Saturday, December 30, 2006


Reporting from Palm Springs, California, my sister took this movie.

I love that you can see the windmills up close in the movie. There are several hundred windmills at this site in Palm Springs as shown by this photo which I can't figure out how to display here. (I think it may be because Flickr does not allow All Rights Reserved photos to be embedded though I'm not sure.)

As you may have guessed, these windmills exist to generate electricity. The first time I saw a windmill like this was in Western Massachusetts and it took my breath away because it was so beautiful. Some people feel that the windmills pollute the views of the area. I've never been to Palm Springs and I don't know what this area looked like before the windmill farm, but I'm hesitant to diss their existence. Not only do they have a zen-like, synchronous magic to them, but they were erected in the hopes of a minimalist, peaceful form of energy.

(As a side note, one of my students called me a "non-drug hippie" recently. To another faculty member. I guess I can't blame her.)

In other news, it has come to my attention that "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood may be about god loving. You know, about "worship" or whatever, in a Christian sense. And it's freaking me out. I received the Talking Back to the Night cassette as a gift in junior high from a girlfriend. Although I enjoyed listening to the radio and knew the words to many songs back then (I was in full 1980s pop mode) I was sort of behind in the whole music-ownership thing. The Hooters' One Way Home was my own first purchase, made after an incredible amount of internal debate. But then Bonnie Huggins gave me Talking Back to the Night and Invisible Touch by Genesis for my birthday. I enjoyed both albums a lot and was very grateful for the gift because I really liked both of them and plus, she tripled my collection. Anyway, I got into Higher Love, like a lot of people did. I liked the percussion solo part, I liked the horns, and, even now, I think it's a decent song. I really do. But J and I were listening to the lyrics today while eating tacos and I grew horrified.

Here are the lyrics - I'll take out the refrain:
Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is a wasted time
Look inside your heart, I'll look inside mine
Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Worlds are turning and we're just hanging on
Facing our fear and standing out there alone
A yearning, and it's real to me
There must be someone who's feeling for me [note that this is left ambiguous]
Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

I will wait for it
I'm not too late for it
Until then, I'll sing my song
To cheer the night along
Bring it...Oh bring it...

I could light the night up with my soul on fire
I could make the sun shine from pure desire
Let me feel that love come over me [!!!]
Let me feel how strong it could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love
Where's that higher love I keep thinking of?

Dude, it's totally about god and shit. Don't you think? Ugh. I am notoriously bad about actually thinking about the lyrics I sing, when I know them (I hardly ever do) and this serves me right. I can just see all of the Christians standing together with their arms high and palms spread, swaying and crying now. Maybe Steve's "someone" is a real person. Maybe. But probably not.

Okay, I'm over it.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Watch the Video

Wow - thanks for checking in. I know it's been a while. (Stay tuned for some experimentation with a nasal cleansing pot.)

I just came from our town's holiday parade. Actually, it may officially be called the Christmas parade. Yeah, I'm one of those pinko commies who likes a nice multi-religious/secular parade actually.

This year, the chicken man and Shriners were absent. I never thought I'd get into parades as much as this but, like, what's up with that? Seriously, did the chicken man have something better to do this morning? I guess so. Hm.

This year, kids dressed as presents was my favorite. They looked really quite pleasantly goofy. J's favorite was the 3-legged dog. Watch for it as it is the SECOND dog that goes by. I have to say that that is pretty good and I'm glad he pointed it out.

Parades are really nice footage for weird movie mashups so PLEASE steal this and make something out of it. My camera is sucking more than ever though so I won't harass anyone to do it.

All right, I hope to be back soon.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Actress Adrienne Shelly was found dead on November 1st in Manhattan. Initially it appeared to be a suicide but Diego Pillco just confessed to her murder.

Shelly co-starred in Trust (1990), a film by Hal Hartley, which is one of my favorite movies. It's a very tender, sometimes awkward story about a relationship and is, admittedly, "artsy".

I'm sad that she is gone.

Monday, October 30, 2006


I've been a fan of the Prelinger archive for a long time. They have oodles of public domain films, mostly of the 16mm educational variety. This one was made in 1941 and is called the Door to Heaven. This is my special creepy edit.

This has sound!

Friday, October 06, 2006


I've wanted to do some tiling for a long time but iMovie wouldn't let me do it. Yay for Final Cut Pro and the library's lab. I was afraid that I was going to stumble around the software when I went to do this but it went fine. I remembered, for the most part.

P.S. I sped up the donut production line for some reason. It just looked better. It's going twice the rate that the line usually goes. It takes time to fry that dough.

