandwiches before we'd even recieved ours, taking it in like tasteless fuel.
I wanted to beat myself up for believing he wasn't that bad of a man, he was the worst kind of human, he took advantage of everyone coming into his time of day and he didn't even seem to notice; this made me feel somewhat better about our plan to rip him off on the Grand Marquis.
Billingsly was a real jerk and I had to admire it, in some sick way it was the life of a human I could never become. If I was a jerk on the scale of a dime, Billingsly towered over me as a silver dollar, he crushed the light like a mushroom bulbing out above me. I didn't want to be anything like Billinglsy, but in a bizarre way wished I could understand it.
I'd previously known Billingsly to be a jerk because of the way he talked to Josh on the phone, it was all in honesty. I think once you reach a certain age as a man you shed sugar coating and speak whatever is on your mind. I was sitting on Josh's mothers couch; patterned with zigzagging lines of different shades of brown, and we put Billingsly on speaker phone when all this car business was just toying around with different peoples ads on the internet. "You gotta listen to this guy, I talked to him the other day about this car I might buy, he's absolutely nuts."
Josh asked him mid-conversation when the last time the car ran and received an ugly response, then he asked if Billingsly could send him a picture of the car first before we made the trek all the way out to Kewanee. Billinglsy cut him off angrily, "C'mon, it's a 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis, it's got 64 thousand miles on it, it's burgundy, and it runs great. Are you trying to tell me you can't imagine what a Grand Marquis of that stature looks like? Or how it runs? Come on now! Don't waste my time!"
Josh had no kind of answer to something like that, he could've told him to screw off and hung up but something about the mileage intrigued him and he was never good at getting any words out of his mouth when he really wanted something. We ended up listening to Billingsly on speaker phone, he talked incessantly about women, women who weren't his woman, money, kids, anything that came into his mind was spoken out of his mouth and into our minds.
""Let's go... You can eat that crap in the car, we'll be late..."
Billingsly wanted to get there the minute the real estate office opened so he could drive back home, move his toy car again, pack a few things up, and meet up with wifey on the sands.
Josh asked him in the parking lot what he would do if he missed the flight and in devilish reply he returned, "Missed, ha ha..." He had to laugh at that, "Lets just say that could never happen."
After Billingsly slammed his morning coffee it was on, even his banter about girls frolicking on the beaches of Florida were pure entertainment.
"Oh yeah, you should see the place, the next thrtee months I'll be there, it's great, right on the beach... right where the kids and Marianna can enjoy themselves, they rarely wanna come here. Why would they? But they have to, this is the home base. I'm sure Marianna would love to keep it between our Manhattan pad and Florida but she can't have everything! What I say goes and here I can keep control of them a little bit more, they know who's boss around here, they got nowhere to hide! "
Just to have an inkling of what it's like to be absolutely insane, i'd thoroughly enjoy that if only for a day.
He moved on, now talking about his ATM success, "You got an ATM card? You ever use it... ? Well, in 1976 myself and six others came up with an idea to dispense money on the street, at any time of the day. Now, other people think they had the idea first, and maybe they did, but it was us seven who made it first happen in Manhattan in the late seventies and it just went boom! It exploded! You're walking down the street at three in the morning and you wanna get a hooker? You go to an ATM, plain and simple. And guess what? That embarrassed hooker, she can deposit all your cash in the midst of the night without having to speak with a teller... After I reached that level of success nobody could touch me, I made my fortune fair and square..."
Then Billingsly went on to telling Josh and I what we should be doing with our lives, "You, back there, what do you have planned? What's your big scheme?"
"I'm going to Law School after I finish undergraduate."
"Oh, nice, well, prepare to be a bitch forever..." Josh clammed up in back and Billingsly took a stab at me, "How about you, you gonna go to Law School too?"
He said it in a really snobby voice, a pure jab if you ask me.
