Thursday, April 28, 2005

Take it as it is.
The simplicity of form with the depth of thought.

By Nitsa


Drawing by Sam Sadorf Posted by Hello

One More Cup of Coffee.

Chrome even looks good in the dark, don't you think?
Photo by Leo Posted by Hello

I love taking pictures on rollers coasters.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

A random shot on a Chicago streetcorner, October 1979. I wonder what these people are doing now.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

The colors and patterns of their clothes, their scarves, the expressions on their faces. These sisters honored me by standing for this photograph.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Supper's Ready!

Hmmm. Let's see. I had the steak yesterday and the turtle soup the day before. Lasagne was Monday. Do I really want chops today? No, wait. Steak was Monday and shrimp creole was... Wait. I think it was roast chicken and the fried fish last Friday. Ummmm. No it was fish yesterday and that bologna sandwich for lunch with that lovely crusty wheat bread that Jack likes to buy. Aw, hell. I'll just have the chops.

Photo by Leo

The Songs of Angels

I had a weird dream last night. I was in a crowd of people and they all looked like Milton Berle when he was wearing a dress. Everyone looked the same but they were wearing different dresses. I was the only one that was different and I looked like Leo Gorcey. Some sort of parallell universe? Maybe.

The street was so packed that it was impossible to move without bumping into someone. I turned around and was face to face with Berle smoking a Havanna and wearing a most revealing blue taffeta gown. He had these 5" pink stilletto heels on and he was singing "Love in Bloom" which was strange because it was when Jack Benny was on NBC rather than CBS.

Anyways, I said to Miltie that I was looking for a wax model of the Hindenberg. He laughed and said, "You look like a Janitor. Have you come to sweep me off my feet?"

I woke up to the sound of distant thunder.
Photo by Leo

Off to the Races.

"Tell us a story, Uncle Allen. Pleeeeese?"

""Ok, kids. A long time ago me and your uncles Neal and Jack went to the Pimlico racetrack in Maryland. Your uncle Jack did what he always did. He bet on the fourth horse in every race to win. Then he brooded over the race form for the rest of the afternoon. Uncle Neal, who'd never been to the track before, bet on every horse in every race. He had about 90 tickets and he'd spent all his earnings from the parking lot for the last 2 weeks. He was like a kid in a candy store."

" Luck being luck, Uncle Jack won twice that day and broke even. He was still brooding as we drove back to Brooklyn. Neal won in every race, though he was still down nearly $150.00. He was the happiest I'd ever seen him. He bought us some hamburgs from a diner and went home completely broke."

"With your uncle Neal, it wasn't about winning. It was about the race."

Photo by Leo Posted by Hello

Kids are lucky. They can make their own fun out of nothing. Adults have to buy a speedboat or go to Vegas for fun. I guess the challenge is staying a kid as long as possible.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I dunno what to make of this. Nitsa, help me out here.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Why don't people ride the train any more? It's a good place to sit back, have a Mountain Dew and teach your son the fine art of poker. There's a lot of things people should do, but they don't.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

The thing I like best about Hollywood is you never know what you're gonna see. Last time I was there a nice man asked me if I wanted any candy.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Animals let me get right up to 'em. Sometimes close enough to spray paint my name on 'em. My doctor says I have St. Francis Syndrome. Do they have a telethon for that?
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

I waited for a couple days, but no watermelons ever showed up. I read this article in TIME that said service in America was going downhill. I'm beginning to think they're onto something there.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

I wish I could shoot like Nitsa. She's got this ability to stumble onto something beautiful. Me, I gotta control the frame.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Here's what I think ladies oughta look like after a certain age. Heck with all this cosmetic surgery stuff. Have your kids and then eat strawberry shortcake for the rest of your days.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

first time

One of the defining moments happened at that very instant when I got off the Long Island train in Penn station and saw Manhattan for the first time.
The rest of the time I was shooting from a dream or something very similar to that.

