Thursday, June 30, 2005

Stolen from somewhere..."The Symbolic Lotus of a Thousand Colonels." Posted by Hello

More Wacky Social Commentary!

"This is the real battle occurring on planet Earth. The winners and losers of this battle are what truly determine the "evolution" of societies and the world. Now, and in the past, most of what is being sold is trash, as it usually denies and oppresses that which is capable of believing and attaching meaning - you and your mind. Your mind and everyone else's minds are the true source of any quality of life that will ever exist. Solely and completely. Recognition, education into the functions, and empowerment of minds results in success, decency, morality, strength, sanity and greatness. Denial and suppression of these things results in failure, perversions, immorality, weakness, insanity and mediocrity. Materialism as a belief system has the effect of denying these things."

"This is not an argument of materialism versus spirituality. Almost all historical periods, even when characterized by "religious" or "spiritual" influences, have been actually "materialistic" because Man's mind was largely neglected and oppressed in favor of arbitrary belief systems about the physical universe and man's relationship to it. The history of this planet has been mainly characterized by the use of force against Man and his mind to alter belief and behavior, whether these forces were "religious", "political", "economic" or "social". Any perceived dichotomy of "materialism" versus "spirituality" is an illusion and is not part of this discussion. Materialism here means the viewing of everything as inherently physical, with the neglect of man's mind a usual by-product of such a view. Religions have done this as much as any modern "scientific" materialism. "

...uh, cool. I wish I knew where I got the above quotes from because I think it's good food for thought(no pun intended). Since I'm getting all quote-crazy (or lazy) here's a great, and much shorter one from a formerly brilliant comedian...

"The Theory:

The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends up. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death. What's that, a bonus? I think the whole life cycle is backwards.

You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you're too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months finish off as an orgasm."

-George Carlin

Yes you guessed it...I have nothing to say right now but I didn't want ya'll to think I forgot about you. I'm greatly looking forward to this weekend for many reasons including: seeing my brother Andy and his family who are moving back from Cincinatti after years away, a four-day weekend, and having money for the first time in weeks. I think Kara and I are going to go to a cook-out at my folks place much like most people.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Young Steve Alba. Posted by Hello

I'm coming out of retirement...

That statement is really applicable to most aspects of my life at this time but I'll focus on the area relating to the cool photo above(which was taken by the great Glen E. Friedman and hastily edited by myself). I'm itching to do some "real" skateboarding again for the first time in years. I never lost interest in it, but I haven't skated more than a day or two a year for some time now. Reasons for this renewed interest are numerous but include feeling like getting back to my roots, having friends that are into it/back into it, needing some exercise, missing the feeling of skating, availability of good decks and wheels again, the explosion of cement skateparks, and the movie Dogtown and Z-boys.

Having said that you might find it strange(if you're an obsessive old-school skateboarding nut like me) that I chose to have someone other than Tony Alva, Jay Adams, or another of the infamous Z-boys pictured above. I thought this was a very cool photo of a great pool-skater, and he is riding an Alva board. Not only that but it reminds me of the time I was skating at the best ditch in the world(or at least Dallas), whip 'n dip and some smartass "new school" skater kid thought he was insulting me by calling me Steve Alba because of my "dated" skate-style. I'd be willing to bet that in the 15-ish years since then he has either got a clue and loosened up his trucks, quit skating( because how fun can it be to ride on a board that doesn't turn), or become a roller-blader(yechhh!). It makes me feel fortunate to have been exposed to real skateboarding just before the advent of the new-school. The guys I skated with were old-school even for the time. Their trucks were so loose they were about to fall off, and they had little or no desire for their wheels to leave the ground. It was a real education in carving, grinding and riding ditches and parking garages. Thanks especially to Dave and Mandon.

I also skated with some guys that were more into street-skating and that was fun too but I'm glad I got the foundation I did by just riding a skateboard the way it was designed to. There's a kick-ass new cement skatepark in Allen which is about 30 minutes North of here that I'm dying to ride. I've got to get a good set-up before I do though. Right now all I've got is a 4-foot long Powell longboard, and a popsicle board and neither of them would do for carving transition. I'm currently researching all the "pig" boards I can but the Factory 13, Deathbox, and Alva boards are looking pretty good to me. I really don't care what I ride as long as it's fat and feels good when I'm grinding coping. I'm actually on the lookout for ditches and abandoned pools a lot lately as I drive around. I wonder if I can wash my salty, smelly old rector pads?

These here are related linkage:

Pretty cool article I stumbled upon...

See this before LORDS OF DOGTOWN...

Best Skate mag around...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Leonardo gets introspective. Posted by Hello

'Bout to jump outta my skin!

I realize I've been getting boringly personal, and whiny lately but as this is a non-commercial venture that's probably more about the act of creating the blog than trying to address the "audience" I don't feel so bad. If it is more about the act itself I guess that would make it conceptual and I generally try to avoid that term and things it encompasses with a ten-foot pole. So in other words I'm going through a period of great transition, a crossroads in life as it were. I'm engaging in some cliched "soul-searching" type activities like growing a beard, going on solo walks, listening to depressing music, playing my acoustic guitar a lot, and questioning my beliefs. It's a laugh riot.

