I just wanted to give you the head’s up that I’m going to probably need to take a week off. Don’t worry, my limbs didn’t catch fire, and no one died. In reality, I left for a vacation yesterday, and although I’ll be back to Boston late next week, I’ll have no time to post until after next weekend. However, when I return, expect the third part of the Project:Wonka series, and potentially the first of the comic reviews. Or maybe I’ll just catch up on Blogenning stuff, and write about Wonka anyway. Who knows, the Internet is my oyster!
In any case, I hope you all have lovely weeks, and I’ll see you guys and gals soon.
I didn’t used to love beer. In fact, I didn’t even like it when I first moved to Boston. But you learn. You learn that in a city like Boston, (good) beer is ubiquitous. You pretty much have to be at a college party to not find it. You learn that it’s also cheaper – a Sam Adams on tap in most places in the city generally costs around $5-$6, whereas a mixed drink can start at $8.50 or so and is always both smaller and loaded up with ice. You learn that there is little that is quite as affirming as a good burger, a side of fries and a tasty beer. And you learn that unlike mixed drinks, the same beer should taste about the same across town (a mixed drink, however, requires the bartender to make it, so who knows what you’ll get). So, I learned to like beer. Continue reading →
Back in August, I discussed becoming Willy Wonka, and specifically how I used to have trouble with that but was now onto something big. Well, good news! My costume is nearly finished, with only one and a half pieces left (explanations below). Frankly, I am absurdly excited to actually wear this thing around Boston, and I have two parties and a bar crawl that I’m planning on wearing it for. So I’m already up to three events, and that’s not even counting any ability I have to convince my coworkers to go in costumes on the actual 31st. So we’ll see about that. But, enough exposition. On to the pieces! Continue reading →
I find graffiti to be hilarious. You can make the case that it is a blight on society, and you can also make the case that when it’s done well it’s a remarkably pure art form (after all, it’s done for the simple reason of existing. Most graffiti artists are never paid for their work, and in fact never expect or hope to be). You can make the case that it livens up old buildings or blank walls, or you can make the case that it can make an otherwise respectable area look like a ghetto. After all, cities spend huge amounts of money cleaning it up. And yeah, a lot of graffiti is just asshole teenagers putting their names on things. Well, fine, that sort of thing happens. But not everyone does that.
There is some really funny, really well done stuff out there. The pictures you see below were taken at the Park St train station in Boston, and everything written there was written on some temporary walls surrounding a construction project. There are more pictures on the Flickr album, naturally. That album will be growing, by the way – I’ve decided to make graffiti an ongoing picture collection, because why the hell not? It’s not like I’ll run out of stuff to photograph, after all!
Normally, I like to try to keep a pretty positive attitude around here. Time with me should be a fun, joyful experience. Or perhaps a thoughtful, introspective one. I’m also willing to accept an experience that amounts to “look at the pretty colors!” But in general I prefer positivity to negativity in what I do. That said, this week’s theme for the Blogenning appears to be “Things I Hate.” Everyone is approaching this in slightly different manners. Here are some of mine.
I might as well warn you now, I’m probably going to end up using much stronger language than I usually do. Well, stronger than I usually use on here, anyway. So if your kid is next to you at the computer, skip this post over. Go look at my pictures from Chihuly or the Arnold Arboretum. Or one of my many fireworks based posts. Just go look at the pretty pictures, and then when your child is gone, continue onward. Continue reading →
When I was growing up, my earliest exposure to music (outside of Sesame Street songs) was Motown and “Golden Oldies,” on B101 in Rhode Island. My mom would always listen to it, so my childhood was full of Beach Boys, Beatles, Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and a whole host of others that to this day I can probably sing along with (when I was 10 I think I knew all the words to “Kokomo,” for instance). When I hit high school, I began seeking music out, and went in three different basic directions.