Elliot's Walkout

Everyone is in such an all-fired hurry. No one stops long enough to finish their coffee or their blintz. It's no wonder America is obese. Eat and run. Eat and run. No time to sit and digest. No time to tell stories. No time for a nap. We're all dying of stress and we don't know why. Life's become a blur and everything is beyond our ability to concentrate.
Photo by Leo

I was having a visit with Mr. Mojo Risin' in Paris a while back. These two girls came along and said, "In Denmark we lose our virginity by age 12." You think maybe they were looking to lay some pipe on Jim's grave?
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Why can't terrorists be more like this guy? He's just smoking his cheroot and sipping his beer. There's no C-4 in his shoe.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

What kind of picture quality are you gonna get for $4.88? Everyone knows the C-41 photo process is touchy and requires constant replenishing of the chemicals. I hope this lady isn't taking in her wedding photos or anything. Maybe I should have said something.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Like, Hollywood is so fake, man. Nothing is what it seems. Lucky for me, I'm grounded in reality. For instance, I know that one day I'll need some cosmetic work on my eyes. I know my hair will start turning grey. But I'm OK with that, because I'm honest with myself.
Photo by Chester A. Burnett

Monday, April 25, 2005

On every corner a Madonna selling Chiclets. Don't look at me like that. I just came to buy some cut-rate liquor.
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Sunday, April 24, 2005

An Old Day Now

It's the end of a new day in the naked pueblo. The.chronicler is entrenched in his new digs, ate too much Chinese buffet, ... ad infinitum. I left him as he was departing to shop for a new bed.

The sun sets soon. Kids are laying low, dogs rest after dinner. Things that seemed impossible just a week ago are existent facts. Life is sometimes neither good or bad. Sometimes it's just life and life only.

The preacher today, echoing Ecclesiastes in many ways, reminded that what we are called to isn't necessarily what we want to do. The talents and giftings we have aren't always what we would choose for ourselves. Ego? Vanity? What we like or desire isn't always what's best. What's required of us is sometimes something we are afraid of because it makes us choose between what's right and what we want. Sometimes what we want is what's right and then there's no problem.

Too much reflection for a Sunday night? For me, maybe too much avoidance for too long and not near enough reflection.


What do you do for fun?

I bike ride every day.
At first all I wanted was to stay in shape as I realized computer programming requires many sedentary hours. But after a short while it became one of the best parts of my day.
I was also encouraged to begin making street pictures while bike riding through the streets of Los Angeles.
Now I always have my camera with me when I bike ride.
(this picture was taken yesterday in the West Hollywood)

Friday, April 22, 2005

Bad Larry

Photo by: Leo Posted by Hello
There are those people who, no matter how old, cannot stay out of back alleys. There is a reason for this. It's the long and proud tradition of alley commerce. When kids trade stuff, it's invariably in alleys. Backyard mechanics work out of the alley. In former days, the knife sharpener and the rag man worked the alleys. Junk dealers work the alleys. Questionable business dealings have been and always will be conducted in alleys.

Let's face it. The place of refuse is the obverse of success. One relies on the other and cannot be separated. Men/women; Yin/yang; Jesus needed his Judas; intertwined triangles of the Star of David.

The fool needs the wise man to prove his wisdom.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


"Once in a while you get shown the light
in the strangest of places if you look at it right."
-Robert Hunter Posted by Hello

Photo by Leo Sadorf

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The simple things

Nitsa, Santa Monica PierFunny thing, a few days ago I woke up with this thought how I haven’t been to Santa Monica pier and I haven’t seen a real good sunset at the beach for quite a while now. And as I was thinking about it I began missing it so badly! A few years ago, when I started taking pictures this was something I did quite often. But now, ah, I’m way “too sophisticated” for these kind of wishy-washy pictures, so usually when I’m in SM I go to the Promenade or wonder about the streets and photograph people and street scenes… so obviously next step was visiting the pier on Saturday evening when the golden light was shining upon the water. It made me so happy! Go figure. The simple things.

Everybody's looking for immortality, and they'll do anything to find it. Stupid, because all the while it's right under our noses. You're alive as long as someone remembers you, and who better to do that than your kids?
Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

How often do we really see ourselves as we truly are? In general we have a romanticized view of ourselves, even when we feel piss poor, frustrated, or depressed. The weight of the world may be ours, but we usually feel like we look better than we actually do. Posted by Hello

The difference between "vigilant" and "vigilante."

Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett Posted by Hello

Monday, April 18, 2005

Mi casa en las sierras y mi amigo Luigi Posted by Hello

Lights On, Nobody Home

I'm a wreck. There are days when I actually think I may go mad. The news on TV pisses me off. The decline of American values depresses me. The fact that I'm another year older scares the crap outta me.

The problem is I don't have anyone to share my ups, and my downs. Sure, I'm married, but it's a loveless union. Has been for quite some time. Connubial bliss, the marital privileges, sexual congress, whatever euphemism you want to attach to it... it ain't happenin' under my roof. My wife and I are in the business of raising kids. I tried to leave the marriage once, but I couldn't stand not being with them every day. I've only got a few years before they head off to college and start lives of their own.

That, I think, will bring about the killshot, maritally speaking. In the meantime, I lead this life of quiet desperation. I remember what it feels like to be in love. I know what it feels like to be dead inside.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

We Will Dance

In contra-dance we clap and shout (and stomp!) at certain moments -- particularly when all the group comes together in a tight knot in magical timing with the music -- and always there is a purely happy smile on everyone's face throughout the dance. Nobody actually talks about God during a contra-dance. But God is there.

Contra-dance makes me think of David, *SNIFF* that murderous adulterer who was chastised by his first wife Michal because he danced with abandon in the streets. Nevermind that David was dancing before the Ark.

David knew what life and spirit is about.

Contra-dance is different from square-dancing in that contra-dance is older and is more of a group effort than a couple's dance.

In contra you're like a cog in a great machine. The music injects a wondrous ether to the room as lines, rings and couples progress across the floor, spinning, balancing, gypsying, swinging ...

Bakersfield College math instructor Bernie Scanlon says a remarkably high percentage of its practitioners are highly educated, often involved in mathematics, computers, or engineering.

Scanlon points out: "Timing is also crucial, as is the ability to rapidly carry out called instructions and do fraction math on the fly."

God, who set the heavens in motion, smiles with the contra-dancers.


We Will Dance

Sing a song of celebration, lift up a shout of praise
G2 D
For the Bridegroom will come, the glorious One
C2 G2 D
And oh, We will look on His face
C2 G2 D
We'll go, to a much better place

Dance with all your might, lift up your hands and clap for joy
G2 D
The time's drawing near, when He will appear
C2 G2 D
And Oh, we'll stand by His side
C2 G2 Asus A
A strong, pure, spotless bride

We Will dance on the streets that are golden
The glorious bride and the great Son of Man
From every tongue and tribe and nation
Will join, in the song of the Lamb

Sing aloud for the time of rejoicing is near
The risen king, our groom, is soon to appear
The wedding feast to come is now near at hand
Lift up your voice proclaim the coming Lamb

We will dance on the streets that are golden (4X)
D Bm7 A
Glory and honor, glory and honor, glory and honor forev - er

Friday, April 15, 2005

Dead-end Street...

Much of the repartee we share with those around us these days seems to center on middle age and illness and the big sleep. Is this the malady of depression we suffer or the real consumation of a world gone wrong? Maybe both.

The joy and frivolity of life gets lost in the concerns and pains of the flesh and all that joy and frivolity of former years come off sounding like life mis-spent. I guess it's hard to face demons when we don't want to begin by admitting they exist in the first place.

Have no regrets. Hold no grudges. Wish ill to no one. When death is in the neighborhood, as he is more frequently these days, it's ok to not accept it sheepishly. No, nothing wrong with going kicking and screaming.

I'm not afraid to die, I just don't want to do it quite yet.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

big brass bed

My things are nearly packed. The only thing I need is a bed. I'm looking forward to buying a nice new one (complete with a headboard and frame) as soon as I arrive in my new city. Heck, maybe I'll buy a big brass bed. I've always wanted one. Siesta Besame is a big city with bed shops all over the place. I'll have it delivered, and I'll put some brand-new, fresh clean sheets on it, and I will sleep like a baby. And, one day the sweet lassie who tucks me in at night will call me Baby.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What Happened to Me?

