Archive for February, 2010

Another Recycling Conspiracy

Something stinks in the city of Austin:

Imagine all the slim jims and hooch

According to The Statesman, in an article about the city’s recycling contract that is up, Austin has lost $2 million since the fall of 2008 due to the recycling contract it has with Greenstar.  If the contract is extended, the city will lose $7 million by September 2011.

Now, I can’t help but wonder what secret society is behind a scheme where a bum can turn in a bag of cans for some change, but the city can’t even break even by recycling on a large scale.

Who's behind this, any way?

Never mind that restaurants and bars in this city aren’t eligible to recycle the way that private citizens can.  If they choose to recycle, it’s because they have made arrangements with a company other than the sanitation department.  I guess their volume of cans and bottles means nothing compared to the pizza boxes I throw in my recycle bin.

The worst of it, from a “green” point of view, is that the main reason it costs the city so much to recycle is that it is all trucked down to San Antonio.  Not until they power the trucks with the dried cheese from aforementioned pizza box will it be worth the energy and time they are flushing down the toilet.

Crazy About Shoes

It puzzles men everywhere, the seemingly universal affection women have for a new pair of shoes.  Unarguably a trip to the shoe department is the surest way to coax a fantastic mood out of a woman.  Yes I do already own 4 pairs of black stilettos but that in no way precludes the need for another.  So what is the fascination?

For one, there are so many unique and colorful choices.  Shoes have become an art form and a pretty shoe can make even the ugliest woman feel more thoroughly put together.  High heels force a posture that is tall and confident and calculated.  The incline in the heel which throws women slightly off balance requires an effort on their part to restore balance in the way of taking each step in a careful manner.  It forces the female hips to sway seductively in order to progress sufficiently.  If you gain five pounds from the ice cream you promised yourself you weren’t going to succumb to, your shoes still fit perfectly.  There’s an evil little boost of confidence women gain from slipping on her most outrageous pair of red sling backs because we know that other women notice shoes, and we know when we have on the most enviable pair in the room.

No doubt I’ve made little progress in convincing any men here that women are in fact sane and rational creatures.  We may not be sane, but there is rationale to every decision we make.  The inputs that go into our tastes and preferences are collected and considered, though completely overlooked by men.  Women are accused of being shallow and emotional creatures, but I submit to you that anger is an emotion.  Now let’s re-tally the who’s more emotional poll.   Women have figured out how to process emotion and the outward residual is sometimes tears, sometimes laughter and sometimes, it’s a shiny patten leather pair of Mary Jane’s.   Don’t judge us, we know what we’ve got going on in our heads and in the end, what’s the price of a pair of shoes when it means a happy woman.

PHOTOS: Darren Hoff at the Continental Club

I haven’t had as much time to go out and take photos for the past month, but I did make it out to the Continental Club a few weeks ago to catch Darren Hoff And The Hard Times play a great set.

Ah the old Continental Club, with their red stage lights and the blue neon sign in the background.  I think it’s actually pretty fun to take photos at this world-famous Austin venue, but I am always a bit disappointed when I get home and look at the shots.  It’s just really, really hard to get good pictures in there, but I guess the challenge is part of what makes it interesting.

I shot these photos at ISO 800 with my 50mm f/1.4 prime lens.  As I have mentioned before, I like to try and get a few shots at the lowest ISO possible, even in dark places like this, to reduce noise.  Sometimes I come home with that one perfect photo, but usually, as was the case this night, there are just a couple of decent pictures and nothing that really stands out.

Darren Hoff at The Continental Club

This is a decent shot of Hoff, but I’m disappointed with the focus on his face, and the washed out colors.  I reduced the saturation in the red and orange, which is why it looks a bit washed out, but I thought this was better than the deep red hue the entire photo had due to the odd lighting on the stage.  Click below for a couple more photos.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Point of Ecstasis

‘To be outside ones’ self’ is ecstasis. I felt outside myself last night.  I went to a show to see Ume and The Laughing at the Highball.

The Laughing (photographer : Cory Ryan)

 

The Laughing were really good.  The very precise drums and heavy bass seemed to set the tone for the very rhythmic and melodic songs.  These guys put on a good show and they’re a good  band with a hell of a lot of upside.

I have to add that the PA quality of the venue wasn’t that great.  The vocals, for both bands, were hindered by the equipment, but both made do fairly well.  And the fact that they’re two bands grounded by the music helps, ’cause the instruments sounded fine.

Ume (ooo-may)

 

 

 

 

Ume, was definitely the highlight of the night.  That whole band is talented and they do put on a hell of a live show. Lauren Larson is something else on

the guitar.  I was basically right in front of her, and every time I opened my eyes, and found myself in it’s body, I noticed me studying her hands to try to learn how the hell she makes those damn good guitar sounds.  Hell, she was probably outside herself too.