The first direction was hard rock and metal. Korn (hey, I was 14 and “Follow the Leader” had just come out) and Rage Against the Machine were my entry into that territory. Metallica and Godsmack were soon after, and it kind of just ballooned out from there. When I think back to my first high school, songs by groups like those are what come to mind, for better or for worse. Of course, along with that came a lot of alternative rock, because the stations I listened to mixed it all together. So I could go from “Enter Sandman” to “Closing Time” pretty rapidly. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam…a whole host of 90s and early 2000s bands began showing up in my collection, and I would, yes, headbang to them, and discuss how awesome they were with my friends and all that. I never went fully down the path of “metalhead,” but I certainly was a big fan of a lot of the music I was hearing. Continue reading →
Let’s get one thing straight, right off the bat. I do not think English is a better language than any other particular language. Not even Esperanto. From what I understand of languages, every single one (except Esperanto) formed on its own over time, being molded and bent by the speakers that were born into it and the ones that adopted it, ballooning out to encompass more and more of the ever-expanding world. Each language has its own native tricks and quirks, and each one does for the speaker the things that the speaker needs it to do. The Inuits have more words for snow than Mexicans might, but they need those words. At its core, language is an attempt to understand and share the world around us and within us, and if you want to go down the road of whether it accomplishes that or not, go read Brandon’s insightful post. I won’t be going down that road here, for that is not my intention. My intention is simple. Continue reading →
One thing I have studiously avoided doing on this blog over the years is reviewing comics and graphic novels. I’m not entirely sure if I can put into words exactly why I avoided reviewing them. I know I did come late to the comics game, compared to many of my friends and peers. Novels were always my thing, and comics were for other kids. That’s not even “other kids” in a “nerds” kind of way, because I was a pretty serious nerd when I was growing up (surprising, right?). When I say comics were for other kids, I simply mean “kids who were not me and were into comics.” Which was a little weird, in a way.
I devoured books growing up. Everything from Goodnight Moon to The Brothers Karamazov has, by this point in my life, passed in front of my eyes (by the way, those are two of my favorite books). I was completely into superheroes, too. Hell, I watched Batman: The Animated Series religiously. I watched X-Men and Spider-Man every Saturday (along with Gargoyles and Darkwing Duck, but those are beside the point). I dressed up as Bats on more than one Halloween, and even occasionally caught the Justice League when it was on. But I just never really got into the actual comics those shows were all based on. Until Boston. Continue reading →
Note: Every week, a member of the Blogenning chooses a theme for the lot of us. This week it’s Brandon, and the theme is a letter to ourselves 10 years ago.
Dear Tom of 2001,
If I were to tell you I’m writing this from the future, you (rightly) wouldn’t believe me. I can’t say I blame you. I barely believe I’m writing you. It’s sort of a bizarre thing, after all, isn’t it? The idea that so much of your life has happened already, and you’re still in high school, saving up for that school trip to London and Paris. Well I have some proof to throw down here, and it’s in the way of bad news. That trip is going to be cancelled something fierce. If this “writing back in time” thing is working correctly, then you’re reading this paragraph on September 8, 2001. In 3 days, New York City is going to be seriously changed in a very permanent way. No one is going to see it coming, and when you find out about it, you will be hearing rumors in the hallways on your way to your free period, around 9 am. You’ll be in the cafeteria, having a slice of school pizza, and you will see the news. Your job during that time is to simply be. Be there for your friends, be there for momentous moment.
Our parents still remember where they were when they heard Kennedy was shot, I’m sure. You will remember this moment for a very, very long time. I promise you that. Now put this down, Tom, and come back in a week or so, once you know I’m speaking truth. Continue reading →
A new photography habit of mine began the day I went on my Arnold Arboretum walk back in July. While I was there, I began taking all these really close-up pictures of trees and plants, and over the course of the rest of the day (and the course of my trip to the Chihuly exhibit later that week at the MFA) I continued getting very close up with the objects I was surrounded by.
I think what fascinates me is the way we don’t pay attention to them. That is a running theme in a lot of my pictures, and certainly part of my photography philosophy: we go by so much every single day, we pass so many stimuli, but it’s only when we stop to look closely that we really begin to discover the world for what it is. So I present to you (without further pretention), a selection of pictures from right up against objects we take for granted. Click through for the rest of the selection, and click here for the full set.