"I'm taking the firemen's exam. You know, they haven't had an exam in Chicago in more than a decade."
I said this very defiant, you can't knock an honest profession.
"So, you wanna die because some crack head left a cigarette lit between his knuckles, is that it? Or because some snot nosed twerp left the stove on? Oh yeah you're a real hero..."
I tried to muster up something in defense but he interfered, "Let me tell you something, my daughter, from my first marraige, she teaches rich kids how to speak, she's a linguistics counselor. She gets in there and teaches them at age three, age four, really young. You know how much that profession pays? Ninety an hour right off the bat. She's so rich from teaching she could fly a helicopter from east to west wing of her house if she wanted to. I mean, you can't have bum grades for a profession like that, you got good stats or what?"
Josh's lips were zippered, "My grades were pretty good, B's and C's..."
He laughed at such plebeian idiocy fumbling out of Krosky, "You don't get B's and C's to teach those little rugrats. You get A's! You go to top of the line schools! Well, maybe it's not for you."
And that was Billingsly's style, the harsh reality. Bring you up, shoot you down. When we finally passed the security checkpoint and arrived back at the house, we opened the garage and took a look at the car, not a dent, not a chip, interior still tight, tip top shape.
We'd been instructed to bring a car battery with us because the car had been sitting so long it was dead. Josh popped the hood and put the battery in. Of course, he put the battery in backwards with two negatives and two positives, the wire connecting the starter and battery smoked a touch and I immediately told Josh to stop, I called Billingsly over, "Look at this, the car has serious alternator damage, it's smoking! Here, watch!" And Josh hooked it up again and as I tried to start the car the whole wire fizzled due to reversed polarity and went up in flames just as we had planned.
Billingsly seemed unphased, and Josh twisted the knife, "This car is junk, look at this, the wires are all corroded."
But they weren't, we had deliberately ripped off old rich Billingsly, we knew he needed the car out of that garage, we knew he was getting on a flight that day to Florida, we knew he hated this town and never wanted to come back, and that this car was one huge anchor headache.
"Ahh, how much will you give me for it?" He rubbed his brow in the early morning dewey light of fresh air middle of nowhere.
Josh acted as if he really didn't want the thing, scratching his head, he mulled it over, "Well, I'll still have to get the car towed, and then fixed at a mechanic, it could cost more than the thousand you were asking for."
"I need a price now."
"I'll give you two hundred."
Billingsly said deal before Josh had even closed his mouth and realized he could've probably gotten the thing for fifty.
Bilinglsy left the title, the car, and the two of us stranded outside his mothers home and drove off. He didn't even care to take his mothers handicapped plates off the car.
Waving goodbye he sped off; the musical of his dreams blasting until it faded with distance.
The small town was so happy to have some business that the towing company gave us a deal, yet complained about how much convincing it took for them to get through the secure gates of the community.
After pulling up and assessing the problem with a always exhausted grease handed mechanic we made our way into the office.
A woman was on the phone, answering and holding and talking and surrounded by stacks of handwritten vehicle pink carbon-copy jibber-jabber.
Once attractive, now fading, she surely had a heart of gold.
Now she'd seen a decent sized brussel sprout in recent months, I was sure of that!
She wasn't totally hung hock down just yet because her form still illuminated bulbously in shadows, she wasn't trajecting a pear shape just yet, and for that I could think whatever I wanted while gazing perceptibly at her gifts, she'd never know the wiser. She'd never know how close I'd imagined myself after only three minutes. It might blow a womans mind to actually know how fast a man can fall in love, pretty much any man; a young man at that!
The towing and rewiring were only about one third what I'd imagined it would have cost.
There is nothing else to do while a mechanic eats lunch with his oily black hands and working mans one piece zip up, we walked across the street looking for a bite ourselves.



Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Son: "Ah Dad, can we get that Nintendo pleeaassee?"

Father: "Ah, maybe next year son, maybe next Christmas."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009