Monday, February 28, 2005

All my photos

Hi all. You can get to all the photos I scanned at my Flickr page, accessible in the sidebar. Lemme know whatcha think. My personal favorite is the "Royal" sidewalk tiles.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

New Orleans. I've got a whole bunch more where these came from zipped in a 4.7 meg file. Ask me and I'll send it to you!  Posted by Hello

New Orleans Posted by Hello

New Orleans Posted by Hello

New Orleans Posted by Hello

New Orleans Posted by Hello

New Orleans Posted by Hello

Bywater Posted by Hello

Cozy Posted by Hello

Armand Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Shake your booty.

Ok, the people over in lumber need to put a sign on their automatic door stating that it doesn't work, so that people who are a little slow on the uptake (i.e. me) don't end up doing a little demented monkey dance in front of it trying to trip the sensor.

Friday, February 25, 2005

And a chantey to sing

I forgot to mention that the new name for this blog is a line from a song I wrote last summer:

Where art thou, my brothers? We'll ditch this dull life
And set out for adventure
In search of that rarest of treasures.
Bust out of this prisionous ball-and-chain life
In search of that rarest of treasures!

Where are you, my droogies? We'll sit in a bar
As we drink and we sceme
Our next round of fun ultra-mischief.
Drinking our fill gearing up for a night
Of cavorting and fun ultra-mischief!

Where be ye me hardies? We'll sail the high seas
And buckle the swash
In search of that rarest of treasures.
With a bottle of rum and a chantey to sing
As we search for that rarest of treasures!

Cause I can't make it on my own.
Cause I can't do it all alone.
Cause I need some help to see the journey ahead of me
A light in the darkness to help guide the way.

It has a 4/4 triplet one-and-a two-and-a three-and-a four-and-a sway. For anybody who's read Tolkien, I had just thumbed through "The Hobbit" looking for some structural ideas and had the cadence of one of the dwarves' songs in my head.

Concerning what "that rarest of treasures" is... I leave it to your imagination. It could be love. It could be companionship. It could be self discovery, spiritual creaminess, sexual conquest, or even just the simple knowledge of what one is looking for in the first place. I've a hunch that far too many people haven't even made it to that point. (myself included) One of these days I'll make a recording (beyond the shitty one I already have) and let you guys hear it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Remember the movie auditions? Well, I haven't heard anything yet, and as fate would have it I was in Vandalia after 10pm tonight. The director had mentioned that he worked nights at Kroger on Northwoods Blvd., so Andy decides to go play stalker and pay him a visit. He said he hadn't made a decision yet, and that he wasn't blowing the actors off. It was cool seeing him, and I hope that my extra effort pays off. I did apologize for bugging him at work. That is kinda tacky.

BTW, if you haven't yet heard the band Zug Izland, do anything you can to hear their song "Fly". Steal it off Limewire or Kazaa if you have to, just go hear that song. I cranked it up to unhealthy volume levels in my car and just listened to it again and again and again and again...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Win some, lose some

Another "bee people" candidate group: Assembly. There is a story behind this.

Back in the late 80's and early 90's, little Andy Hutchinson and his computer whiz-kid friend Craig were obsessed with "Demos". These were techno music and graphical extravaganzas where limits were pushed and rules were broken when it came to what you could do with computer graphics. These guys were gods, and they formed groups (mainly from Finland), the most famous of them called "Future Crew". There were many others, but little pre-pubescent Andy and Craig rocked out to early 8-bit techno, and it would solidify my taste in music for all time. Starting in 1992, these groups assembled to compete at a several-day-long party in Finland called Assembly.

It turns out (to my unparalleled delight) that the Demo Scene is alive, well, and putting serious foot to ass. If any of you want to know what truly floats my boat and gets my gears spinning, check out Demoscene TV. It is a peek into what makes me tick. I am beside myself with joy in discovering this. Maybe I'm not nearly as alone as I previously thought. Maybe my field of dancing bee people not only exists, but have a website that I now have found.

