Thursday, July 2, 2009

Green Nalgene

Riding the bus from the city to my place of work in nearby Palisades is still a new experience to me. I only ride it when my sister-in-law, Trish, is on vacation, which she is at present. When I started to recognize Palisades from the bus window, I hit the stop button above me. Previous bus-riding experience told me that my stop request should alert the driver to halt at the next bus stop, right? Wrong. He stopped right then and there. And in my shame I approached the bus's front. I explained that I simply wanted him to stop at the humble wooden bus shelter ahead. He mumbled something in a thick West African accent, shook his head, and drove on. 
Now feeling the eyes of the other passengers on the back on my head, I stared out the windshield anxiously. The stop could not have come soon enough. When I exited, I pathetically said 'Thank you' and 'Sorry,' and walked out with my head down.
When I was two steps off the bus, I realized that my load was now lighter; I had left my trusty green Nalgene bottle on the confetti print seat next to me on the bus. The bus was still there; people were getting out behind me, but I couldn't even look back at the scene of my melee, let alone board the bus again to retrieve the beloved vessel. 
That Nalgene bottle was one of my favorite things. It was even free from BPA leaching plastic, dammit! I found it almost exactly a year ago, when I still worked as a graveyard shift janitor at the Wilkinson Student Center on BYU campus. It was sitting on a wooden bench in the late June moonlight. It was sorrowful and alone. Back then it was practically brand new, without a scratch. It was mine. Finders keepers, losers weepers (though the loser would probably be dehydrated and unable to cry much because of it).
And now it's gone. Sent back into the karmic, poetic nothingness from whence it so quietly came. To find it again means waiting for a similar night in the crispness of late June, when the moon shines on green mountain trees and forgotten Nalgene bottles of the same hue. Or I may just check the lost and found at the George Washington Bus Terminal. It might be there, actually.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Last Weekend

Last weekend I met up with Dan in Minneapolis to give a couple presentations with him at the National Art Educators Association convention. Seeing my buddy Danny B again was like eating a hot apple pie treat from McDonald's. Our presentations, which discussed some of the work we've done together over the years, went well. More importantly, there was plenty o' fun to be had...

This is Dan sorting through some Legos at Legoland in the Mall of America.

Our classy hotel, right above a Bail Bonds place, on 7th St. in Mpls. The decor of the place was like... imagine Cher throwing up on Celine Dion.

Dan was tired.

A kooky knife chandelier that made Dan and I think of one of Cass' paintings.

Dan was also cold.

My thanks to my good friend Jason for hanging out with me and driving me around. The two of us, with his fiance Amanda, went on as many rides as we physically could on Monday night at the amusement park in the Mall of America. Amazing.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Seeing your reflection in the faces of friends

When I read The New Yorker I feel like I'm claiming my place amongst society's upper crust. 

Scott Zuniga, Emilie Zuniga, Brenda Barrett. I love all of these people.

Snow falling on Sherman. The view from our old place.

This is from a photo taken aboard the Staten Island Ferry when Smitty was in town.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I love my wife Brenda. She is amazing! She makes great food from scratch including fajitas, minestrone soup, waffles, and black bean soup. She's great and she's so pretty.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009


My first Comic-Con! Sweaty fanboys pawing over well-preserved first editions as far as the eye could see. 
There was plenty of D & D slash Magic the Gathering going on.
Old Nintendo Systems I was drooling over. All for sale! Curse my dismal resources.
The closest I'll come to having an action figure of myself.
This guy gave me his 'x-rated' pose.


It looks like the Ghostbusters have really let themselves go over the years...

Probably the saddest shot of the day. Interesting how one line of dialogue can lead to a career on the convention circuit. As Hadleigh and Seth pointed out, the 'Autograph Area,' which included Peter Mayhew (the guy inside the Chewbacca suit), felt a little like the poignant autograph/merch scene in The Wrestler. It's the strange territory where pride and embarrassment overlap. The dream goes on...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I'm still not sure how it happened, but I spent most of yesterday with two of my idols: Hollywood legend Eli Wallach and Australian Singer/Songwriter Darren Hanlon.

It was a very good day.

Thanks, Buddy

For Christmas, my friend John "Buddy" Martin gave me the new Rolling Stone "Cover to Cover" CD-Rom database. It's exactly what it sounds like: 40 years of the magazine, digitized, complete with ads.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Watching the Kids Grow Up

Feeling pressured by our parents, Brenda and I recently decided to bring a little bundle of joy into this dismal existance. His name is Little Rocker Jr., and he's our miracle.

He was born, extremely premature, on Christmas Day. Weighing only 1.2 ounces upon arrival, he has now grown a staggering 600%, just as the packaging promised. As you can see, he has his parents' ghastly white complexion. He is musically gifted, though we make him practice his guitar in the confines of a 2-liter soda bottle, so as not to upset the neighbors. He's got his mother's eyebrows, but his father gave him those striking baby blues. We love our Little Rocker Jr.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New York City, January 2009

We've been back in the city since January 1st. Since then, as I alluded to in my last post, I've been applying for a lot of jobs. Other than that, Bren and I have been trying to watch all the movies we gave each other for Christmas. Probably the coolest thing we've done since then, though, was find a sweet pink plastic Christmas tree for $5 at the local Duane Reade. It helps give our apartment some much-needed kitsch.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Provo, Utah, December 2008

On December 1st I returned to my old haunts in the Beehive State. Brenda and I had plans, of course, to come home for the holidays, but I figured I'd return a couple weeks early to 'make some sweet moolah.' 

A little introduction...

Every December since I returned from my mission, I've worked with my good friends Nate and Clay at Nate's dad's yearly Christmas tree lot. It's really not a bad gig: there is a bit of heavy lifting and cold weather involved, but there is also a lot of time to sip hot cocoa in the comforts of a heated booth. Being the seasoned tree salesman that I am, I decided to give it one more go this year, seeing as how my CV has yet to swell since our move to NYC. And to be honest, I had a blast doing it. I was working outside in the fresh, Christmas-tree-scented air, listening to Yuletide ditties, and getting into the holiday spirit. 

But it wasn't without a little trepidation that I once again took up peddling Tannenbaums. I am, after all, living in Manhattan with my wife, trying to nudge my way into the realm of professional photography. Going back to Provo for a month was a sidestep in whatever career I'm trying to form, but I'm grateful for it because of: 

a) the money, and

b) the distance it gave me between me and my goals. 

In the midst of my new pine friends, I became motivated to get things done in NY. I want to work more with Seth, even if it's on a volunteer basis. I want to work with Hadleigh to develop our ideas, to write screenplays, and to shoot them. I've been applying for jobs like mad, both in and outside of New York. In short, I just want to leave the house more.