Lauren Larson of Ume

 

 

 

 

It’s nice to find talented peers of mine.  And so close to home.  I can’t wait to see these bands again at SXSW.  I recommend giving them a listen.

I don’t think I explained the point of ecstasis but, it’s really just something realized when you’re outside yourself.

http://www.umemusic.com

http://www.wearethelaughing.com


Nashville 2000

Beware its siren beauty

Gary, Jay and Joe Don sat in their Nashville apartment trying to figure out how to get the next months rent.  They had pooled all their money and were still 200 short.  Gary looked at Jay, who looked at Joe Don, who looked at his shoes.
“Well, we could…” Gary started, but was quickly glared at by Jay and Joe Don.
“Well, I guess we decided we’re not doing that, man, so forget about it…” Joe Don cooly drawled.

Still, they all sat there, knowing exactly what the others were thinking.
“It’s just that,” Gary started to a vicious glare from Jay, “you know what the Nashville executive said and….”
“Shut Up Gary!! That’s crazy talk, we’re not doing that!!!” Jay screamed.  His neck was taut, bolstered with adrenaline.

The intensity in the room was at fever pitch, an awkward silence permeated.
“Well, y’know it’s this or get jobs….”
“Get Jobs? Are you crazy Gary? We didn’t move to Nashville to wait tables??? We moved here to start a band!!!”
“Yeah, Jay, and the only way we’re going to make that kind of money is by…”
“By what Gary, why don’t you just say it? By What??”
“By doing what the record executive said we’d have to….”
“But if the record executive meant that…. then…..”
Silence.

“I think we should do it,”Joe Don whispered.  Jay immediately turned on him.
“Are you all going crazy!!! I mean, am I losing my mind or are you guys really….” Jay’s voice trailed off as he saw his answer in Gary and Joe Dons eyes.

“This is Nuts,” Jay intoned, “I mean this is Crazy Talk. Do you hear yourself?! Gary?!? Joe Don?!? I mean, what would the guys at home say…”
“The guys at home are working at gas stations Jay, that’s why we moved to Nashville!” Gary countered.
“He doesn’t even want to do it with all of us,” Jay screamed in a panic,” he just wants to do it with Joe Don anyway, why can’t he just do it with Joe Don ?!? I mean why can’t me and Gary just watch?!?”

“Look Jay, calm down buddy..” Joe Don said placing a reassuring hand on Jay’s knee, ” we want you to be a part of this, we really do…but me and Gary talked about it earlier, and were going to do this with or without you,” Joe Don coyly drawled slowly removing his hand.
“And besides, Jay,” Gary continued, “it will probably only last a couple of minutes anyway, and who knows, maybe you’ll end up liking it…and than its over…no big deal, y’know?”
Suddenly Jay jumped from his seat, “I’ll do it!”
“Yes!!!” the three jumped in the air in euphoria.  The three triumphantly group hugged.  Right at the moment the phone rang.

Ring
The three stared at each other.
Ring
Utter silence.
Ring
Joe Don hesitantly answers,
“Rascall Flats Band”
“Be at my office at the stroke of midnight….(click).”
Joe Don turned and looked at Jay and Gary, the phone slowly fell from his hand…

Justin doesn't mind

I’m gonna get all the chicks, just like Hank Moody

hank

Yeah, that's it

Man, Hank Moody is so fucking sweet, I mean he is just the ultimate badass. I didn’t think any dude could ever be that smooth and get that much tail…but hey shows what I know. Seriously he gets all the chicks all the time, and the whole time he just does whatever he wants, and doesn’t give a fuck what anybody thinks. I guess that’s just the way the real world is, I mean nice guys finish last, right?

…but thats not really true either cause underneath it all Hank really is a nice guy, and that’s the shit the chicks dig, is hes a total fuckin badass, but he respects women too, just like how I’m gonna be.  Sardonic attitude? check! Bad Boy image with a romantic streak? double check….Hey, just giving the chicks what they want, right?

No, wait, THIS is it

Been nice knowing you beard, later long hair, later plaid pearlsnaps, later Jetta. Hello black suits, hello duderings, hello typewriter, hello vintage sportscar, hello intellectual macho attitude. When I walk in a bar now and see my buddy im gonna yell out “whats up my nigga?”, not in a biggoted way, but in a Hank way, I mean people will be able to tell the difference right? I mean i’m gonna look just like Hank Moody, so its not like anybody will think i’m a racist asshole, right? I mean the most important thing is to let the chicks know I don’t give a fuck, right?

Bottom line, its all about nailin that fuckin badass Hank Moody ‘tude. Lets face it, thats what chicks really want. They don’t want some dude that’s a square and has a job…..chhh boring!!! They want a dude who drives drunk all the time, smokes pot in front of his kids, doesn’t give a fuck about anything.

Just a dude who doesn’t shower and smells like pussy ’cause he’s banging all the time…just like how im gonna be!

Consciousness here at home.

