Monday, January 31, 2005

Old, broken, weathered glass

90% of this was collected from Bagdad, CA; the opaque colored ceramic is from the site of an old cafe along the Ridge Route (around the foundation of what was once Kelly's.)

(shot from underneath)

It will be mosaic'd into...something; I am considering painting the underside of some transparent glass pieces with small designs in white enamel, so light will have that to reflect against and show the color of the glass piece, where in areas without enamel on the underside, it will take on the color of the grout, which will certainly be a saturated or dark color. I don't know for sure, I have not done this before.

I think I need more glass, too; I'll go to a thrift store and buy some olive or amber horribleness to destroy.

I won't use all these colors together — that would be terrible.
The white ceramic and the coke-bottle green (upper right) would look lovely in blood-red cement...and maybe a few small pices of black. Perhaps black glass beads arranged in a few tendrils.

Why do I have to go to work today when the hardware store is just down the street.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Quaker Ohs! Cereal is the shittiest cereal on earth

Last week I made the mistake of buying Quaker Ohs! Honey Graham cereal, and I would like to devote today's entry to preventing anyone else from doing the same. It is honestly terrible. Quaker Ohs! is the most awful cereal you can imagine. Don't ever, ever buy it or eat it.

This is the disgusting product in question, Quaker Ohs!:

The bulk of the reason behind my virulent hatred lies in 1) the cheapness of the cereal, and 2) the hideous way in which the synthesized lard behaves.

Inexcusable Cheapness
You know how a ring-shaped grain cereal like Cheerios is delicious because it is hearty, toasty, and somewhat dense?
Quaker Ohs! Honey Graham cereal is none of these. One cereal piece occupies the greatest area in space that those few grains of oat flour and what-not can possibly be extruded to occupy without collapsing. The texture of the ring is similar to a hardened, extruded cornstarch packaging pellet coated with corn syrup.

The "good stuff inside" each ring is factory floor sweepings. There can be no question on this matter.

The Unbearable Lardiness of Being
As I neared the middle of my first bowl of Quaker Ohs! Honey Graham cereal, I realized a paste was forming on the roof of my mouth. Uneasy, I scraped the roof of my mouth with a finger and observed the whiteish substance. Rubbing it between my thumb and forefinger, I discovered it was fat. Some kind of scienced-up industrial oil, probably; it felt exactly like Crisco, if a little grainier.

That was my last bowl of
Quaker Ohs! Honey Graham cereal.

It is awful.

I cannot emphasize my contempt for this cereal enough.

Even the cleansing purge of flame is not enough to obliterate this crime against cereal consumers from the earth

I tried to lure a neighborhood cat over to poop on the box for a picture, but he wouldn't come near it.

This is where you belong,
Quaker Ohs! Honey Graham cereal: at the bottom of a garbage can.
I genuinely hope you rot in hell.

I invite everyone to heap their scathing contempt on this inedible blunder.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Pointy tree, glass shards, and birds of paradise

Dammit, this is going to be one entry that delivers what the title promises, for once.

This is a toothpaste tree.

This smoky glass is blanketing a portion of the ground in Bagdad just exactly as though someone had droppped two thick 6' X 8' panes of it, one after another, from a height of four feet. We may never know why.

Testing out a vase we were given for Christmas. (There is a scruffy birds-of-paradise bush in the backyard.)
Now every time I pass the table, I involuntarily imagine a pterodactyl screech.

It was misting as I walked to my car after work.

Monday, January 24, 2005

How to have a wedding that isn't terrible

To elaborate on my last post, here is a quick sketch of the way we are planning ours to go down:

Family (less than 30) gather at the 29 Palms Inn a day or two beforehand. It's a little village of adobe bungalows and woodframe cottages in the high desert. We've reserved a large portion of it so far; ours (Irene's historic adobe) has a big old back courtyard for gatherings. We'll party and have fires outside and drink and enjoy each other's company and listen to music.

Cactus everywhere.

A few siblings may plan daytrips to Joshua Tree or the Mojave Nat'l Preserve, which is nearby.

brief and secular ceremony will be at the spot of an abandoned townsite in the Mojave Desert called Bagdad.

(You may have seen this movie...the namesake still exists and operates, but it is located down the road in Newberry Springs.)

I drove out to Bagdad yesterday to survey the site; our friend Mike is going to be performing the ceremony. He is also going to be building the platform that we erect on the site for the ceremony, and doing any number of other awesome things.

The site is festively littered with old broken colored glass, which glitters in the sun. I have several sacks of it at home for mosaics.

I am designing an art piece for the platform to act as a backdrop or arch or posts or something along those lines.

Here is the site:

It's hard not to squint in the sun:

We'll have an RV out there, and booze of course, and briefly exchange vows. (The legal will have been taken care of prior.) Then we head back to Pasadena and have a nice dinner somewhere.

I'm designing anything that needs to be designed with the harsh, severe beauty of the desert in mind.