I squint at the cage I've built for myself in the last 17,520 days. Two kids, a mortgage, credit card bills, a job... shit. I don't feel like dealing with any of it right now. Today's my birthday and I'm 48 years old. Warden, I need to go to sick bay. The doctor's on the phone. She's got the results of the blood work they did the other day. Cholesterol's sitting at 270. LDL's too high, HDL's too low. Liver numbers are elevated. Oh, and I got the high blood... 150 over 110. She's recommending I drop 40 pounds, pronto. Thanks, Doc. Just what I needed to hear. That means exercise. That means layin' off the Cajun chicken at Popeye's. That means goin' into my 49th year with the Devil's lash across my back. I got way more crap than I can handle right now. I'm so busy my head is spinning. Where the heck is my crossword puzzle? And the Jumble. Goddammit, who took the Jumble? They know I like to take it into the can with me, along with the box scores and my racing form. Goddamn liberals are ruining this country. Gives me an acid stomach just to turn on the news any more. Got nearly 20,000 border jumpers sitting inside the 20-mile limit at any given time, but God forbid if some patriotic-minded citizens want to take it upon themselves to help stop it. According to the Democratic way of thinking, I'm a bigot. Christ, I need Alka-Seltzer and Pepto just to get through that tree-hugger Couric's morning spew. What the hell happened to me? I'm a broken hulk of a man. My health is goin' to hell in a handbasket, my kids are goin' to college, and I'm goin' nowhere. The years fly by, but the work week crawls like the 'lasses in January. I'm getting junk mail from cemeteries and my alma mater thinks I'm already deceased. Even the pre-approved credit cards have stopped coming. Dead man walkin' here... Lemme see if I can find a pair of pants that fit. I think the brown ones may have a little extra play in the waistband. Gotta suck in the gullet just a bit so's I can fasten these mothers. Christ, are my shirts shrinking? Hey, those loafers are looking pretty good right now. Beats bending over to tie the Oxfords. Hey, what the heck... it's my birthday today. I'm gonna celebrate tonight. Now, where the hell did I put the Channel Guide...?

Politico Blues

With the passing of another year, it becomes more than obvious that politics is a nasty business. As was whined in an earlier post, someone thinks the liberals somehow run the country. To an extent that may be true in certain circles. But look at the grabs for power having taken place over the last 20 years. Look at the maintenance of power. Look at the expansion of power.

Isn't it funny that, somehow, people like Rove and Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Cheney are still around? Their minions doing the bidding of the Texas cabal? I count no liberals in their ranks. Yet they have been movers and shakers since the Bush I days. If they are the guys calling the shots, where does the illusion of liberalism come from?

Conservatism is, by definition, adherence to the status quo. Liberalism, defined is the pursuit of indivifual freedoms and liberties without the intrusion of the state. Don't blame me, I just read the definitions. OK, which is it?

Or are we just getting old and ornery and have to cling to some sort of illusive philosophy of life that makes the lines broader and the contrast darker to make our confusion go away? It's not dark yet, but it's getting there.

Birthday boy getting clipped (That wasn't Bay Rum, that was Tequila damnit!) Posted by Hello

Photo by Larry Widen Posted by Hello

A quantum of disregard...

These days, the complexities of human life are such that we never seem to get to the basics of reality. You know, eating, relaxing, seeing things , napping.

For example, I was in a Southeastern Arizona Emergency room after a recent brush with eternity and there was a fella talking about Jesus being a student of Zoroaster and that we can't know true enlightenment until at least our second incarnation. Yeah. How will you know when you're due for the second one? What if you're on your 5th and nothing has kicked in yet?

Then there's the complainers, knowing full well upon arrival that they have to wait. Cranky Senior citizens and screaming kids delerious with fever. People who, one would hope, normally know better ranting about stuff they have absolutely no control over.

Me? I read old magazines, napped, wrote e-mail on my phone, napped some more, ate junk food, told lies to the old men with enough sense to just sit and wait.

I'm no paradigm of control or relaxed behavior. Far from it. But I guess when you see the nonsense for what it is, you can somehow continue in spite of it.

Maybe I'm past my second incarnation.


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