Saturday, February 07, 2015

Monsters from Heaven - 2/6/15 - Image-a-day

Today I received a surprise gift that took me back to a favorite part of my childhood, "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazines! I first encountered Famous Monsters or "FMs" as me and my friends called it, one summer when I was staying with my Aunt and Uncle in Woodruff, Wisconsin. I picked-up a copy of issue #114 at a drug store and my life was never the same. I read that magazine until the covers fell off. When I returned home to Eau Claire, I went to buy the latest issue but could not find it any where in town! Horrors! I worked hard and saved my money and got a subscription. After that, I never missed an issue until they stopped publishing it in 1983. "Famous Monsters" was the bible for monster movie geeks through the 1960s and 1970s. The beloved Forry Ackerman, a.k.a. "The Forrymonster" was the editor and driving personality behind the magazines amazing photos, articles and legendarily bad puns. I fondly recall flipping through the pages and obsessing over the images of movies I wished to one day see. This was long before Netflix or DVDs or even VHS tapes! If there was a movie you wanted to catch, you had to hope it showed up in the TV guide and was on a channel that came in clear or clear enough. I watched many a late night movie through the flickering curtain of static, squinting desperately to make out the monster. That usually made a mediocre movie great since my over-active imagination would fill-in the blanks.

Will I be reading these mags? You're damn right I will!

Thank you Larry Merrill,


Friday, February 06, 2015

Happy Birthday Uncle Bill - 2/5/15 - Image-a-day

Today would have been William Burroughs' one hundredth and first birthday if he was still with us. In honor of that I share with you a close-up image of a bas-relief sculpture I did of that cranky, old beatnik queen called "El Hombre Invisible" I crafted nearly twenty years ago (when Burroughs was still alive) in October of 1995, so this post can also function as a "throwback-Thursday" for those that are into that kind of thing. Of the beat writers, Burroughs was always my least favorite, I was always more of a Kerouac man, but I tried to love Uncle Bill. Read "Naked Lunch" straight through and it did bend my mind, but not in a way that I liked. Now that I'm getting older and have an experience or two, I need to give him another read as I think I can receive his signal better now. This week the NPR radio show "This American Life" featured a BBC audio documentary narrated by Iggy Pop no less, about Burroughs and it is necessary listening for anyone into the beats, Burroughs or the idly curious. Those hippos are still boiling in their tanks Bill. Thanks' for all the laughs...


Thursday, February 05, 2015

Happy 75th Birthday George Romero - 2/4/15 - Image-a-day

Seventy-five years ago today, George A. Romero, father of modern zombie culture, was born in New York City according to IMDB. I love his first three zombie movies, "Night of the Living Dead", "Dawn of the Dead' and "Day of the Dead" and the crazy, post-apocalyptic world he created. It's been strange to witness how his gruesome tales have gone from an underground, fringe genre to a mainstream phenomena, with shows like "The Walking Dead" serving up much more ultra-violent splatter on television no less. I have often leaned on being a zombie for Halloween. Here is my wife and myself from a few years ago as some tourist zombies. It's an easy costume to assemble, some old clothes and a bit of greenish gray make-up and some dried blood and you're off to the mall. I'll always be a "slow-zombie" fan.

Happy Birthday George!


Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Trash Truck Time Machine - 2/3/15 - Image-a-day

On the drive into work this morning, I past this graffiti-covered trash truck and was instantly back in the 1980s. Trash Truck Time Machine baby!


Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Raiders of the Lost Burrito - 2/2/15 - Image-a-day

Did I visit a museum today? No, I went to lunch at a Mexican restaurant that was recently renovated and tricked out with an extra helping of Mayan and Aztec inspired art. The scenic design was so elaborate that it was like walking onto the set of a Indiana Jones knock-off. "Indy, the monkey died, don't eat that burrito!" Someone put a lot of effort into all the wonderfully detailed sculptures and wall paintings. I hope they had as much fun making it as I did looking at it.


Monday, February 02, 2015

Don't Fear the Reaper - 2/1/15 - Image-a-day

Today's image came from yesterday's long hike. It's an outdoor sculpture of a skeleton in the yard of a house along the Cape Henry Path in Virginia Beach. It's a larger-than-life metal rendering and I always see it as a Grim Reaper. A reminder of how brief and fragile this sweet life is. Hiking is a sensual act for me, something that connects me to the world and makes me feel alive. The samurai had a bushido saying, "That it is good to fresh one's mind every morning with death". That sounds morbid, but what it means is to not take life for granted. Today was a good day. I walked on the beach with my wife, worked on some art and ate a fine meal. I hope your day was lived as well.


Sunday, February 01, 2015

Nature's Catherdal - 1/31/2015 - Image-a-day

I've been behind in my hiking/walking/running miles this month. My goal this year is eight hundred miles, so I need to average about sixty-seven miles a month. Today I got out for a big hike, thirteen miles, which brought my total for the month to fifty-seven miles, so ten miles behind.

It was a cold, crisp day, perfect for a long hike, so I started from my house in Chick's Beach and headed to the Virginia Beach oceanfront via First Landing State Park. I took the "Long Creek Trail" which runs the length of the park, much of it along the water. One of my favorite sections wanders through a stand of Spanish Moss covered trees. There is a scared atmosphere to this area. The grey, shroud-like moss gently moving with the breeze suggests a living cathedral. I wonder if the native American Indians who lived here before the Europeans came, considered it holy ground?