Phenomenology of Spirit

Since I haven’t been contributing much I’ve decided to add a paper I wrote for a class on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit I took at St. Edwards University, here in gorgeous Austin, TX. I found this paper as a page in a notebook. I don’t know where the original I turned in is, so I’m just typing it out here, editing as I go.

I open with a quote from section 134 of the Phenomenology of Spirit:

“The result…in it, the unity of ‘being for self’ and ‘being for another’ is posited; in other words, the absolute antithesis is posited a self-identical essence…dissolved.”

-So how do I say that simply?

Hegel

It makes sense that the absolute antithesis would be a self-identical essence. The essence is the concern, (but not quite yet the question). Hegel wants you to know that ‘being for itself’ and ‘being for another’ is the way that consciousness negates a one-sided Notion. It negates the one-sided ‘knowing implicitly.’

Consciousness creates for itself objects to recognize as they are immediate; as objects are first realized. Consciousness knows immediately that some thing is. The object is for the sake of consciousness to become aware of as it is, also being immediate.

(I’m sure that makes sense to some people. I know the quote is too short but I don’t have it here, look it up it’s section 134 from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. You would probably want to read it all in order to get a better understanding of what I’m saying. But it’s a pain in the ass to read.)

Yo Nike, its Tiger…we need to talk

Watch where you're aiming that thing!

Look I’ve been hearing alot of shit lately about you, talkin shit about me, and I’m just here to say whats up, and if you got some beef with me why don’t we just settle this shit once and for all…

Look we’ve had our differences in the past but I don’t know, all this talk about you dropping on me, its just been fuckin with my head.

Look bro, what I’m sayin is, I’m about to declare war on your ass…and those bombs are about to start droppin…..can you hear em, those big old atom bombs droppin on yo ass? Well I can……

Look at my sad face

Chhh remember when we were kids man, when you were my sponsor…man that was so great, we were like best friends but…. oh hold on, thats too bad cause it never happened bro….yeah you heard me bro it never fuckin happened!! Yeah it never happened because you fucked it up…

Look, all I got to do is pick up this phone, one phone call from me and there’s gonna be people workin 24-7 erasing every memory of yo ass from the face of the earff. And soon its going to be out of my hands, shit soon there ain’t even going to be people anymore, its just gonna be like in the Matrix.

And all over some bitch bro, seriously, your gonna escalate this shit over some bitch bro? Not cool!!

Look Nike, just know if you do this, theres no goin back, you and me, we don’t exist anymore, there ain’t room for it….it is World War III for you if you do this to me…. And when its over dawg, its gonna be beautiful…we’re gonna go back and change all the logos on all my hats to my new brand, like every picture of me with a nike logo will be destroyed and anybody caught with one will be treated as a terrorirst.

Yeah motherfuckin Nike, how you like those existed than erased from history apples??!?
Its just going to be Tiger Woods Brand this and Tiger Woods brand that!! Shit, You’ve been holding me back this entire time anyway. Man, Fuck Nike Golf Shoes! Tiger Woods Golf Shoes, chhh Tiger Woods Gatorade Drink, Fuck Tiger Woods Razor Blades, Shit I don’t care about you Nike; Fuck I don’t care about Nobody Man!!!

Don't made me break out the big guns

Picture the Future Nike: It will just be a big football game, no hold on…a big tigerball game…. goin on at Tiger Woods Stadium… brought to you by Tiger Wood brand Razor Blades, and the players will be on the sideline in their Tiger Woods cleats drinkin Tiger Woods energy drink. And not One Motherfucker in the entire stadium will know what the fuck a Nike Is!!

So bro, this is your last chance, if you are serioulsy still thinkin what I think your thinking…… you better think again.

Much love,

Tiger

Invasion of the Hipsters

hip

Hipster Invasion

He walked down soco,
his hands in his pockets
his head turned under the cowboy hat to the wind,
he looked around
and recognized not a face

He went to places he used to go
but it was different
as they streamed by, staring vacantly behind blue blockers and beards, the girls wearing mexican peasant blouses and daisy dukes….

He stopped and looked in a vintage clothing shop
where once there had been a crackhouse
and thought
i used to smoke crack here
than two girls in frye boots walked by
a feathers shopping bag on their arm

Around a corner, finally a familiar face
bob, bob its me ryan
but it wasn’t bob
“whats that?” a man responded with a british accent
it was a stranger with beard and red short shorts
just like how bob used to dress
he stopped and wondered to himself,
where is bob today

Still the stream of hipsters walked by
he ducked in an alley for a quick hit off the schwag roach
trophys is still the same i bet
he ducked into a bar
trophys
at least trophys was still the same

Two miserable old drunks in their early 30s hunched over the bar
they used to be in bands, now they had nothing
but honky was playing trophys that night
the men in their early 30s hunched over the bar
not a woman in sight

Back in 2003
this place was rockin