Naturally, they are in Scandinavia. Go figure.
It seems that of the few friends I have, they've been dropping out of my life like flies. Jen leaves Lowe's a few weeks ago. Then there was Saturday night with Angela (but that's a bit of self-created drama. I'm sure if I emailed her she'd write back). Now Family Garden has closed, and Ling Ling is moving away. Not only is Ohio losing the best Chinese restaurant this side of Chinatown, I will miss Ling Ling. I called her later that night and asked her if she would like to go out with Caro and me some time before she moves.

BUT! But, but, but... lest we fall into despair, there is a silver lining. A local coffee shop, Night Sky, had business cards for a nearby art studio/gallery, Market Studios North, and noticing on their website that they're open during the week, I stopped in last wednesday. Had a very nice chitchat with the two artists there. They wanted me to come back sometime with my sketches, and although I told them that I suck, they offered to give me a few pointers. Yay! Could these be my bee people?


Ling Ling invited me to the restaurant two mondays ago, its last day open. Since I was such a regular customer (and she said that I was her favorite. I am the mack.), Her dad cooked me a free to-go box of General Tso's chicken as well as a huge to-go carton of spring rolls, a bag of beef skewers, two bags of crab rangoons, three handfuls of tea bags, two bottles of pop, and a whole plastic grocery sack full of frozen pork dumplings (because we always ordered them). All for free. She said any food left would just go in the trash anyway. We exchanged email addresses and phone numbers in case I find myself visiting New York.


Walking out of the grocery last Thursday night, a minivan stopped at the crosswalk as I was going out to my car. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed it was gold with a red tassle-thingy hanging from the rear-view. I looked up and noticed it was Ling Ling's van. I waved, and through the glare of the headlights I saw a flurry of hands in the windshield. "Andy!" she shouted through the passenger window, so I went over. Some dude I had never seen was driving, and Ling Ling introduced him as her boyfriend. He knew my name. That can't be good. She jumped out and grabbed my hand and trotted away from the van. He started to drive away (as he was in the middle of the lane), and as he did, I shouted "I'm harmless!". I think I heard him shout back "I know!" She mentioned that she was leaving for New York the next night, and we said our final goodbye. Her boyfriend drove around the lot and parked on the curb right behind us. I gave them a good wave goodbye.

It's a slight ego boost to discover that I can induce a spark of jealousy in a hot asian girl's boyfriend. I am the mack.


I haven't been back to the Market Studios North yet.


Did a recognizeable sketch of Mother-In-Law's friend, but since the pad was sitting an arm's length away, when you look at it straight it's all stretched out, like when they paint "STOP" on the street and it's normal when you're driving and looking at it from an angle, but it's all long and skinny when looked at from the top down. She liked it anyway, so I gave it to her.

Saturday, February 19, 2005


It's alive! ALIVE!!

Got new batteries for my wireless mouse, so I'm back in business. I'll write more in a bit. Gotta shitload to say.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

This came off of NASA's site. Taken from Hubble, it's Saturn's ultraviolet auroras superimposed on visible light photos. Fucking incredible. I feel so wonderfully small in light of such magnificent and tremendous beauty. Posted by Hello


Originally uploaded by groverflanagan.
Hi all. I drew this Sunday feeling all vulnerable, so here I am, naked for all to see. Ok, I was wearing boxer briefs.

I did draw myself a little fatter than I really am, my right arm is really skinny and my left hand is huge. So is my left boob. My right one is much more proportional to reality.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Called Angela up Saturday night asking if she wanted to meet us at Dublin Pub around 10:30-ish. She said she was already planning on going there with friends. So I ran a fresh coat of Kiwi over my boots, strapped on the kilt, and headed out in anticipation of meeting a few new people and hanging out. Immediately upon arrival, a table full of people (all wearing neo-traditional kilts) congratulated me on my utilikilt. I mentioned that I thought I was the only soul between California and New York who wore these thigns. Ego boost. The band was between sets, so we headed to the bar, and on the way I saw Angela. I stopped and said hi to her, and she was her normally receptive self, but her friends just looked at me like I had two heads or something. Oh well.