The golden hour on the National Trails Highway makes everything lovely:

Friday, January 21, 2005


Most people (correctly) maintain that the internet is up to 85% pornography, but at least 10 of the remaining 15% percent is a much less useful type of obscenity, wedding invitation websites. Once you get sucked into looking, the raffia and petal inclusions and debossed deckled response cards work into your eyes and your heart like the shards of the Snow Queen's accursed mirror; soon, only wretched lumps of ice remain.

. . . .

I've discovered it is easy to end any argument with Scott by declaring that the wedding is off. I must use it sparingly, however: he is wily, and in time will learn to use my own tricks against me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A 36 hour visit.

Saturday morning I drove up to Sacramento. It was the first opportunity I'd had since the horrible rain to visit my grandmother in her new home, a care facility.

I saw her Saturday and Sunday; Saturday with mom, and Sunday with mom, Becky, and Joe. She is outwardly as pleasant and uncomplaining as ever, despite cancer, a recently broken leg from a fall, and Alzheimer's. She offered to make us coffee 8 or 10 times each visit, forgetting that she no longer lived in her home in Sequim.

The place she is at seems very nice, and as home-like as it can. She is in a private room; Mom goes to see her every day.

Saturday night my mom and I stayed up drinking wine and looking through a lot of the things she'd brought back from my grandma's house — photos, costume jewelry, coin collections, yearbooks.

Sunday evening, I drove back to Pasadena. Several miles south of Bakersfield on the 99, a highway sign said ROAD WORK AT TEMPLIN HIGHWAY / EXPECT 5 HOUR DELAY which I was not really down with, having expected to make our garage by midnight. I called Scott and he verified (via the internet) that southbound traffic through the Grapevine was indeed restricted to one lane due to recent storm damage, and reminded me of our favorite bypass, 58 to 14 (up through Tehachapi and Mojave.)

Ascending 58 involved twenty harrowing minutes of fog, followed by a sudden crystal absence of fog that inspired gratitude. I had accented the fog with a Twilight Zone radio broadcast, followed by Art Bell...why not? I was in Mojave, after all. Topics included the "Bible code" and batshit Howard Hughes, with presidents in his batshit shirt pocket.

It was better than the Mother Angelica program I had listened to earlier, in baffled fascination.

She described in great detail, to a loving and appreciative audience, what it was going to be like on the Judgement Day — how dazzling God would appear on his throne, surrounded by the entire host of angels, and so forth. She pondered aloud how the "nations that don't believe in him — and there are! There are nations who do not believe he exists, can you imagine," would feel once they were called in front of him to account for themselves, I suppose.

She chuckled with anticipatory schadenfraude.

What a weirdo.

Got home at 1:30.
All I remember now is the chilled smell of the fragrant grass, driving through Mojave. It came into my car.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005





I don't care what excuse you have, nothing's gonna stop me in the middle of this speech. You're gonna...

I mean


Oops, false alarm

The earth was not destroyed ater all, it was just a lot of rain.

To celebrate, I made something in the Huevos Rancheros category for dinner last night:

Some of the thick, spicy 15-bean soup Scott made, and Sriracha'd salsa, over two well-salted & crushed-peppered fried eggs with crawling (not running) yolk, sprinkled with grated Drunken Goat cheese, over a corn tortilla, with a pint of Bison stout for refreshment.

Eggs and salt is the best combination ever invented.

Monday, January 10, 2005

The end of all flesh is come

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven...

...and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights...

...and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.

...And it came to pass that even the garbage cans got knocked down, look at this shit

I mean, look at this shit


Friday, January 07, 2005

Some DumbPictures for your eyes

When Dev gets called out to the high desert, it's MiniDevCon time in Pasadena. L-R: Jim, Dev, Jose
(click for bigger)

Still Life with Insouciance

Dev waxes guitarical

Everyone loves chicken and waffles.
Dev is pictured moments before Carole C Special deployment.
Jose knows it's Scoe's.

Scott graciously overcomes his soul-stealing superstition.

Jim proves once and for all that he drinks beer.

Jose proves that he is willing to rock and roll all night.

Scott proves he has good peripheral vision.

Dev proves I should have used the flash.

The final image of the evening.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

A few Tucson images

(click for bigger)

Clearly, the building owner had leftover paint.

13 doorknobs, 2 horseshoes (properly hung), and 3 distinctly different address numbers = Best Door Award

A particularly nice abandoned building; that pigeon would not pose properly for me, though, which I must say I resent

I just know there was interesting stuff going on in there. Boring places don't get draped with netting like this.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Apply nose (A) to grindstone (B); repeat.

Back. Dang it's nasty and rainy here.

'Nasty' is the fourth word in.

It is nice being the only one in the office for the week, although I can't really enjoy it too much as I'm undertaking a "not drinking" experiment this week. Counting back to even before the holidays, there haven't been any days I can think of—excluding the food poisoning days—that I haven't had some alcohol or another.

'Nasty' is the fourth word out.

Saturday I drank all day while doing various projects, which made me useless on Sunday. I have to remember that nasty, sick, sluggish feeling.