Saturday, May 31, 2014
May 29, 2014. The Fabulous Ladies of Fitness threw a Spring Formal, er Flormal, and Rodzilla DJ'ed. Then Monika snatched control, and the party went to a whole new level. People screamed, there was smoke and confetti, Nicolas Cage fought a Valley Dude, and space aliens started breakdancing. And all the teenagers there might now be parents. Monika realized her power was too awesome, so she relinquished the cans.
May 28, 2014. There was once a gas station at the corner of Hermitage and North Avenue, but now there's a condo building in progress. Apparently there's one unit left! I don't think it will be ready to move into very soon, though, so you may want to look elsewhere.
May 27, 2014. Once again, lunch took place in the Art Institute's South Garden. The corner bench, which I've posted before, had a girl lying on her back and using her phone. She never dropped it on her face though, so I went with the center bench and this resting fellow.
Monday, May 26, 2014
May 25, 2014. These are two of the beasts in my care over the weekend. Elsie and Sam did not readily sit, and didn't stay long when they did. They were side by side at first, but they would take turns getting up and moving forward. I managed to snap a couple of frames while they were both sitting, and having felt like I accomplished something, we then continued our walk. They must have felt like they accomplished something, too, because they were really riled up when we started moving again.
May 24, 2014. I'm housesitting over the weekend while I have friends in what I think of as my hometown, Austin, Texas. This is the view from my friend Amy's backyard. Exciting, isn't it? There are so many kids, even more, it seems, than in my neighborhood. They make me nervous.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
May 23, 2014. Midwest Live and Loud Weekend, a three-day punk festival, kicked off at the Bottom Lounge with my band Squared Off. It was a blast, with several good bands, some of them Texans I haven't seen in years. The girl in the middle of this photo was marking her twenty-fifth birthday, which apparently made her sad. It looked to me like her "worst birthday ever" was going pretty well. Psh, kids these days, thinking twenty-five is the end. An addition to my busted cameras saga: the built-in flash on my G11 doesn't work at all after being dropped, and my external flash doesn't always expose properly. Without an LCD screen, I can't tell what happened until I get home, so many of my pictures look like they occurred during a nuclear explosion according to science fiction films.
May 21, 2014. Lunch in the South Garden at the Art Institute again. We spotted this woman in a very geometric pose, where she remained for some time. She may have been meditating, doing Kegel exercises, or been battling alongside Doctor Strange on another astral plane. There may be other options that I haven't considered.
May 20, 2014. After Squared Off rehearsal, it was burger time. Hoser and I headed to Lockdown, fortunate to miss walking three blocks in the heaviest rainfall, which was accompanied by some heavy thunder and lightning while we were inside eating and watching a Slayer show.
May 18, 2014. I set my G11, the camera I'm using while my 5D is in the shop, on a ledge while loading my drums into the apartment, and it fell off, of course. The LCD shattered, so I have little idea what my camera settings are, and no idea what's in focus or whether a photo has been exposed correctly. This is one of the two test shots I took to see if the camera still works, which apparently is the case.
May 16, 2014. Tijuana Jai Alai played a show at the Brauer House in Lombard, IL, and it was a whole lot of fun. The crowd seemed to have a good time, the other bands were entertaining, and Manny danced in a beige leotard. Actually, he didn't, unless he was wearing it beneath his clothes. And he didn't dance on stage, so I don't really know if he danced at all. After the show, though, he did participate in this discussion, seeming to be getting ganged up on by Paloma and Larry.
May 15, 2014. Once again I had lunch in the Georg Stolti Garden, where it's always fun to watch people interact with the figures in Iceland sculptor Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir's installation "Borders." Some people nap with their heads in the sculptures' laps, some have brief conversations while their friends take pictures, and some have long conversations that can get a little argumentative.
May 14, 2014. Here we are under the Kennedy Expressway on Keeler Avenue, the final stretch of zig-zagging before getting on the highway northbound from Pulaski. Paloma and I were suburb-bound for rehearsal with Tijuana Jai Alai. I've been playing a lot of drums lately.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
May 13, 2014. Squared Off's bass player, Matt, went to New York over the weekend to see the Chicago Fire finally win a game. They still managed to allow four goals in that win, but Matt said goalie Sean Johnson had a fabulous save against Thierry Henry. I'll have to look for video. While there, he went to New York Hardcore Tattoo, but missed meeting Vinnie Stigma, who was apparently at band practice with Agnostic Front. Matt got a tiny tattoo from the artist that was there, and laughed while showing it to us at our band practice.
Monday, May 12, 2014
May 12, 2014. It was another beautiful day (kind of humid, if you like to find something to complain about, but I liked it) for lunch in the park. I actually had my lunch at the Sir Georg Stolti Garden on the next block south of the South Garden, but I found my photo of the day at the South Garden of the Art Institute with this man lining up a symmetrical photo of his own featuring the Fountain of the Great Lakes. With all the graduates of the Art Institute, and possibly other schools, out on the street, I was pretty perturbed to not have my 5D. The shots I can get with that camera just don't make it into my G11. Soon, I hope.
May 11, 2014. My day consisted of sleeping late, running to the store when I heard thunder warning of the storm that was about to let loose, and making tacos. I also ate ice cream, of course. On my way home I shot a photo of what was once the ILG Industries plant (from 1907-1991, I think), innovators and longtime manufacturers of electrical ventilating fans. One night around the New Year, I saw a Snowy Owl fly past me and up to the top of the tower, from where it watched me walk down the street to my place.
May 10, 2014. Music Garage is the site of most of my rehearsal with both of my bands. This is the back entrance where we took a break from Tijuana Jai Alai practice. Our regular guitar player, Gary, can't play our next gig, so Steev here is practicing to fill in for him.