P.P.S. The pumpkin spice donuts are out AND they sell KK on campus now.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Georges Rousse is a French artist who installs perspective art in buildings that are in transition. Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus of Durham raised the money to bring him to Durham and install art in some of the unused buildings around town. This blue square is in the Chesterfield building on the corner of Duke Street and Main. The art itself is minimalist, in my view, but the significance is great due to its placement. On the way to the installation, we all discovered a long-abandoned work environment. Linoleum floors, long, narrow hallways, gigantic metal desks, fluorescent lights, and frozen, oversized industrial clocks told us that it used to be a floor of administrative offices. I love that a photocopier was incorporated. (I *think* it is a photocopier...)

The circle one was my favorite. It was as if it appeared overnight, leaving scraps of another era intact:
Click to enlarge

The Chesterfield will be demolished someday soon because it is cheaper to use its foundation than to renovate the existing floor plans, electrical capacity, and plumbing. Durham is growing and its population doesn't desire a building like this. I would prefer that this be preserved in some way and I think it's more than nostalgia. We should remember our old work environments because they tell us where we used to be and where we are going.

The Independent's David Fellerath had an excellent article about it this week. The official site for the project can be found here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Well, I finally did it. I managed to make it over to Krispy Kreme when they were actually making donuts. In case you're not in the know, this particular branch is special because they supply all of the supermarkets, gas stations, and what have you, PLUS any other Krispy Kreme locations in the area. So they're making a lot of donuts. If you see a Krispy Kreme truck somewhere in the Triangle, in all likelihood it is carrying donuts that originated in this one production line.

These particular donuts were of the jelly variety. I spied some sort of red goo being squirted in by assistants. (They were too far away for my poor camera.)

This movie looks particularly crappy because it is shot through glass. (I've heard that they don't want people taking pictures so I went incognito.) The first part is the worst quality, but it's the most important: when the donuts, happily floating and cooking in hot oil, are flipped so that their other side can be fried as well. For some reason, seeing raw, limp dough puff into a beautiful treat is incredibly satisfying.

P.S. I am eagerly awaiting their pumpkin spice donut. It comes out sometime in the Fall and is very, very good.

P.P.S. Jeez - I sound like such a donut freak in this post. I'm not really.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Ever since Montreal, my new thing is to eat a soft boiled egg in the morning. I have a new hi-tech egg timer and it works really well so I can get it just right. But you have to eat it with good bread or else it's not worth it. You gotta dip, man.

We didn't have any bread at all so I biked over to the local farmers market which is still going strong this time of year. There were a lot of tomatoes, herbs, eggplant and some squash is starting to come in now. And peppers. Here's Alex from Peregrine Farm roasting some peppers. Buy 2 pounds and the roasting is free(!) Then you put them in a paper bag, wait for them to cool down, and peel off the skins. Not pictured: butane tank.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


The ReCYCLEry started back in 2000 with the help of Rich Giorgi, Andrea Richards, and Seth Elliott. The idea was to encourage donations of old/used/broken bicycles and get knowledgable volunteers to fix them up and teach others, especially kids, to do the same. In exchange for putting in some hours at the ReCYCLEry, even if it was fixing up another person's bike, you could earn a bike of your own. The ReCYCLEry has since moved twice from its original location on North Greensboro Street and changed leaders several times, but it's still basically the same idea. A gang of sleepy-eyed but enthusiastic bike mechanics of varying skills, some of quite a lot of expertise, show up on weekend mornings, greet others with coffee, work on the donated bikes, and help anyone that wheels in for repairs. I have volunteered there off and on myself. I love the low-key, amorphous group and I especially like the opportunity to show off my ratchet and wrench set from Sears.

The ReCYCLEry still works the same way but now they are starting a new lending program. You pay $10 to become a member and then they set you up with a key that accesses any one of their blue bicycles at various hubs around town. I think the town of Carrboro is helping them out as well as a way to encourage green transport. Anyway, here is some video of some public sprucing up that was going on this morning as a way of publicizing the new program.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


On the way to and from Montreal, I took some little movies of the road. I'm one of those people that is impressed by bridges and monstrous highways. They dwarf the cars and it ends up being sort of beautiful.

There is a place near Atlanta where the roads snake together like some of these roads do. Do they have names for these like they do for bridges? They must.

Both of the movies posted today have sound and they take a tad longer to load than the others. The soundtrack for this one is a song by Antonio Carlos Jobim entitled, "Insentiez". It's a little over the top for this but oh well. I think the pacing works anyway.

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As I wrote above, I drove to Montreal last weekend. We got there on Friday evening, hit the conference, and then went to dinner in Chinatown. Montreal is a very big place and almost everything is in French. People knew English but I don't know French so I was a bit lost when ordering or trying to find a parking space. That's fine and it made things more exciting.