First off, let me tell you this doesn't end well. I had an emotionally flip-floppy day at work, which almost always points to a crash in the evening. The frosty introduction didn't help either, and one of the guys at the kilt table said something to the tune of "Gee, isn't this just like when the little bee girl finds her people!"

Hot button topic with me, that poor little bee girl. Ever since high school when that video came out, I fantasized about making a bumper sticker that reads "Where the hell is my field of dancing bee people??" Turns out the kilt people were the band, and nobody else in the place was wearing one, indicating that they were wearing them as costumes. Fuck. I was that close to thinking maybe I'm not completely alone.

After riding the mood roller coaster all day, the last thing I need is alcohol to upset my already precarious facade. That little voice in my head screamed "Don't do it!", but my self-destruction sequence had already initiated. 3...2...1...Killian's. Found a place to sit but my back was to the band and my neck was too stiff to watch. I'd've blocked the aisle if I turned completely around. I thought maybe I'd go and talk to Angela some more, but some dude was macking it at her table and I didn't want to stand there and be a cock block discouraging legitimate advances. I left the kids alone so they could play. Then the alcohol kicked in. Ugh. I had a total implosion and suddenly lost all sense of security and courage. Left. Night was botched, and for some reason all I could do was mope around all Sunday.

I did make a sketch of myself in my underwear standing in front of the bathroom mirror. I'll have to show it to you. It's not flattering, but it's the first human figure drawing I've done. For what it is, it's not bad.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Unmistakably weird things have been happening lately, and all I can say is that I'm no longer the morbidly submissive yes-man that I was before. This can only be proven (to myself, as well as you) through continuing to document my "coming out" into society. Be assured that things are changing however awkwardly, uncomfortably, and even somewhat painfully, for the better.

Thursday night it was back to the Trolley Stop. No pit stop at Hooters this time. Quite boring there. Having arrived at Trolley a little early, there was an open seat at the bar toward the far end from the stage. Instead of the music, the night began with several pints of Amber Bock and much hooting and cheering with "the guys" at that Japanese game show where contestants run across obsacles designed to make them fall and hit their faces on stuff. The first episode was funny, but only several minutes into the second one the novelty quickly wore off. I did strike up a decent conversation with the guy next to me about one of the performers who uses a bass and a looping thingy to record several layers of him playing over himself into a funk/techno-esque beat. We got talking about raves, he gave me this website for more info. I'll have to go to one. He records music too, and we got talking comparing our setups.

He left around 11:30, and the acoustic music just wasn't cutting it for me. I was feeling frisky, so out the door I went in search of something a little more upbeat. After ducking into several nearby establishments, all with nothing going on, I happened upon the Night Owl. Their stage is right by the front door, so as you walk by, through the glass front you're looking at the drummer's back. A band was setting up doing their checks, and the drummer was kicking some serious percussive ass, so after a little grooving out on the sidewalk I went in. It was a local band called Sizter Machyne. Once they kicked into full swing around midnight, I have to say I found what I was looking for. These guys weren't just another garage band. Professionalism all the way. Tight and coherent playing, and each of these guys could solo like motherfuckers. The bassist soloed for a solid 5 minutes, and damn was it cool. At one point I went up to the bassist and said "I started growing my hair out last spring for two reasons: Bohemian Rhapsody, and the right band. Play something that'll splatter my brains on the back wall." And they did. "Head Like a Hole". Sweet Jesus, what a musical mitzvah. I think I liked their version better than NIN's recording.

Anyways, with successive Coor's Lights, my sway turned into a bop. The bop turned into a move. And after enough beer, the moving in my seat became a full out headbang up by the stage. Fuck if I cared. There were only the band's entourage there and a few stray drunks like me. Jesus was there too. Come to find out he's a total metal head. (there are a shocking number of 20-something Jesus lookalikes here in Dayton)

So after being thorougly exhausted (and nearing 2 am) the band announced their last song. I figured last song, why not interact with my fellow revellers a little. A lady, whom I had seen with another guy in the back, was sitting at the front of the bar right by the stage cheering the band on. I figured "Sometimes, Joel, you just have to say 'what the fuck'." So I gave a little flirt:

Me: Last song. Do you dance?