May 9, 2014. Unfortunately, the most interesting photo I took all day was an accidental press of the shutter button while walking on the plaza in front of Loop Post Office on Dearborn Street. Or perhaps I should say that fortunately the accidental photo I took walking across the Federal Plaza was more interesting than the other junk I shot throughout the day.
May 8, 2014. Walking around on my lunch break, I came across this vibraphone player in front of the Art Institute. His mallets flew about wildly and passionately, and it was a welcome change from the saxophone players with prerecorded accompaniment that drive me crazy. OK, they don't really drive me crazy, but I prefer to not hear them. Feel free to google "New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones" by Fear to hear where my mind goes when I encounter saxes on the street. Enjoy.
May 7, 2014. The previous day's wind became quite a bit stronger. I spent some time on the lakefront after work, where I was well aware that a storm system was somewhere in the area. I was lucky again to just catch some sprinkles, and some pretty decent photographs from my point-and-shoot, which is doing most of my photo work with my DSLR in the shop. This is Oak Street Beach and the Gold Coast from the southeast, with the wind giving a little bit of emphasis to the water hitting the shore.
May 6, 2014. It's springtime, which means I find myself racing storms after work on a regular basis. This one didn't seem imminent, but I had clouds to view on my ride, and a persistent wind to fight. A few sprinkles got me on a couple of stretches of a few blocks, but I've been pretty lucky with the rain riding so far.
May 5, 2014. As the good weather becomes more consistent, more lunch breaks will be taken outdoors, usually in the parks near Jackson and Michigan. This is a regular lunch spot in the South Garden of the Art Institute. On the sidewalk outside this garden is where the Touch & Go chess game is set up. In the garden beneath the canopy of hawthorn trees, people read, sketch, eat lunch, take baby pictures, flirt shamelessly, sit shirtlessly, and smoke Black & Milds.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
May 3, 2014. The next show for my band Tijuana Jai Alai will have a substitute guitar player, Steev Custer. Gary will be playing with his other band C-Sides opening for one of his favorite bands, Ch 3. During a break from rehearsal I caught Steev lighting up a cigarette with my little Canon G11.
May 2, 2014. I decided to take a look at the Chicago Riverwalk construction on the way home, and it looks pretty much the same as last time I looked, but I saw a different angle, and saw a US Coast Guard patrol go by. The first thing I noticed was probably the red-orange sides of the boat, but I also very quickly noticed a large machine gun on the bow. This photo looks a bit more interesting to me than the ones of just the patrol boat.
May 1, 2014. Here we are in the bike lane again, but three of us at once this time. I've ridden with Tara before, and with Blake, but now we seem to be turning into a six-wheeled menace. Actually, we're among the nicer, more law-abiding cyclists, rather than a menace. If you're among the people that think two lanes of bike path are an extension of the sidewalk for you to wait for the chance to cross, though, I will menace the hell out of you.
April 30, 2014. This is the third day in a row of my photos being shot with my point and shoot camera, a Canon G11. At LiveWire Sunday night, the shutter in my primary camera failed. It's in the shop, and I hope to be able to get it out after it's fixed - money, you know. Downloading the images to post means having to download photos going back to July. I also have to view them in Canon ImageBrowser (now that I think about it I could use Photoshop's RAW processor), since my usual software is the first edition of Lightroom, which is older than my G11 and doesn't support its files. I do process the individual photos in Photoshop, though. The oldest photos on my memory card were from July 10, 2013, and these are from July 11. Here I am riding bikes with my ex-wife - my ex-wife of just a few hours at this point, freshly divorced. 2013 was a disaster from January. I fucking hate 2013. If I seem a bit fucked up to you, 2013 holds most of the reasons why. Right now, I'm pretty bummed about my camera being broken. It seems like that would have happened in 2013.
April 29, 2014. To celebrate my friend Paul's birthday, his sister and parents organized a surprise party. It apparently took some doing to get him there at all, and we happily waited for a bit after the expected arrival time. We had pizza and drinks, anyway. Jenny and Paul showed up reasonably promptly, all things considered, and the surprise was sprung. A good time was had by all - cake, great tunes, great company - and Paul and I went to eat tacos afterward.
April 28, 2014. Artist Brooks Golden was a prominent fixture in Chicago (and Milwaukee, I understand) for some time, and well loved. A recurring motif in his work has been owls, and if you've seen an owl in any street art, it's probably his. He passed away over the weekend, and tributes to him went up all over walls (and at least one sidewalk) in Chicago. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of a very impressive one that covered four panels on Milwaukee Avenue, though I happened to see it being painted as I rode past. It's four panels of brown cover-up paint now.
April 27, 2014. Squared Off played a show at LiveWire Lounge in Chicago, where we also shot scenes for the music video we're working on. This is the video production crew setting up one of the shots. I may have said so when I posted a photo of the director, Aki, on day one of shooting, but I'm pretty excited to see the result. There is still another day or two of shooting before editing begins, though.
April 26, 2014. I have photographed Rebecca Lawrence before, so the title doesn't refer to the rarity of working with her. It comes from the Talking Heads song, which features the refrain, "This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife." It hit me while wondering to myself about this beautiful house, which once was my house. I also had a beautiful wife (not Rebecca), and she still lives there.
April 25, 2014. Squared Off, one of the bands I play drums for, had a gig in Milwaukee at the Down & Over Pub. The lineup included Brick Assassin, also from Chicago, and Milwaukee's DUI's and DJ Han Cholo. This is Brick Assassin tearing the place up while I went back and forth between taking photos and setting up my drum kit.