The next day, I had breakfast with Jamy of Grateful Dating (see link to the right) and afterwards we trolled around the old part of town. It was touristy but only in the sense that it was expensive and a little crowded. As we walked around, I didn't quite feel like a foreigner even though technically, I was. I felt like I was peeking in on a different type of diversity. Canada's concept of diversity has been described as a mosaic rather than a melting pot which implies assimilation. For example, it's very rare to find a place in the United States where everyone speaks something else other than English, and when we do, we put borders around it and consider it different, the "other". Chinatown, little Mexico, K-town. "That's for them. Not us." In Montreal, being bilingual was the norm. My lack of understanding for French wasn't penalized - it was merely an inconvenience. I was missing out on all of the different interpretations, and of course, the ability to readily read street signs, and I honestly felt encouraged to do better rather than feel excluded.

Anyway, here is a guy that was playing in the old part of town. (I should note that he was not actually playing the Revolting Cocks. That is my addition.) I tipped him.

Watch the Video

Monday, August 14, 2006


This is my friend peeking.

Can you see this movie? I changed hosting sites so let me know if you used to be able to watch these (when I was on YouTube) but now you can't. For example, Jerry, can you still not see this?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Things got a little kooky at another Durham yard sale on Saturday. This is E. who won state champion in baton twirling back in the day. Thanks so much for letting me post this footage, E. You know who you are. We here at Small Pictures are truly honored.

Watch the Video


We went to a pet store briefly yesterday because, well, that's what you do when you're in mall, wandering aimlessly due to the euphoric nature of the air conditioning. They had a bird room which included, among other things, a cage of two parrots that were incubating eggs. After watching this video a few times, and staying up late thinking about it, I've come to the conclusion that these birds desperately, desperately need a nest. I would go mad with all of those wobbly eggs underneath me. A little dried grass and sticks or whatever and they'd at least STAY PUT so that I could sit upon them quite calmly.

However, I don't want to speak for the parrots.

Watch the Video

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Introducing the Scene of the Crime Rovers! We had our first performance last night at the Culture Crawl in Durham.

Special thanks to J for shooting this video footage. P.S. This is an extended version from yesterday - a new version actually.

Here are some still photos:
Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Hi and thanks for visiting.

I bought this toy this past weekend at Z and R and C's yardsale. They had a lot of awesome stuff. I bought a dress, this toy, and handfuls of tea packets. They had all of this tea that included flavors like plum cinnamon, ginger mango, and peppermint. I got all of the stuff for a dollar. They also had this dinette table that was spectacular but, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out where we would put it. It was only $20. Anyway, afterwards, we went to breakfast with B. I love B more than anything.

Anyway, enjoy. And just know that we here at Small Pictures just love comments. It makes us feel like comfy little blue-eyed kittens taking a nap. Or something.

Monday, July 10, 2006


This is a whirligig at Farrington Village. It sort of looks like something Vollis Simpson may have made. Does anyone know?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Happy Independence Day.

Also, I saw this today at dinner. I want to meet this Stephanie chick. I think she's got something to say.
it's suburb!

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I'm obsessed with electricity meters and Greenland melting. Is stealing electricity beneath me? I can only think of a few friends of mine that would not steal electricity if they were given the chance and they were really struggling to pay the bill. I want to talk to more people who went through the oil crises of the 1970s. Was gas syphoning really a myth? Who did it? I want to know more. Write a comment!

This one is dedicated to the luscious Duke Power Company, you mysterious monopoly, you...

Watch the Video

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Fun on the trampoline. Stay tuned for a collage-type movie of different people on the trampoline. I need clearance from one more person.

Friday, May 26, 2006


A race between ketchup, mustard, and hotdog in between innings at the Durham Bulls Stadium. Place your bet and then hit play.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Coming back from break during practice. If you play a brass or wind instrument and you live in the area, write to let me know if you want to be in an unusual marching band. I'll pass your info on to the organizer.

Friday, May 12, 2006


David K. Rose and Casey Porn were showing their paintings at Wootini tonight.

I must admit that my poor dancing looks rather shabby compared to these guys. This really seems like the only way to dance.

A better shot of the robot-ed dude:

Burrito Bunker update: I'm still freaking out. They remain closed.

Monday, May 08, 2006


All right, I give in. It's just too cool not to mention.

Billy Sugarfix wrote a rap about Carrboro and Jason Meeks and Brian Risk shot a video for it in which much of the town's businesses and people are featured (including the mayor). I had no idea that people loved Carrboro this much. (I do, too.) You can see the video tonight at the Cat's Cradle. Come at 8:30, pay $3.

You should really check out the lyrics at their website. Sort of Lazy Sunday-ish but you know, more Carrboro-y.

Here's an article about the shoot as well. That's where I stole these photos.