Her: Yeah, a little.

Me: I can't at all. Want to?

Her: Nah. Thanks though.

Me: Ok. Have fun.

Not like I was trying to pick her up or anything. I just wanted to dance. Instead, I stumbled around with Mr. Christ, who seemed greater than or equal to my own level of drunkenness. Afterward, I congratulated the lead singer/guitarist and thanked him for a fantastic show. No Waffle House for me. It was getting late, I was getting tired, and my tummy was getting upset. Why, oh why, didn't I eat before drinking?

Work Friday morning was a real treat. I felt like death warmed over with a case of cotton mouth from hell. It's now Saturday. My neck is stiffer than a 2x4. Tonight there's a celtic rock band at the Dublin Pub. I'm gonna try to talk Caro into going. Time to dust off the ol' Utilikilt.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Tantalus Grabs the Grapevine

"Or how me all must die a bit before we can grow again."

I was at my wit's end. It was do or die. The question was, do exactly what? She kept asking what it is that I needed. Freedom. Independance. To live by my rules, and nobody else's. There was a completely different person I became when she would go visit her mom, and who would die upon her return. I needed to strike out on my own to become that person permenantly, or else do something drastic. She said that she could never be just my friend, she could only be my wife. And I said that she couldn't be my wife because the friendship had died years ago, and well as the love that was based thereupon.

And that's what I'm really looking for when I go out. I just want to find that rarest of treasures... people to kill the loneliness. People with whom I "click". Friends.

Whose blogs I read, I read for a reason: jealousy. I want Orb's freedom to express his rather unusual hobbies and not fear the stray ill comment. I want Texas Gurl's friends and charm. I want Chickpea's confidnce and refusal to apologize for anything (and her eye for capturing beauty, and her sex life). I want Britt's party life and ballsy attitude. I want Bouncegrrrl's experiences of (to me) exotic locations. I want Jen St. Clair's creative talent and taste for simple pleasures in life. Most of all, I want society, a pack to run with. Friends to be with and bring out the best in me. Friends to lift me up. Friends to save me. Caro was once that friend, but I grew to blame and ultimately resent her for stealing the youth I never got to live.

Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me. It takes two to tango.

In college, I remembered a story from an interpersonal communications class. It was of a couple who had grown so distant that they actually had to separate and start dating again to, as Journey put it so well in "Faithfully" get the joy of rediscovering you. And they did...started from square one. So I figured I can run away from my problems, leaving a wake of sorrow, and go off and live my fantasy frat-boy life, or I can grow up a little and deal with my problems.

So I told that if I were to stay, our relationship is to radically change will.
I am going to live from now on.
I am going to become that person I become when she leaves.
I am going to say whatever is on my mind.
I am going to come and go as I please (within reason).
I am going to be emotionally distant for a while.
I am going to create, and will not be interrupted while doing so.
I form crushes on people. I always have and probably always will.
I have huge crushes on Texas and Chickpea.
I have a crush on Linda at Family Garden down the street.
I have crushes on Angela and Yvonne.
It's my artistic nature. Lame excuse, yes, but that's the way I am.
I will always find people beautiful.
I am bisexual. I have a crush on this guy that Viv works with. He's really cute.
I'd totally make out with him.
I need to have a life seperate from her. One that is strictly my own.
Like the song "Drops of Jupiter", I need to take a trip through the galaxy.
I will be a better person when I return.
I'm cutting the leash. Now that I'm free, I won't be scrabbling so hard for the world which lies in the opposite direction from her. I will be out there reaching my hand out to lift her into it.

I told her that (as I have always said) she is free to do as she pleases, no matter what it is, and I will be there when she comes back. We have different wants and tastes and needs, and that's perfectly okay. All I ask is the same respect and understanding in return. Two people living their lives as full as they can and being there for each other. No more posession. No more domination. No more submission. No more controlling, and no more resentment. She wants me to have sex with other people. I want her to have sex with other people. Not like I'm looking to get laid, but if the opportunity presents itself, I will probably succumb to temptation. Fair? In the long run, probably not. But that's the way I am now, and like the movie "Normal", it's an admission and a change that absolutely has to happen. It would be far more unfair to continue to deny the free spirit that I am any longer. Life is way too short, and I've already squandered the majority of my youth.

