I’ve been thinking about doing something in a plastic Norelco tape case for a while. My late friend Tim made me a mixed tape when we were in High School – it’s music we listened to while painting my Mom’s kitchen an absurd shade of yellow. We discovered punk together, mostly thanks to Tim’s older brother J, and the DIY-ness made a lasting impression on both of us.

This tape is one of the few physical objects I still have from Tim, and a reminder of how empowering that summer was. I lost all of Tim’s letters during a move years ago.  I envy my buddy Neil’s ability to organize and archive letters and stuff from the past – I wish I had been more careful when I was younger. So, I used Tim’s tape case for this piece.

This piece (along with a few others) is going to be in an upcoming exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum, along with a page from one of my letters to Tim (courtesy of Tim’s parents).

I still miss Tim. Yet, I am convinced that the people we Love don’t really leave us when they die. This was the a primary theme in my Memento Mori show at School33 – it’s a comforting, hopeful thought, and something I know like I know like I know.

If you sit quietly and dream well, you can visit with your people on the other side in your own yellow kitchen.


That was it

I’ve been talking with the Buddha a lot lately. Fortunately, we both like coffee. I’ve learned that he also likes scrabble, open source software and Haiku. When he has time on his hands, he’ll ride the metro to work with me, and he’ll meet me for a lunch of hot dumpling soup. And he manages the business of the Universe in the meantime.

Poop and baloney
stick to the glue my darling
and and and and and…

That was it

Joie de Vivre

Dead Man’s Party

Dead Man's Party, Oingo Boingo

Okay. Life is weird.

I was working on Abby two nights ago, and thinking of what to call it.

“Ringwald” kept popping into my head.

Ringwald? Why?

I thought of Ms. Molly Ringwald, which made me think of John Hughes. Which made me think of Weird Science, which is my favorite teen high school romp movie, in no small part due to Oingo Boingo, which was introduced to me by my high school pal Evan Gaffney, who used Rapidograph pens and drew (even then) like a genius. Oingo Boingo’s Dead Man’s Party features their best song, No One Lives Forever and the best album cover of all time. If that’s not enough, Neil and I listened to Dead Man’s Party on the roof of my house and became lifelong buddies.

Ringwald? “No,” I said. It’s Abby. The next day, I heard the John Hughes passed away. Weird and sad.

Which is why I’m writing tonight, with some good news. For the past few months, I’ve been quietly working on my new endeavor:

the Land of the Dead

I’m announcing it tonight, to honor Mr. Hughes, Oingo Boingo and old friends.  Please have a listen to the song that planted some interesting seeds in my psyche on a roof many years ago:

Life is weird. Death will be weirder.  I’ll visit with you in The Land of the Dead, very soon, dear friends.