I am getting very amped up about my sadly-neglected creativity though. I'm about to burst with the desire to start a band, a loud band, a cathartic, rockin' band. I need to find a drummer that plays like a shitty Keith Moon, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. I'm at the point with my guitar playing where I either need to learn more technical information or start bashing out some rock AND roll(filtered through punk, natch). I vote for the latter, especially since the aesthetic I have the greatest appreciation for stresses expression over virtuosity. I feel like painting, and doing some print-making and other artsy stuff. Hell, even interpretive dance is starting to look good. (This is in jest, of course) I may do some painting, but what I am going to do is finish this comic book that's been hanging over my head for a few years now. That's right, I've had my head so far up my ass that I haven't been able to bring myself to complete a nearly-done comic that will be published upon completion. I'll scan some pages to show you what I'm talking about, but it's based on a local film called CORNMAN: AMERICAN VEGETABLE HERO by Barak Epstein, which is really quite funny in a Troma kinda way. I know Barak wishes he'd never met me because though he's liked what I've done, he wanted it a loooong time ago. I need to finish it so I can start work on my next comic project which will be created entirely by myself. Somebody kick my ass if I'm not done with Cornman by 2006!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Rick Griffin art featured at the Texas Surf Museum. Posted by Hello

I'm back, I think...

If I ever again have some kind of weird logic for coming back to work on a Friday when I could have had the day off you have my permission to smack me. At least I will be that much closer to reality when I return after the weekend. Forgive me if this is short, and not to the point. perhaps bordering on cloudy. Kara stayed in Corpus for a bit of an extended stay and when I got to the casa last night I felt like being sociable so I went to Bob's place. I ended up having a few beers and then I didn't sleep very well, so I'm feeling sorta rough today. I don't miss feeling like this and usually worse at work on a daily basis. I'm glad to be a lightweight these days, and for few years now.

The trip was a lot of fun, despite the lack of activities. It was relaxing and I even enjoyed the drive. Kara and I had a good time with Steve, and Ericka. Steve and I even got in some guitar-playing, and skateboarding. We ended up skating a couple of ditches, my favorite one was called HOT LIPS, which seems to be a completely arbitrary monker. Corpus is a nicer town than I'd imagined. It's pretty laid-back, and if you're into the beach thing you can sort of think of it as a poor man's Cali. The architecture seems to have hit a plateau in the 60's and 70's which is mostly a good thing. I guess that's when the town stopped growing, which I believe had something to do with the oil industry( don't most things?). I even visted the TEXAS SURF MUSEUM, which isn't as pointless as it seems. The waves can't really compete with more famous surf towns but you can really surf there. The museum was kinda cool, and they even had some original Rick Griffin art including some covers and illustrations for Surfer Magazine. Rick Griffin was one of the original psychedelic poster artists and underground cartoonists of the 60's.

It was great to see my old pal Billy in San Antonio. It was exactly as predicted and a nice way to break up the drive back home. I ate nothing but Mexican food the two days and nights I was there. I could eat that stuff everyday. We drank beer and listened to good music while filling each other in on the last few years. Bill was living in Brooklyn and hanging out with a large contingent of Denton musicians and artists all loosely related to the former Good/Bad Art Collective. He had too much fun and realized that he's happier in a less metropolitan town. I guess it really says something about Dallas that for years now whenever I visit another place I immediately want to move there. Corpus and San Antone started looking really good to me, but I'm still trying to find some utopia in the Northern U.S.

On a more somber note Kara and I are taking a break from each others company for a short time. Without going into too much detail, it's something that needs to happen if we want our relationship to be successful in the future. We've been dealt a tough hand since we got together and though it will be a big adjustment we both feel it's the right thing to do. Maybe I'll get off my kiester and produce some artwork now.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The cover of this ESSENTIAL album only vaguely relates to the following... Posted by Hello

Decompression Time!

Kara and I are leaving tomorrow for a much-needed, and long overdue vacation. I hear Paris is amazing this time of year, but Corpus Christi, and San Antonio are going to be just as good to me. We're going to hang out with her sister Ericka, and Steve "The Boyfriend". It should be fun, as they've lived there a little under a year, so the town is still new to them but they know where to go. I look forward to a little beer drinking, skateboarding, and goofing off around the beach. Steve is about my age and still skates regularly, and fortunately he's into old-school skating like me so it should be fairly mellow. There's a skatepark in Corpus, and I think they have a bowl, which I would be into riding. I'm bringing along plenty of bubble-wrap. I'm going to San Antonio after a few days to see my friend "Wild Bill" Ivy.

I suspect that Bill and I will drink more beer, and eat endless amounts of excellent Mexican Food. I think that's about all there is to do there if you're not into the tourist trip. It won't take much for this to be a successful break. I can't wait to get on the highway and "open her up", if you know what I mean. I expect this all to go a long way to maintaining my sanity. See ya Dallas!!