So tonight, as last thursday, I head to the Oregon District in search of that rarest of treasures. And when I come home, there will be a cute girl there whom I hope to make friends with again someday.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Fate and Prophecy

In a Tarot deck, the card "Death" doesn't mean actual death. It means change. It means a significant shift in the current way things are. It isn't the end of anything, but a brand new beginning.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross observed five psychological stages terminally ill patients go through upon learning of their fate: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.

I think those five stages apply not only to people facing their own physical death, but also to people facing death in the sense of the tarot card.

The denial was frustrating, the anger expected. The anger will probably underscore the rest of the stages. Bargaining was incredibly difficult, and I almost buckled, but now the depression is breaking my heart. I hope it will pass soon.

Please, please, please, Acceptance, come soon. I don't know how much more I can take.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Me back in June at the Trolley Stop

Originally uploaded by groverflanagan.
This was taken at the Trolley Stop the last time I was there in June. I had just begun to grow my hair out. Had my olive green Utilikilt on, too bad he didn't get a picture of that. You can visit the page this picture came from here.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Miles to go before I sleep

Looks like I'm finally keeping my new year resolution for once in my life.

...and damn, does it feel good!

The Burden of the Sorrow Bearer

Tonight I went out for the first time since Caro last was out of the house in August. I left at 9, but the open-mic acoustic show didn't start until 10, so I stopped at the new Hooters (since I'd never been to one) in Vandalia. The bartender was strikingly attractive, so of course I made every effort to avoid looking at the staff. Two Coors Lights later, I was on my way to the Trolley Stop. I'd've had only one, but they were running a special and I got to keep the football commemorative glass. Too bad I don't give a shit about sports.

I arrived at the Trolley Stop, and true to form plastered my back against the nearest convenient wall. There is a resident ex-hippie there whom I recognized from the first two times I'd been there. After an hour or so, I introduced myself and told him how much I admired that he would dance around even when nobody else was. He said that he noticed I was the only one there who was alone but smiling and moving the the music, and not to lose that satisfied grin. Ego boost. I notice a woman who looks every bit as awkward and lonely as I feel, so armed with a little liquid courage I seek to offer her my prime piece of wallflower real-estate, which is this little corner that's out of anybody's way but with a great view of the stage. She thinks I'm hitting on her, even though I assure her I'm not. She moves upstairs.

Time passes and a small two-person table empties. I grab it. Sitting there, very heavily buzzed, I am off in my own little world bopping to the guitar players. I take frequent looks around. Every other table is over full with people rapt in what I can only guess to be lively and entertaining conversation, based on the looks on peoples' faces, and the bar is alive with spontaneous conversations. Guys are putting on their best charm in effort to score those elusive pieces of ass. Women are eating up the attention, laughing at all the mens' jokes which I can only assume to be beyond lame. Meanwhile, I sit and silently bop to the music.

I am there, but at the same time I am not. It's like I'm watching it all on TV. I am left wondering what the fine line is between observation and participation, the boundary of which I can't quite figure out to which side I'm leaning.

Shy-looking girl is back down on the floor, doing what in retrospect is an excellent bashful puppy-dog eyes act, but my heart is breaking (as I am gullible and buying her performance) watching people pass by her as she stands against a ceiling support sipping her drink. I go over and establish, once again, that I am not hitting on her (as I point to my ring and flatly say that I'm married and thus harmless). I tell her that I have a seat open at my table and at the very least if her feet begin to hurt I'm good for some lively conversation. She asks me if I'm lying to her. Again, I point to my ring and tell her I'm not one of those creepy married guys who hits on women in bars. She thinks I'm hitting on her anyway... I can see it in the way she's looking at me. Fuck her. I return to my seat and my anthropological studies of the social behaviors of these weird 20-something creatures as I quietly bop to the music.