Jason Meeks, director.  Photo by John Rottet

photo by John Rottet

More of my own videos soon. But I trust that you saw the Stephen Colbert one?

Thursday, April 20, 2006


The Burrito Bunker has been closed for three weeks. I'm suffering from withdrawal. Burrito Bunker crisis

Monday, April 17, 2006


Satanic ceremony? Superstitious ritual? Or just some fun on a sunny day? Guess. Just guess!

Friday, April 07, 2006


During the Full Frame Film Festival yesterday I worked in the booth at Carolina Theater's Fletcher Hall. It was the first time that I got to see 35 mm projected. This was a shadow on the floor during the screening of THE HEART OF THE GAME.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I won't say exactly why I found myself in the parking lot of Wendy's just now. But I did. It happened, yes, I admit it. Anyway, something caught my eye as I was in the parking lot. Something getting all excited about their big streetlight, way, way, way up there in the air. But it wasn't any ordinary moth. It was a huge Mothra moth! Or butterfly? Am I confused?

To be clear, I'm not sure why the creature suddenly got tired and was laying down and being all still for me while I took its picture. I hope it is not sick. I'm thinking that it's okay because it was flying just seconds before it started hanging out on the ground. But still, why would it do this unless it was sick? Anyway, I hope my poking does not look too menacing. I feel bad that I poked it. But I did.


Sunday, April 02, 2006


This installment is from one of my best friends who was gracious enough to let me post this. This is footage from the Kilauea volcano in the Volcano National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. This movie has sound. It is mostly the wind.

Kilauea has been erupting slowly since 1983. From some Googling, I think she must have been standing in the caldera which is a crater. Most of this volano is under sea level.

I especially like the last few seconds of this video when the cooled lava crust is shown up close. She said that the surface was sharper than glass which made for a treacherous hike. Boiling rock, man. It's serious stuff.

Special thanks for this.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Archer Graphics in Carrboro has these two gigantic fishing poles. They both appear to have been successful in catching fish.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Thrift score yesterday. This is a fun Valentine typewriter made by Olivetti.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


On Friday Gary Baseman was in town for a few hours. He does amazing artwork, works on the animated series, "Teacher's Pet", and is probably best known for the look of the Cranium board game. Here's a little movie of him drawing in my friend's book.

And here's a still photo of the finished little guy that he drew.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Saturday, February 25, 2006


This is a music box. The birds move with the inside mechanism because they have magnets on their backsides. Magnets on your butt!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


There is a train that runs alongside the bike path I take to school every day.


Okay so the bedroom is the bird room now. I've got 6 framed drawings of birds, birds at the birdfeeder curtains that I made, and some big fake crows up on a shelf. I want more bird stuff but it has to be representational - I think it's more weird that way. (Yeah, I know it's weird to want a weird bedroom but it's the only room that's totally mine and I wanted to try out this idea that birds, en masse, are creepy. Just one bird? Cute! But a lot of birds? Get outta here!)

Anyway, the drinking bird (below) is the star of the bedroom even though she is not representational. But she's allowed because she's got chutzpah! She's the life of the party. But she's always thirsty! We cater to her every need. We are slaves to the drinking bird, we are.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


The following video documents a phenomenon which happens to be the very best thing about the town where I live. It is. I don't care what anybody says.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

like a band-aid

I love you but you need to remove the John Kerry sticker from your car.

We all failed to mobilize more people around John Kerry and the Democrats. Obviously, this is one of the reasons we lost. This nostalgia for a different course of events in 2004, while understandable, is not helpful because it prevents us from seeking clarity about who we are and what we want. And, by the way, what we want is more than "not Bush" or "not the neo-Cons". What in the heck is our vision?

Here are some instructions on how to remove a bumper sticker from your car.

Make your own bumper sticker to inspire change. If it applies to the 2006 elections, great. But it certainly doesn't have to.

Buy sheets of vinyl that you can use in just about any printer. Use Word to make your stickers (make the font big) if you want or go for Adobe Illustrator if you are fancy. Know that colors tend to fade on home made stickers unless you use a sealant. (Just plain old black and white will do fine for a while without sealant though.) Then load up your printer, print them out, cut them out, and put them on your car.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Seasons Greetings

John designed this graphic using stuff he found on the internet, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Some of our friends got a holiday card from us with this printed on the front. Some had blue glitter. It was fun to put the glitter on them but I noticed it was all coming off when I put them in the envelopes. Sorry about that, glitter!
Seasons Greetings
It's Byron Allen of "Kickin' it With Byron Allen" which is "Fast... Fresh... Funny... And always entertaining." Oh god. Shoot me. That's just insane because obviously he is a squid in real life! I thought everyone knew that!