Thursday, December 31, 2009

Al'z 2010 Resolutions

A Dirty Wish
Portage Ave., December 30th, 2009.
  1. Sweating the Small Stuff: Yeah, it's incredibly clichéd, but you and I both know this is unhealthy behaviour. The last thing I want to do is sound like the Serenity Prayer, but there are things – big AND small – you just can't fucking change. Once you realize that, just move on as quickly as you can. And when I say "you", I mean me. Obsessing over tiny, annoying things has kept me from being awesome, and 2010 is all about being that.

  2. Health: I proved to myself late in this year that I can change my eating habits. Christmas festivities have derailed things somewhat, but I plan to get back on that horse after the Minneapolis trip. Me and the Y need to spend some quality time together, too.

  3. Eat More Bacon: I fully realize that this one is in direct conflict with the previous resolution. Shut up.

  4. All Things Creative: I'd say I've made some strides this year, the biggest being the launch of my portfolio site. However, there's always room for improvement, and that will only come from drawing everyday, including the things I find challenging. Also on the agenda: posting the rest of the Japan photos, taking better photos at shows, and writing more blog posts. Got a project underway in regard to that last bit, but I don't feel like revealing much.

  5. T-Shirts: I plan on buying a lot of 'em. I'll start with this one.

I'd say that's a pretty healthy list. What are your resolutions? All the best to you n' yours, by the way.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Worst Kept Secret

"Honestly, you without an iPhone I found funny. Now I can safely say that almost everything is right with the world."
Nestor Wynrush, from an e-mail conversation

So yeah, I have one, as does my wife. We got 'em for each other for Christmas, hence the title of this entry. I guess this ends my long-standing anti-cellphone stance. Come to think of it, was more of an anti-asshole cellphone user stance all along. For the longest time, I shunned them, thinking they were fostering a legion of jerks, when all the cellphone was doing was amplifying the ugly traits of a handful of crude beings.

Allow me to deflate my cranium and get off of this here high horse: if you see me having an inappropriate and loud conversation on the bus, or if I interrupt our dialogue for an incoming text (highly unlikely, but I do have the technology to make this happen) – bring it to my attention. I will be suitably ashamed, as there will be no excuse for my behaviour.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have apps to download.

P.S.: Don't talk to me about cellphone plans, or the one I've got. That shit makes my head hurt. Let's talk about the weather instead.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Hey...Merry Christmas!

Polo Park lot
Running Here n' There
Polo Park: December 20th, 2009

Whether you're down with Jesus, celebrating solstice, chillin' with the fam on Kwanzaa, or just trying to make sense of it all, I hope you're havin' a great time. I hope you get tons of cool useful/useless stuff, and that the culinary delights are plentiful.

Happy holidays, y'all. Be easy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 28th at the Lo!

Go to this poster's flickr page to see it a little bit bigger.

This will be one for the ages, people. Fifteen years of P & C goodness. Be there!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Portfolio Screenshot

Looking back on my short list of resolutions, I'd say I handled 1 and 2 with varying degrees of success. With mere weeks to go, it's time to shovel some dirt on the grave of number 3 with the launch of my portfolio site.

I was building one with Squarespace a little while ago, but I couldn't get it off the ground for some reason. Believe me, I wish I could articulate why I wasn't feeling it. All I know is that Indexhibit – the platform I ended up utilizing – has been just user-friendly enough for me to dive in head first. It didn't hurt that my man Mark has been down with Indexhibit for a while, or that fellow member Scott Campbell has put together a fine site with it.

No, I can't say it's done, but it's a start. A long overdue start. I still have to fix all of the links to open in other windows, and I need to figure out that "previous/next" navigation thing to display the posters I want to put up. And I'm sure I've broken something in the process of making this thing. I'm far from an HTML or CSS guru, so it's good that Indexhibit has a forum where people have asked most of the questions that are on my mind. W3 Schools has been mighty helpful, too.

While the site is simple (like its owner), I wouldn't mind sprucing the joint up a little. I've been thinking about putting to use the collapsing menu bit that Scott and a few other Indexhibit customers have been messing with, and a few other things. Maybe you have some suggestions. You do, don't you? If you do, don't hesitate to drop me a line (my address is on my "Bio/Contact" page).

Did I mention that I like orange? Such a fetching color.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Among The Decade's Best

Gritty goodness.

Last month, I was asked by Stylus editor Jenny Henkelman to write about my favorite local rap release of the decade (hey, y'all can yell in my ear all you want about how the decade will actually end when 2011's too short to care about that). Without hesitation, I told her that it was John Smith's Pinky's Laundromat, and I'd be happy to write about it. For those of you that aren't near enough to the city to pick up a copy of the December/January issue, here's what I jotted down:
The best MCs have the ability to tell a vivid story. In John Smith's Pinky's Laundromat, you get 13 of those, touching upon themes like sex, drugs, violence, hard times and love. There aren't enough good rap concept albums, and Smitty ties the affair together via his interactions with the patrons of the titular laundromat. Unlike many rap album skits, there's no need to skip these, as they never cease to be entertaining, and they're breezy enough to not wear out their welcome.

For me, this album marks where Smitty found his voice and true rhythm. Where he'd previously cram a lot of info one line, here he paces himself and weaves compelling tales about crackhead pot dealers ("Taxicab Confessions"), aggressive short-order cooks ("Iron Chef") and less-than-lovely lovers ("Bumpin' Uglies"), all within the confines of this fine city, particularly the North End. My favorite track: "Bible Belt Babylon", a moody ode to Peg City on par with Nas' "N.Y. State of Mind". It's that dope.

Not only is this a great lyrical achievement for Smitty, but unending kudos also goes to mcenroe – the album's producer – for providing the gritty sonic landscape.

Up-and-coming rappers should aspire to make something this good.
You can purchase Pinky's from Peanuts and Corn directly, Phonographique, eMusic, or iTunes (if you're a Canuck, you can see the five-star review I gave it, where I also compared "Bible Belt Babylon" to "Streets of New York". I still stand by that).

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Welcome to My World

Thanks to Google Street View, you can see some of my favorite spots in town, including the one above. You might have seen some of the pictures I've taken of the place.
On Friday nights, Sarah and I can be found here, more often than not:

Man, I love this thing!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Minneapolis Jaunt 2010

Electric Fetus 1
Gift Shop

Top to bottom: Electric Fetus, Walker Art Center Gift Shop, self-explanatory, Grumpy's. All shots taken in 2006.

Sarah and I are heading down to Winnipeg's big cousin for a short spell in January. So far, the hotel has been booked, and a list of dope places to eat has been cobbled together (shout-out to Steve St. Louis and DJ Hunnicutt). On the way back, I'll be quietly pondering the start of my 35th year on this planet...hopefully at the Texas Roadhouse location in Grand Forks over a shitload of ribs.
This is gonna be fun.