I see shy-looking girl has started talking to some guy, and after a half hour or so they head for the door. I smile knowingly. It's clear what she was looking for. They're probably fucking as I type this.

The next act just happens to be one of the guys that was at the movie auditions Saturday. I forgot to tell you guys about that, I'll have to later. He sucks terribly. Whiney hippie crap. Don't get me wrong, I am a hippie, I simply have no tolerance for whiney hippies. Yes, I can sometimes be whiney, and thus often can't tolerate myself. There.

I leave, a bit too drunk for comfort, so I window shop at a few antique and vintage clothing stores on the way to the car, hoping to walk off some of the buzz. The spare-changers are out in force, and I fear them worse than my inebriation, so I hurry to my car and get the fuck out of Dayton.

I get to Huber Heights. It's 1:17am. The White Castle is FUCKING CLOSED! When the fuck did this happen? No more 24-hour? The only other White Castle in Dayton is on the West Side. Fuck going there after dark. I'm not risking a gunshot to the skull, all for the sake of a tray of sliders. I take Chambersburg road out of Huber to Little York road into Vandalia. Waffle House it is.

I get to the Waffle House on US Route 40. Inside are two elderly couples at the tables and a redneck-looking mother and daughter sitting at the counter. I take a table. "Achey-Breaky Heart" is playing. (Does it get any more movie-moment than that?) Among the extensive array of bottled condiments is a jar of "Casa de Waffle Picante Sauce". I learn from the menu that there are 3,538,944 different ways to enjoy their hash browns. How the fuck did they arrive at that statistic?? Anyhow, I order a diet Coke and a waffle, and proceed to scribble notes (from which I'm now reading) on the backs of old grocery receipts I had in my coat pocket. I take a good look around. The waitress is filling pop glasses. The mother and daughter silently puff their cigarettes and stare off into space. The elderly couples look at their plates as they slowly chew their food, and the line cook is busy attending the grill. I feel like I had momentarily stepped out of reality and into an Edward Hopper painting. My very own "Nighthawks". I am pleased by the drama.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Kathe Kollwitz

"Self Portrait", 1924, Kathe Kollwitz.

I don't want to or expect that I'll ever be able draw photorealistic representations. No, I want to draw like Kathe Kollwitz. It's stunning how she can capture emotion and spirit with such beautiful simplicity, expertly avoiding even the slightest unnecessary strokes. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


I just finished watching the movie with the double-meaning title "Normal". If you haven't seen it, it's about a guy who lives in Normal, Illinois (a podunk redneck little town) who wants to get a sex change operation. His wife (Jessica Lange, MILF extraordinare) although suffering several bouts of doubt and anger, in the end accepts his decision with the final line of the movie: "The things we do for love."

Orb mentioned the word 'solipsism' a while ago, and it has been echoing in my head ever since. This movie is a shining example of solipsism. Tom Wilkinson's character faces head-on alienating himself from his peers and his immediate family for something that he and he alone knows to be right. Solipsism. What a powerful word.


Originally uploaded by groverflanagan.
This is Jen, the one who invited me to her church get-together back in December. Today was her last day at work, so I thought I'd grab a few snapshots for posterity. It's kinda sad. When it was time for her to go she gave me a hug and then neither of us really knew how to say a proper goodbye. We just stood there exchanging phrases like "Well... see you around", "bye", "see ya", "I'll email you", etc. I finally had to say "I'll walk away now", and after one final goodbye, turned my back and walked to the break room. I'll miss her.


Originally uploaded by groverflanagan.
tacky tacky tacky. I love it!


Originally uploaded by groverflanagan.
HUGE Suction? Woohoo!

Little Buddha

When I was a kid, I remember seeing this little figurine of a person sitting cross-legged, leaning forward with his hands over his face as though crying. I remember it was titled "Buddha Absorbing the Sorrows of the World" or something like that. I didn't know who that little man was, but I thought that the idea of somebody doing that for other people was awfully nice. Little did I know how the impression that little statue left on me would become one of the foundation stones upon which my personality is built.